Posts Tagged ‘Podolski’


Gervinho, Walcott, Podolski – who should start upfront for Arsenal today?

By Stefano on April 28th, 2013

With all the talk about Robin van Persie, this would have been a perfect opportunity for his successor at Arsenal, Olivier Giroud, to prove he’s been a decent replacement in his first Premier League campaign. Giroud has been unable to match Van Persie’s goalscoring tally, but his all-round play has been decent.

Giroud’s red card for a clumsy tackle at Craven Cottage last weekend means a three-game suspension, however, and therefore Arsene Wenger has a choice between Gervinho, Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski upfront this weekend. All three have more regularly started on the flanks, but Gervinho started the season well upfront, and the other two insist they prefer a central striking role.

Walcott’s main quality, of course, is his raw pace in behind. He’s often played well when given opportunities upfront this season, but expect Sir Alex Ferguson to field a centre-back pairing that won’t be sluggish against his acceleration. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic probably isn’t the right combination, and Jonny Evans alongside Chris Smalling worked well at the Emirates last season.

It’s difficult to see what Podolski offers over the other two ­ he’s similarly direct, and likes breaking onto through-balls, but lacks Walcott’s raw pace or Gervinho’s dribbling ability. Interestingly, the German hasn’t started a Premier League game since January, with some suggesting his lack of work rate and stamina in a defensive sense has frustrated Wenger.

If Podolski isn’t starting on the left, and doesn’t start upfront despite Giroud’s unavailability, you wonder precisely what his purpose at Arsenal is. Gervinho and Walcott seems a better bet, with the duo able to alternate between the right flank, and the centre-forward role.

Article originally published here.



Arsenal Vs Everton team news – Fabianski doubt, Rosicky and Mertesacker return

By Stefano on April 15th, 2013

Looks like Arsene Wenger has some interesting decisions to make for tomorrow night’s crucial home game with Everton

1 Who to play in goal? Apparently Lukasz Fabianski took a kick to the ribs during the victory over Norwich and is a major doubt for tomorrow. Mannone has been on the bench recently and had a good run earlier in the season, but might it now be the time to recall the out of sorts Wojciech Szczesny?

2 Who to play in central defence? – Thomas Vermaelen had a reasonable game against Norwich but Wenger clearly sees his strongest pairing as Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny, so with the German back after suspension Arsenal’s Belgian captain could be warming the bench again.

3 Who to play at left back? - Gibbs played well against Norwich, though admittedly his crossing was little off. Maybe Nacho Monreal will get the nod tomorrow.

4 How do you accommodate Tomas Rosicky? - The Czech player is available and deserves to be in the side after his superb recent form for the Gunners. But does that mean Wenger will drop Wilshere?

5 Is there room for Podolski and Walcott? Arsenal looked a much stronger team when the pair come on in the second half on Saturday. Walcott may replace Gervinho, but where does that leave Podolski?

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