Arsène Wenger

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Lukas Podolski: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Lukas Podolski did not even get a kiss goodbye.

What he said:

“He [Wenger] said nothing to me. He did not call me or say goodbye. I don’t need flowers or a kiss from him. But it is about respect, about saying goodbye. For me respect is important. Maybe he had other problems with me.”

Arsenal forward and German international Lukas Podolski leaves for Inter Milan—on loan from Arsenal—on a sour note accusing manager Arsene Wenger of disrespecting him during his stay at the club.

Podolski has never had a regular place in the starting line-up since arriving there in 2012. His 60 appearances for the North London side bagged him 19 goals.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and in the backg...

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and in the background, Arsenal first team coach Boro Primorac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wenger responded:

“I had many conversations with him, he had my agreement to go on loan. I deny that completely but I knew he did not get enough opportunities. We have many players, when a player of his quality doesn’t get enough games you can understand he is frustrated.

At some stage too many players is detrimental to the confidence. You need the right numbers. It had nothing to do with his quality. It is just a loan without an option to buy – that means he is back at the end of the season.”

Podolski told the Sun:

“If I had been given a run of five or 10 games and played really s—, then I could say: ‘Fair enough, I am not good enough.'”

What he really meant:

“Ouch! What a nasty break-up! And my manager cannot even see me to the airport with flowers, kisses and chocolates. Woo hoo!”

What he definitely didn’t:

“Now you know what it means to be Podolskied.”

Arsene Wenger: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Arsene Wenger needs a dictionary badly.

Arsène Wenger in training.

Arsène Wenger in training. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

What he said:

“When you are such a long time in football as I am, you don’t understand any more what crisis means. I must get to the dictionary and look at it well again.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger responds to majority shareholder Alisher Usmanov’s critical remarks about his team management.

Usmanov said:

“My opinion – and I tell it openly – we need to strengthen every position to play on the level of such teams in (the) U.K. as Chelsea and Manchester City, in Europe like Real (Madrid), Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, (Bayern Munich) and other clubs.

Arsenal is a dream that sometimes becomes a mirage and sometimes a pain as every dream.

(The) potential of the team is there, but there is no critical evaluation of mistakes and they need to need to acknowledge them. Because no genius can retain the same level of genius if they do not acknowledge mistakes. It’s only when you admit your mistakes that you can get rid of them.”

He added:

“Arsene Wenger is one of the greatest coaches not just of European but of world football.

But we have a Russian proverb which goes: ‘Even an old lady can have a roof falling on her.’ Everybody makes mistakes. He can make mistakes and I know as you age that it is more difficult, more challenging to accept one’s mistakes. Maybe it’s a problem today.

I like Arsene for his principles, but principles are a sort of restriction. And restrictions are always lost possibilities. That’s why sometimes coaches even without principles became the coaches of great teams and some coaches with principles lose because some positions in team are vacant because of ethical, moral or personal views.

Does he have money or not? There is officially money in the club. How does he spend [it]? This decision investors have left with him. I wish them victories, because their victories are the victories of investors, including myself, and of great Arsenal fans, which deserve these victories.”

Arsene Wenger dismissed Usmanov’s remarks:

“During the 18 years I have been here I have shown that I can take criticism. Everybody has the right to have an opinion, having said that, we have values at this club.

The first one is when we go through a difficult patch, we show solidarity. That is a very important one. The second one is that, when you have something to say to each other, we say it face to face. We don’t need to go to the newspapers.

I don’t take [Usmanov’s comments]personally at all. It is an opinion I respect, but when you are from this club, you are from this club. You are in or out, you cannot be both.

I am long enough in the game to know that when you play well, but lose the game, you get flooded with critics, however, if you play a very bad game, but you win it, everyone says how great you are.

It is our job to take a distance with that and see what was right and what was wrong. The rest is part of the game.

What is important is how close we are together inside the club and how much we can respond to people who question our quality. I personally feel there is a very strong bond inside the team and the club, and that this team will have a very strong season.

I believe in what I do and I especially believe in my players, and in their quality and spirit. I question myself every day and I hope you do that as well.”

What he really meant:

 “Hmm… now should I look up sub-heading ‘team crisis’ or ‘personal crisis’?”

What he definitely didn’t:

 “I’m going to be studying Russian proverbs instead—specifically the ones with old women in them.”

 

 

Lukas Podolski: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


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.)

Podolski said:

“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.”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and in the backg...

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and in the background, Arsenal first team coach Boro Primorac (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Podolski said:

“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.”

Jose Mourinho: What he said, really meant and definitely didn’t


Jose Mourinho is no pushover when push comes to shove.

What he said:

“Charged? Charged? If it was me, it would have been a stadium ban.”

Jose Mourinho vents his ire at Arsenal boss, Arsene Wenger, claiming that if he had been the aggressor he would have been severely penalized.

The Chelsea boss was involved in a confrontation with the Frenchman when the two sides played each other at Stamford Bridge earlier this month.

Mourinho said:

“I gave you my reaction after the match, saying nothing had happened. The reaction from everyone else was saying nothing had happened. Am I surprised he wasn’t punished? I’m not surprised. I’m not surprised. Charged? Charged? If it was me, it would have been a stadium ban.

What he really meant:

“History’s not on my side when it comes to fracases. I may be the Chosen One in more ways than one.”

What he definitely didn’t:

“I have a persecution complex.”

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