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Podolski puts club before own glory

17 May 2013 08:17:01

Podolski puts club before own glory

Lukas Podolski does not care who scores the goals to fire Arsenal into the Champions League next season - so long as they get there.

The German forward netted a brace in the 4-1 win over Wigan on Tuesday night, which pushed the Gunners back above Tottenham and also confirmed relegation of the FA Cup winners. However, with France striker Olivier Giroud available again after a three-match suspension for Sunday's crucial end-of-season clash at Newcastle, Podolski could be moved back out to the left flank.

Podolski, 27, who has produced consistent displays since his summer move from Cologne - with 16 goals in all competitions - told Arsenal Player: "We needed the three points (against Wigan) and got the three points so we are looking forwards to the next match now. I am always happy with a goal, but the three points were more important for us."

Victory at Newcastle would secure at least fourth place in the Barclays Premier League for Arsenal, and Podolski added: "We are in the fight for the Champions League places and for third place, so now will prepare for the next match."

England forward Theo Walcott continued his impressive campaign with goal number 21 against Wigan, and manager Arsene Wenger accepts he has something of a selection poser as Giroud returns from the ban imposed after a red card at Fulham on April 20.

"I am happy to have him back," Wenger said on the club's official website, www.arsenal.com. "He has been out for a while now and missed some games so he will be full of enthusiasm and can help us at some stage.

"Is it from the start or coming on? I don't know yet."

Arsenal look set to be without midfielder Mikel Arteta (calf) this weekend. Jack Wilshere, the England international set for summer surgery to clear up a niggling ankle problem, is on stand-by.

"In one game you can always compensate. It is more of a problem when a guy like that (Arteta) misses 10 games," Wenger said. "(For) one game, we will find the resources to do without him if we have to.

"I am convinced we can because he was out for a while during the season and I played all sorts of combinations. Arteta was out and we played (Aaron) Ramsey and Wilshere. A few times I played (Francis) Coquelin and (Abou) Diaby, so we had a few combinations that could work."


PA

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