Germany's Podolski slammed again as Cologne slump
Germany forward Lukas Podolski has again come in for sharp criticism for inconsistency with his Bundesliga club Cologne ahead of Germany's match against Turkey next week.
The Germans, who have already booked their place at Euro 2012, face their penultimate qualifier in Istanbul on Friday, but Podolski was off form in Cologne's 3-0 defeat at Hertha Berlin on Saturday in the German league.
Podolski is under pressure for his Germany place from Leverkusen's Andre Schuerrle as Joachim Loew's team look to claim their ninth straight win in the qualifiers.
On Saturday, the 26-year-old Podolski hardly had a look in at Berlin's Olympic Stadium, despite having scored three goals in the previous two games when Cologne hammered Leverkusen 4-1 and enjoyed a 2-0 win over Hoffenheim.
"Lukas is a good footballer, but he simply lacks the consistency," said ex-Germany goalkeeper Toni Schumacher on television show Liga Total!
"If the opponent takes a 2-0 lead, he can not be bothered anymore."
Podolski also came under attack ten days ago when Cologne's director of sport Volker Finke told magazine Sport Bild the player could do better.
"He is 26 years old and has close on 100 caps and that shows the quality of this player. He can be a super footballer. But it is not the experienced and subtle player who is the one who always turns in reliable performances," said Finke.
Finke added he thought Podolksi allows himself to be guided too much by "his emotions, the context (of a match) or psychological matters.
"We saw that while he was at Bayern," said Finke, referring to an unhappy three-year spell with Bayern Munich before Cologne bought him back in 2009.
Having won his first cap in 2004 as a 19-year-old, Podolski has already made 92 appearances for Germany, scoring 43 goals in the process.
Podolski clearly has a fan in Cologne coach Stale Solbakken, who described the Poland-born forward "football's little Mike Tyson" on Friday.
"When I see his physique, Lukas Podolski is football's little Mike Tyson," said Cologne's Norwegian boss as he reflected on the striker's 1.82m and 83kg build in an interview with Sky.
Related Koln News