Arsenal v. Fulham: Podolski's Complaint

Ahead of Fulham’s visit to the Emirates Saturday, it’s high time that we decide on who’s most likely to take this match my the scruff and make damn-well sure that all three points stay just where they bloody well belong—right here at the Emirates. All three. Fulham’s last two trips have seen them snatch a point. Fulham. As in “we’re proud to be mid-table, thrilled to take on aging, past-their-prime Spuds” Fulham.

The Hammer of Mjölnir. It does make evening strolls a bit dicey.

Two years ago, we went from a Vermaelen own-goal to a Vermaelen equalizer to salvage a precious point. Last year, it was a Keystone Kops affair, a 3-3 draw that could have and perhaps should have ended 4-3 had Arteta done better with a last-minute penalty-kick. These offer two different facets of a multi-faceted problem over the previous several seasons when our own weaknesses, just as much if not more than our opponents’ strengths, have been our own undoing. At various points, we have been among the most generous of teams when it came to errors leading to an opponent’s goal, and one of the areas in which we’ve shown the most improvement, after all, has been in reducing such errors.

Sadly, Vermaelen and Arteta, mares of those previous matches (if only in those key moments), won’t be available on Saturday in order to avenge themselves on the Cottagers. I would love nothing more than to call for each man to bag a brace, each assisting the other, while at the other end turning away any attack Berbatov & Co, LLC could muster on our way to a 4-0 win. It’s not to be, not tomorrow at least. So it goes. In their stead, then, someone else will have to step up, but who? Will it be Podolski, scorer or two goals in the 3-1 win at Fulham back in September before his injury? After all, he leads the current squad in goals against Fulham (three goals, three appearances). However, he’s been so thoroughly marginalized even after his return that he can barely seem to find any time on the pitch, and the rumors around other left-wing targets, be they Draxler or Ntep or others, suggest that he’s running out of time to prove himself.

However, there’s no guarantee that he’ll even appear, much less start. Then again, with Cazorla also struggling to rediscover the form that made him Arsenal’s Player of the Year, and with his hiccup leading to Aston Villa’s goal on Monday, it might be time to wield once again the Hammer of Mjölnir—that lethal left-foot of Podolski, unleashing concussive thunderbolts at goalies and woodwork alike, while Poldi exclaims, exultantly “AHA! to be a center-forward, a center-forwardand nothing more!”

After all, perhaps alone among the midfielders, Poldi does not flit or dance or pirouette on the ball; that is not his game, no. Give him the ball and let him turn and shoot. Play him centrally with Cazorla and Gnabry flanking him and with Özil behind him, and let him pummel the Cottagers into submission, hammering them with shot after thunderous shot. They, as well as the woodwork and the net it holds up, will succumb, and we will have back the Poldi we have come to know and love, and he will deliver. Therefore, with these ramblings in mind, I’m amending my own match preview, in which I called on Wilshere to be anointed as Man of the Match. Please, Arsène, play Podolski through the middle, and let him lay waste to the Cottagers’ defense.

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2 thoughts on “Arsenal v. Fulham: Podolski's Complaint

  1. Anonymous

    Too late jon, I already picked podolski for one of my three goals as a comment to your previous blogAre you also going to change your score prediction from 4-1 or are you staying with that?Seems that you are catching “Wenger fever” and waiting for a better deal at the last minute. Maybe, if that is acceptable and I use Arsene as my model, I will wait until just before “added time” in the 2nd half to predict my score and MOTM. 🙂

  2. Anonymous

    well we were both wrong with the person; at least we got the position right, so to speak. Cazorla was sparkling–Poldi wasn't bad at all in his 25 minutes or so.


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