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Did Nicklas Bendtner really 'demand' showdown talks?

On one of the most significant days of Arsenal’s modern history, one player has unfathomably done his best to rock the apple cart. Or so the Daily Mirror would have you believe.

Before the ink on Arsene Wenger’s new 3-year contract had dried, promising teenage forward Nicklas Bendtner has supposedly revealed his dismay at being excluded from the Gunners’ 16-man squad for Sunday’s win over Portsmouth.

In a move reminiscent of Robin van Perise’s first few months at the club, Danish dangerman Bendtner is quoted as saying in today’s Daily Mirror:

“"I didn't get any explanation. I don't know why he did that and I'll demand to know why and have a talk with Arsene Wenger when I get back. But what is said will stay between us.".

When Van Persie first arrived at Highbury a few years back, it was later revealed compatriot Dennis Bergkamp had to take Robin aside and have a quiet word in his ear about waiting for his chance. It would have been detrimental to his chances at Arsenal to demand more first-team action so soon. After all, Arsene knows. Best.

Three years on and the talented Dutchman is now charged with being the focal point of the Arsenal forward-line. Worth the wait Robin? I bet.

Now we have the Mirror informing us Bendtner is treading the same perilous path as Van Persie.

But read the quotes again.

Written another way, these quotes may have been used to file a story with the heading:

“Bendtner to keep Pompey exclusion reasoning in-house.”

And we are not sure which language he spoke in. If it was his native tongue, Danish, the word ‘demand’ may easily have actually been ‘ask.’

Having had the privilege to interview the undoubtedly talented striker during the 2005-06 campaign, I can confirm Bendtner is a very likeable, charming young man.

Willing to work hard for his place and a real striking talent. Comfortable shooting with either foot, dominating in the air and possessing a deceiving turn of pace, he may yet force his way into the starting eleven when Emmanuel Adebayor departs for the African Cup of Nations in the new year.

And Bendtner is smart enough to know that. So it seems highly unlikely he would be contemplating issuing vociferous ultimatums. An explanation certainly. But a “play me or I’m off” stance? I doubt it.

I would hazard a guess that this story is nothing more than a feeble attempt to rock the boat at Emirates Stadium.

The trouble is, for all you Arsenal haters, try as you might, with Wenger at the healm for another three years at least, it’ll require far more than this to knock our ship of course.


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Posted by Mo Khan on September 7, 2007 in Players | Permalink

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