|Desc||Tony Woodcock was unusual in that he divided his career between England and the Bundesliga. After leaving Germany to join Arsenal in 1982, he settled quickly and was the club’s top goalscorer for four consecutive seasons|
|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Arsenal FC|
2011 07 19 Retrieve
[Tony Woodcock slams former club Arsenal for a lack of drive] the past two years, Arsenal have not had enough drive. This, of course, is at a much higher level than Koeln. Arsenal were given the chance to be champions. In the decisive games, they lacked consistency
I saw both teams very many times. If Arsenal fulfill their full potential and Koln too, then Arsenal will win. I’m an Koln fan, but everyone should approach this game realistically. Arsenal have great players and play a great style of football. Nevertheless, there is also criticism in London, because the fans want to live titles. In the past five years, Arsenal won no titles, and the upcoming match will be very exciting. I think the game is very interesting for both teams. Arsenal are the clear favourites, but last season Koln looked good against many favoured sides. I seriously hope that Koln win. The great fans in the RheinEnergieStadion deserve it. But it will be very difficult. One must not forget that it is a friendly game, wherein the focus is of course that no one gets injured. But especially for Koln this is a great opportunity to measure themselves against an absolute top club in Europe. It will be a great game.
2012 04 20 Retrieve
[Woodcock, who made 131 appearances in a trophy-laden spell at the club, is adamant Van Persie can win silverware if he remains at Emirates Stadium] With somebody like Robin, it cannot be a financial thing at this stage in his career. Players want to win things and he is not far from winning things [at Arsenal]. He has to balance that up.
[Manchester City are rumoured to be considering a bid for the striker, but Woodcock believes the financial benefits of such a transfer ought to be irrelevant for the Netherlands international] A few years ago, Robin had quite a few injuries and the club stuck by the player. Now he has had an excellent season, there is all this speculation about whether he is staying or going. I imagine he is financially secure and he will be earning quite a lot of money if he stays with Arsenal. So, for the sake of earning a little bit more money somewhere else, that cannot be the motivation. The grass is not always greener somewhere else.
Anybody who signs for Arsenal during this period is in a fantastic place. If Lukas Podolski comes I have said to the German press that, for a 26-year-old coming to play for Arsenal and live in London, and all the things that go with it, it is a fantastic opportunity. I would think Robin will add all of those things together too.
I don’t like it when people add up how many years it is since Arsenal won a trophy, because they are close and not too far off it. This season, after a terrible start, they are in third place. If you had said in the early months: ‘Arsenal would qualify for the Champions League,’ people might not have believed it. If they do get into the Champions League, that would be a success, but Arsenal fans do want to win something at some point.
2012 05 01 Retrieve
[Former Arsenal and Koln striker Tony Woodcock has backed Germany international Lukas Podolski to ‘make a big impact’ at Arsenal after his move from the Bundesliga club to the Emirates was confirmed] Lukas is a very, very good player and I am sure that he will be a success at Arsenal so the fans should be very excited at the prospect of him joining their club.
I am certain that he will do very well in the Premier League because of the timing. This is the perfect time for Lukas to be making the switch from German to English football and it is a great move for the club and for the player himself.
He is only 26 but he has plenty of experience from his time with Koln, Bayern Munich and with the German national side – he has got almost 100 caps and he is still relatively young - and this is the right time for him to go to Arsenal and the right place.
[Reports suggest that Arsenal have had to pay £11 million for Podolski, who will represent his country at Euro 2012 but only after trying to steer Koln clear of relegation] Not only does Lukas have the ability and the experience to make a big impact in English football but he is physically robust and very quick and that will help him a lot but he also has an amazing left foot on him as well. His goal-scoring record is tremendous for club and country and what is so exciting about this move is that he has surely not peaked yet and that is great news for Arsenal when you are looking ahead. He has been at Koln almost all his career, since he was a boy, and while things might not have worked out for him at Bayern Munich when he went there, the experience should stand him in good stead for life at Arsenal and the new challenges that playing in a foreign land create. I am sure that he will love working under Arsene Wenger and he will be ready for a new challenge
He is good inside and outside the penalty area and will give them a lot of penetration in the attacking department and everyone who saw him play for Germany against England will know that. On top of that they will be getting a player who is left-footed and that is always welcome because it means that Lukas will bring balance to the team as well as more attacking bite. He has all the qualities that you need to be a successful striker. The big question will be where do Arsenal play him? He can play down the left or down the middle but wherever he plays I am sure he will do well and he will fit in nicely wherever Arsene Wenger decides to play him. I am certain that he will enjoy being at Arsenal because it is a wonderful club. They might not have won a trophy for a while buy they really are not too far off at the moment. They are third in the league and with signings like Lukas Podolski they will be even stronger next season. I am not sure if it will make any difference to whether Robin van Persie decides to extend his contract this summer and the talks between the club and the player will continue in private. But I sincerely hope he stays.
2012 05 18 Retrieve
[Former Arsenal striker Tony Woodcock has urged Robin van Persie to resist Manchester City’s advances and remain loyal to the Gunners] I am sure there will be plenty of takers for him if he decides to leave Arsenal but one could do a lot worse I think by going somewhere else. The problem is not so much him leaving English football it is if Manchester City come and knock on the door and then we are talking about loyalty. A lot of times people think that the grass is greener somewhere else and they go there and they find that does not happen so there are lot of things for Robin to take into consideration.
And having said that, let’s be honest, Arsenal have been pretty loyal. Robin has one or two injury problems over the last few years and it would be interesting to see how many games he has played for Arsenal in the past and how many goals he has scored. You don’t have to plummet it all into one season. There is a bigger picture that you have to look at
[Woodcock believes that Van Persie should stay at Arsenal because of the stability the club offers] Arsenal are one of the two most stable clubs in the Premier League along with Manchester United and you just have to look at how long their managers have been there to see that. You have to look at the other aspects. And I am sure he will be looking into that. It can’t be a case of just going for the money. I know some players will go if you offer them more because they just want to go for the money. But I would like to think that top players had an attitude that it is more about the game and where I am playing then just money and the contracts I am going to sign. I think Arsenal are in a reasonably good position and I think that Robin knows what Arsenal have got to offer
If we go back through tradition right up to modern-day football they are a good stable club that have had some great players down the years. The only thing that has been lacking over the last few years is actually picking up some silverware but they are not too far off doing that. That is particularly so when Robin seems to have got over all his injury worries and has had a very good season so far and so I am hoping this is the starting point for a number of excellent seasons at Arsenal
[Woodcock also insisted that silverware and not money will be the motivation for Van Persie as he plots his future] It is always important to keep any good player at your club and to be quite honest if you look at the bigger picture and the G14 group of the top European clubs those 14 clubs are going to be looking to win trophies and that is what every top footballer wants to be doing. He wants to be at a great club, he wants to have a very good contract and he wants to try to win some silverware down the line. So there are only a number of clubs that you can do to in order to improve. Are they on the list? Are they on the cards? That is one question. The second question is where do I want to progress myself.
When you speak about players likes Robin van Persie and ones who are playing at the top of the Premier League it cannot be a money factor. If these guys have got their heads screwed on right then they will be financially secure so it can not be about earning a couple of million pounds more. It has to be about more other significant things. It has to be about the ethos of the club. It has to be about where do I want to live. It has to be about the history of the club. It has to be about the stability of the club