Friday, February 24, 2012
Wesley Sneijder, the talented player from Inter and Holland has completely fallen off the map, after his fantastic 09-10 form, and nobody seems to know why. However, the few that know a little about relationships on the pitch, and off the pitch for that matter attribute Wesley's decline to the departure of Jose Mourinho. Jose Mourinho is known as a psychological coach, and someone who prides himself on player management. His relationship with his players is extraordinary, and he is known to turn otherwise decent players into world-class performers. At Chelsea, for example Mourinho turned Eidur Gudjohnsen from a decent forward into an excellent central midfielder. Joe Cole seemingly played the only good football of his career it seems, under Mourinho. He also turned Frank Lampard from a decent all around midfielder into a player voted second best in the world in 2005. At Inter, the post Mourinho dip has been suffered by almost the entire team, but Sneijder the most. It's hard to say if Mourinho's presence has been felt so much by his players, but it seems it has, evidenced by the emotional bond felt by his players and Mourinho. It's hard to place Wesley Sneijder into same class with some of the lesser talents under Mourinho, but it seems his play is nowhere on the same level it was when he was playing the midfield for Mourinho. Granted, under Benitez, Sneijder was playing as a striker, and it was not his natural position, but this season Claudio Ranieri has tried to play Sneijder back at his natural spot, and it still hasn't worked out. With the European Championship coming up this summer, we all hope Wesley Sneijder can find his old magic form he showed under Mourinho again.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
However, his recent years seem to threaten that he was just another flash in the youth pan. His Munich career began quite well, as he scored 12 goals in 33 appearances, often being used from the bench. But he was never truly ingratiated into the starting lineup, and he missed time because of injuries. Italian giant, Luca Toni was brought to the club, and Podolski became the third wheel behind Toni and Miroslav Klose.
In 2009, Podolski was sent back to F.C. Cologne and has since fallen by the wayside. The club has not been very competitive in the Bundesliga, and Podolski has struggled to accumulate goals. In recent times, he has begun criticizing the club for failing to deliver upon promises about the team’s efforts to attract talent. Now it seems as if the club is going to fine him for the public disapproval. It seems as if his time in Germany is drawing to a close as he wants to move abroad.
The struggling Premier League team, Arsenal, is the team heavily linked to Podolski. They already have a clear-cut #1 striker in Dutchman Robin van Persie, but he could use a partner. Also, talk has emerged that Van Persie is unsettled and could be on the way out. As his contract expires in the summer of 2013, he could be sold elsewhere and leaving the Gunners scrambling for a replacement.
Podolski needs a change of scenery. Cologne has proved to be too small a fish in the turbulent sea of the Bundesliga. The player has spoken of his frustration as year after year, the team repeatedly finds itself in the heart of the relegation battle. Perhaps Arsenal can be the side to reinvigorate the once promising career. Arsene Wenger has been known to pluck talents whose careers have stagnated. One must only look to Thierry Henry as an example.
Perhaps this is the perfect match for the German striker. He has heaps of international experience in the big games on his side. He is still relatively young at 26, and he will be available at a bargain price. There’s no secret he is ready to move, and his stock has fallen tremendously since he was purchased by Bayern Munich in 2006. His rocket of a shot and nose for goal can still spark this career to greatness.