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Arsenal Duo Sign New Deals and Bendtner Confirms Departure

Despite all the doom and gloom that crept into the world of Arsenal after a disappointing loss to Stoke, some off the pitch proceedings have brought smiles back to the faces of Arsenal fans worldwide.

Unless you’re living under a rock with no access to Internet, colored TV or any social media platform, you must have heard that the Gunners have handed new long term contracts to two influential players, Tomas Rosicky and Per Mertesacker.

Shortly after both players put pen to paper, the club released this statement,

We are delighted that Mertesacker and Rosicky have committed their futures to the Club. They are players of exceptional quality and experience, and have consistently proven themselves at the highest level. There is a great feeling of togetherness and belief in the group and this news will only help to strengthen this further.”

With the way things are going with the Bacary Sagna contract situation, the Arsenal hierarchy were mindful of avoiding another scenario of that nature, so it was paramount that they secured the long term futures of valuable assets such as this pair.

Tomas Rosicky has been at Arsenal longer than I can remember. Arsenal was smart enough to sign him just before the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the Gunners licked their lips as they watched Little Mozart decimate defenses in the soccer fiesta with his sleek style of play, wonderful passing range and one hell of a thunderbolt from his right foot.

It didn’t take him long to announce himself to the Emirates faithful with a surface to goal missile against Hamburg SV. Rosicky rose to prominence in the 2007/08 season when he was part of that midfield quartet that almost won the Premier League. A nasty knee injury robbed Arsenal off his services for the best part of 18 months and on his return to full fitness, he suffered a couple of niggling injuries here and there.

With his advancing years, Rosicky had a renaissance in the 2011/12 season where he replaced an Aaron Ramsey struggling for form, fitness and confidence. Rosicky played a similar role last season and he has endeared himself to the fans in more ways than one.

I and many other Arsenal fans out there (especially Austin Onono) will be happy to know that Rosicky will continue to grace the Emirates for a couple of more years. Some may say he’s 33, I know he’s ageless.

Per Mertesacker on the hand arrived as a “panic buy” following the 8-2 capitulation in the hands of Manchester United. The Big Friendly Giant is ridiculed for his lack of pace and agility but he made up for it with his intelligence, height, composure, coordination and ability to read the game superbly.

Alongside Laurent Koscielny, both players have forged a strong understanding and their joint attributes have made them impregnable and indispensable, even to the extent where the club captain can’t even command a first team berth.

Rosicky, 33, and Mertesacker, 29, have donned the captain’s armband for their nations on several occasions and even at club level from time to time. Having these leaders on the pitch for a long time would have a positive influence on the team, especially their advancing ages.

I wish both players all the best in their future endeavors with the club.

While Rosicky and Mertesacker would be basking in the euphoria of extending their futures with the club, the same cannot be said for Nicklas Bendtner that has suddenly found himself out of favor again.

As expected, the outspoken Dane was quick to voice his concerns,

I’m not going to stay at Arsenal – first team football is what I’m after. 

The plan is for me to move on. I’m ready for a new challenge. I know of the conditions.

To keep my spot I need to play regularly. My self-esteem and my confidence as a footballer has not changed, but there are many who think all I do is party. 

That I am completely indifferent to football, and it’s the wrong version of reality.

When I find my right club, I am sure that everything will be all right in itself, if there are no more injuries.”

The tale between Bendtner and Arsenal took a twist when Arsene Wenger offered him a chance to return to the team after he had declared that he wasn’t going to play for the club. With his Samurai looks, ponytail and the awkward looking beards, the fans saw a player that looked like a ‘new signing’ and he did pretty well against West Bromwich in the Capital One Cup.

After a couple of substitute appearances, Bendtner had a rear start against Hull City and scored a neat header from a Carl Jenkinson cross. Bendtner won a place in the hearts of the fans when he scored that vital late goal against Cardiff but injury hampered his chances of getting a consistent run of games.

Since his return to full fitness, he has seen his Giroud deputy role occupied by Yahaya Sanogo and after seeing the young lad get a rear start ahead of him in the FA Cup clash with Liverpool, Bendtner’s fears of losing his place we’re realised when Sanogo was favored ahead of him in the vital clash against Bayern Munich.

With the Gunners trailing against Stoke, Wenger had already thrown Mesut Ozil and the Ox into the fray, so his last throw of the dice was either Sanogo or Bendtner, and we all know who he brought on.

As my buddie, Bhydemi Brainz stated,

“Why give confidence to a player who would probably  end up in another club this simmer when you can give confidence to someone who has a future with us?”

The nail has been driven into the coffin of Bendtner’s career with Arsenal and as a free agent, a player of his ‘talents’ would be used elsewhere. He’s a decent striker that could do well in another club that gives him regular game time but that club would not be Arsenal.

Sayonara 

Thoughts on Bendtner’s Outburst over Blocked Summer Departure

Bendtner in action against West Brom

It has been a somewhat tumultuous season thus far for Arsenal’s back-up striker, Nicklas Bendtner. His shenanigans in the past put him on the bad books of Arsenal fans but his loan spells to Sunderland and Juventus proved unsuccessful as both sides failed to retain his services.

At the Stadium of Light under the tutelage of Martin O’Neill, Bendtner was given a lot of game time and managed to score eight goals in 30 appearances for the Black Cats but his spell at Juventus was marred by his drunk-driving incident, complaints of how he had gained some weight and some niggling injury problems.

With Arsenal clearing out its deadwood in grand style this summer, many had tipped Bendtner to join the exodus as it’s was glaring from the fans that they would be glad to see the back of him but a protracted move to Eintratcht Frankfurt proved fruitless as the German outfit couldn’t match or better his current 52,000 pounds per week contract so they pulled the plug.

Hull City also declared their interest but nothing concrete sufficed. On Transfer Deadline Day, Bendtner was subject to a potential move to newbies, Crystal Palace, with Ian Holloway declaring his interest for the Dame and with Arsenal keen on securing the services of Demba Ba, albeit temporarily, Wenger had given his blessing for the move. However, Jose Mourinho’s reluctance to “strengthen a rival” ensured that the move for Ba fell through so Arsenal was forced to withdraw Crystal Palace’s offer for Bendtner.

When it was widely publicized that Bendtner was going to make his first Arsenal start in two years against West Brom in the Capital One Cup, he spoke about his “new challenge” and how he was going to give his all to the fans. An assist to Thomas Eisfeld as well as converting Arsenal’s first spot kick was a decent return and the fans had to make do with the Dane, till January at least.

More substitute appearances in the Premier League was followed with another start against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup but in all honesty, Bendtner’s contributions have been infinitesimal. The Dane was brought on for an ineffectual Santi Cazorla in Old Trafford and he didn’t do half bad and he would have achieved a hero status if he managed to latch unto Sagna’s peach of a cross to salvage a draw but that didn’t happen.

Following some more vitriol and abuse from fans on Twitter, Bendtner recently stated that he’s extremely disappointed that his move to Crystal Palace was blocked by Arsene Wenger. Bendtner stated that he’s preyed by the fans and he also spoke about his dissatisfaction of being demoted to the Reserves by the manager, before things changed for the better when the Ba move couldn’t come to fruition.

In my honest opinion, Bendtner must be out of his mind for these recent quotes and I hope he’s shown the exit door this January for peanuts with a world class striker purchased in his stead.

In a time when the team is gelling on and off the pitch showing signs of togetherness, Bendtner pops up and decides to open up healed wounds of the summer, like his quotes were going to change anything at the moment.

He speaks so arrogantly about top clubs coming for him this summer and all his “class” could muster were potential moves to Frankfurt, Hull and Crystal Palace. Marouane Chamakh, Andre Santos and Denilson all agreed for their contracts to be mutually terminated in their bids to save what was left of their dwindling footballing careers but Bendtner chose to sit on his fat salary rather than securing a move to Frankfurt.

His ego and over-confidence has always been an issue for the Dane and it’s really pathetic to see that he can’t even back it up on the pitch. Bendtner is not as bad as the fans think he is but he’s not also as good as he think he is.

With the winter transfer window just a month away, I really hope that Arsenal would delve into the market to sign a quality striker to support Olivier Giroud, because Nicklas Bendtner isn’t the man for the job.

Sayonara.

But I need to keep me strong, I begin to listen or even believe in them, I can quickly force myself into a black hole. “Right now I’m the easy prey to them because I want to get away from the club, and Arsenal do not want to keep me. And these haters – they always choose the easy option. Basically, it is unfair to pig me when I had my club transfer in place in the summer and Wenger told me to be.” “When I had been at the club since I was 16, I found it totally ridiculous that they had placed me in the reserves and let me train by myself,”. “Suddenly everything was back to normal: I trained with the first team, I hung out with the first team, I had a dietician again. From being completely out to be completely with it again. “I had it all in place, there were three clubs who were just waiting for me to say yes to one of them. “It was not the mindset I had [to stay at Arsenal]. I was incredibly disappointed when he [Wenger] called because I was ready to move on. And I actually did not think that they wanted to keep me.”

Nicklas Bendtner: Reasons Why He Deserves Another Chance at Arsenal

The story of Nicklas Bendtner and Arsenal goes all the way back to 2005, when the Gunners snapped up a talented youngster from the youth academy of FC Copenhagen. After making only three League Cup appearances in his first season with the club, the Gunners offered him a chance to continue his footballing education in Birmingham City, where he shined like a star, scoring 13 goals in 42 appearances.

On his return to the club in 2007, Bendtner found himself at the fringes due to the fact that he was way behind the pecking order in attack as the Gunners had Emmanuel Adebayor, Robin van Persie and Eduardo da Silva that suffered a horrific career-threatening injury in the second half of that season. In subsequent campaigns, he featured in Cup ties as well as some league fixtures but his big break arrived in the 2009/10 campaign, when the red-hot Robin van Persie was sidelined for a lengthy spell. Bendtner hit double figures that season, as he did in the year before.

With the striker not satisfied with hardly playing and actually playing out of position anytime he was on the pitch, so his relationship with the club became strained and when he managed to secure a move to Sunderland, he expressed his desire to never play for Arsenal again. A permanent move failed to materialize and he didn’t do any better in his second loan stint with Juventus.

After almost two years, Nicklas Bendtner played for Arsenal in a League Cup tie against West Brom, and would have every reason to be pleased with his performance. He even expressed his delight in his team’s victory,

“For myself I was very moved by my reception and hearing my song again made my heart skip! Young players did ever so well and kept there cool in a difficult penalty shootout. Respect! Skipper looking fresh! (referring to Vermaelen).”

In the wake of Nicklas Bendtner’s outing against West Brom, I clearly feel that he deserves another chance at Arsenal. Here are my reasons why;

He has Finally Swallowed his Pride….Some of it, at Least

Confident, cocky, egotistical and extremely proud.

These are attributes of a player that believes in his ability so much, even to the extent where he proclaimed that he was one of the world’s best strikers. We all know how Bendtner’s career has panned out thus far and he hasn’t reached those heights he has even set for himself, as his performances on the pitch aren’t anywhere near the Lewandowskis, Falcaos, Cavanis, Ibrahimovics, Agueros, Higuains, Benzemas, van Persies, Rooneys, Freds, and Girouds of this world.

Despite the fact that he was linked with all the clubs in the Milky Way, Bendtner didn’t even do enough for his services to be retained in Sunderland and Juventus, Eintracht Frankfurt pulled the plug on him and he was odds on to make a move to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day but the Gunners fell the move through when they couldn’t secure the services of Demba Ba.

After reflecting on how downward his career had plunged, Bendtner swallowed some pride and vowed to give his all for his team this season.

His Committed Performance Against West Brom

For a player that hasn’t played regular football for a while, Bendtner, rightly so, looked off the pace for his team but he put up an uncharacteristically committed performance for Arsenal. Bendtner clashed with the post in his attempt of nod a cross, held up play, fought in the air for balls and even showed his quality when he created a neat assist for Thomas Eisfeld.

There was a moment when Gnabry sent him through and he would have had a chance to make all the headlines but he dallied too much on the ball and it came back to bite him on the arse as Craig Dawson made up some ground to make a vital interception.

After 120 minutes, Bendtner took the responsibility of playing Arsenal’s first penalty, which he scored. His reactions alongside his teammates when Nacho Monreal scored the match winning penalty was priceless.

The Gunners reveling in their penalty triumph

His Goalscoring Record for Arsenal

For those that don’t know, Nicklas Bendtner is currently Arsenal’s second highest goalscorer with 45 goals in 158 games, and he’s behind Theo Walcott that has amassed 69 goals in 293 games. His goal-to-game ratio at Arsenal is quite impressive, considering the fact that he’s not a first team regular. In every season he played for Arsenal bar his first (where he was away on loan at Birmingham), Bendtner closed in on double figures and he surpassed the mark twice with 15 goals (2008/09) and 12 goals (2009/10).

His track record on the international scene is pretty impressive if you ask me, with 22 goals scored in 55 games for Denmark.

Bendtner is a player that would offer a different dynamic in attack, as he poses a threat in the air and is equally adept with the ball on his feet. If Arsenal intends to end their trophy drought this season, they will need all the goals they can get, and I believe that Bendtner could hit double figures this season.

Paucity of Options in Attack

For a title-challenging side like Arsenal, it’s really strange to see how light they are in attack, one of the departments in football that is very vital, as teams need goals to win games. Beyond Olivier Giroud, it’s shocking to see that the Gunners don’t have any recognized out-and-out striker, as Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski are better suited to the wings, where they have played their best football for the team.

When Podolski and Walcott played in the center forward position, they clearly struggled as they lacked the basic tools that would have made them succeed in that position – height, ability to hold up play, work rate, deft one touch passes to bring teammates into the game, strength to hold off defenders, aerial ability and providing a focal point in attack. Finishing is a good attribute to have as an attacker, but it can only get you so far.

The Bendtner we all loved

The Bendtner we all loved

In Bendtner, the Gunners have big striker that would be more than a handful for opposition defenders and his aerial ability can prove to be a vital asset this season, as the Gunners showcased their aerial prowess in their recent league victory over Stoke. Bendtner will also give Giroud a run for his money.

Nicklas Bendtner may believe in his abilities more than the average footballer, which makes him seem as if he’s the Hulk, even though he has been exposed to any gamma radiation but at the very least, he deserves another chance at Arsenal.

Sayonara

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Nicklas Bendtner: Can the Dane Save his Dwindling Career at Arsenal?

Display: Nicklas Bendtner pulled up his shirt to reveal Paddy Power pants

World’s Best striker

Nicklas Bendtner is widely regarded as the self-proclaimed world’s best striker. Arsenal snapped him up from obscurity in 2005 and offered him a chance at top-flight football but with limited opportunities for the great Dane, he was offered a learning route through Birmingham City in the Championship and the Dane hugely impressed there.

In subsequent campaigns, he featured in Cup ties as well as some league fixtures but his big break arrived in the 2009/10 campaign, when the red-hot Robin van Persie was sidelined for a lengthy spell following a rash tackle from Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini in a meaningless friendly match.

Bendtner became the centre of attention and he scored some vital last-gasp goals with the games against Hull and Wolves being the most notable. There was even time to get a first hattrick in Arsenal colors against Porto. The return to full fitness of van Persie relegated Bendtner to the bench, and his chances of featuring were few and far between. Wenger offered him a new role on the right flank but the Dane was rightly dissatisfied in that playing position.

Despite linked with moves to various clubs that summer, Bendtner had to make do with a deadline day loan switch to Sunderland and he revealed that his omission from the starting line-up in the 2011 Carling Cup final played a key role in him leaving the club.

While at Sunderland, Bendtner revealed that he’ll never play for Arsenal again and with Robin van Persie as shining as bright as supernova, no one really cared. He notched up 30 games for the Black Cats, netting eight goals in the process but with his wages and probably other issues being constraints, the Black Cats pulled the plug and he was back to the club he never vowed to play for.

Bendtner had a good spell in Sunderland

After some more speculation about a potential move away from the Emirates, Bendtner made another transfer deadline day switch to Juventus and injuries as well as stiff competition in attack saw Bendtner’s chances of featuring for the Old Lady go downhill. After just 10 appearances all season long, the Dane failed to register his name on the score sheet before he was shipped back to the Emirates.

With Arsenal’s pursuit for a new striker that would’ve offered some competition to Giroud, it seemed more than likely that the Gunners were going to cut their losses on Bendtner and he was on the verge of sealing a move to Eintracht Frankfurt but the club surprisingly backed out, which showed how low his stock had fallen.

On transfer deadline day, Crystal Palace were odds on to seal the deal for the want-away Dane but Arsenal severed the deal after their failed pursuit of Demba Ba from Chelsea. An obviously crestfallen Bendtner expressed his sheer disappointment in remaining at the Emirates (via ESPN),

“Many things have been said about my where my future lies after many years at Arsenal. The truth is I just want to play football which is when I’m happiest and Arsenal is a fantastic environment for any professional to apply their trade.”

“I still feel very strongly about Arsenal and following positive talks with the manager, I am looking forward to working hard to regain full fitness and doing my very best to help to the team and the manager fulfill our objectives and ambitions this season.”

“I’ve learnt a lot from my loan experiences at Sunderland and Juventus and I want to assure all Arsenal fans that I will give everything I have to contribute to what I believe will be a successful season for the club.”

Arsene Wenger, in his infinite wisdom, has decided to retain the services of Nicklas Bendtner, following the long-term injury to Lukas Podolski. The manager has signed the unproven French youngster, Yaya Sanogo, and the club still has the enigmatic Korean, Park Chu-Young, in its ranks, but the manager has opted to work with Bendtner, a forward with an ego the size of an elephant.

As Arseblog rightly quoted, Nicklas Bendtner may not be as good as he thinks he is, but he’s not also as bad as the fans say he is.

His track record on the international scene is pretty impressive if you ask me, with 22 goals scored in 55 games for Denmark. I also fancy Nicklas Bendtner getting another shot for the following reasons:

His goal-to-game ratio at Arsenal is quite impressive, considering the fact that he’s not a first team regular. In every season he played for Arsenal bar his first (where he was away on loan at Birmingham), Bendtner closed in on double figures and he surpassed the mark twice with 15 goals (2008/09) and 12 goals (2009/10).

He has never said anything negative about Arsenal, its manager or his fellow teammates even securing loan moves to Sunderland and Juventus. Yes, he has some off field issues but he doesn’t seem to have any problem with teammates or anything too disruptive (think Mario Balotelli). In the 2010/11 season, he scored nine goals and raked up five assists despite playing on the wing, and usually playing only the final 15 minutes when the team was already losing.

I would not expect Olivier Giroud to play every game and with Podolski injured, you don’t need any soothsayer to tell you that Bendtner would be a far better option than Yaya Sanogo. Many may tag Theo Walcott as a better replacement for Giroud but he’s better suited on the right flank where his assets come in handy.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=898_yuoOfIk

I believe in second chances and this is definitely Nicklas Bendtner’s last chance to save what’s left of his dwindling career at Arsenal. He has been known to be a bit profligate in the past but with the creativity at Arsenal’s disposal this season, he would be among the goals if he works hard with the chances he gets. I also love the fact that he’s a massive threat in the air, which offers dynamism in the attack.

Nicklas Bendtner may believe in his abilities more than the average footballer, which makes him seem as if he’s the Hulk, even though he has been exposed to any gamma radiation but at the very least, he deserves another chance at Arsenal.

Sayonara.

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Post-Tottenham Ramblings and Bendtner Arrested

Banana thrown at Bale in the NLD….oh well

With FA Cup action going on this weekend, Arsenal’s crunch fixture against Everton has been postponed till further notice, which also ensures that the Gunners won’t see any football till when they travel to Munich next week Wednesday.

Memories of Sunday’s North London derby is still fresh in my memory and as expected, many Gunners have starting doing the talking off the pitch, when they were silent on it.

Wojciech Szczesny says that the Gunners have to pick themselves up quickly (via Arsenal.com), if they want to secure a top-four finish at the end of the season. He’s also tipping his teammates to do the impossible in Munich but judging from the team’s performances, I wouldn’t put any dime on Arsenal getting a result in Bavaria.

Carl Jenkinson believes that there are many points to play for (via Arsenal.com) while Per Mertesacker wants his teammates to use the break wisely (via Arsenal.com). This has been a very disappointing campaign by our standards, and anything less than a fourth place finish could signal the start of a negative downward spiral as Andre Villas-Boas predicted (via BBC Sport).

Arsene Wenger stated that his team wasn’t efficient where it mattered (via Arsenal.com), and you’d have to review our starting XI to see if some of these folks deserve a place in the team. I don’t know whether it could be attributed to fatigue or what have you, but I feel that it’s high time Laurent Koscielny gets a decent run-out in the team.

In recent times, Lukas Podolski has also been relegated to the bench and the manager knows his reasons for doing it, but every defeat comes hand in hand with some reflections of what could have been done here and there. The game against Bayern is a week away so this rest is highly welcome in my honest opinion.

Elsewhere, there was a bit of racism involved when an Arsenal threw a banana at Gareth Bale (via Yahoo! Sports) but Arsenal has began the hunt for the bloke that committed the offense (via ITV).

Meanwhile in Denmark, the world’s best striker, Nicklas Bendtner, can’t just get away from controversy. When he’s not seen pants down in a club, claiming he can buy a pizzeria or advertising Paddy Power on his undies, he can be seen doing his own version of Grand Theft Auto.

The Dane was loaned to Juventus last summer after stating that he wanted to leave the Emirates for good. He was linked with a host of clubs according to his fagent (father / agent) and no concrete move came to fruition. His time in Italy hasn’t fared so well, with the Italians claiming that he had gotten “fat”.

He has managed to notch up nine appearances thus far but he suffered a thigh injury that required surgery (via the Independent). Bendtner was arrested in Copenhagen for drinking under the influence of alcohol and driving the wrong way up a main road (via Football Italia).

Fortunately, there were no casualties involved.

Bendtner is a player that was tipped for great things and his loan spell with Birmingham City proved how good he could be. The striker was always considered as a back-up to the top dogs in Arsenal, much to his dissatisfaction.

His loan spell at Juventus expires this summer and I’m sure that his future will be reviewed by the manager.

Time to pull the plug in today’s post, I have a meeting in a bit.

Sayonara.

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