- Premier League
Podolski: Arsenal can be Premier League contenders
New signing Lukas Podolski believes Arsenal can be crowned Premier League champions if they continue to perform as they did against Liverpool last weekend.
Podolski, who joined the Gunners from FC Koln in the summer, scored in the 2-0 win against the Reds along with fellow newcomer Santi Cazorla. The Germany international says he expected criticism after Arsenal failed to score in their first two matches, but insists the club can be one of the teams fighting for the title come the end of the season.
"The Premier League is very hard to win," Podolski said. "It is not like Spain, where only Real Madrid and Barcelona fight for La Liga.
"In the Premier League, you have five or six teams who want the title. We are one of those and must fight for it. We have 35 matches more and must play in all of them like we did at Liverpool.
"When you have played teams like Sunderland and Stoke and not picked up three points in either game, you have to expect headlines saying you're no good.
"It is what I have been used to, no matter whether I'm playing for Koln, Munich or Arsenal. If you don't win the matches you have to expect there will be a negative atmosphere. We are a big club and we want to win every game.
"From the first two matches we only picked up one point each game, which was not good enough. But if we play like we did at Liverpool, then we will fight for the title."
The 27-year-old also believes the ethos of manager Arsene Wenger will guide the team to success this campaign, despite the loss of last season's top goalscorer Robin van Persie.
"I've had a lot of managers, I think 10 of them. But Arsene Wenger is a great coach, one of the best in the world.
"Before I came, I spoke to him about the style of the club, the football he wants us to play. Our first goal showed what I mean - good passing, running, keeping the ball and then scoring the goal.
"This style of Arsenal is my style. I like this. We are a team that likes to pass the ball, playing one or two touches. But to win in the Premier League you must also be prepared to fight and to run. We did this well.
"I have been asked to play on the left, but you can see that I am free to leave that position and play inside. I don't just have to play wide, I can go in the middle to link up with Abou or Santi. With Santi, in training, I've loved the way it has gone. All the time we work on this, one and two touches.
"You could see that for our goals at Liverpool. He passed to me for the first one, and then I gave the assist to him for the second. But we have only played three matches and must keep on improving," Podolski said.