PODOLSKI: I want to into RVP shoes

Posted: July 14, 2012 in General

Lukas Podolski is confident he can fill the boots of Robin van Perise should the Dutchman leave Arsenal this summer.

The German international was signed by the Gunners before Euro 2012 for £11.7million, bringing with him a wealth of experience.

Fans had hoped the 26-year-old would supplement the attacking prowess of their talismanic captain, that was until Van Perise released a damning statement on his personal website, attacking the clubs ambitions.

Podolski would rather the striker stayed in north London, but says he is ready to willing to step into the breach should the position become available.

He said: ‘All I can say is Van Persie had an amazing record last season and hopefully there is a way he can stay with Arsenal. It would be great to play with him, but obviously this is not in my control.’

As for himself, the forward added in an interview with ESPN: ‘I can play up front on my own, as a second striker or push forward on the left side of midfield.

‘So long as I am playing with adventure, get into position to score goals and give my all to the team then I can be satisfied.

‘That’s why I’m pleased to hear people suggest my defensive work has improved over the years. I have worked hard on this area of my game.’

And the German has also jumped to the defence of his new manager, who came under more pressure than ever before last season.

Podolski said: ‘He has a record getting Arsenal into the Champions League every season and his reputation in Germany and all over Europe is very strong.

‘What I like about him is his passion for attacking football. He aims to play with style and flair all the time. Those are his principles and he’ll never compromise on them.

‘Some people are disappointed with him, but they need to realise what a great coach they have.

‘Mr Wenger could have moved on to another club, I am sure, but instead chose to stay and build something over the long term.

‘He lives and dies by his own ideas and Arsenal is his baby. His reputation has been built on improving players and if he can help me take my game up a notch or two I’ll be delighted.

‘Back home in Germany, football people think very highly of Arsene Wenger. They listen to what he has to say and admire his achievements.’

Podolski’s move split opinion among Arsenal fans, with a small section pointing to his failed stint at Bayern Munich as a reason to be wary of his potential impact.

The German international moved to the famous club from Cologne in 2006 but, rather than flourish, took steps backwards before returning to his hometown club to rebuild his career.

However, on reflection, Podolski admits he was perhaps too immature to handle a move of that magnitude.

He said: ‘I’m not one to look back and say “if only”, but maybe I was too young to do myself justice at a leading club like Bayern.

‘Now it’s a different story. I’m older, wiser and more mature. I have 100 caps for Germany and have seen so much more in this game. I can’t wait to get started in the Premier League.’




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