Wenger Reveals Why Podolski Can’t Play As Central Striker

One problematic area for Arsenal this season has been the striking position. The Gunners have had to rely on their two French strikers Olivier Giroud and Yaya Sanogo. The first has been accused of been too wasteful in front of goal while the other is a mere rookie that cannot be depended upon. This led to calls for Wenger to buy in the winter window but having failed to bring in a new central striker in January, fans and pundits have hoped that Wenger would give Podolski the chance to star as a central striker. Since his arrival from Koln, Wenger has primarily deployed him as a left but the German attacker has perpetually clamoured for a berth in the central striking position.

Yesterday, he got a rare start and full minutes and gave a good return, bagging a brace for the Gunners and that has once again raised an argument for him to be deployed to the central forward role and here is what Wenger had to say about that call;

“I played him centre forward a few times and I felt he came a lot to the ball, more like an off-striker than a target striker.”

He added: “But he is a fantastic finisher because he has unbelievable power and a very short backlift. So the one you want to have a chance is him.”

That sums it all! Podolski cannot play as a central striker at Arsenal no thanks to Arsenal’s 4-5-1 formation. The German is too rigid to play as a target man as he lacks the mobility and the runs. Playing as a winger avails him the opportunity of getting the goals because Arsenal’s wingers are expected to score goals and that was Wenger’s explanation for his persistence in playing Walcott on the wings despite the Englishman’s desire to play as striker.

It is a fact that Podolski is almost twice as deadly as Giroud as the stats below clearly shows but the Frenchman has the body that allows him play as a target man successfully .


Team       Pos              Goals % of total attempts            Goals / apps              Goals            Mins
Arsenal    FW                      23.08                                               0.38                           6                  818

Olivier Giroud

Team              Pos            Goals % of total attempts            Goals / apps          Goals      Mins
Arsenal          FW             13.86                                                        0.44                   14            2,759


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  1. ‘The German is too rigid to play as a target man as he lacks the mobility and the runs. ‘ – but Giroud HAS mobility!?!

    Your stats are a little misleading as well, if you take all competitions that Podolski and Giroud have played in, it becomes:

    Podolski – 10 goals in 22 appearances – circa .45 goals per game
    Giroud – 20 goals in 46 appearances – circa .43 goals per game

    The German is overwhelmingly better, but isn’t being given the sort of soft treatment that Wenger is giving his fellow Frenchman.

  2. Podolski Is far betterthan Giroud in every football sector, except headers

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