The German has only featured in his preferred position twice this season, with last weeks game against Manchester United only the second time he has played there in Arsenal colours.
After the match worries were raised about his match fitness and of course his rustiness, but Wenger has re-affirmed his stance that the German needs more matches to get his eye in.
Wenger is quoted as saying by The Mirror on Podolski:
I believe it is his best position maybe because on the flanks he needs to work so hard and he’s more a finisher than anyone else in the team. Him and Theo Walcott are two finishers.
He was a little bit rusty (against Manchester United) because he had not played a lot. But of course it’s a good opportunity for him to show that he has a future in this position and that he can finish.
Honestly, I played him only against Sunderland in the first game in this position, only against Manchester United in this position, so it’s not two ideal games.
- Nigerian billionaire Aliko Dangote’s bid to takeover Arsenal ‘edging closer’
- [Player ratings] Arsenal 0-1 Man City: Painfully early error inflicts defeat
- [Team news] Arsenal line up vs Man City – Arteta to make five changes
The first game of the season and against Man United, but I am tempted to give him another chance of course in this position.
He wants to play through the middle, but today all the players who play on the flanks want to play there!
It is only his first season. I think as well, he had the European Championship, you know, he came back without a real rest, changed his first season.
We are here to win our games as we want to be in the Champions League. There is only about a one in a hundred chance that even that will not be enough.
It is difficult to know what to expect in the run-in. For example with QPR you don’t know what you will meet tomorrow.
Maybe you will meet a team who is firing on all cylinders so it is very difficult to know. On the other hand what will Chelsea meet on Sunday I don’t know. It is very difficult.
With Walcott also making it known he wishes to play up front, Wenger has decided to rebuff his demands and stay with Podolski for the game against QPR.
The German had a hand in the build up that lead to Walcott’s goal in the match against Manchester United, but obviously Gooners are wanting to see the German unleash his left foot.
It does seem surprising however that Wenger would entrust Podolski with the position when games are so crucial and he is clearly rusty and low on match fitness due to lack of playing time, but in saying that it doesn’t get much harder that Manchester United when you are trying to make an impression and to make a judgement from that solitary match would perhaps be too harsh.
To be fair, his link up play was pretty good and was willing to come and receive the ball and link up with the Arsenal midfielders, but now it seems he needs to get into a position to finish. Hopefully he does that against QPR as he should get more opportunities to show his ruthlessness!!