• Premier League

Podolski won't demand central opportunities

ESPN staff
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Lukas Podolski is happy to play where he is needed for Arsenal © Getty Images
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Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski insists he is not about to join the queue of players knocking on manager Arsene Wenger's door to demand a central striking role.

After Theo Walcott's long running campaign to be played as a frontman in Wenger's line-up ended successfully, the suspicion was that Podolski was next in line to put pressure on the Arsenal boss to play him in a more direct role.

But the Germany international, who won rave reviews for his display in Wednesday night's 5-1 rout over West Ham from the left side of midfield, claims he is content to play as a makeshift winger, even though he admits the role reduces his scoring chances.

"I think I can shoot more and get more goals when I play No. 10 or as a striker, but with the style of the game at Arsenal I do it well on the left side and I am happy to play there," Podolski told the Arsenal website.

"I've scored seven goals now and have nine assists. It's an okay start for me. I have played on the left for Koln sometimes and the national team, so this is not something special.

"What is more important is that we are in the Champions League at the end of the season. There is still enough time for us to get back into the top four."

Rumours had suggested that Podolski was growing tired of Wenger's persistence to substitute him mid-way through the second half of games in recent weeks, although the experienced forward has moved to quash such theories.

"You have to ask the boss why he takes me off in matches, but when you are a footballer, you will not always play 90 minutes," Podolski said. "Sometimes you are not happy, but this is not important for me. I fight for Arsenal and we have a lot of great players on the bench and in the squad.

"The coaches don't change the full-back or centre-back; you change always the positions in the front who create something. You have great players and for me it is not a problem when I am substituted.

"I think it is harder to play every game in England. You have tough games and you see in Germany that there is only one team at the front and that is Bayern Munich.

"The German league quality is very good now, but I think the Premier League is a little bit better."

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