New Arsenal signing Lukas Podolski fears his former club Cologne face an uphill battle in Germany’s second division.
Podolski scored 86 goals in 180 competitive appearances over two stints at Cologne before joining the Premier League side for an undisclosed fee in April.
Cologne were relegated from the Bundesliga last season after finishing 17th with eight wins, six draws and 20 losses.
“The relegation was very hard for everybody,” Podolski said.
“I hope that the club can fulfil its potential in the next years, but I think next season will be hard because there were a lot of changes at the club.
“You can only hope for the best and I will have a look at it as much as possible from London.”
Podolski, who was part of Germany’s squad at Euro 2012, has turned his focus towards glory in the Premier League.
“I am looking at a different championship in England right now and I hope we will be able to fight to be part of the top group,” he said.
“I don’t know if it will be enough for the title, but we want to have a successful season.
“I am looking forward to this task. The club and the fans have been fantastic for the last couple of weeks and I am hungry to get started on the 21st of July.
“I hope I will have four great and successful years in London.”
Podolski distanced himself from a recent interview which appeared on the ESPN website before being taken down hours later.
The striker denied giving the interview and said he never spoke to the journalist it was attributed to.
“I don’t know what happened,” Podolski said.
“I never gave this interview and never talked to this journalist. It was really strange from the beginning and I cannot imagine how this could happen.”
The interviewer claimed to have spoken to Podolski about Robin van Persie, Arsene Wenger and the Premier League.