Lukas Podolski gunning for World Cup

Germany forward Lukas Podolski is eyeing glory for the team at this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

The Arsenal man has said that the team has set its sights on a World Cup win after having two close defeats in the last two editions. Germany suffered two heart breaking defeats at the hands of eventual winners Italy and Spain in 2006 and 2010 respectively, finishing third on each occasion.

Podolski, who is Germany’s third highest capped player at the event, will make his third World Cup appearance this summer since he was handed his international debut in 2004 by then head coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Germany is strong favorites to secure their fourth World Cup title this summer and Podolski believes they have the squad to do it as well.

Germany coach Joachim Low was an assistant to Klinsmann in 2006 and now that he is the manager, has shown the same amount of faith on the former Cologne and Bayern Munich forward.

The 29 year old is not happy with the two bronze medals he has at home and is gunning for glory this time around. He said that back in 2006, they had a very young team and no one even thought they would reach the semi finals, but they finished third.

It was the same in 2010 when they beat Uruguay to finish in third in South Africa and having finished as runners up at Euro 2008 and reached the semi finals at Euro 2012, Lukas Podolski believes it is time they shed their ‘chokers’ tag and finally come good at the world stage.

Germany will have to negotiate a tough group which includes the likes of Portugal, Ghana and the United States Men’s National Team and Podolski thinks if they go through, each match will be like a final.

Podolski Believes FA Cup Will Bring Positivity

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has stated that the club has endured a disappointing campaign once again, but they can all look forward to winning the FA Cup. He says that victory in the FA Cup final over Hull city will bring some positivity to the club. Arsenal have been without a major trophy since the 2005 FA Cup victory over Manchester United. The nine-year wait for the trophy could finally come to an end if they are victorious over Hull. Arsenal are certainly the favourites to get a win due to the much better quality.

Podolski has accepted that it has been a very disappointing season in terms of the league finish because Arsenal once again finished fourth in the table. For long periods of the last 10 years, this has been the ambition of manager Arsene Wenger. However, they looked like being a potential title challenger for the best part of four months at the start of the season. They were top of the table going into 2014 with a five-point advantage over the second-placed team. However, poor form in the second half of the season has seen them finish just above Everton in the table.

Sunday will be the meeting between Hull and Arsenal at the Wembley stadium.

“Now we have to focus on the FA Cup final and after the season, the boss and the staff will look at the matches and what was good and what was not so good. We will see and we must change that next season, but it is not easy. This is the Premier League, which is not like other leagues. Every year, you have six or seven teams who fight to be champions and as well the teams who are at the bottom fight every game,” said the forward ahead of the match.

OUT OF REACH

Arsenal’s chance of lifting the Premier League title is out of the reach of Arsene Wenger but they still have a chance of ending their trophy-less seasons which has seen the Emirates Stadium based team not being able of securing any major pieces of silverware in over 8 years.

Arsene Wenger and his players overcome Wigan on a penalty shootout with Lukasz Fabianski turning out to be the surprising hero for Arsenal. Wojciech Szczesny is the regular first choice picks of Wenger but this time around, the French tactician decided to switch it up and go for Fabianski which proved to be a good decision as the Polish shot-stopper saved 2 penalty shots in the last stages of the match.

Wigan managed to take the lead in 1st half with Jordi Gomez scoring a penalty set-piece but it was cancelled out by Per Mertesacker as his goal forced the match to continue on to extra time until reaching a penalty shoot-out.

This victory allows Arsenal on entering the finals of the FA Cup and giving the Premier League club a chance to rescue their season by securing the trophy.

Arsene Wenger has lately been under a lot of pressure for his inability to compete with England’s and Europe’s best.

“Everyone can dream of winning it at the start of the season. It is a dream open to everybody and that is the beauty of the FA Cup. Last year Wigan won it, this year you have Sheffield United in the semi-final and that kind of dream open to everybody makes the competition special. In the league you can talk and talk but we know the biggest budget will win it. That open dream is what makes this competition special in football’’. Wenger said.

The FA Cup is not such an important trophy for some club but for Arsene Wenger as it could be the difference between getting sacked or not.

ARSENAL FIRED UP

Arsenal are looking to get their first win at White Hart Lane since 2007 and Lukas Podolski has said that he is all fired up to help the club achieve exactly that. The striker scored in the 1-1 draw with Bayern Munich at the Allianz arena. Even though it did not help Arsenal qualify for the quarter-finals, it certainly helped restore some of the pride after losing the first leg 2-0. Podolski managed to score the goal from out of nothing against his former club. This was his first since the start of the season, although he has been out injured for most of this period.

Arsenal will be coming up against Tottenham team that lost 4-0 to Chelsea last weekend. Tim Sherwood was especially critical of his players after the match and he is expected to get a reaction from them in this crucial match. Tottenham have not certainly prepared well for this encounter after losing the midweek Europa league clash with Benfica. Podolski has stated that three points is the need of the hour for Arsenal since they need to stay in touch with Chelsea and Liverpool at the top of the table.

Chelsea will be visiting Villa Park to play Aston Villa, while Liverpool will be at Old Trafford to play against Manchester United.

“I’ve always liked derbies. When I played in Munich, or Cologne or even here in Arsenal I always liked derbies because there’s a special atmosphere and it’s a special fight. We want to go there, get the three points and drive back home. This is important for us. We must fight for the club, for the fans and I think this is an important game so I look forward to Sunday now. It’s always special when you score a goal,” said the striker ahead of the match.

PODOLSKI FACES BAYERN

Lukas Podolski joined Bayern Munich in 2006 but left the German titans on 2009 after the arrival of Luca Toni to the club saw Podolski being dropped down the pecking order and he ultimately decided on leaving the club.

The Arsenal player has now admitted that it was a mistake for him to leave Bayern Munich and it would have been a better move for him to stay with the German team instead of leaving.

“I believe that if Jupp Heynckes had arrived one or two weeks earlier in 2009, I would probably still be at Bayern now. He was desperate to keep me. From a purely sporting perspective, returning to Cologne was certainly not very helpful.” Podolski told Germany’s Sport Bild magazine.

Podolski has been struggling to get a spot in the starting lineup of Arsene Wenger as the German forward is sustaining a series of injuries that sparked a number of rumors of him leaving Arsenal and joining his homeland club, Cologne but those rumors were quickly shut down by Podolski.

‘’That was a myth. There was absolutely no truth in it. The coach told me as such, and I knew there was no truth in it.” Podolski revealed.

The consistent number of injuries that Podolski has been suffering from in this season has forced Wenger on keeping an eye out on the transfer market and the rumors continue emerging concerning his future with Arsenal and one of the latest ones is Mario Balotelli being linked with the Premier League club. Arsenal is reportedly ready to sell Podolski in order to lure in Balotelli from Ac.Milan.

During Podolski’s debut season with Arsenal, the German forward managed on scoring 16 goals and provided 11 assists for the English club but in the current campaign, he has been limited to only a few appearances.