Ton-up Podolski’s pledge to Arsenal fans

NEW Arsenal striker Lukas Podolski plays his 100th game for Germany against Denmark tonight as he edges close to Franz Beckenbauer’s 103 appearances. That is some going for a player who has just turned 27.

And the frontman, played wide by Germany boss Joachim Löw so far in the finals, says he is keen to prove his ability when he pitches up at Arsenal come later July.

Gunners fans will no doubt be torn between watching our new recruit making the milestone while his possible new team-mate – depending on a new deal at the Emirates – RVP leads the line for Holland as they face a crucial encounter with Portugal.

Both Germany and Denmark would benefit from a draw in their Group B clash because the Danes qualify with a point and that means the disappointing Dutch – capable on their day and a still a threat if they qualify – will be exiting Euro 2012, no doubt much to the delight of Löw and his squad.
Another benefit for Podolski and his team-mates is that as winners of the group they remain in Gdansk, their base for the tournament, for the quarter finals.

Podolksi, for whom Arsene Wenger paid £11million in a deal with Cologne, says Germany’s wins over Portugal and the Netherlands might already have seen them through but everything is still to play for.

“You would think that with two wins, you are through, but that’s not the case,” he said. “The only thing we are missing is a title to crown our development over the last few years and we want to show here that we can win titles.”

Podolski – born in Poland – adds that he is keen to show good form once he arrives in north London and has revealed that he is already pals with new club team-mate, Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny – on his way out of the finals after Poland lost to the Czech Republic 1-0 last night.

He said: “I’m very glad I signed with Arsenal. In fact, what has really pleased me is that Arsenal fans can watch me play in a tournament like this and realise what I’m capable of at the highest level. Very soon I will also show that in London.

“Wojciech and I have exchanged text messages during the Euros to wish each other good luck. We have a very good relationship.”

For the record, Podolski – who turned 27 on the day Germany got to Gdansk on June 4 – made his international debut in 2004 and has netted 43 goals in 99 games.

He will be hoping to break his Euro 2012 duck tonight.

CARL ELDRIDGE – on Twitter @eldomedia


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.