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Now it's time to Nick a chance

The Villa game is possibly Nicklas Bendtners best remaining opportunity, for the time being at least, in which to put real pressure on Adebayors starting place. Though the Togolese striker is given a 50:50 chance of making it, it is still only a 'remote` chance that he will be fit according to the club. With van Persie serving the last of his 3 match ban the way should be clear for Bendtner to lead the attack. Having been left out of the Carling Cup game midweek that would seem to be Wengers intention.

Bendtner started both the Fenerbahce and United games and on the basis that strikers are expected to score that he failed to do so may put him under some extra pressure if, as expected, he starts against Villa. There were some good points in both performances but neither was of the stuff that makes an unshakeable case for selecting him ahead of Adebayor.

Nicklas has had just about half the PL playing time of Adebayor so far this season and has only scored one goal to Ade`s five. With much less playing time in CL games he hasn`t managed to score in the CL proper while Ade has 3 to his name though both also scored in the qualifying games. Outside of this Bendtner has scored twice in the one Carling Cup game played. With so little playing time it is hard to make any real judgements but some differences emerge from the two players style so far. In terms of shots on target per minutes played they are about the same. Ade seems to pass a little quicker and with greater accuracy but Bendtner has created more attempts for others than Ade and indeed has a better assists per time played ratio too. While Ade tackles more frequently and more successfully than Nicklas.

Though both look physically similar they do play a different game. Ade uses his power more effectively though Nicklas, who isn`t 21 until January, is still behind Ade physically. Bendtner has a midfielders eye for a pass though so far this season the execution, with passes poorly weighted or timed, hasn`t quite matched the invention. The ideas are good though.

Arsene appreciates the qualities Bendtner has saying before the United game 'I believe Nicklas is intelligent, he has strength, quality, good collective sense and is good in the air and on the ground. He is quick as well. That is plenty of qualities.'

With the team, in recent games, looking to play a five man midfield using Diaby in a floating role behind the striker to add some robustness to midfield the places for a lone striker are limited. Especially if there should be some willingness to repeat the use of van Persie in that role as he did to good effect in the early part of last season and last season`s pre-season tournaments.

Bendtner may find himself having to wait once more and relying again on injuries to get a run in the side based on his contributions so far but he appears willing to accept this.

"I always feel confident whoever I play. I'll play to my strength and the team will play as a unit. If we all play well that should be enough but I want to do the best I can.

"If I play I'd like to score," he said last week "If I can score and help us win the game then I'll be very happy. If I play well and someone else scores I'll be happy too.

"If you play well, you keep your place so you have to keep working hard.

"It's the same for every striker, there's no free pass at a top club."

Assuming he starts the Villa game, in which he scored the late equaliser in last seasons corresponding fixture, it would be a good time to enhance his CV.

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The Journalist

Writer: Amos Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday November 14 2008

Time: 10:47AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
I always feel kinda sorry for Bendter. He gets some stern looks from the other players, but as Amos says, he has some good ideas ut has trouble implementing them. He needs to start looking over his shoulder though, because in my eyes, unless the substitution is made with a specific role (like aerial presence) in mind, then Carlos Vela should soon be the man who is our greatest goal threat coming off the bench. It's good to see the competition though.
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14/11/2008 10:58:00

Im afraid every time watch Ade play his passes maybe quicker, but they are always over 5 yards and never any further as he lays the ball off. Brendtner is just as tall but is more of a 2nd striker. Because of his height people class him as a target man, which he clearly is not and I think a fairer comparison is probably with RVP as they both liuke to come a bit deeper. Brendtner has better technique, dribbling and heading skills than Adebayor, which we have only seen in flashes. But his passing is ina totally different league to Adepaymemores. Long and short he always looks for the opening and to create the chances, Ades are generally lay offs. Well that's what I see Amos, others may disagree with me.....
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14/11/2008 10:59:00

Amos, apologies mate, I must of missed the middle section of your article where you highlight Bendtners superior passing and technique, sorry china!
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14/11/2008 11:04:00

So you got bored halfway through LG! In general I agree with you. But Ade's qualities, at least in goals scored seem more productive, yet Bendtner creates more for others. Is one more important than another? Does Ade's workrate create chances in a less direct way - making space for others for example? The reality is that strikers will be judged firstly on their goals. If Bendtner adds a respectable amount to this game it will do him no harm at all. As you say - those that disagree will let us know I am sure.
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14/11/2008 11:17:00

It was a very well thought out, eloquent article (as always) I think I need glasses! :o/ I do think he was more productive in front of goal last season compared to the chances he has had this season already. It will happen for him though, of that I have no doubt. You picked up on something no one else has recently, he does seem to get more dirty looks off of team mates for mistakes that others wouldn't even get a 2nd glance for. Why is that?
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14/11/2008 11:21:00

I want a Vela - Bendtner combination for Villa
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14/11/2008 11:32:00

I feel very positive about Bendtner, he always makes something happen from the bench, his challenge now is to spread that effectiveness over 90 minutes. The fact that he has the correct ideas is a fantastic starting point, execution can come with practise, inspiration can't. But, he isn't ready to replace Adebayor regularly yet, that in itself is not a dig at Nicklas. Adebayor is one of the most effective strikers on the planet at the moment, he may not be graceful or serene as we became accustomed to with Henry (though he also doesn't bottle big games as we became accustomed to with Henry) but he is incredibly effective.
Little Dutch
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14/11/2008 11:43:00

LD he seems to be in that position that Theo finds himself in. He appears to have agreater impact over 30 minutes than 90 minutes, an impact sub if you like! I spose that is just the way players develope and learn before applying that to 90 minutes of fotoball against quality opposition! I think Henry's peformances against Spurs every year, Man Utd most years and Real Madrid, Inter Milan to name a few were good indications that he didn't always bottle big games mate!
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14/11/2008 11:53:00

Well not bottle them as badly as say Cronaldo does every year?
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14/11/2008 11:54:00

I agree with you guys. Bendtner's main challenge now is to produce the kind of impact he's delivered as a sub. I thought he's steadily improving in terms of work rate, passing and varying ways to create chances. Ade learnt to use his physical presence last year and I think Bendtner will do the same. I'd just like to see Nick improve the execution of those good ideas in his head and the understanding with other members of the team, which will come as he gets more games. The only potential weakness I can see in him is the passion for the game. I was quite amazed to hear him say that he doesn't watch football (other teams, other leagues, etc.) apart from the material given by the coaches. Most of the players, like Clichy, Cesc, etc. are passionate football fans themselves and they're keen to learn from other players/teams they watch and I think that's important. Bendtner has worked much harder than when we first saw him return to the club after his loan spell at Birmingham but I'd still like to see him work harder on and off the pitch.
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14/11/2008 12:07:00

Adebayor's a more effective sub, that is a fact. Nick's movement is very good and can tire their defence pretty well, with Adebayor on at 70min it's a completely different prospect.
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14/11/2008 12:12:00

I too would like to see Bendtner and Vela tomorrow. His good points: Holding the ball up Staying on Side (perhaps he can explain this little rule to Ade!) Good work rate He has a first touch (again, unlike Ade) All he needs to do is score a few more, but then again, if he is setting up someone else to score who cares!
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14/11/2008 12:25:00

Shewore: I think most players with extreme physical capabilities can be effective as subs, Walcott - pace, Adebayor - strength, Bendtner - areal ability.
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14/11/2008 12:25:00

I forgot - Luke Chadwick - sheer unadulterated uglyness!
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14/11/2008 12:39:00

The team for Villa should be the ones that turned up and outplayed Man Utd last week. Why change a winnning formula when they worked so hard and played so well?
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14/11/2008 12:53:00

In my opinion Nicky is not far off beign a top striker. He is only 20 and has never had a long run of games, often he is only an inch or two from scoring and when the goles start to come he will go from strength to strength. As for Ade he has a worse first toutch than my granny and she's been dead for years and his work rate off the ball is not the same as last season, it was his constant harassment of opposition defenders, when they had the ball, that contributed to our own defence, you defend from the front. Nicky is imo a better header of the ball than Ade and gives us mor options in the box when we get crosses in. He should therefore be given a chance against Villa tomorrow why change a winnig team as has olready been said
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14/11/2008 13:01:00

That's why i'm really excited about Eduardo coming back, when he does, we will have 3 strikers who are all extremely capable startes in their own right who each offer something different, with Bendter as fourth choice. Hopefull enforcing the fact that Adebayor is NOT droppable, and can hopefully start to earn some of that money he held us to ransom over during the summer.
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14/11/2008 13:07:00 *IS DROPPABLE*....ta
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14/11/2008 13:09:00

Was wondering where you were going with that "NOT droppable" bit mate? lol
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14/11/2008 13:17:00

I also think that Ade occupies defenders' minds and worries them with his sheer physical presence, something that Bendtner doesn't do (yet). Ade has benefited from a consistent run of games which you could argue he deserves because he took his chance. Not a startling observations but I think if Bendtner will improve with a consistent run of games. However, I agree with others in that Eduarda and Vela would be ahead of him.
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14/11/2008 14:11:00

Where has the myth that Adebayor has a bad touch come from? In the little playing time Bendtner has had we have seen more poor first touches from him compared to Ade. Right now Adebayor is a far superior player. I feel that they could play together and should not really be competing for the same place in a 442 (Bendtner and RvP are more similar)
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14/11/2008 17:11:00

Nice to see all these favorable comments about Bendtner, I'm sick and tired of all the c-r-a-p he gets from gooners and pundits. Paul Doyle over at the Guardian constantly trashes him. He's better than a lot of people realize. And for all the stuff he gets about his arrogance, etc., I like his attitude--it's always positive, always optimistic, steady and assured. I just don't think he can do what Ade did last season and lead the line, he's not that kind of striker. He's a good link-up man. So far we've seen Bendtner do very well with Eduardo and Vela. Surprisingly he's also shown recently that he can play well with Ade. I can't forget that brilliant ball he played to Ade against West Ham. With RVP he's been inconsistent. I do agree with LG, tho, there's no reason to change Saturday's winning team.
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14/11/2008 18:12:00

The one that strikes me is his attitude for the past 1-2 seasons. He had a reputation for being arrogant, and that was mirrored in his comments to the media, but he seems to have put that behind him now, as reflected in these comments above.
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15/11/2008 00:39:00

Bendtner's had a few chances lately. Since he said he doesn't watch football outside of work, can one of the coaches please send him a whole pile of DVDs to watch and learn please? I do realise that he's improved his work rate a bit but not consistently, but we have no place for a lazy boy.
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15/11/2008 17:06:00


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