Nicklas Bendtner is a strange footballer. He possesses the ability as a striker to score goals but seemingly doesn’t want to put the effort in to fulfill that promise, a story we’ve heard so many times before.
It is sad to see a talent go to waste but sometimes it is completely down to luck, injuries take their tolls, personal problems; but with Bendtner it is seemingly down to his work ethic or lack of.
In his early years at Arsenal he was always praised heavily by the man who brought him to the club, manager Arsene Wenger, who believed he could be a success at Arsenal Football club by learning from the likes of Thierry Henry and Dennis Bergkamp.
In the past he has come up with important goals for his team, with Arsenal in 08/09 he scored 18 goals and the very next season he followed it up with 14 goals, the majority of which came from the bench. In that season he got some vital goals for the Gunners while their main striker Robin van Persie was out with a long-term ankle injury.
Arsenal fans will be kidding themselves if they believed he had never really contributed to the team, they will remember fondly a winning goal he scored in the North London Derby with his first touch after joining the game only seconds earlier.
All of this makes his current attitude all the more puzzling because clearly Wenger believes that he can contribute to the team this season, pictures that have emerged in the last few days show Bendtner looking very out of shape and obviously not ready to take the field.
Even though his behaviour frustrates I’ve always believed, as an Arsenal fan, that he can be an important part of the squad. At one time he could have provided something different to a game, if the famous Wenger passing game wasn't coming off, his height and heading ability could cause problems, but now he can be there as an alternative to Olivier Giroud.
He has an opportunity in front of him to win his way back into the Arsenal squad and surprise a few people who have written him off, you could call it his last chance. As a professional footballer if he is not motivated by that challenge then he may as well consider a career move.
I, for one, hope he succeeds and repays Wenger’s faith in him.
Do you think Bendtner can have an impact this season? Let us know your thoughts?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald