When the season kicked off back in August, Lukas Podolski probably didn't think he would have to wait until 2014 for a start up front.
He is still feeling his way back to form, as Arsene Wenger admitted after yesterday's game - which was a perfect chance for the German to stake his claim.
Olivier Giroud's injury meant Podolski got his chance through the middle; the forward has usually found himself played out on the left since joining the Gunners but did complain last season at a lack of central opportunities.
If he was hoping to show enough to keep a Giroud on the sidelines then yesterday was not his day. The German was substituted after 64 minutes with the side struggling for a goal.
His manager said after the game: "Podolski has been out for four months and he lacked a bit of sharpness that was needed up front."
With Giroud's recovery from his ankle injury untouched on by Wenger in his post-game comments, and goalscorer Nicklas Bendtner later injured too, it's likely the German will get another run out against Tottenham in the FA Cup at the weekend.
Podolski managed just one shot during the win which was not on target, winning one aerial duel during his time on the pitch.
While it wasn't a memorable display from him, getting the minutes now will reap positive benefits in future games for the international forward.
We took a look at Twitter to see what Arsenal fans were saying about his performance and what positive signs they were taking from it, but it was largely pessimistic views. Here's a look at the comments....
I think we should keep podolski on the left, he plays so much better there, buy a striker please #afc— HazzaP (@HarHar_Harry34) January 1, 2014
I'd rather go with Park Chu Young against Tottenham than Podolski or Walcott upfront #afc— The Wilsh (@The_Wilsh) January 1, 2014
from this game feel podolski is better of playing on the left, not at his best being a lonely striker. showed his back too much #AFC— Armani Allen (@Armani_G_) January 1, 2014
Please don't play Podolski up front again. Left wing, great, no arguments. All playing him up front does is damage his confidence. #AFC— Arsenalista (@Arsenalista) January 1, 2014
image: © sdhansay
People can joke about Bendtner, but he played very well when he came on. And was much much better than Podolski up top. #afc— Paul Manson (@PMansonAFC) January 1, 2014
Hope #AFC can understand Podolski isn't the striker we need after this.— Himi Jendrix (@_T_Xer0) January 1, 2014
It's bizarre how quite literally every time Podolski has played through the middle, he's been desperately poor/completely anonymous.— Tom Pyman (@gooner_tom) January 1, 2014
Podolski just isn't a lone striker. He played behind the striker at koln and plays great for us and Germany on the left— Gunner USA (@GunnersUsa) January 1, 2014
Podolski lacked today maybe little bit sharpness. And pace. And maybe finishing. Apart from that, he played quite well.— Wenger Knows Best (@wengerknowsbest) January 1, 2014