Arsenal signed Lukas Podolski's brother by mistake, former midfielder slates current star

Lukas Podolski Germany

Former Arsenal player Paul Merson has launched stinging criticism of Lukas Podolski.

Lukas Podolski commented earlier this week that he was dissatisfied with being substituted regularly.

The German completed 90 minutes in the Premier League for just the second time this season last night, and fourth time in total across the past two years.

Yet does the forward really have any ground for complaint?

According to former Arsenal star Paul Merson the answer is no, describing that he cannot pinpoint exactly what the £11 million man brings to the side.

It all began when the ex-Gunner was asked on SkySports about the club's lack of pace without Theo Walcott in the side. 

Asked if Arsenal have any pace in the side, Merson responded: "There ain't none. Paceless, absolutely paceless.

"Everyone loves watching Arsenal, they are like the red arrows, people running all over the place. This side has no pace no confidence.

"Cazorla gets on ball and there's no one running forward.

"He gets a lot of stick, but he hasn't got pace in team. He needs players running in behind, he can put ball through the eye of a needle. Teams like West Ham will suffocate.

"Giroud, he won't run behind, I don't know what Podolski does, I don't know if it's his brother they signed, I don't know."

When Podolski was signed for Arsenal he was supposed to be the first of many big name stars the club would sign to strengthen their strike options.

Instead of playing up front, however, he has found himself largely playing out wide, but his lack of speed, and adeptness in tracking back, has seen him criticised, with many arguing he needs more of a run in a central striker's role.

Perhaps inevitably then, it was Podolski who bagged Arsenal's first half goal. Merson described it as a 'great finish' from the German, and then there was a sensational second to make it 3-1.

Merson however later addressed his earlier comments, made before the tie with West Ham, stating afterwards:

"Yeah I'm glad he proved me wrong. But if you ask Arsene Wenger and all Arsenal fans, they expect him to do that every game. He ain't been good enough, but tonight... when he scored the two goals, he then made runs beyond. He didn't do that in the first half.

"You don't play 100 times for Germany (if you are not a top player), they are a top team. He has to do it more I'm glad he done well."

His quip probably could not have had worse timing.

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