Did Podolski prove his point for Arsenal with brace?

Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski expressed his frustration this week over his lack of game time this season before scoring a brace on Tuesday night.

The Germany international opened and closed the scoring for the Gunners after they went 1-0 down to West Ham at the Emirates on Tuesday night.

The 28-year-old forward made his 10th start of the season for Arsenal and played a full 90 minutes for only the second time in the Premier League.

After suffering a hamstring injury in September last year that saw him sidelined for three and a half months this term, he returned to action in December but has been a peripheral figure pretty much since his arrival in North London in the summer of 2012.

It has become apparent that Arsene Wenger simply doesn’t see Podolski as a lone centre-forward and prefers to deploy him on the left flank but there have also been some reservations over his lack of defensive concern at times. There is little doubt he is the club’s most dangerous finisher in front of goal.

He scored the Reds’ equaliser just before half time on 44 minutes and then finished the Hammers off in the 78th minute to take the score to 3-1 after Olivier Giroud scored just after half time.

He had expressed his frustration earlier this week after being substituted on Saturday in the 68th minute at Wembley as Arsenal chased Wigan who were 1-0 up in the FA Cup semifinal.

Youngster Yaya Sanogo was started alongside Podolski but the manager brought on Giroud for the German rather than the inexperienced France U21 striker.

That substitution was the 12th occasion this season Podolski has been taken off by Arsene Wenger in just 21 appearances across all competitions – Podolski has spent 181 minutes on the pitch compared to 986 minutes spent on the bench in the Premier League this season.

It’s understandable the forward has cut a frustrated figure this term, especially given he was out injured for a long spell and is vying with some of the best players in the world at present for a spot in the Germany squad for the World Cup in Brazil this summer.

However his brace against the Hammers may have gone some way to prove his point to both his club and country that Lukas Podolski deserves his place in the team.

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