There has been plenty of news this past week following Arsenals impressive win over AC Milan.
We were so close to pulling off what before the match started seemed like an almost impossible task of scoring five goals without a goal from Milan in order to progress into the last eight.
The first half was edge of the chair excitement I have not seen Arsenal play as well as that all season, it was truly fantastic, and on that kind of form they could beat any team in the world.
I know in the end we did not quite make it, but what a boost it was for the team, and the fans giving me confidence now that we will finish in the top four securing Champions League football next season.
It is even possible that we could finish third above you know who just like our brilliant goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who said he thinks the Gunners can come in third behind City, and United leaving Chelsea, and Spurs to battle for that all important fourth spot.
The young Pole also had some comments about Chelsea saying: “I think some of the English lads at Chelsea run the club, pretty much. You know, they’ve had 10 different managers in the last few years.”
“So it’s completely different at this club, and we knew that sooner or later we were going to get a result. I’m sure Chelsea will pick themselves up sooner or later, but hopefully not soon enough to get in front of Arsenal.”
When talking about the different personalities of the Arsenal players Wojciech said: “We’re all even at this club. We have the boss, and we know who is the boss in the dressing room, and that’s Arsene Wenger obviously, and the skipper Robin van Persie who is the leader in the team.”
“But we’re all even in the dressing room, and so I can’t really say anything about it (player power), I’ve never experienced it.”
It wasn’t all bad things he had to say about Chelsea however expressing he would rather they get the fourth spot over Tottenham.
His comments are sure to get the Chelsea, and Spurs fans talking, when he added this: “I would not settle right now for fourth place. We are four points behind the other north London club (I am not going to say their name) and hopefully, we can challenge them.”
“Hopefully, Chelsea can challenge them for fourth place and I would be really pleased to see them in the Europa League next season.”
“That would be fantastic. Hopefully, they will be looking at this result and are looking over their shoulders.”
“The momentum is with us. We won two fantastic games against Liverpool and Tottenham and we won a great game against Milan.”
Chelsea has 49 points now but we are still ahead on goal difference with a game in hand.
With Tottenham going down 1-0 at Goodison Park, a win over Newcastle on Monday night would put us only one point behind them on 52.
The big news of course that broke this week in the German newspaper Bild was the signing German striker Lukas Podolski or Prinz Poldi as he is known by the FC Köln fans a spizname or nickname bestowed upon him by the Cologne press due to the title given to the head man of the Kölsch Prince Carnival.
It has been reported that Podolski choose Arsenal over cash rich Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, who are said to have offered to pay £40 million plus £200,000 a-week to have the German come, and play for them.
Podolski preferring football over money decided to join his fellow German team mate Per Mertesacker in North London for £10.9 million over four years, and a salary of £100,000 a-week.
Lukas had been texting Per over the past couple of weeks asking about life at Arsenal, and what it was like to live in London.
The 26-year-old was quoted saying: ‘Money is not the most important thing for me. What is crucial is the development of my game.’
I know there have been reports in today’s press saying it is not a done deal with Wenger himself saying: “I have not a lot to say about that because if we sign a player we will inform you. At the moment we have not signed anybody. There is still no agreement.
“The distance to the agreement is not always linked with the signing. When you are very close you are quickly very far again, but Podolski is a good player, I wouldn’t deny that.”
A similar situation occured when in Janurary of 2009 he was assured by German national team coach Joachim Löw that returning to play for Köln from Bayern Munich would not hurt his chances of being selected for the German national side.
Once he knew this he signed a four year contract in January, but did not return to his old club FC Köln until the start of the summer transfer window.
Perhaps this kind of a deal could have been struck with Arsenal allowing him to remain in Germany until after the Euro’s.
Regardless of what Wenger says it looks like a deal has been agreed, even if the striker has not put pen to paper yet.
His FC Köln manager Norwegian, Stale Solbakken has hinted that Podolski has made his mind up saying: “Lukas knows a lot [about his future].”
“He has everything under control and it is important he can concentrate on our upcoming games.”
When Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff was asked by the Cologne-based newspaper Express what he thought about Podolski becoming a Gunner he said: “great move.”
“Lukas’ heart belongs to the city of Cologne, but he is reaching an age right now that leads him to think about the future of his career,”
“It would be a great move joining Arsenal for [Podolski]. Arsene Wenger is an exceptional manager [who] could make Lukas a stronger and better player.”
My only hope with Podolski joining Arsenal is that he is being brought in to play alongside Robin van Persie, and not as a replacement.
When asked about this including Mancini’s suggestion that City is interested in RvP.
Wenger had this to say: “Our plan is, and I will not comment further on that, to keep Robin van Persie even if we buy any player.”
“He’s (Podolski) a good football player, above all. He can play for us because he can play central, play right and play on the left. He has 96 caps for Germany and is 26 years old, which is the best age.
He’s available at a reasonable price, if we can reach an agreement, but at the moment we’re nowhere near.
“He is a good attacker, a sharp player.
“He is not just a player who makes and scores the goals, he is also a team player and that’s what I really like.”
In another move at the troubled German club FC Köln, director of sport Volker Finke parted company with the Billy goats over what was said to be a difference of opinion over the direction the club was heading.
Other news concerning Arsenal is that the club is ready to make an offer for Borussia Dortmund’s Mario Götze , and is ready to snatch Ajax defender Jan Vertonghen away from other Premiership rivals.
Vertonghen was at the Emirates last Tuesday to the match with Milan, and later teamed up with his Belgium team-mate Thomas Vermaelen.
Another name that has been mentioned as a prospective Arsenal signing is Lille star Eden Hazard.
Many other top teams are interested in the 21-year-old midfielder including Manchester United, with Sir Alex Ferguson flying in on a surprise visit to watch the match between Lyon, and Lille.
I am excited about the prospect of Lukas Podolski coming to play for us, and hope the deal has been done, and that Wenger just is playing it safe until we see the photo of Prinz Poldi in an Arsenal jersey.