Lukas Podolski has admitted that he wants to speak to Arsène Wenger about his future at the club. The 29-year-old said that while he is happy at the Emirates he is concerned at how little he is playing this season.
“I have to speak to Wenger because the situation at the moment is not good for me because I have to play, so we will see what happens,” Podolski said after Germany’s 1-0 victory over Spain on Tuesday night. “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 ten to 15 minutes. I cannot be happy with this.”
Podolski is yet to start a game for Arsenal in the league, where he has made just four appearances, all of them as a substitute: 13 minutes against Leicester City, 12 minutes against Aston Villa, 11 minutes against Chelsea and 10 minutes against Burnley. In the Champions League, he scored the 91st minute winner away at Anderlecht after coming on as a substitute with six minutes left. In total, he has played just 26 minutes across three European games.
He did not add to his 121 caps for Germany against Spain on Tuesday night, remaining on the bench in Vigo, and manager Joachim Löw has warned that it will be harder to select him if he is not playing for his club.
“I never say that I am unhappy with the club or with the players or with the city but I want to play,” Podolski said. “I think when I am ready and 100 per cent 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 number 10’, but the decision is his. I cannot change the style or tactics of the team.”
He added: “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 eleven 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.”
The challenge for Podolski is that it is difficult to get into the Arsenal side because of the form of Alexis Sánchez but Podolski was quick to praise the Chilean striker.
“The Premier League is good for him,” he said. “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.”
And that is the problem for Podolski in that Wenger has better attacking options than him up-front in Sanchez, Welbeck and Giroud. And playing behind the strikes are Ramsey, Cazorla and even Wilshere. Podolski I feel is suffering from this flexibility in that he can play different positions, so he doesn’t get a run of games in one spot, as Wenger moves him around depending on Arsenal’s needs.