Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski has risked incurring the wrath of Roberto Mancini, after insisting that he doesn’t care for people being critical of him.
The Germany international, who has struggled to make an impact since swapping the Emirates Stadium for Inter Milan in January, hit out at those questioning his abilities, and claimed he was aiming to channel it into a positive response. This comes just days after Mancini publicly questioned the 29-year-old’s effort, stating that he needed to do more.
Since moving from Arsenal on a loan that expires this summer, Podolski has continued to produce very little in the way of proof that he is still a player adequately equipped to cope with the rigours of the game at the highest level. Inter’s winter window purchase of Xherdan Shaqiri from Bayern Munich hasn’t helped matters, but from the outside looking in the Gunners ace is simply failing to deliver.
Yet, refusing to be bogged down amidst criticisms being aimed at him from all angles, Podolski said - this according to the Daily Mail: "You need to swallow [criticism] in professional football. There is always another direction, meaning a positive one.
"I don't care for media or people being critical of me. I know that this is part of the business. It's important to know what you have to do to be better.
"The folks always want to see you hit rock bottom though."
Some may take that as simply coincidental with regards to Mancini’s own comments made after Inter’s loss against Fiorentina at the weekend, but others may see it as Podolski’s way of hinting that he wasn’t happy.
The former Premier League star has already hit out at the lack of opportunities gifted to him by Arsene Wenger in north London, and in doing so proved that he isn’t above speaking his mind even if it might result in his opportunities being cut short.
The question likely to be occupying his attention now is just where he’ll be playing his football come next season. A return to his home nation is the most probable outcome given his reputation there, and though a comeback in the Arsenal fold hasn’t been completely snuffed out, it looks highly unlikely.
Fans may be left to wonder just why Podolski has failed to settle in Italy, when former Gunners teammate Gervinho has flourished at AS Roma. Of the two there would have been little doubt in the minds of Arsenal fans when asked which was the better player, yet the Ivorian has prospered in Serie A and his former colleague doesn’t look up to scratch. It’s hardly helping his claim for a place in Wenger’s plans, that much is sure.
Arsenal fans, is there any north London future for Podolski? Or has he burnt his bridges with Wenger already? Let us know in the comments box below..