Nicklas Bendtner- from prospect to pariah

Scattered in amongst the discarded youngsters and ageing professionals on the Premier League’s free transfer list, which was published yesterday, there was the name of a player who, at the age of 26, should ordinarily be approaching the peak of his footballing powers.

As we all know, however, Nicklas Bendtner doesn’t fit into the category of “ordinary”. His departure from the club had been in the offing for around three years, with moves to various sides breaking down at the last minute. From July 1st Bendtner’s ten-year association with Arsenal will officially be over.

For an outsider, from a purely statistical point of view, Bendtner’s time in North London would not appear to be too negative, as he registered 47 goals in 171 senior appearances, with many of those strikes coming at crucial moments. When you factor in the numerous missed chances, his indifferent ball control and his perceived arrogance, though, you begin to get a more rounded picture of events.

It may seem scarcely believable now, but there was a time when Bendtner was considered one of Arsenal’s brightest young prospects. After joining the club from Copenhagen in 2004, he immediately forged an excellent understanding with fellow striker Arturo Lupoli, before proceeding to feature in the Carling Cup the following season.

The tall forward enhanced his reputation further during his season-long loan spell at Birmingham City in 2006/07, with his performances earning him a lengthy contract extension at Arsenal as he achieved his aim of being promoted to the first-team squad. Over the next couple of seasons he became something of a regular, and scored several goals in the process, most notably his dramatic headed winner against Tottenham Hotspur in December 2007.

Bendtner always seemed to be something of an ill fit in Arsenal’s system. He was frequently deployed out of position on the right flank and often didn’t appear to be on the same wavelength as his teammates during the construction of passing moves. More important late goals followed, against Dynamo Kiev and Bolton Wanderers, but his off-the-field problems became more prominent, too, and he was used increasingly sparingly by Arsene Wenger.

Bendtner spent the past couple of seasons on loan, first at Sunderland, and then at Juventus, before making a surprise return to the Arsenal set-up this campaign. Again, he was largely unconvincing, but still weighed in with two goals.

With his time at Arsenal now finally coming to a close, Bendtner has an opportunity to resurrect his once-promising career. For all his faults, both as an individual and as a footballer, it would be satisfying to see him at least achieve some consistency at a relatively high level.




  1. near enough 1 goal every 3 appearances is nothing to sneer at for a boy in his early twenties…he’s clearly got some quality. he’s denmark’s top scorer too right?

    i personally think he was mismanaged by wenger. he could easily have been as good a front man as giroud with the right coaching, but he was just ostracised and abandoned. really what is that about?

    i hope he finds a club that will stick him up front as their big man and give him service. he’s easily a 15 goal a season man at premier league level, someone just needs to let him start over.

    1. It’s far from 1 goal every 3 appearances. If you actually look at hisbgoals per min ratio, it is 1 goal every 94.8 mins. 47 goals in 82 starts, sure he had lots of 20 min cameos, but in most of his starts he was withdrawn early too.

      The simple reason for bendtner’s fall from grace, is he is a complete knob. I actually like arrogant players, take ian wright for example, on the pitch he was an arrogant little mug, yet off the pitch he was quite humble, remembering where he came from how hard he worked to get where he was and respecting fellow pros and even his fans. The story he told about the day we signed bergkamp is one of my faves. He had heard the rumours, then when it was confirmed, he didn’t quite believe it. He was so excited that he was going to have DB10 as a team mate, he drove to the ground to confirm it. Can you imagine the complete knob doing that? No he would be falling out of a bar somewhere or showing his pants off or rubbing his little cock on someones car, waiting for Bergkamp to come and find him!!

      Goodbye nik, I still hope u sort yourself out, just for that header over them slags in 2007.

  2. He was badly handled. Somebody should have sit with him, and explain exactly what he was doing wrong. Arsene Wenger try to avoid confrontation as much as possible. The problem is that because of his arrogance, the only thing that Bendtner understands is confrontation.
    In my view, properly coached and motivated he is better than Giroud, plus he is a club home grown player.

  3. He was played out of position after a couple of abysmal performances as striker. Pretty sure when Ramsey was out of position he was slagged of by a large section of supporters. Had ramsey had his mental fortitude he would’ve possibly been a championship player.

    Being arrogant on its own is not a big deal. Come to think of I can’t stand the attitude of most top strikers (Zlatan, costa, benzema, Rooney, Rvp) but they had the work ethic to carry it. Bendtner had the talent but unfortunately not the attitude. Won’t get into details of his off field behaviour as they’re already well documented.

    Having said that he’s seemed to have improved (though some controversys still persisted) and still got time to make a decent career though not as great as it could….should’ve been.

  4. I think people are bending over backwards to excuse the guy

    1) “Somebody should have sit with him, and explain exactly what he was doing wrong.”
    “i personally think he was mismanaged by wenger. he could easily have been as good a front man as giroud with the right coaching, but he was just ostracised and abandoned. really what is that about?”

    First of all I would think bendtner’s confrontations with the legal system should be enough to explain to him what he was doing wrong off the field. An on the field, the guy did not develop at all between about age 21 and now. Sorry but you cannot blame this on the coaches. I can see even Giroud has come here at age 26 or 27 and progressed, so why should a 21 year old kid think he knew it all when in the presence of a coaching team that has moulded the likes of Henry,Anelka, Van Persie, Pires, Nasri, Adebayor and Walcott. No – Bendter killed his ow career.

    2) Wenger did not “play him out of position”. He used him as a wide forward, which Bendter has the ability and mobility to play. Not least, he continued to show a wooden touch and therefore could never be consistently relied upon to keep possession and distribute the ball when it was fed to him in a central role. So Wenger tried to use him as best he could.

  5. You can say whatever you want about his scoring but it was not that great actually. Most of the time his overall play was really really bad. He had a season a few years ago where I thought he showed a lot of promise but then he keep playing like a mid table or top championship striker. It was like Walcott who have some moments but most of the time he is so bad.

    It was insane to give him 52k a week on his contract. Hopefully we only offer those kind of sums to actually good players on the team.

  6. I won’t forget his sliding goals and late goals. ranks him as the king of late goals. He is more of a threat in the box than Giroud. Injury rubbed him of many chances but his confidence and personal belief kept him on until he scores despite being played out of position.

    He may be annoying at times but his goals per starr ratio tells more. If given the chance he will score. This season he scored 2 League goals from 2 starts.

    Nevertheless, he has to go for his own sake. He will flourish.

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