Podolski: Top four or disaster

Lukas Podolski has admitted it is frustrating to be substituted so regularly but he is focused on helping Arsenal finish in the top four as he thinks it would be a 'disaster' to miss out on UEFA Champions League football, even if they win the FA Cup.

Last Updated: 15/04/14 at 18:55 Post Comment

Lukas Podolski: Frustrated to have completed 90 minutes just twice this season

Lukas Podolski: Frustrated to have completed 90 minutes just twice this season

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Arsenal are within one game of claiming their first major trophy since 2005 after beating Wigan Athletic on penalties on Saturday to reach the FA Cup final, where they will start as firm favourites against Hull City.

Podolski acknowledges that it would ease the pressure on everyone at the club, including manager Arsene Wenger, to win some silverware, but he does not want to lose focus on their Premier League campaign.

The Gunners dropped out of the top four at the weekend as Everton beat Sunderland, and Podolski has warned that they cannot afford to finish outside the Champions League places.

"Every season is a pressure when you don't win anything and the newspapers speak about it, the fans gets nervous but we have the chance this year to win the FA Cup so maybe it helps the club, us and the boss," said Podolski ahead of Tuesday's Premier League clash with West Ham United

"But the other important thing is to get fourth place back because when you don't play in the Champions League, it's a disaster.

"Last season was the same. People and the newspapers speak about the last trophy being 2005 so of course, the pressure is there because we were in the semi-final and we have this chance to win the cup.

"We are now in the final and of course we want the cup, but the other important thing is the league. We don't forget that because we are fifth now, so it's important to get fourth place back.

"But as I say, the important thing is the league as well. We don't forget the league because we are fifth now, we are not qualified for the Champions League, so we must do our work on the pitch - starting on Tuesday and this is an important thing."

Podolski was substituted after 69 minutes against Wigan at Wembley and has completed the full 90 minutes just twice this season.

He accepts that it is up to Wenger to make decisions on selection but is keen to play a more important role.

"I play and in the last games, I always come out and of course you cannot be happy when you always go out after 60, 70 minutes," said the German.

"Of course I am not happy always to be substituted. It's the decision of the boss, he is the manager. He decides who comes in, who comes out, who are the first XI.

"It's not always easy when you play for a big club but of course I am not happy to always come out and watch from outside. You cannot be happy with this situation."

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