Germany Coach Praises Arsenal Role in Developing Striker
By Chandrashekar Srinivasan | October 13, 2012 7:22 PM EST
Lukas Podolski, the 27-year-old former Bayern Munich and Stuttgart striker, moved to the Emirates in the summer, as part of a trio of attacking reinforcements for the Gunners. The German player has rapidly established himself as a key member of Wenger's first team, linking up well with fellow new signings Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud and also earning praise from the club's management.
Podolski, a Polish-born forward who can play either as an out-and-out striker or down the left flank, is a key member of Low's national teams and the coach reiterated his faith in his star player, despite not starting him in the 6-1 hammering of Ireland in a 2014 World Cup qualifier.
"I can only say positive things about him, even when he does not play,'' Low said, adding, "I have always been able to count on him for many years. That makes him indispensable for us. Even if he did not always start games, I always rated him very highly.''
The striker did make an appearance in the game against Ireland, coming on in the 66th minute for Borussia Dortmund's Marco Reus. The presence of an exciting new generation of attacking players at the national level, led by Reus and his Dortmund team mate Mario Gotze, Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller and Bayer Leverkusen's André Schürrle, has often led to suggestions Podolski and, in particular Lazio striker Miroslav Klose's, careers may be over, or, at least, stalled. However, both veterans (Podolski has 104 caps and Klose 125) were in action at the Aviva Stadium, with the latter scoring his 65th international goal.
"I always said it would be a good move for him,'' Low continued, touching on Podolski's move to the Premier League, "I think the progress he is making at Arsenal is very positive. He always has such a positive energy about him and is benefiting from his experiences with Arsenal.''
Meanwhile, Podolski himself has played down speculation he may not be first choice for his national team. The dynamic German stressed he would continue to fight for his position and would play as his coach asked him to. His only goal, he said, was to qualify for the World Cup.
"Whether I play left, right, up front, or even left full-back as far as I am concerned - the coach can decide,'' he said, "Even playing the role of super sub would not dampen my spirits. I accept the challenge of our competition for places."
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