Koscielny: Podolski vital for trophy tilt

LAURENT Koscielny reckons Arsenal’s new signing Lukas Podolski could help Arsene Wenger’s side end the seven-year spell without a trophy. The Gunners wrapped up the signing of the Cologne striker last week and he will make the switch to the Emirates for a fee in the region of £11million.
And versatile defender Koscielny, who played against the German international forward in a pre-season game, has hinted that his firepower may contribute to a campaign in which we finally lift some silverware.
“We played against him pre-season so we’ve had a fairly recent look at him,” said Koscielny. ” He is a very good player with qualities different from those of our other attackers, and has a great left foot.
“I think he can help us buy scoring goals and, hopefully, helping us win things. I can’t see him having any problems here and look forward to welcoming him. It’s some more Polish heritage for the squad, too, because he was born there.
“It will be nice for him to have people like Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski – and Per Mertersacker, obviously – around and should help his integration.”
It is generally accepted that Koscielny has improved no end in his second season at the Emirates and the former Lorient player is happy to acknowledge he has made huge strides. He added: “I think I am definitely better than last year – I know this league and its players and am accustomed to the physical challenges.
“The first year was a learning experience for me. For me this is the best league in the world and you face strikers of many different qualities, so you need to be able to stop them. The games are intensive, everyone plays to score and to win, it’s different from the French league all round. I’ve learned a lot, as I say, and this season I’ve felt better. I am more confident and when you feel good – both on and off the pitch – you can give more for the team.”
Arsenal fans the world over certainly hope Koscielny will feel good come the final whistle against West Brom on Sunday in the final Premier League game of the season.
As you know, a Gunners victory will provide us with third spot in the table and Champions League football…
CARL ELDRIDGE
ends

Arsenal fan for 40 years. Schoolboys, North Bank, Clock End then East Upper. Then Emirates. AFC dream team: Wilson, Dixon, Sansom, Adams, Pates, Brady, Williams, Pires, Bergkamp, Henry, Wright. Subs: Seaman, Eldridge, Wilshere, RVP, Ball. Manager: Arsene Chapman.