Lukas Podolski gave us all a reminder tonight of how deadly his left foot is with a crashing volley against Montpellier.
It seems to accelerate off his foot past the keeper, and shows the purity of his ball striking technique. And it was ever thus.
Although already ‘Prince Poldi’ to fans of his hometown club FC Koln with 46 goals in 81 games, it was his exploits for Germany at the 2006 world cup that really brought him to the attention of the world. He scored three goals partnering golden boot winner Miroslav Klose , including both in a 2-0 win over Sweden, and was voted young player of the tournament, ahead of Messi and Ronaldo amongst others.
While something of a throwback footballer with his direct running and almost total one-footedness, what has allowed him to flourish is the control and power in his left foot finishing and crossing. And he has been successful to the tune of 44 goals in 106 matches for Germany alternating between up-front and the left wing. From anywhere within about 25 yards, it is hard not to get excited when the ball is on his left foot and in space, as he doesn’t waste many shooting opportunities. A significant proportion of his goals are from range, which is rare for a player who is as clinical in tight situations, but he is also an excellent crosser of the ball as witnessed most recently in assists for Cazorla and Giroud at club level.
Although not the most gifted or creative player, I was delighted when he signed for Arsenal, partly because it addressed a weakness in the squad, and partly because it is always good to have goalscorers in the side. I have always enjoyed watching him as a player, and for someone who is too often left wanting more after a diet of tippy-tappy football, sometimes its nice watching a player who when in doubt will just kick it as hard as he can at the goal.