Saturday, March 10, 2012
A Good Bit Of Business
If Arsenal only pay Koln £5 million for the services of Lukas Podolski it could be the best bit of business Arsene Wenger has done as manager of, currently, the second best placed London club.
Podolski is only 26, potentially he has some great years ahead of him and he has outrgown his current club. Despite a phenomenal goal scoring rate, both in the Bundesliga and internationally, Podolski still hasn't fulfilled his early promise and I've said before that when placed alongside Miroslav Klose he looks like a player who with a little more effort could have made much better use of his natural talent. When he and Klose played together at Bayern Munich, ironically one of his career low points, the pair would speak to each other in their native Polish in an effort to confuse the opposition defenders.
The talk in Germany is that he will join in May for around £100,000 a week and that the transfer fee of £10.9 million will be halved if Koln are relegated from the Bundesliga. Given their current position, fifth from bottom, there is a danger that The Billy Goats will at least be in the end of season play-offs. Podolski is idolised at the RheinEnergieStadion in a way that isn't comparable with any footballer currently playing in England, he is on a par with Francesco Totti at Roma, Alessandro Del Piero at Juve or even the divine pontail, Roberto Baggio, at every club he played at.
The supporters in Mungersdorf, the suburb of Cologne where the stadium is located, will be sorry to see him leave but German supporters are generally more forgiving than English supporters and acknowledge when a player has to move on to further his career. When Manuel Neuer moved from Schalke to Bayern last summer the hostile reaction came from the Bayern supporters rather than those from Gelsenkirchen who saw it as an insult to their heritage than the club should have to sign a goalkeeper from a 'smaller club', Neuer won them over, or least partly did, by keeping eight successive clean sheets.
Podolski needs European football at this stage of his career, something there is more chance of at the Emirates than in Cologne and "Prinz Poldi" will be a perfect addition to the Arsenal squad, hopefully for Gooners not a replacement for RVP.
As a p.s, Podolski got in the Arsenal groove tonight by getting sent-off for an attempted headbutt and then he grabbed his manager by the throat as he walked off. Koln beat Hertha Berlin 1-0.
Posted by Paul at 11:56 PM