Arsenal Man of the Match: Nicklas Bendtner

Jamie McDonald

The Greatest Striker That Ever Lived strikes again.

To be clear, I don't really like Nicklas Bendtner. He's a bit of a joke, from his famously inhuman confidence to his samurai haircut to his "don't you know who I am?" pizza trip. He's also done some things that go past being funny into just being bad - drunk driving, fights, and the like. I don't know him, I don't know the problems he has, I don't know how hard he tries to be better. But it's easy to see why a lot of people don't like him, and why a lot of people really don't want him here anymore.

But here he is. And if he's going to be here, he might as well play occasionally, when his training earns him the chance.

He has come back and worked hard in training...When he has that type of attitude and commitment it shows that he has the qualities. Much depends on his commitment and fitness. He has worked hard recently but when he is physically sharp he can compete with anybody.

That's Arsene Wenger after the game yesterday. And that's something people seem to forget about Bendtner. The whole "Greatest Striker Who Ever Lived" thing is a joke based on his 10-out-of-9 confidence test, but he's got talent. He has ability. He can score goals - he's higher on the list of current Arsenal goalscorers than you might expect, or want.

And when he's got his head on right, he can put together a competent backup's performance. He can score a good goal to get the match started out the right way. He can work within a team and hold up play and provide for the rest of the attacking force. He's not going to be perfect. He's not going to be great. But in terms of his ability to help this team, Nicklas Bendtner is not done, not until he's been replaced. Yesterday can and should be the norm for him, not the exception.

Nicklas Bendtner is not the greatest striker in the world. But yesterday, he did his job, and he did it well. As he left the game with a quarter hour left, he was cheered by the fans. Considering what a lot of people were expecting when he was announced as starter, that's a pretty damn good performance.

No, this isn't a joke. Well, not entirely.

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