Arsenal: Lukas Podolski Says The Gunners Will Be Better Next Season

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2013

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - JULY 14:  Lukas Podolski of Arsenal FC greet the fans after the match between Arsenal and the Indonesia All-Stars at Gelora Bung Karno Stadium on July 14, 2013 in Jakarta, Indonesia.  (Photo by Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images)
Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

The Premier League needs to watch out. Lukas Podolski insists that both he and Arsenal are going to be better in 2013/14.

The German striker enjoyed an impressive debut season in English football. In 42 appearances, he amassed 16 goals and 12 assists, frequently from a wide position on the left flank.

Speaking to the Official Arsenal MagazinePodolski seems rightfully satisfied with his first campaign at the Emirates.

"I think it was OK," he said. "I scored a lot of goals, got a lot of assists for the team and at the end of the season we were in fourth place."

However, Podolski will know there is room for improvement. Although he missed only five Premier League games, he completed the full 90 minutes just twice. By the end of the season, he found himself regularly on the bench, with Santi Cazorla operating in the left-wing role that Podolski had initially made his own.

Next season, the German international will benefit from a full preseason. Last summer, he joined up with the squad late after his exploits at Euro 2012. He will also have had a year to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League and the conspicuous absence of a winter break.

He will hope to regain his place and demonstrate the efficient crossing and lethal finishing that characterised the first half of his 2012/13 season.

As Podolski's performances tailed off, Arsenal's broader form improved dramatically. In the final portion of the campaign, Arsene Wenger uncovered a blueprint for success that they will be hoping to follow again next season:

In the last 15 matches of last season I think we were one of the top teams in the league. We must have that concentration in every game - every game is important. If we can start like we finished the last few months of last season, the new season will be much better.

Arsenal are the only top four team who have not undergone a managerial change this summer. That stability could be key to Arsenal's ambitions in 2013/14. Podolski says:

It's the same every season - players come and go. This year is a bit special though because all of the top three teams changed their manager. So we will see what happens there, because it's not easy when a new manager comes in.

If the likes of Manchester United slip up, Podolski and Arsenal will be waiting to take their place. Next season, Podolski and the Gunners are aiming to fire on all cylinders.


You can hear more from Lukas Podolski, Aaron Ramsey, Arsene Wenger and others in the August issue of the Official Arsenal Magazine.