[By our Readers] Bendtner, a deep analysis from a Danish point of view
Written by Chris on February 25, 2009 14:30
Nicklas Bendtner is a flamboyant young man. But in between clashes with teammates, claims of superiority to adversaries and frankly indifferent, stylish deviation, he’s somehow failed to make a significant impression on the Arsenal faithful as well as the British media. That is, in any case, an impression sufficient for the gooners to lay off him and accept him as a Gunner. But why is it that this particular fella, who’s only really been around for a year and a half, repeatedly lands himself waves of criticism? I’ve tried to sum up some of the elements, I feel are the cornerstones of his hitherto failure.
The Arsenal youth system
As is widely established, the Arsenal youth system is more than just a kindergarten for young-and-hopefuls. The mentality of the youth ranks is therefore essentially that most, if not all, young guns go through it to establish themselves as an asset, before automatically taking the big step up to first team football (well, by and large). Hence, one cannot blame the kid for expecting the ambience of a first team place when called upon for first team action. Whether it then be ill-informed struggle or plain old smugness on his part, that leads him straight into unlucky situations, is anyone’s guess, really. Let’s sincerely hope it’s the first, though.
As gaffer for a top flight team, who’s youth system is renowned for above mentioned reasons, Wenger naturally has to speak highly of his kids. There’s no reason to or precedent for a manager criticizing the mickey out of his youngsters before they have even launched their professional career, so that’s that and no misgivings there. However; one thing that might’ve contributed to Nick’s unusually high level of seemingly unaccountable self-importance might then be the perpetual appraisals from the club’s coaches, particularly Wenger, even in times, when his erratic dispositions are obvious to everybody else. Where Wenger might not have indicated these approvals in actual phrases in the media, he certainly has in shape of minutes given on the field. Lately, though, he finally seems to have concluded that Nick’s had a fair amount of chances to prove his point and that he has to raise his game in order to endure further criticism. Whether this vague warning can invigorate some genuine effort/progress in the young Dane remains to be proven.
Nothing major there. Just plain ol’ incompetence. It doesn’t to be lack of trying; the kid just lacks the most rudimentary touches and dribbles, often makes the wrong choice (even in unstressed situations) and frankly isn’t as prolific in the air, as one would expect of a player dealing with aforementioned deficits and who must therefore primarily rely on his physical contours. Simply not English top-flight material.
Situation in Denmark
This may well be the key component in Bendtner’s misjudgments. From the very instant the boy lands in his native Denmark, he’s being treated and hailed as Danish football long awaited Messiah. The media are all over him and he simply does not seem to be able to make a wrong move, when playing for a national side, who’s standards have been remarkably low in recent years. To his credit, though, it must be said that he inexplicably doesn’t play all too bad for Denmark. For all his efforts, he’s scored a couple of goals and is usually among the better performers of the team. Even so, the media are relentless in their applauds of him, which naturally entails a significant call for playing time when staying at his club.
As such, you’re positive to find that the headline of any Arsenal-related news will involve “Bendtner” and his angle on the game, regardless of how indifferent he was to the game. The epitome of this bigoted media biasing appeared shortly after the Cardiff victory: In a game after which the entire world came together to congratulate Eduardo Da Silva for his excellent comeback, and where Bendtner scored an easy goal only to make a complete fool of himself afterwards, the acclaimed Danish website www.bold.dk flashed the headline “Bendtner hits nail in Cardiff coffin” (“Bendtner bankede søm i Cardiff-kiste”). And just today (24th of February) the great Peter Schmeichel said that he “(..) enjoys watching him [Bendtner] play” and that “he’s becoming more accustomed to the game and more confident on the ball”**. Honestly, is he watching the same games as the rest of the world??
No wonder the boy’s viewings and declarations are deluded; he’s like the kid, whom the teachers tell is no good at maths, but still acts like he is, because his parents falsely convince him so when at home.
Let me finish off by saying that this isn’t a churlish move to chop down the young lad in order to redeem the club from recent times dismal displays. This is simply an attempt to explain how I see the whole situation gone wrong. I appreciate his struggles and the goals, he brings to the club when being substituted now and again, but I do not feel he’s a player we should stick on to, rather sell him in the summer break at latest. He’s not cut out for the Premier League, and really ought to pursue his footballing happiness elsewhere.