The return of the Great Dane to Arsenal? Is Nicklas Bendtner coming home?

The Great Dane in happier times!
The Great Dane in happier times!

I enjoy giving young Gooner writers a platform, if they have a good idea and can write too, so a warm 1ND2OU welcome to William Sparks. A confident 17 year Arsenal fan from Glasgow hoping to come to London to be closer to his beloved Arsenal when he goes to University Known to many of you on twitter as @LittleWillAFC today Will has written a thought provoking piece on the self proclaimed ‘Great Dane,’ the one and only NB52…..

It was a cold wintery afternoon at The Emirates, and the game between fierce north London rivals Arsenal and Tottenham was deadlocked at 81 minutes into the game. Arsene Wenger, not renowned for his bold substitutions began to prepare one. The substitutes name was Nicklas Bendtner, an 18 year old Danish centre-forward purchased from Copenhagen in 2004. He made his way on to field, strode in to the box, leaped above Teemu Tainio like a salmon, and the resulting winner was written into Emirates folk lore for the rest of our Arsenal supporting lives.

In should have been the start of a love affair withe Gunner faithful.
It should have been the start of a love affair with the Gunner faithful.

Now, the scene I have tried to set in the opening paragraph makes it seem like I was introducing someone who was going on to become young world player of the year, unfortunately I wasn’t. I’m introducing Nicklas Bendtner, a player who is now 25, and currently on loan at Italian champions Juventus. He’s failed to score in any of the 9 games he’s played in at present and in December his season took an almighty blow as he got injured in a Serie A game against Calgari, and was ruled out for the rest of the season.

I’ve always thought Bendtner has had a future at Arsenal, I often sense in football that fans have that certain player that they have a soft spot for, and for no particular reason either. However, apart from this weird obsession I have for the clumsy Dane, I do happen to think he’s a massively talented striker. He really started to blossom towards the end of the season in 2010, a fantastic header away at Stoke and goals in the dying seconds against Hull and Wolves respectively put Bendtner in the spotlight, showing everyone what he could do when given the responsibility, and more importantly, when under a lot of pressure. He ended up with a final tally of 12 goals for the 09/10 season, which for me is very impressive for a player who was never first choice, and very impressive for a player who was injured for three months of that season as well. Indeed he only actually started 19 games in an Arsenal shirt that season with a further 10 appearances off the bench. He also weighed in with 6 assists. Ever since the end of that season I have remained convinced that Bendtner is a valid contender to play ‘number 9’ Arsenal.

When Bendtner was a teenager, he was getting the odd ten minutes here and there, and rightly so. Robin van. Persie, Emmanuel Adebayor, and Eduardo were three men he had to contend with at that point in time. But it’s the present in which I value his place in the Arsenal squad, when proper competition is scarce. Olivier Giroud is currently the first choice striker, and he’s a player that has divided opinion severely since his arrival. He has 17 goals and 10 assists in all competitions already. Most football fans I feel would look at those numbers and think they’re incredibly decent, considering it’s his first season in the division. But although his statistics are impressive, I’m one of many who sees Giroud as a very limited player…but why should he get a kicking from the fans if he’s all that we’ve got? When Bendtner was in the squad, he would get the odd start and often a substitute appearance because he was playing alongside strikers that were far better than him and provided much more for the team. Bendtner never received a considerable amount of abuse because he wasn’t in the spotlight as much, in my opinion. Unfortunately Olivier is in the spotlight as he’s the only option we have, and he’s missing big chances in big games which is only fueling fans frustration as the season draws to a close.


So far so good? Needs help?
So far so good? Needs help?

I have never seen the harm in giving a player a second chance if they want to make it work for themselves. It has worked with Tevez at Man City, bridges that were once burnt have now been rebuilt an all is fine and dandy when he’s in the team creating chances and scoring the odd screamer. I would have no objection, as a fan, to giving Bendtner another chance to prove himself at Arsenal again and he hasn’t yet refused a return to North London:

 “It’s difficult – I feel a lot of things for Arsenal, most good things. I left, not on bad terms but not on great terms,” Bendtner told Sky Sports.

Not only has Bendtner not ruled out a return, neither has Arsene Wenger. In an interview with The Daily Mirror in September 2012 Arsene was quoted saying the following things about Bendtner –

“I am convinced that at a team like Juventus, in a very difficult league, especially for strikers, he can make the final leap in quality.

“Don’t forget, he is a boy of 24 years. The right age to prove who he is.

“The talent is not missing; otherwise I would not have bought him from Copenhagen when he was just 16.”

We should also consider his international record which proudly shows 22 goals in 55 matched for Denmark. A goal ratio of 0.4 at international level is up there with the very best and he has scored many crucial goals taking his country to the last 2 major tournaments. However he has been asked to take a break from playing for Denmark for 6 months following his drink driving band to consider his future as an international footballer.

The Denmark Euro 2012 celebration that got him in trouble
The Denmark Euro 2012 celebration that got him in trouble

Putting all this evidence together and inserting my own opinion into the matter, I think Bendtner is due to return to Arsenal. He’s an enigma for sure, and there are attitude problems which need to be eradicated from his game pronto. In my honest opinion though, I think he’s equally as capable as Giroud is, and can be called upon especially when forwards receive injuries and the team has to be rotated. Fans often complain about lack of rotation and/or lack of options. Well we had one and decided to loan him out. To me having someone who’s scored 10 or more goals in a season twice in his career is a worthy option to when you’re so thin on the ground in the forward position. Let’s face it he even maanaged 8 golas and 5 assists in 28 games for a struggling Sunderland side last season. I think Giroud is a good option, but he should not be THE option. Nicklas Bendtner isn’t going necessarily about to turn us into title contenders, and he probably won’t score in a cup final either, but I’d see it as win-win situation for Bendtner to return in terms of squad depth and competition for places. If we get Stefan Jovetic, then it’ll be hard for Bendtner to return and make a huge impact, but with Arsene’s reluctance to spend big, is there any harm in doing so?

Follow me on Twitter if you get the chance @LittleWillAFC and thank you for reading!

Thanks William. Top stuff and serious food for thought I feel. Like him of not NB22 does have something in his locker and could he just be strutting that stuff back in N5 in 2013/14?? Time will tell but here is a reminder of how good he can be on his day:

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Thanks to B05 Videos.

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  1. wenger should bring bendtner back to emirate, in other to have option at offensive dept. If giroud happens to get injured now there will be no natural striker left for us to play.

  2. I think Nicklas Bendtner should be giving the chance once more ahead of Oliver Giroud who has more playing time before joining Arsenal but failed to convince us that he was the highest goal scorer for the french league last season. Bendtner got all it takes now.

  3. Bendtner isnt the best option to have, he doesnt want to wait for his turn on bench, and always remains vocal about either to be played or will leave. If we get someone better than Giroud, then we dont need him. But if we aint to buy any striker, then it is good to have Bendtner as an option. In my honest opinion, we need someone of Falcao/Cavani’s quality to improve the starting 11, which will automatically improve the bench.

  4. Bring back de Dan 4 we need him also he is an arsegunn so pls proff (arséne wenger) get him, he love’s us and we still love him. About £70m, spend it on peaple like (williams, valdes- if posible,wanyama, jiovetic and sagna replacement) the team will be fill with trophies. And we will still gain income from the sales of this 10 players (Djourue,santos, denielson,squilacile, chamarhk,sagna,park, frimpon,arshavin and fabianski). We also have new youngstar coming like(gnabry,cambpell, ryo,chuba akpom,bellarin and manymore). Thanks and god bless us. We are gona gun them down tommorow, i’m still dat faithful gunner,so(KEEP DE FAITH-GUNNER 4 LIFE). I believe in 2013/2014.

  5. A well written and balanced article. I agree with some of the points made but not all of them.. Bendnter has a huge chip on his shoulder and a very over inflated ego.. He has talent there is no denying that but his general attitude stinks… I can’t see him returning to Arsenal as he’s not widely loved by the fans, and I don’t really think he cares that much about the club… As for whether he better than Giroud well that’s difficult to answer as they have different styles, both are good in the air but Giroud’s movement is better off the ball and he holds play up well.. Both players are guilty of missing a lot of chances but if it were up to me I’d stick with Giroud as I believe he will improve more next season, that doesn’t mean he’s our answer for a central striker I’d still like to see Wenger bring in a prolific finisher (Jovetic) perhaps.. Bendnter has had his chances to shine at Arsenal and to prove himself, and balance I don’t think he deserves another one, afterall he did say last year that he’d played his last game for the club and wants to leave.. He’s been quite happy to see his contact run out and will not agree to any move until he can leave on a free transfer to line his own pockets with cash from a substantial signing on fee… No I’m sorry but I for one will be glad to see the back of him for good.

  6. in my own view the writer made so many good points but at the moment we need a classic striker to take us to land of promise, not that giroud is not trying.he is puting his best and is not too easy for some players to change from a league to another and stil be on their top form, so we have to ease the load out of his shoulder by buying a quality striker ( Jovetic,cavani)perhaps who can help giroud and also help our trophy drought next season, afterall we sold a classic striker like RVP=We have to replace him and if you take a løok on the richest club list we are 4th on the list, so we have the money and have to spend big to win big, you cant sow a mango and you will be expecting to reap an orange NO! it woun’t materialise.(.Am a gunner for now .

  7. Hi all, cheers for the comments, I think his attitude is a problem yes but I think when you AW at your disposal that can changed very quickly, he’s a master of judging personality. I think once the attitude problems have been eradicated he can flourish. Yes I agree we need another striker but that’s not the point my article in a sense, it’s just to reiterate that we need a variety to choose from if we are so called championship contenders. Bendtner used to shine in a team that was filled with world-class players and if we can recruit them… who’s to day he can’t do it again? He’s 25, and still got something to prove. Good discussion folks, cheers.

  8. he was very good as an impact sub and this season proved we should have got rid of arshavin and chamack and kept Nicholas for another season. he plays in a similar mould to giroud and would be a great backup allowing us to get a more agile forward

  9. I would be so glad to see NB52 back. He does need to keep quiet but i love his confidence. I love his sliding goals and late minute goals. AW didnt given him as much chance. He was even deployed as a winger. He is a 9 and is the best positioner i have seen in Arsenal in recent times. I pray he comes back. I love him.

  10. I have always had a soft spot for Bendtner. Don’t know why. Maybe I like that he has an inflated ego. So does Jack, but we all love him. You need that to be the best in football, look at Ronaldo. Nick has all of the attributes of Giroud but even better! He makes smarter runs, is faster, has a better shot with both feet, and not to mention while he was at Arsenal he was the best crosser of the ball we had! I don’t know why people don’t see that, it even shows in his highlights above. Every ball he put in the box was dangerous. (btw Sagna’s crossing is so so so poor it makes me want to kill myself). I don’t think Giroud even knows how to curl a ball, not even in France did he do that, and Nick certainly can. I just wish that Nick was our lone striker this year instead of the Frenchman, so that Arsenal fans worldwide could finally see what 52’s made of.

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