German international, Lukas Podolski made the hard transition from German football to the English Premier League after spending 10 seasons in the Bundesliga with FC Koln and Bayern Munich. After his boyhood club, Koln, was relegated from the Bundesliga last season, Podolski finally decided to challenge himself elsewhere and agreed to a transfer to Arsenal, knowing he would be working under Arsene Wenger’s tutelage.
The 27-year-old had a bright start to life in London, scoring twice in a pre-season friendly against old club Koln. In his third competitive match, he scored one and set up another in the Gunner’s 2-0 win at Liverpool. He also scored a 25 yard screamer in the subsequent 6-1 mauling of Southampton.
However, his time at the Emirates hasn’t been so rosy since then. The German has consistently been subbed in the second half of matches, and has arguably failed to find his feet in the Premier League. The English league can be unforgiving at times, since it requires brute physical strength and speed on the ball not akin to other European leagues.
According to Metro, legendary German striker Oliver Bierhoff has criticized Podolski’s form over the last year while claiming that he remains an important member of the squad. He also suggested the German should take criticism in the right spirit, and learn to live with it.
He said, “‘I am a man of clear words. Players must be able to take criticism, must also live with the facts. It’s not like I am saying that I do not believe in him, that I have no confidence in him. He has helped us repeatedly and is incredibly important for the team, but the development last year with the national team was just not as satisfactory.”
In context of how tough foreign recruits find the Premier League in their first season, Podolski has, however, had a satisfactory debut season. He has scored 16 goals in all competitions for the North London side, with 11 of those coming in the league. On his day, he has been a constant threat on the left side of a three-pronged attack, even though his preferred position is down the middle.
The report also mentions how Podolski retorted to the criticism aimed at him by the German general manager, telling him to zip it. He said, “I do not care. I know what I have in me. Things have been looking up for a few years, but sometimes you can have a lull.”