Lukas Podolski slammed Arsenal coach Arsene Wenger for lacking “respect” in an acrimonious parting shot after his move to Inter Milan this week.
“He said nothing to me. He did not call me or say goodbye. I don’t need flowers or a kiss from him. But it’s about respect, about saying goodbye. For me respect is important,” the German World Cup player told The Sun newspaper.
Podolski, who made just 82 appearances in two years at Arsenal, was officially unveiled by Inter Milan on Thursday days after completing a loan deal until the end of the season.
His comments indicated that he wants a permanent move from Arsenal, though Wenger strongly denied he had snubbed the player.
“I did everything for the club I possibly could have. I don’t believe I did anything wrong. I did not get drunk in a club,” added Podolski.
The 29-year-old striker praised the club and their supporters. “I wish all of Arsenal and their amazing fans the very best for this season and I see myself as a Gunner.”
But he singled out Wenger for attack after a frustrating season in which he has had few chances to play.
Silence is “his way,” said Podolski.
“I don’t want communication every day as I am a professional. You do it on the training ground. But when you move somewhere, you get a message,” he said.
“Maybe he had other problems with me but I don’t know.”
“He told me he did not want me to go just before the transfer window, but never said anything else after that.”
Podolski said he had no complaint about being a substitute. “Absolutely not. When you have three games in a week and you don’t play, you have to think about it, though.
“Maybe I made mistakes, I don’t know. I trained well and wanted to play.”
The German also said he had been happy at Arsenal. “I played 82 games and scored 31 goals plus assists. That’s not bad. But when you don’t get a chance you cannot show what you can do — and the last five months I hardly played.”
“Wenger said to me I was the best finisher at the club. Let me play, then.”
Podolski said other players were asking him “what was going on”.
“The big moment was after the Champions League. I played a very good game against Galatasaray and then I was on the bench again. I knew I had to move.”
Podolski said he had spoken with former Brazilian international Ronaldo about Inter. “I had other options but Inter felt right,” he said.
Wenger denied any lack of respect to Podolski.
“I deny it completely. I had many conversations with him,” said Wenger. “Without my agreement, he couldn’t go on loan.”
“Every club has its internal discipline and rules and it doesn’t necessarily need to be public.”
The Arsenal coach said he had not ruled out the possibility of Podolski returning to the club when his loan deal expired.
Photo Credits : AFP