Friday 9 January 2015 11:52, UK
Lukas Podolski has criticised the way he was treated by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger prior to his loan move to Inter Milan.
Podolski scored three goals in 13 appearances for the Gunners this season but struggled to secure a regular starting place.
That led to the German forward moving to Serie A on loan and he has hit out at what he sees as a lack of respect from Wenger on his departure.
“He said nothing to me. He did not call or say goodbye,” Podolski said of Wenger in an interview with The Sun.
“I don’t need flowers or a kiss from him. But it is about respect, about saying goodbye. For me, respect is important. 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.
“I wish all of Arsenal and their amazing fans the very best for this season and I see myself as a Gunner.
It is not a problem to sit on the bench, absolutely not. When you have three games in a week and you don’t play, though, you have to think about it.
“(There was) nothing from him (Wenger) to me, but that is his way. He told me he did not want me to go just before the transfer window but never said anything else after that.”
Podolski made his Inter debut in their 1-1 draw with Juventus on Tuesday and the 29-year-old feels he had to leave the Emirates in order to kick-start his career.
“I had to move forward. I could not wait for 25 injuries (before getting his chance),” he added.
“It is not a problem to sit on the bench, absolutely not. When you have three games in a week and you don’t play, though, you have to think about it.
“I was happy at the club. I played 82 games and I scored 31 goals, plus assists. That’s not bad.
“Wenger said to me I was the best finisher at the club. Let me play then.”
The final straw for Podolski came when he played a starring role in Arsenal’s 4-1 Champions League win over Galatasaray last month.
Podolski scored twice but was dropped to the bench for their next match against Newcastle on December 13, which is the last game he played for the Gunners.
“The big moment was after the Champions League,” he said. “I played a very good game against Galatasaray and then I was on the bench again. I knew I had to move.”