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Arsenal Player Season Review: Nicklas Bendtner

Odd method of control, Nicklas.
Odd method of control, Nicklas.

The Short Fuse's season review continues with wantaway, off the scale self opinionated Danish striker, Nicklas Bendtner

If Nicklas Bendtner was as good as he says he is, he likely wouldn't be leaving Arsenal. That, however, is the problem: Right now, he isn't as good as he says, and despite bags of potential and international pedigree, he still misses far too many chances to be effective. In 2009-10, when Bendtner was very useful at the end of the season, it is perhaps notable that Arsenal created less when he was in the team, because his movement was so static, and also, when Arsenal became blocked off, provoked the long ball into the box. Arsenal really needs their forward players to be fluid in movement, and that is a likely reason for Bendtner being shifted out wide this season.

Being played out wide, however, affected Bendtner's ability to contribute. Even more mind-boggling was that, instead of being played on the left, where he showed a good ability to cut in and score goals, he was instead played wide right. While Bendtner may have a narcissistic ego, he always put in a shift while being deployed out wide, while other players may have not done so. When Bendtner did play, it was increasingly in cup games and desperate sub appearances, though he did start against Sunderland (where he was unlucky not to score) and bagged a hattrick against Leyton Orient. Perhaps, though, it is his two sub appearances against Barcelona that sum up his Arsenal career. In the first leg, he played a brilliant pass to Wilshere, facilitating the move that lead to Andrey Arshavin's winner. It was Bendtner all over: unpredictable, but brilliant when it comes off. On the other hand, his crucial miss/whiff in the 2nd leg, where putting a stud onto Jack Wilshere's through ball would've seen Arsenal deservedly through also defines him: missing a chance that a better striker would put away.

Ultimately, I believe Bendtner will become a good striker in a major European league (hello Serie A and La Liga). I don't, however, envision it happening at Arsenal, even if he ends up staying the summer.

Grade: C