Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger thinks Nicklas Bendtner is now a reliable striker at the Emirates Stadium.
And, whilst it’s usually hard to disagree with the tactical mastermind, I’m going to have to take issue with this outrageous claim.
"I told him 'if you work hard you will get a chance' and at some stage [Olivier] Giroud needs a breather as well. It's good to see that we can rely on him and he can come up with a performance,” the Frenchman cooed to the club's official website following his side’s 2-0 win over Hull.
Bendtner scored the opening goal inside 90 seconds for the Gunners last night – but it doesn’t make him ‘reliable’. Here’s why…
1. His off-field record
It’s a well-known fact that Bendtner is a bit mental.
The Dane was thrown out of his national team for six-months after committing drink-driving offences whilst at Juventus, with manager Morten Olsen describing it as ‘the last straw’. He was also arrested on suspicion of criminal damage a fortnight ago.
Is this the mark of a reliable striker?
2. ‘Too good’ for Arsenal
It’s fair to say that Bendtner rates himself as a striker. It’s sometimes hard to know if he’s joking when he says he should be playing for the likes of Barcelona or Real Madrid.
Whilst confidence is important, it’s clear that the Dane over-rates himself. And, he has little care for the club, stating on numerous occasions that he wants to leave.
I’m not saying you have to be Arsenal born-and-bred or a big fan, but some sort of relationship with the club is important.
3. His on-field record
This is probably the most important of all the points. He’s just not that good.
Bendtner has 23 Premier League goals in 103 appearances for the club. Slightly better than a goal every five games. Take out the odd League Cup hat-trick, and he’s looking pretty average.
4. Effort & Respect
Football fans are many things, but they are not stupid. They know when a player is not putting in the effort.
If a player doesn’t give 100% in a match, it can be forgiven if they make up for it. Unfortunately, the Dane has never made up for his lacklustre performances. It’s a lack of respect for the fans, more than anything.
How many chances does one player get?
5. His Hair
Do I need to say anything else? Someone should tell Bendtner that ‘The Last Samurai’ was filmed years ago, and that Tom Cruise got the lead role.