All of the talk ahead of Liverpool’s match against Manchester United and Arsenal’s match against West Brom last night centred around the returns of Liverpool forward Luis Suarez and Arsenal’s Nicklas Bendtner.
Both strikers slotted straight into the starting line-ups for their clubs in the League Cup clashes, both with different aims, ambitions and importance to their respective side.
Suarez looked sharp and in good shape as he tried to help Liverpool to a win over Manchester United.
He behaved himself and there were typical Suarez characteristics on display throughout the match as the forward did his best to turn and make his dynamic, quick runs at the opposition back four.
Ultimately it would have been a disappointing night at the office for Suarez because Liverpool lost the match and he wasn’t able to do anything about it but at times he looked as though he’s never been away from the team.
Bendtner’s performance for the Gunners was different because he was coming back into the side after a very long time of questioning whether he even had a future at the club.
The aim for the Danish striker would have simply been to prove that he’s fit and prove that he can do a job for the club if Olivier Giroud picks up a bad injury or a suspension before Arsenal have a chance to sign reinforcements.
There were serious question marks over whether Bendtner would even have the fitness to play any role for the Gunners over the early part of the season so 120 minutes of solid football will do him the world of good.
In terms of his display, he was fine in terms of passing and linking up with his Arsenal teammates but he didn’t have that sparkle up front, which would have turned his comeback into something that could have been compared to when Thierry Henry came back to the club.
He did a competent job and further training and competitive action will only see his match sharpness and his threat increase.
Suarez clearly had the more impressive comeback because there were times at Old Trafford when he was all over Manchester United like a rash. However, Bendtner put in a respectable shift and showed glimpses he can be a very sensible and efficient selection for Arsenal over the rest of the season.
What did you make of each comeback?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald