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Nicklas Bendtner - is the Arsenal striker a great Dane or a lame donkey?
Published : 11 Mar 2010 01:27:24Rss feed
Will the real Nicklas Bendtner please stand up? Criticised for missing a shedload of chances against Burnley, the Denmark striker then hit his first ever hat-trick to see off Porto in the Champions League. Donkey or a delight? Sportsmail's resident Gooner MIKE BRETON makes a case for bullish blond... Nicklas Bendtner has every ingredient to be a top-class striker. At 6ft 4in, he offers Arsenal something different. Arsene Wenger has tippy-tappy ball players in abundance, but nothing like the Denmark international. Perfect response: Nicklas Bendtner hit back at his critics with a hat-trick against Porto The 22-year-old offers an aerial presence which can be used in bothboxes, but also has wonderful feet and blistering pace to get in behindthe oppositions defence. Very similar to Barcelona striker ZlatanIbrahimovic, who is constantly criticised and loathed by fans. From Sol Campbell's Judas chants to Luis Figo's severed pig's head - Sportsmail remembers the returning starsArsenal are Fab without Cesc! We're no one-man team, blasts Sagna after rompThe good, the bad and the ugly: Nicklas Bendtner's five years at Arsenal ticks all the right and wrong boxes...Bring it on! Wenger eyeing Chelsea or Manchester United after Bendtner blitz Among Arsenal supporters, Bendtner is like Marmite. You either love himor you hate him. I was at the Arsenal game against Burnley and therewere plenty of home fans getting on his back. I heard cries of, 'you'rerubbish' and, 'I'm better than Bendtner'. And they were the printableones. But the majority of the Emirates faithful applauded the young striker when he was replaced by Eduardo and sang his name. It was nice to see because last season the reaction might not have been so positive. Maybe the support and love he received from the fans was his inspiration to score a hat-trick against Porto. But confidence is something Bendtner does not lack. Many have criticised him for being cocky, inconsistent and lacking the talent to back up claims of being one of the leading strikers in Europe. But, is it a bad thing for a striker to have arrogance and confidence? I think back to Eric Cantona and Thierry Henry, two strikers who hadconfidence and arrogance in abundance - and scored goals for fun. No mistake: Bendtner scores his second goal from close range against Porto I also think back to Henry when he first joined Arsenal from Juventus in 1999. He failed to score in his first eight matches and people questioned Wenger's judgement. Not for one second am I saying that the Dane will be the new Henry, I'm simply pointing out that young strikers take time and experience before they score goals on a regular basis. Wayne Rooney for instance has always been seen as a top-class player, but was always criticised for not scoring enough goals. Horror show: Bendtner was guilty of several glaring misses against Burnley at the weekend The same could be said about Bendtner. Like Rooney he has often played out of position as a winger and been prepared to do a job for the team. But since returning from a four-month absence due to a groin injury, Bendtner has played as a central striker like the United man and scored four goals in six matches. Some people would argue that he still missed three gilt-edged chances against Burnley, but in 5-0 drubbing of Porto, Bendtner had four shots on goal and scored three goals. That's a shooting accuracy of 80 per cent. Prolific, right? From Sol Campbell's Judas chants to Luis Figo's severed pig's head - Sportsmail remembers the returning starsArsenal are Fab without Cesc! We're no one-man team, blasts Sagna after rompThe good, the bad and the ugly: Nicklas Bendtner's five years at Arsenal ticks all the right and wrong boxes...Bring it on! Wenger eyeing Chelsea or Manchester United after Bendtner blitz
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