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Lukas Podolski shares London day-trip with Twitter followers

Learning London with Podolski: Arsenal star shares day trip around capital with fans

By
Dan Ripley

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 12 February 2013

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UPDATED:

15:25 GMT, 13 February 2013

After joining Arsenal from Cologne last summer, Gunners fans soon took to Lukas Podolski who has quickly adapted to life in the Premier League.

It isn’t just on the pitch where the striker is settling in fast though, the German international has been just as keen to soak up the London atmosphere around him.

Here we go: Lukas Podolski started his London tour by taking 'a real black cab' from the Highbury district

Here we go: Lukas Podolski started his London tour by taking 'a real black cab' from the Highbury district

Stop seven: Lukas Podolski poses outside of Trafalgar Square

Stop nine: Podolski stops outside Buckingham Palace

Short trip: Podolski poses with a lion outside of Trafalgar Square before visiting Buckingham Palace, where after seeing the Royal Standard flag happily tweeted that 'the Queen is home!!!'

With Arsenal not due to play in the Champions League until next week, the 27-year-old used his spare time to go sight-seeing around the capital, including a trip to Trafalgar Square as well as nearby Buckingham Palace.

Podolski shared his day-trip around London with his Twitter followers under the hashtag #learninglondon showing his knowledge of where Prince Charles and Lady Diana were married as well as recognising how the Queen was in residence.

Thumbs up: Lukas Podolski stops outside St Pauls

Stop five: Podolski tweets #weddingcakechurch

Thumbs up: Podolski gives his approval after visiting St Paul's Cathedral (left)

The German’s interest in learning about London comes just months after a video was released showing the striker taking rhyming slang lessons off former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour in a bid to help him to adapt to life in north London.

It seems to have worked so far as Podolski has been a regular feature at the Emirates Stadium, scoring 12 goals in 31 games.

Lukas Podolski's tour was the latest in a series of Learning London features the German international has filmed with Arsenal Media, available to watch on player.arsenal.com from the weekend.

Arsene Wenger unhappy with Andre Santos

Wenger slams Santos for swapping shirts with Van Persie midway through United defeat

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UPDATED:

18:09 GMT, 5 November 2012

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has let Andre Santos know that swapping shirts with Robin van Persie midway through Saturday's defeat to Manchester United was unacceptable.

The Brazilian left-back was team-mates with Van Persie until the striker's acrimonious departure to Old Trafford during the summer.

Santos endured a torrid time against United and also came under scrutiny for exchanging shirts with the Holland international at half-time of a game in which Arsenal slumped to a 2-1 defeat.

Slammed: Andre Santos (left) was criticised by fans and now his manager after trying to swap shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United

Slammed: Andre Santos (left) was criticised by fans and now his manager after trying to swap shirts with Robin van Persie at half-time during Arsenal's 2-1 defeat to Manchester United

Centre of attention: Santos was in training on Monday ahead of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Schalke

Centre of attention: Santos was in training on Monday ahead of Arsenal's Champions League tie against Schalke

Reports suggested Santos could be dropped from Tuesday's Champions League tie at Schalke as a result but, while angry with the left-back, Wenger was keen to downplay the incident.

'I spoke about that but I don't want to make too much of a big story of that,' the Arsenal boss said.

'I believe that was not the right thing to do at all, but that is not an explanation for our bad performance on Saturday.'

Wenger was not the only one to hit out at Santos after the ill-advised shirt-swapping.

Arsenal fans were furious with the Brazilian's decision to pursue Van Persie, particularly after the defender had delivered a poor performance in the first 45 minutes in Manchester.

Former Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour blasted Santos for the incident, and for his defensive abilities.

Ill advised: Santos accosted Robin van Persie at half-time

Ill advised: Santos accosted Robin van Persie at half-time

Controversial: Van Persie left Arsenal for 24million to Manchester United in summer

Controversial: Van Persie left Arsenal for 24million to Manchester United in summer

'That's a joke. I wouldn't have that,' Parlour said in The Sun. 'At half-time he should be concentrating on his game and he was having a nightmare.

'He can't play in a back four as he gets caught out of position all the time.'

Incensed fans also took to Twitter to vent their fury with the left-back.

On Twitter, @LBFutbol wrote: 'Santos shouldn't be allowed to come back on the pitch after that,' while another added, 'Incredible demonstration after that shambles of a 45 minutes from the “defender”.'

Others, including @GoonerTalk, said, 'Unbelievable', @wilforiley added, 'Andre Santos… The single biggest joke to ever wear the Arsenal shirt', and ‏@EddieBaby66 wrote, 'I present to you…. Andre Santos. Truly shocking'.

Unhappy: Arsene Wenger let Santos know that it was inappropriate to swap shirts with Van Persie before the game was up

Unhappy: Arsene Wenger let Santos know that it was inappropriate to swap shirts with Van Persie before the game was up

Van Persie travelled north in the summer for 24million after refusing Arsenal's offers of a new contract.

The Dutchman took only three minutes to score in his first game against his former club, but refused to celebrate his goal out of respect.

Van Persie said: 'I played at Arsenal for eight years and had a fantastic time. It was out of respect for the fans, players, manager and the whole club.'

And the gesture seemingly resonated with the men in purple and black, with Wenger first shaking hands with the Dutchman at the break, before Santos bounded the length of the pitch to ask for his shirt.

Patrice Evra doubled United's lead after Wayne Rooney had missed a penalty and Santi Cazorla hit a consolation with the last kick of the ball.

Tough task: Arsenal now turn their attentions to Schalke in their bid to progress in the Champions League

Tough task: Arsenal now turn their attentions to Schalke in their bid to progress in the Champions League

Star man: Santi Cazorla scored Arsenal's consolation goal at Old Trafford on Saturday

Star man: Santi Cazorla scored Arsenal's consolation goal at Old Trafford on Saturday

Robin van Persie and Andre Santos – wrong time and place to swap shirts

There's a time and a place for swapping shirts… and it's not halfway through the big match at Old Trafford

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UPDATED:

13:04 GMT, 5 November 2012

One of Robin van Persie's most treasured possessions is a shirt that Ronaldo wore when the pair shared the same pitch for a UEFA Cup clash between Feyenoord and Inter Milan.

Van Persie was a fresh-faced, 18-year-old, gracing the same European semi-final as one of the game's greats.

The Dutchman will probably have that jersey for the rest of his days.

Hardly used, one careful owner: Robin van Persie gives Andree Santos his shirt

Hardly used, one careful owner: Robin van Persie gives Andree Santos his shirt

Andre Santos is 29. He's a Brazil international, playing for Arsenal, with spells at Corinthians and Fenerbahce under his belt.

Why he felt the need to ask Van Persie for his shirt at half-time on Saturday confused most of us watching Manchester United's win over the north Londoners.

It also angered the Gunners faithful. Several supporters reckoned they were first with 'it was the closest Santos got to Van Persie all day' gag.

Sorry to disappoint, but an older generation were just as proud of the same one-liner when Steve Hodge got his hands on Maradona's jersey at the 1986 World Cup.

Most Gooners were fizzing though – and who can blame them

Van Persie is now the villain since joining Manchester United and scoring after three minutes of their reunion didn't help.

Cheer up: Santos had a miserable opening 45 minutes at Old Trafford

Cheer up: Santos had a miserable opening 45 minutes at Old Trafford

But it was Santos getting it in the neck after putting the lid on his own 45-minute nightmare as he walked towards the tunnel with his former team-mate.

Ex-Arsenal midfielder Ray Parlour slammed his lack of professionalism, saying the defender should have been concentrating on his performance.

Parlour is right. As fans watching, we want the players to get stuck in, giving their all, to come out on top.

A Santos-like howler can (just about) be forgiven if we reckon somebody is 100 per cent committed to the cause.

Mutual respect: Pele and Bobby Moore swapped at the 1970 World Cup

Mutual respect: Pele and Bobby Moore swapped at the 1970 World Cup

But can they be totally focused if at some point they're discussing clothes Would you back a player to fly into a 50-50 with the man wearing the top he's been eyeing up

Santos did have some support – his wife was quick to defend him on Twitter. He's really not doing himself any favours, is he

The shirt-swap is a gesture, and most would agree that football, as it takes a new battering every week, needs sportsmanship.

But there's a time and a place. When the whistle blows at the end of the game, wear what you like.

PS Having an opponent's shirt tied round the neck and draped over the shoulders for a post-match interview – no need.

And don't get us started on pre-arranged swapsie deals between players.

Theo Walcott warned by Ray Parlour over contract issue

Theo's thinking about money! Parlour urges Walcott to forget cash and focus on football

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UPDATED:

10:10 GMT, 18 September 2012

Ray Parlour has warned Theo Walcott that deliberating over his future at Arsenal will harm his game.

The 23-year-old England winger's deal at the Emirates expires at the end of the season and Walcott has been linked with a move to both Chelsea and Liverpool.

Former Arsenal midfielder Parlour thinks Walcott should come out and make his decision and concentrate on his football rather than money.

Come on: Theo Walcott has been urged to make his decision

Come on: Theo Walcott has been urged to make his decision

'Everyone wants to see Theo Walcott sign a new contract,' Parlour told talkSPORT. 'He’s got a lot of work to do on the pitch though and, at the moment, he’s not playing.

'He’s a good player, but he needs to say whether he’s staying or he’s going and then concentrate on his football.

'All these contract talks can sometimes affect your game. He’s probably thinking more about money and less about his game.

'It’s one of those situations where the player has got to be happy with what he’s got. I can never understand these wrangles over contracts.

'Sure you have a figure in your head which you’re happy with and once that’s been agreed then it’s done. Whether Theo is holding his cards close to his chest and saying, “well, I’ve got one year left on my contract, I want 100,000 a week”, I don’t know.'

Asked whether the uncertainty about the winger’s future has affected his selection decisions, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said: ‘It can, but at the moment I still hope to extend his contract so, at the moment, it doesn’t affect me. Of course at some stage (it will).

Trouble: Ray Parlour (left) thinks speculation can affect Walcott's game

Trouble: Ray Parlour (left) thinks speculation can affect Walcott's game

‘If in April it’s not done (a new contract), you can think now it will be difficult to do.

‘Is the fans’ reaction a worry It is. I think you want your players to be supported no matter what kind of contractual situation they are in.’

Ray Parlour, Graeme Le Saux, Brian McBride and Claudio Caniggia play for Wembley FC

Wembley edge five-goal FA Cup clash… with a little help from Parlour, Le Saux, McBride and Caniggia

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UPDATED:

14:04 GMT, 11 August 2012

Fantasy football 2012

They were once household names on the international stage.

But Graeme Le Saux, Ray Parlour, Claudio Caniggia, Brian McBride and Sportsmail's Martin Keown went back to basics on their return to the game when they turned out for non-league Wembley FC.

As part of a publicity stunt for the FA
Cup, the former stars featured in the 3-2 extra preliminary round win
against Langford at Vale Park.

Romford Pele: Ray Parlour rolled back the years after pulling on a red shirt at Vale Park

Romford Pele: Ray Parlour rolled back the years after pulling on a red shirt at Vale Park

Still got it: Graeme Le Saux shows his touch on his return to the FA Cup

Still got it: Graeme Le Saux shows his touch on his return to the FA Cup

The team, who play in the Combined Counties Premier Division – eight tiers below the Premier League – are also managed by former England boss Terry Venables.

The ex-internationals are playing for Wembley as part of a TV documentary, with the match shown live on ESPN and Facebook.

Game for a laugh: Terry Venables watches on from the sidelines

Game for a laugh: Terry Venables watches on from the sidelines

Game for a laugh: Former England manager Terry Venables watches on from the sidelines

Star of the show: Claudio Caniggia celebrates scoring the first goal

Star of the show: Claudio Caniggia celebrates scoring the first goal

McBride and Caniggia started up front for the hosts, with the latter scoring the opener before having a hand in the eventual winner.

Also part of Venables' staff is David Seaman, who has been helping out with coaching. It is not yet known whether any of the big names will continue.

Former Arsenal stars Martin Keown and Ray Parlour come out of retirement to play in FA Cup

The stars come out to play in the Cup… Keown, Parlour, Le Saux and McBride set to feature for Wembley

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UPDATED:

23:08 GMT, 10 August 2012

Sportsmail's Martin Keown will return to football on Saturday when he lines up for Wembley FC in the FA Cup.

Keown joins Ray Parlour, Graeme Le Saux, Brian McBride and Claudio Caniggia for the extra preliminary round match against Langford FC.

The team, who play in the Combined Counties Premier Division – eight tiers below the Premier League – will be managed by former England boss Terry Venables.

Back in action: Former Arsenal defender and Sportsmail columnist Martin Keown is coming out of retirement to play for Wembley FC in the FA Cup

Back in action: Former Arsenal defender and Sportsmail columnist Martin Keown is coming out of retirement to play for Wembley FC in the FA Cup

Legends on show: David Seaman, Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia, and Brian McBride have been signed by Budweiser to play and coach at Wembley FC, where Terry Venables is Technical Advisor

Legends on show: David Seaman, Ray Parlour, Martin Keown, Graeme Le Saux, Claudio Caniggia, and Brian McBride have been signed by Budweiser to play and coach at Wembley FC, where Terry Venables is Technical Advisor

Forty-six-year-old Keown and the other former international stars are playing for Wembley as part of a TV documentary.

Keown has been training hard to get fit for the Langford match but is likely to start on the bench at Vale Park.

Saturday's match will also be shown live on ESPN and Facebook.

Ray Parlour, David Seaman and Graeme Le Saux sign for Wembley FC

Parlour, Le Saux and Seaman come out of retirement to play for Venables at… Wembley

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UPDATED:

14:33 GMT, 21 June 2012

The FA Cup is the known as the cup of dreams and the dreams of one lowly non-league side could come true this season thanks to a number of former internationals.

After acquiring the services of former England boss Terry Venables as their technical advisor, now Wembley FC have signed up a host of former internationals and FA Cup winners to help them on their quest to realise their dream of playing at the national stadium – just a matter of metres from their Vale Farm home ground.

The Lions have signed up former Three Lions stars including David Seaman, Ray Parlour, Martin Keown and Graeme Le Saux, who between them have won The FA Cup 12 times as well as former Fulham and USA striker Brian McBride and former Rangers and Argentina star Claudio Caniggia.

New signings: Graeme Le Saux, David Seaman, Ray Parlour, and Claudio Caniggia, have all signed for Wembley

New signings: Graeme Le Saux, David Seaman, Ray Parlour, and Claudio Caniggia, have all signed for Wembley

The players have been signed up to help coach the Wembley players and have been working with the squad for the past four months, and they will now add their experience on the pitch starting with FA Cup extra preliminary round tie on August 11.

Seaman has signed up as goalkeeping coach, while the other players, including former Arsenal pair of Parlour and Keown will make themselves available for selection for the Combined Counties Premier side in their FA Cup ties.

And the club have marked their once in lifetime signings by changing their club moto to 'From Possibility to Reality'.

Not a bad line up: Terry Venebles stands with some of his new star signings

Not a bad line up: Terry Venebles stands with some of his new star signings

The all-star line-up has been made possible thanks to the support of FA Cup lead sponsors Budweiser, and the FA Cup journey will be filmed by ESPN for a show called ‘Dream. On. The Journey of Wembley’.

Four time FA Cup winner Parlour said: ‘I've always believed grassroots football is essential to the lifeblood of the game so when I got the call asking if I would like to come out of retirement and help raise its profile I jumped at the chance.

‘I'm looking forward to working with Terry Venables again and helping a group of talented footballers achieve their dreams of playing in The FA Cup and seeing how far they can go in the tournament.’

Top table: The star names face the Press at Wembley

Top table: The star names face the Press at Wembley

Wembley manager Ian Bates said: ‘The opportunity to learn from ex-professionals like Parlour and Seaman who have been there and done it will give us the best chance possible to go further than we ever have done in next season's FA Cup.

‘The initiative shines a light on non-league football reminding people of the importance of amateur football in contributing to the development of the national game. A year ago we were playing in front of an empty grandstand and the clubhouse was falling down.

'Now the investment means great times are waiting for Wembley FC and we can't wait to kick off our FA Cup campaign.’

Chairman Brian Gumm added: ‘We're not a big club but we have big ambitions. With Budweiser as our sponsor we now have a shot at making those dreams come true.’

To stay in touch with Wembley FC and their progress with Budweiser follow them on Twitter: @WembleyFC For more information on The FA Cup with Budweiser visit: www.Facebook.com/BudweiserUK

Lukas Podolski can fire Arsenal to the title next season – Arsene Wenger

Podolski buy can be spark to fire Arsenal to the title next season, insists Wenger

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UPDATED:

21:55 GMT, 25 March 2012

Arsene Wenger believes his squad is capable of challenging for the title next season.

The Arsenal manager wants to add Lukas Podolski and another striker to lighten the goal-scoring burden on Robin van Persie, but considers his current crop of players, when fully fit, to be up among the best.

Wenger said: 'I just felt we had two weak periods in the season and you can only afford one. I knew when we were 17th (in August) that we cannot afford any weak periods anymore, so when that happened in January it was very difficult.

Target: Arsene Wenger admits he wants to buy Cologne's Lukas Podolski (left)

Target: Arsene Wenger admits he wants to buy Cologne's Lukas Podolski (left)

'If you look at the circumstances of the (second) blip it was down to the fact we had no full backs. Overall since October, since the team has gelled, we are not on too bad a run.

'Man City have had the opposite; they started in the way we are now. It is difficult for everyone to maintain that.

'Yes (we want Podolski), because we want to add some offensive strikers, because many times people say we rely too much on Van Persie, which is true, but if we can find world-class players, we will (challenge for the title).'

Gunners on fire: Arsenal recorded their seventh straight win on Saturday

Gunners on fire: Arsenal recorded their seventh straight win on Saturday

Saturday's 3-0 victory over Aston Villa, featuring goals from Kieran Gibbs, Theo Walcott and Mikel Arteta, was the first time two English players have scored for Arsenal since 1997.

On October 4 Englishmen Ian Wright, Ray Parlour and David Platt added to two goals from Dennis Bergkamp in a 5-0 win over Barnsley at Highbury.

Gibbs said of Walcott: 'I really looked up to him quite a lot. He's an outstanding player, a joy to play with. He's one of my close friends here: a top, top boy.

'If anyone wants to idolise someone it should be him. He's very professional. He's a really nice guy. I wouldn't like to be coming up against him if I didn't play for this team.'

Match zone: Arsenal v Aston Villa