Is Wenger playing games with Walcott and Podolski?

Arsenal have got one more game to go without the big front man Olivier Giroud. The French international will be available to play in the last game of the season against Newcastle United at St. James’ Park, or whatever the hell it is called these days. It is as inevitable as death and taxes that Giroud will come straight back into the starting line up, because we have seen how much the Gunners have become set up to playing off him.

The final game without the Frenchman is against Wigan at the Emirates and it is a massive game for us. Arsenal simply have to win, and that means scoring goals. Arsene Wenger decided to go with Lukas Podolski in place of Giroud, and it is safe to say the the German international has not been spectacular down the middle. It looks like Wenger is going to stick with him, though, and has explained his thinking.

“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,” said Wenger. “Him and Theo are two finishers.

“I am convinced that through the middle he can have a great goalscoring record.”

The line about working hard on the flanks is a bit odd, but does support the theory that Podolski is not fully fit. Although Wenger has denied it, tweets from Podolski and media reports suggest the the German has got an ankle problem that may or may not need surgery in the summer. This would explain a lot.

Wenger also seems to be playing the two players off against each other. It has certainly fired Theo Walcott into action with well taken goals in the last two games. Maybe by suggesting that Podolski is the better finisher is intended to spur Walcott on, just as he was playing out of his skin during the contract negotiations.

Now, most Gooners will say that he shouldn’t need to be spurred (sorry) on, but if it works then I have no problem with it. Wenger has also praised the maturity and finishing of the England international, who has now done what a lot of Arsenal fans thought he never would, get 20 goals in a season.

“You certainly remember him when he arrived,” Wenger said. “In front of goal, the ball could go anywhere. Now you see every time he hits the target. He forces the keeper into a save. That’s why his numbers are so much better.

“I use him on the flank because I try to put a player in the middle who can score goals, and having another one on the flank who can score goals gives you a little bit of security. We finished with him in the middle.”

With Cazorla on the left, Arsenal have 46 goals this season from the front three, so you can see why Wenger wants Podolski in the middle, even if he isn’t fully fit. To be honest, we don’t really care who scores the goals, as long as someone gets a winner against Wigan.

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30 thoughts on “Is Wenger playing games with Walcott and Podolski?

  1. Rhino845

    Yes hes playing mind games with his own players. . . (Y)

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 34 Thumb down 2

  2. Chief keef

    One of the best articles written in ages on here. Id like to see what itd be like to play two up top poldi and walcott but i know thatll never happen

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 10

  3. god's a gunner

    I can’t stand that people are blasting podli and talking about how they miss Giroud. These are the same people that were blasting Giroud and missing RVP when it took 5 games for Giroud to start scoring, and they expect poldi to start scoring right way. Idiots.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 101 Thumb down 4

  4. Jack

    Walcott is fine where he is, he doesn’t have that centre forward quality but he is a brilliant am, rm

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 6

  5. moneytalks

    arsenal are in contact with the agent of lewandowski.
    i hope this is true.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 21

  6. Galen

    Theo and the prince are both fantastic finishers, but they are not the complete striker that arsenal need to take us to the next level. As for giroud he is always in he media talkng about how he did better than Drogba , RVP and henry in his first season. Can someone tell giroud to just focus on playing football and stop talking evryday. He as played 46 games and scored 17 goals mainly against shit teams. he isse sitters and smile. he takes long shots that will never go in . I want a striker who can decide big games for arsenal. Even the fxxxxxxx scums have bale and they can play shit and win. We badly need a stiker .How many big games did we win in the league this yeaR? I guess somebody will say LIVERPOOL. hahahahahahha

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 4

  7. mr lean

    what matters is not who wenger/arsenal needs its will stan loosen the purse strings and allow us to spend big money on quality world class players

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  8. Shayo

    I think Podolski strength and build stand him in better stead than walcot as the central man.He can also divert defenders attention for Walcot to do damage.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 20 Thumb down 1

  9. Uche

    Well, at least we have seen podolski play down the middle and the result has been less than awe inspiring. Let us just say that he needs time and full fitness because we all know that he can finish very well and score all kinds of goals. So I will give him that. Thank God that we have walcot and a few other folks nicking goals here and there to propel us forward. It will be really terrible if we had to just rely on an unfit podolski and an average Giroud.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

  10. Va Va Voom

    The only way we’ll bang in some goals is if Wilshere starts instead of Ramsey! Honestly, I’m one of Rambo’s biggest fans but having him beside Arteta is supposed to provide us with extra defensive cover. Do we need that against Wigan? What we do need is somebody who can make use of that truckload of possession we always have. Santi loses his creative influence on the wing and is absolutely wasted there. I say, get him through the middle. If you think that McArthur and McCarthy can deal with a trio of Arteta, Cazorla and Wilshere, I can reccomend a very good mental hospital to you. Podolski through the middle again. (He’ll bang in goals when somebody CREATES something!) Gervinho on the left to exploit Boyce’s pace, or rather lack of…and Walcott is as always, a regular on the right.

    —————–Szczesny—————–
    –Sagna–Mertesacker–Koscielny–Gibbo—-
    ————–Arteta–Wilshere————
    –Walcott——–Cazorla——–Gervinho–
    ——————Poldi——————-

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 22

  11. Galen

    Lewandoski will be a dream. BUt if u were lewandoski will u wanna come to arsenal? i dont think so. I will say going for lewandoski is planning to fail. with regards to attacking improvements, i will do 3 things.

    1) Sell GERVINHO for 12 million and replace him with Remi for 6 million.He is better and cheaper and younger and can finish.

    2) Buy Jovetic to play upfront. he will score many goals at arsenal as he wont be having the borden of creating for team mates. We have jack and santi for creativity.

    3) If Jovetic is morethan 20 million or the mafias want 30 million for him I will pay 15 Million for Benteke, he has premier league experience. My only problem is am scared of 1 season wonder. Look at grant holt and papi cisse. they have gone dry.jovetic has been a more consistent footballer over the years

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  12. tjtomekk

    i think this time it will be theo in the middle, or even gervinho, always switching positions, wenger wants to surprise the opponents

    i guess a front 3 including theo and gervinho supported by rosicky and cazorla can do it against wigan, but we need to be safe at the back!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  13. Joe

    @VaVaVoom The reason we haven’t been playing Wilshire is because he’s out of form/still returning from injury. Also, do not right Wigan off. This is a side that’s made it to the FA Cup Final, also a side that plays football and can be good on their day. Remember, last year when they came to the Emirates and beat us? Ramsey is in his best form of the season and one of the reasons we’ve been so good defensively.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

  14. SL

    Oh man, hope Chelsea win and we get out game won against Wigan smoothly. That would be a relief

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 1

  15. PatLloyd

    if we played the entire 38games in the league as we have done the last 14games (since late January) we would finish the season on 90points and most probably the league title, it shows that when the pressure is on and the lads are focused they are not far away from championship standard, one or two world class players to win those 50/50 games (like Bale does with Spurs) and we’ll be there

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 0

  16. nikhil

    I don’t care even if Fabianski scores the winners in the next two games..Just win, qualify for the Champions League and rebuild from May 20th!! We need to rebuild and rebuild sensibly. Let’s not waste money like Liverpool!!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 1

  17. Va Va Voom

    @Joe,
    Mate, Wigan’s 3-4-3 ends up playing out as a 5-2-3. Ramsey might be in form but we need to look at the tactical side of things as well. Firstly, and you seriously cannot disagree with me here, Ramsey takes too much time on the ball and by the time he decides which pass to play, all the 11 opposition players are back behind the ball! The wigan game will be a very open one and we need to take our chances. Jack’s arrival will add fluidity into the midfield and be a great asset on the counter

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

  18. Goonertron

    Wenger should drop a defensive midfielder and play a 4132

    Podolski-Walcott
    Carzola-Rosicky-The Ox
    Arteta
    Monreal-Merta-Kos-Jenkinson
    Szczsney

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

  19. ks-gunner

    Va Va Voom…well said…tottaly agree…expacelly danger will come from Franco di Santo who is very skillfull and fast in counter attacks….

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  20. Ryan gooner

    The reason podolski didnt score in the last two games is because our wingers are selfish.both theo and cazorla want to score…theo is on4m but he is 2 selfish at times…podolski needs to play with chamberlain on the wing…now give me low rating as usual

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

  21. Previgo

    MY PREFERD XL VS WIGAN..
    …………………….SZCZSNEY………………………
    JENK……PER……….KOS………….GIBBS
    ………………ARTETA…..RAMSEY……………..
    THEO…………CARZORLA………….ROSICKY
    ………………POLDOSKI………………
    D GREATEST MISTAKE WENGER WUD DO, IS TO PLAY CAZORLA ON D WING…INSTEAD HE STARTS ROSICKY AS OUR CAM, AND OXLADE ON D LEFT, DEN BRING ON CAZORLA FOR ROSICKY AROUND MYB 70MINS PLAYED..DEN D WIGAN MF.. WUD BE VERY TIRED..AND CAZORLA CAN DO D DAMAGES

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  22. Previgo

    I WAS WONDERING WHY WENGER HASREFUSED TO ROTATE JENKINSON AND SAGNA… D WAY HE HAS BEEN ROTATING GIBBS AND MONREAL??? ANY ONE GOT A CLUE????

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

  23. Hardy

    The awkward moment when every gooner knows whats gonna happen
    When theo recieves/dribbles the ball

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  24. Rodoboi

    Podi is currently loose frm usin him in d midle right now might cus arsenal set back let him play wide fr now

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  25. Lord theo

    Theo is only 24,but poldi n giroud are both 27 so i expect once he is 26 he will have a bigger build,more experienced and fully ready by then to be our main man upfront.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  26. Rhino845

    Fed up of people saying to change the formation, why would we? Weve been picking up points, so for our last two games change to our playing style and formation?! Idiocy

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  27. Ian Matthews

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 11

  28. cesc_fabulous

    @PREVIGO

    PLEASE DUDE SERIOUSLY ENOUGH WITH THE CAPS!!!! LOOOOL

    AND WENGER IS PLAYING SANTI ON THE LEFT FLANK CUZ HE WANTS CRATIVITY THERE WHICH CLEARLY ISN’T SANTI’S BEST POSITION

    FFS I LOVE MOZART BUT HE DEFFO CANNOT PLAY ON THE LEFT FLANK

    AND SAGNA ISN’T BEING ROTATED WITH JENKS CUZ WENGER IS GOING FOR EXPERIENCE IN THESE LAST CRUNCH GAMES

    I WUD PREFER SANTI PLAYING CAM WITH THE OX ON THE LEFT,,,THEN MOZART COMING IN WHEN GAME IS SAFE (PROLLY BY 70TH MIN)

    COYG!!!!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  29. Jeff

    Va va voom.. Brilliant. LOve that lineup. Realistically Ramsey would be in for wilshire because he isn’t fit. I think Ramsey has been great lately. He has setup a ton of chances but giroud hasn’t been able to finish them. I believe he has played faster sitting deeper too. He plays forward balls when sitting deep but gets lost when he is wide or as a CAM

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