So Nicklas Bendtner made his comeback for Arsenal yesterday, and he showed us everything that the big Dane is all about with an often frustrating, mercurial performance which was also laced with a brief moment of class - in essence, the story of Bendtner’s career.
First of all there was his samurai barnet, which has got plenty of stick on Twitter. He is also still carrying a few extra pounds - appearance wise he appeared to be below par still.
Then he ran into a post, and of course there was his miss later in the game. But in between it all there was a delightful incisive pass for Thomas Eisfeld on top of his cool penalty finish in the shoot-out - overall, the Dane will not be disappointed.
But what have the Danish news been making of his return. For all of Bendtner’s troubles, until recently he was still the starting striker for his country. With that in mind the Danish press was always fairly sympathetic to his situation at Arsenal and Juventus - until he drunk-drove down the wrong side of a motorway in Copenhagen (allegedly).
Since then support in Denmark has cooled, so his return to action in London was always going to be intriguing.
First of all, the reaction to him even playing made for good reading. Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet stated:
‘’Pigs can fly. Hell has frozen over. Bendtner in the starting line-up for Arsenal.
If you had to guess which of these three postulates were true, the last probably been scrapped first by process of elimination.
Nevertheless, it is the plain truth that the Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner starts for the Arsenal in tonight's cup match against West Bromwich in the so-called 'small cup' Capitol One Cup.’’
But they went on to add after the game:
‘’Bendtner … it was clear that he was not quite sharp today, but Wenger should be well pleased with the Dane's efforts.’’
In another publication, Jyllands Posten, they also saw no reason for criticism:
‘Nicklas Bendtner had a fine comeback for Arsenal in his first game for the London club since August 2011. The Dane was also responsible for a great assist when Arsenal took a 1-0 lead after 61 minutes. Bendtner handed over to the offensive midfielder Thomas Eisfeld, who coolly beat West Brom goalkeeper Luke Daniels.
Before that Bendtner showed both fine ball control and ability to distribute the game as the leading striker who often made himself playable in midfield…Bendtner appeared to be in excellent physical shape, and Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave him all 120 minutes of the match.’
Meanwhile BT dedicated a full picture gallery on their website to the Danish striker’s return, with the title ‘Bendtner reborn in Arsenal win’
And they had this to say of his performance:
’Bendtner impressed after two difficult years since his last game in the Arsenal jersey.’
What did you make of Bendtner’s return to action?