Writer: Tim Stillman
Date:Wednesday February 18 2009
You will probably be aware of quotes attributed to Nicklas Bendtner this week by the most august publication, the Daily Mirror. (To see how trustworthy they are, go and look up why Piers Morgan, ahem, stepped down as editor). For those of you with faulty short term memories, here is what the Mirror quoted Bendtner as saying under the udnerstated headline, 'I Am Arsenal's Best Striker.'
'I should start every game, I should be playing every minute of every match and always be in the team.'
On new signing Andrey Arshavin, the Mirror responsibly quoted Bendtner as saying;
'I've never seen Arshavin. I did not watch Euro 2008. I've no idea what sort of player he is.'
Stern stuff indeed, of course The Mirror were reporting responsibly, not at all trying to play on his plummeting popularity amongst Arsenal fans. Of course, football fans being the level headed, media savy and entirely rational creatures they are, Arsenal fans with a transparent distaste for the Young Dane did not use it as an excuse to verbally lampoon him. But what's this? Bendtner denied the quotes in ernest immediately after the Cardiff game.
'None of it was said like that. I did a long interview for the Danish press recently, they asked me a lot of questions and the press over here have taken my answers and twisted them out of proportion. I was happy with the article in the Danish magazine and if you saw it you would realise that what was reported over here was not true.'
So just what DID Bendtner say in this Danish magazine.
'I still believe that when I play to my best, I will play from the start no matter who is ready or injured and each time I try to show that I should play from the start.'
Hmmmm, pretty tame really. As for Arshavin;
'I was not at the European Championships so I did not see him play but I have heard that he is a good player and if Arsenal are paying Ł12m, and other top clubs were after him, then it is because he can do something.'
Well smack my arse and call me Sally, what a boastful revelation. Usually, I'm not moved to comment on media teacup storms such as these, I believe most of the contributors of this site are smart enough to see media deception for themselves. Plus, I'm not in the business of drawing blood from turnips. If you're gullible enough to be deceived by basic shenanigans such as these, you're probably beyond help anyway. But what really disappoints me is that on Monday, I saw the Mirror quotes attributed to Bendtner splashed across nearly every Arsenal blog going. Come Tuesday, very few printed Bendtner's retraction and even fewer have bothered to find out what Nicklas actually said. I'm not sure if that's because a few keyboard warriors out there are afraid of looking a bit silly or whether they are using their webspace as a hobby horse for their own dislikes and gleefully trashing a player they don't like, but it really smacks of indignity to me. I don't expect the Mirror to print Bendtner's retraction, nor the actual quotes, the media are despicable and their modus operandi is likewise. But for sites written by Arsenal 'fans' reporting on their own club, not to set the record straight in the interests of one of our own players is really rather sad indeed. It confirms what I've long thought, that most Arsenal fans prize their egos over their football team. The guilty parties reading will know exactly who they are.LD.
Date:Wednesday February 18 2009
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