Nicklas Bendtner: Reasons Why He Deserves Another Chance at Arsenal
The story of Nicklas Bendtner and Arsenal goes all the way back to 2005, when the Gunners snapped up a talented youngster from the youth academy of FC Copenhagen. After making only three League Cup appearances in his first season with the club, the Gunners offered him a chance to continue his footballing education in Birmingham City, where he shined like a star, scoring 13 goals in 42 appearances.
On his return to the club in 2007, Bendtner found himself at the fringes due to the fact that he was way behind the pecking order in attack as the Gunners had Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and Eduardo da Silva that suffered a horrific career-threatening injury in the second half of that season. In subsequent campaigns, he featured in Cup ties as well as some league fixtures but his big break arrived in the 2009/10 campaign, when the red-hot Robin van Persie was sidelined for a lengthy spell. Bendtner hit double figures that season, as he did in the year before.
With the striker not satisfied with hardly playing and actually playing out of position anytime he was on the pitch, so his relationship with the club became strained and when he managed to secure a move to Sunderland, he expressed his desire to never play for Arsenal again. A permanent move failed to materialize and he didn’t do any better in his second loan stint with Juventus.
After almost two years, Nicklas Bendtner played for Arsenal in a League Cup tie against West Brom, and would have every reason to be pleased with his performance. He even expressed his delight in his team’s victory,
“For myself I was very moved by my reception and hearing my song again made my heart skip! Young players did ever so well and kept there cool in a difficult penalty shootout. Respect! Skipper looking fresh! (referring to Vermaelen).”
In the wake of Nicklas Bendtner’s outing against West Brom, I clearly feel that he deserves another chance at Arsenal. Here are my reasons why;
He has Finally Swallowed his Pride….Some of it, at Least
Confident, cocky, egotistical and extremely proud.
These are attributes of a player that believes in his ability so much, even to the extent where he proclaimed that he was one of the world’s best strikers. We all know how Bendtner’s career has panned out thus far and he hasn’t reached those heights he has even set for himself, as his performances on the pitch aren’t anywhere near the Lewandowskis, Falcaos, Cavanis, Ibrahimovics, Agueros, Higuains, Benzemas, van Persies, Rooneys, Freds, and Girouds of this world.
Despite the fact that he was linked with all the clubs in the Milky Way, Bendtner didn’t even do enough for his services to be retained in Sunderland and Juventus, Eintracht Frankfurt pulled the plug on him and he was odds on to make a move to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day but the Gunners fell the move through when they couldn’t secure the services of Demba Ba.
After reflecting on how downward his career had plunged, Bendtner swallowed some pride and vowed to give his all for his team this season.
His Committed Performance Against West Brom
For a player that hasn’t played regular football for a while, Bendtner, rightly so, looked off the pace for his team but he put up an uncharacteristically committed performance for Arsenal. Bendtner clashed with the post in his attempt of nod a cross, held up play, fought in the air for balls and even showed his quality when he created a neat assist for Thomas Eisfeld.
There was a moment when Gnabry sent him through and he would have had a chance to make all the headlines but he dallied too much on the ball and it came back to bite him on the arse as Craig Dawson made up some ground to make a vital interception.
After 120 minutes, Bendtner took the responsibility of playing Arsenal’s first penalty, which he scored. His reactions alongside his teammates when Nacho Monreal scored the match winning penalty was priceless.
His Goalscoring Record for Arsenal
For those that don’t know, Nicklas Bendtner is currently Arsenal’s second highest goalscorer with 45 goals in 158 games, and he’s behind Theo Walcott that has amassed 69 goals in 293 games. His goal-to-game ratio at Arsenal is quite impressive, considering the fact that he’s not a first team regular. In every season he played for Arsenal bar his first (where he was away on loan at Birmingham), Bendtner closed in on double figures and he surpassed the mark twice with 15 goals (2008/09) and 12 goals (2009/10).
His track record on the international scene is pretty impressive if you ask me, with 22 goals scored in 55 games for Denmark.
Bendtner is a player that would offer a different dynamic in attack, as he poses a threat in the air and is equally adept with the ball on his feet. If Arsenal intends to end their trophy drought this season, they will need all the goals they can get, and I believe that Bendtner could hit double figures this season.
Paucity of Options in Attack
For a title-challenging side like Arsenal, it’s really strange to see how light they are in attack, one of the departments in football that is very vital, as teams need goals to win games. Beyond Olivier Giroud, it’s shocking to see that the Gunners don’t have any recognized out-and-out striker, as Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are better suited to the wings, where they have played their best football for the team.
When Podolski and Walcott played in the center forward position, they clearly struggled as they lacked the basic tools that would have made them succeed in that position – height, ability to hold up play, work rate, deft one touch passes to bring teammates into the game, strength to hold off defenders, aerial ability and providing a focal point in attack. Finishing is a good attribute to have as an attacker, but it can only get you so far.
In Bendtner, the Gunners have big striker that would be more than a handful for opposition defenders and his aerial ability can prove to be a vital asset this season, as the Gunners showcased their aerial prowess in their recent league victory over Stoke. Bendtner will also give Giroud a run for his money.
Nicklas Bendtner may believe in his abilities more than the average footballer, which makes him seem as if he’s the Hulk, even though he has been exposed to any gamma radiation but at the very least, he deserves another chance at Arsenal.
To vote for Gooner Daily for the 2013 OYAA award of Best Online Media for Sport, please click here.
You can download the Gooner Daily BlackBerry App to receive notifications on your Smart Phone when a post is published.
You can follow Gooner Daily on Twitter @goonerdaily. I’ll follow back
Feel free to visit Gooner Daily’s Facebook page and click on the like button.
You can also join Gooner Daily’s Mailing List to get notifications of new posts by email by clicking on the Follow button