Lukas Podolski would rather be substituted than be a substitute.
What he said:
“I am happy at Arsenal and happy in London but the only thing is I don’t play. I don’t get the chance to play. I play always 10 to 15 minutes. I cannot be happy with this.”
German striker and Arsenal forward Lukas Podoloski is hardly happy with Arsene Wenger for keeping him warming the bench in the Premier League. Podolski has barely played 46 minutes in four games this season. In Euro games, he has a total of 26 minutes in three matches. (That’s less than 90 minutes—the length of any football tie.)
“I never say that I am unhappy with the club or with the players or with the city but I want to play.I think when I am ready and 100% I could play in the first XI. It is the decision from the coach, it is not my decision. Every player wants to play, every player wants to play in the middle, every players wants to score goals. But it is Arsène Wenger’s decision. He picks the first XI and he picks the tactics. When you ask players they say: ‘I want to play up front [or] as a No10,’ but the decision is his. I cannot change the style or tactics of the team.
I don’t say that I want to leave or that I leave in winter. I just think about my situation and my situation is unhappy. It is like anyone who is not getting a chance at doing their job. I know that only 11 can play but when you always play 10 or 15 minutes and it happens every week then you cannot be happy. I am happy with the team and the coach and the club but I don’t play. That is the only thing.”
Alexis Sanchex, the Chilean forward, has been doing extremely well for the Gunners and it does not appear that the German will have his chance any time soon.
“The Premier League is good for him (Sanchez). He is a physical player. He is fast and powerful and the Premier League suits him. He is battling in every game and running a lot and he is making the difference at the moment at Arsenal.”
On Arsenal’s chances of winning the English league:
“In the Premier League you have a tough game every week. It’s not like other leagues where you only have three top games in a season. You can always speak about problems but the season is not finished. The Premier League is the best league in the world. It is not like in Spain where you have two teams or in Germany where you have [only] Bayern Munich. You see it every week, that every game is tough. Home and away every team is hard to play. You can never say that the three points are easy to get.
There is always pressure when you are at a big club and you are not in the top four. So we have to start winning games and start picking up points. We lost our last game and it’s a big match against Manchester United [this weekend] so we have to win it and then we have a big game against Dortmund straight after that. [Mesut] Özil can’t help us now because he is injured. When he comes back he can help us because he is a great player. We have start winning games now.”
What he really meant:
“Am I playing or not, coach Arsene? Can I play, coachie? I need match play to keep me match-fit and in contention for the German side. Can I get a transfer or be loaned out, perhaps? There’s no maybe, maybe not. It has to be definite. I want to play. Period. I’m a professional.”
What he definitely didn’t:
“I’m happy where I am. It does not matter whether I am played or not. I’ll enjoy London and its surroundings. I could just play foosball, pool or craps instead as long as I’m paid.”