Football

Nicklas Bendtner confirms worst fears for Arsenal

Bendtner - Nothing to laugh about. (©GettyImages)
Bendtner - Nothing to laugh about. (©GettyImages).

Arsenal's inability to sign a striker in the summer transfer window hadn't been a problem, until last night.

When the transfer window slammed shut on 3rd September, Arsenal fans could not have been happier.

In Mesut Ozil, Arsene Wenger had signed one of the world's most talented footballers and fans were delighted to see some of the cash reserves finally reinvested in to the team.

However, for the visionary fans, there was a mixed bag of emotions. Although Ozil was a significant signing for the Gunners, Wenger's failure to bring in an established striker left the squad over-reliant on Olivier Giroud.

Thanks to some fine form from the French striker and the goal scoring prowess of Aaron Ramsey, the lack of alternative options up front has been masked over in the opening games of the season.

But last night against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup, Arsenal fans got a glimpse of their worst nightmare - Nicklas Bendtner playing up front.

Giroud has played out of his skin for Arsenal in the Premier League and Champions League and required a rest. The fourth round tie against the Blues was ample opportunity to do so.

Unfortunately that meant Wenger was left with no other option but to play Bendtner up front in only his second start in two years for the Gunners.

Far from being the revitalised, reformed, refocused figure some are claiming him to be, he cut the shape of an out-of-sorts footballer, lacking in confidence amongst many, many other things.

Years of poor attitude has seen the Dane make very little progress since his promising days as a young teenager, leaving him mid-twenties and not good enough for a top four Premier League club.

He may one day fulfil his potential, but that day won't come in an Arsenal shirt.

The fans have no patience for the man who vowed never to return to Arsenal and that is exactly what Bendtner needs. He has played very little football over the last two years and lacks match-fitness.

The scary thing is, one injury to Giroud and he'll be Arsenal's spearhead in attack.

His performance last night was so underwhelming that the Emirates cheered and jeered in equal measure when he was replaced by Giroud - brought on to pick up the pieces.

Soon after coming on, Giroud did something Bendtner couldn't do in an hour of play - get a shot on target.

Giroud has been a talisman up front for Arsenal this season and has been exceptional at holding up play and roughing up defenders for the midfield to take advantage.

There is nothing dominant about Bendtner's presence on the field - his hairband pays homage to that.

Bendtner is not the striker of a title challenging side and if Wenger is forced to play him up front for a spell, Arsenal's place at the top of the Premier League will soon be a distant memory.

Arsenal fans will be hoping that last night was just a glimpse of what Arsenal could be - exceptionally blunt in attack. As long as Giroud stays fit, they should be fine but Wenger should wrap him up in cotton wool until he has a chance to sign some meaningful back up in January.

Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
Nicklas Bendtner

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