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Getting the feel for it

That’s what Gooners will be chanting come August 2012. Arsenal yesterday announced the signing of Lukas Podolski from Cologne. Let’s be honest, we knew this was coming for weeks but it is still good to hear about it officially. One of the reasons muted online for the delayed announcement was that Cologne didn’t want the news to affect their relegation scrap. They are still there now in 17th spot in the Bundesliga and has neither confirm survival or relegation. Which makes the timing a little off.

However, I don’t think we care about that. Concluding a deal at this time of the season is not unusual. While players aren’t officially signed on, there’s probably a pre contract agreed and signed. Poldoski adds to the list of the growing contingent of German players. At 95 caps, he joins Per Mertesacker as the two full internationals with the second favourite for the European Championship this coming summer.

Still only 26 years of age, Podolski has already 9 seasons of professional football with 8 of those coming in the top tier of German league football. A total of 98 goals in 238 matches, that is not something to be laughed at. It’s actually a very decent return. At the international level, he has scored 43 goals in 95 games. Almost one every other game. Which is mightily impressive though I seem to remember Germany being placed in groups with real minnows and I don’t know if majority of those were scored during those matches.

Left footed forward, capable of playing up front / support striker / wide left. The last of those positions being the one he occupies so efficiently for Germany national side. Where most of my impression of him was gathered. Podolski is no Walcott but there’s enough pace in him to trouble defenders. As is common with German footballers these days, he’s technically sound and possesses a venomous shot with that left foot of his.

I don’t see him as the main striker. Perhaps he will play there when the main striker needs a rest (I’m reluctant to put Robin Van Persie’s name here because his situation is not resolved yet). But the numbers that Podolski has been pulling for his previous clubs shows that he can get that 10 – 15 goals a season for us. That would be massive for us and helps relieve the burden on the main striker.

I hope this herald a change of ways at Arsenal. The change where we are more ruthless in our transfer dealings. Get the players that we want nice and early so that they can bed in properly with the rest of the squad during pre season and be raring to go right from the start. More importantly, this move could also prove to be key to hopes of extending RvP’s contract. Secretly, I’m hoping that the announcement is delayed because Podolski wanted confirmation that RvP was staying and we have that now, hence the release of the news. Wishful thinking? Perhaps.

Like everyone else, we hope his signing is reinforcement rather than replacement. If that is so, then there is plenty more work for Ivan Gazidis, Dick Law and Arsene Wenger. Work to show that we will improve from this season and that means only one thing, challenging for the title. Already, there are other strong rumours tying us with a few more big players where negotiations have started. All hopefully to be completed when the 72 hours deadline arrives, the one where Wenger said was crucial pertaining to RvP’s contract.

Yesterday also saw the Manchester derby being played. City won and now sits on top of the pile, level on points with United. It was an ok game with lots of commitment involved, something we’ve come to expect in a Premiership game. 2 more games left to go and whoever drop points will lose the race. United did not have a single shot on target last night (checking the news columns to see if similar condemnation were given to them). Tactically, I think Ferguson got it wrong with just the one striker and Valencia being left on the bench.

I do hope City will slip up eventually. We need them to, or at least I need them to. I can’t stand the sight of Na$ri lifting the Premier League trophy before our lot does it. Sometimes you hate yourself because circumstances made you preferring a United win and title. A case of anyone but the Petit…….

For now though, it’s Lu-Lu-Lu Lukas Podolski!!!