Bundesliga: A problem Like Podolski

The Oval Log

There may not be a more beautiful sight in all Germany than Cologne at Christmas. The forbidding shadows of the great Gothic cathedral are lit up by the twinkling lights of the festive market. Christmas trees dressed in golden tinsel are intertwined with shimmering silver bulbs, throwing an eerie, magical glow upon the meticulously crafted towers of the ancient seat of worship. Down the centuries, people have gathered here to imbibe the fruits of the season and discuss the issues and personalities of the day, from Holy Roman Emperors to Hanseatic traders to Reformation firebrands. In the eight hundred years since the cathedral was first built, surely few people can have provoked such debate and uncertainty as a young man from Gliwicein, Poland. “What is Cologne,” asks Bild this week, “without Lukas Podolski?”

On Tuesday night, for the third game running, Podolski was the city’s hero. Trailing 1-0 to an…

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