- Premier League
Low: Arsenal experience has made Podolski better
Germany coach Joachim Low thinks that Lukas Podolski's move to Arsenal has made him a more complete player and says he is now one of his "indispensables'' in the squad.
Podolski, 27, earned his 100th cap for Germany during Euro 2012 but failed to impress in the knockout stages and was taken off at half-time in the semi-final defeat to Italy.
Indeed, with the likes of Andre Schurrle, Mario Gotze and Marco Reus all coming through, it had been speculated that Podolski had only a limited future ahead of him in the national team, but Low has played down such claims.
"I can only say positive things about him, even when he does not play,'' he said. "I have always been able to count on him for many years. That makes him indispensable for us. Even if he did not always start games, I always rated him very highly.''
Playing in the Premier League, along with his national and Arsenal team-mate Per Mertesacker, is adding another string to his bow, according to Low.
"I always said it would be a good move for him,'' said Low. "I think the progress he is making at Arsenal is very positive. He always has such a positive energy about him and is benefiting from his experiences with Arsenal.''
Podolski, who has already represented his country 103 times, insists that he has no qualms about his role in the national team.
"Whether I play left, right, up front, or even left full-back as far as I am concerned - the coach can decide,'' he said. "Even playing the role of super sub would not dampen my spirits. I accept the challenge of our competition for places.
"We all want to qualify for the World Cup and, if I don't play, then it is not the end of the world. I know I did not do so well personally at Euro 2012, but I want to prove that I am better than that. Our aim now is to qualify for the World Cup.''