Nicklas Bendtner tells the story of when he told Thierry Henry to shut up in training

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Nicklas Bendtner is something of a cult hero among Arsenal fans. 

It probably helps that they no longer have to actually watch him play, but he always enjoyed a greater level of popularity than his abilities really earned him. 

The Dane scored 24 league goals in 108 games. 

However, his CV since leaving north London is made up of a mishmash of different clubs, from Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest, to his current employers F.C. Copenhagen. 

Hardly befitting of a man who once said he was one of the "best strikers in the world". 

Yet it was that swagger, that defiant faith in his own talent that endeared him to Gunners fans. 

Unsurprisingly, it wasn't met with the same fondness behind the scenes on the training ground. 

In his new book, he recalls how as an Academy player, coaches threatened to cancel his contract because they felt he was a little too big for his boots. 

Bendtner has recalled the incident in an extract in The Guardian when he confronted Thierry Henry for taking too many touches in a game in training - but how Henry later inspired him with his response. He explained: 

"During one session we are playing 11 v 11 with a maximum of two touches at a time. I am standing in a position to see Thierry Henry touching it three times. 'Three touches,' I shout. Wenger’s assistant, Pat Rice, shouts back: 'Play on, for f***’s sake!'

Arsenal Training

"But Henry has heard me. He turns in my direction and puts his finger over his lips: 'Sssssssh.'

"Shortly afterwards I do the same. The ball touches my heel, and then my toe before I pass it on. It is one movement but the academy player gets a free-kick against him.

"Of course I do. I don’t think. I just start complaining, big time. I say it should be the same for everyone.

"Henry tells me to shut up, this time with a lot of swear words included. And in hindsight it is good advice. But I am not taking it on. I shout back that he is the one who should shut up.

"He runs in my direction, confronts me, yells into my face, says all kinds of things. He totally ignores the fact that the game is going on around us. Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell get involved: 'Carry on, Nicklas, keep on running and shut your mouth.'

Arsenal  Training Session

"And I do. I become unusually calm. That is what happens if one of the best forwards in the world stands there and shouts at you." 

If anything, it probably benefited Bendtner to be put in his place by the most respected player at the club - but that wasn't the end of it. 

"After training Henry comes after me. We start talking, first in the dressing room and then in the players’ lounge.

"It is a two‑hour soliloquy about everything that is needed to get to where one wants to get. For me it is an honour. It is nice of him and not something he had to do. I soak everything up and it ends with us hugging each other."

Henry was a class act on and off the field, it seems. 

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