Olivier Giroud has been quite a revelation this season. Not only has he been on a hot scoring streak but his all-round game has really improved. He looks fitter and faster, strong enough to take on any defender and thus able to hold up the ball extremely well. That allows midfielders to make runs and his technical ability too is commendable.
However, Podolski is the striker Arsenal probably need especially when they are chasing a game and have come up against a resolute defence. Just over a year ago, Arsene Wenger told the Express he would want a chance in the box to fall into Podolski’s path – so reliable is his finishing.
If Podolski was available for selection against Monaco in the first leg of the Champions League, I am quite sure the result would have been quite different. As we poured forward in the search for goals, we lacked the cutting edge in the final third. Podolski thrives in such situations and would have surely grabbed a goal or two.
Podolski’s two major flaws are his low work rate and lack of movement around the box – both attributes that Giroud has in abundance. The rest of the other attacking players at Arsenal, such as Danny Welbeck, Alexis Sanchez, Ozil and Cazorla are always moving about complementing each other perfectly. For Arsene Wenger, this is a very important skill and the main reason why Podolski hardly got a look in at Arsenal even when he was scoring goals.
Unfortunately, Podolski’s work rate has not improved even after being a regular starter during his loan spell at Inter Milan with Roberto Mancini also complaining about him and urging him to work harder. Not only has his work rate not improved but goals, his main attribute, have been hard to come by…actually non existent. The only way Podolski will make it at Arsenal is if he agrees to be a super sub – something that I am sure he will not want to do.
Wenger will want to sell Podolski now and I think that will be best for both parties. As a fan favourite, though, he will be sorely missed.