Arsenal v Bayern Munich: Lukas Podolski is 'lazy' and Mesut Ozil needs to bulk up, says Markus Babbel
Former Bayern Munich and Liverpool defender has harsh words for the Gunners
Wednesday 19 February 2014
Markus Babbel, the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich defender,claims that Arsenal will be no match for Bayern, and offered some backhanded complements for the Gunners' German contingent.
Babbel, who has been out of work since he was sacked as 1899 Hoffenheim manager in December 2012, says that Arsenal have not improved from last season, when they lost 3-3 on aggregate in the Champions League round of 16.
Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger said that Arsenal were in a "better shape" than last year, but Babbel replied in Munich newspaper Muncher Merkur that the Champions league holders "won't have any problems" in taking care of the Premier League side.
Read more: Arsenal v Bayern Munich match preview
Ozil can punish Bayern - Lahm
10 most dangerous Bayern Munich players
Clean sheet top priority for Wenger
Arsenal have learned from last season's exit - Wilshere
Podolski is lazy and Ozil needs to bulk up
Arsenal lacked belief last season - Wenger
Lehmann offers £2,000 reward for missing bag
Ramsey given green light to step up recovery
Mertesacker labels Bayern 'untouchable'
Wenger faces selection dilemma
Bayern a bigger deal than Mourinho
"They are not better than last year and have many injuries," Babbel, who joined Liverpool from Bayern Munich in 2000, said. "If Bayern remain concentrated, Arsenal will not be problem. You see it in the Premier League: against the big teams they often lose."
Of Arsenal's German players, Babbel said he was surprised of the success that Lukas Podolski has had in England, as he was "too lazy" when he played in Germany.
"[Podolski] surprises me," said the 41-year-old. "I haven't given him the credit he deserves for the success he's had in England.
"Honestly, I thought he was too lazy at Bayern Munich and Koln, but he has emerged. When he is on the pitch, he is on fire."
Babbel added that the defender Per Mertesacker was "not exactly brilliant" when in his first matches for the Gunners after he joined in 2011, but did admit that he has worked hard and improved.
"Mertesacker is held in unbelievably high esteem at Arsenal because he fights for his spot in the team," he added.
"At the beginning, his performance were not exactly brilliant. But he never gave up. That impresses British fans."
On Mesut Ozil, the Gunners club-record £42m signing, Babbel says that he "still needs to work on his physicality" to be a success in the Premier League.
Website users raised funds after Jennifer Lawrence nude photo leak
Latest in Sport
US Open 2014: Roger Federer vs Roberto Bautista Agut match preview
Danny Welbeck joins Arsenal: Welbeck joins growing British core among Arsenal squad - but it wasn't always this homely
‘We knew he was something special:’ Radamel Falcao's journey from teenage debutant to Manchester United's star signing
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal triggers United upheaval as 13 players leave club since manager arrived
Chelsea completed transfers: A profile of the new arrivals including Cesc Fabregas, Diego Costa and Loic Remy
- 1 David Sedaris: What I learnt from Fitbit about the world around me
- 2 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 3 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 4 Cee Lo Green: 'It's only rape if the victim is conscious'
- 5 Katie Hopkins in tears over weight gain challenge: ‘I hate fat people for making me do this’
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain