Great Dane And Not Letting The Season Go To The Dogs
Local DIY stores have reported a slowdown in the sales of ropes, the numbers of people wearing Arsenal shirts demanding ready-made nooses has diminished following Chelsea’s draw at Hull last night. How long that will last for remains to be seen, although a victory at Stamford Bridge does not concern the retailers, knowing full well that a surge in demand will arise the next time results and performances do not go to plan.
The squad is slowly edging back to full fitness, with only the long-term absentees, Gibbs, Djourou and van Persie, definitely out for the weekend. Diaby, Eduardo and Campbell will apparently have recovered from their various knacks as the onslaught of fixtures continues. It does give Wenger options if he wants to shake things up following the defeat at home to United.
The Dane in particular has an opportunity to press his case for leading the Arsenal line. Adebayor’s departure and van Persie’s long-term absence should have given him that chance already but missing all of the fixtures since October has hampered his cause.
Bendtner is the latest in a stream of forwards coming through from youth and reserve levels who have promised much but never been able to transfer their form at younger levels. As far back as 1990, Andy – sorry, Andrew – Cole was spoken of as a very real long-term prospect in the Graham era, falling out with Graham not conduicive to being given the chance.
In Wenger’s time, the situation has not changed considerably. However, Bendtner has proven he can score at international level and not just against smaller nations either, averaging a goal every three games, a decent record at that level. The Portuguese in particular being a defence he enjoys playing against, Bendtner scoring in three matches against them.
He has not yet been able to score regularly enough, contributing factors being played out of position and substitute appearances. He is though nothing less than perservering; missed chances do not see his head drop, willing to be back in the place again when the next chance comes along.
Bendtner does give the option of varying the attack, his height an advantage, almost bringing Arsenal into line of the ‘Big man, little man‘ duo but it masks how good his close control can be. Whether he is the solution for Sunday is another matter. If Eduardo is fit, I suspect he will be the central attacker, supported by Rosicky and Arshavin.
With the fixture being at Stamford Bridge, it seems unlikely that a gung-ho attitude would be adopted. Something similar to the approach in this fixture last season more likely. Chelsea will seek to dominate and it is up to the squad to be ready.
Personally, I’m looking forward to it. The chance to prove that Sunday’s defeat was an aberration, a one-off almost inexplicable collective loss of form is surely the motivation that is needed? If not, the chance to be within a win of Chelsea at the end of the game, refusing to be dumped out of the title race to suit the whims of journalists and pundits alike.
Posted on February 3, 2010, in Arsenal, Football, Premier League, Premiership, Soccer and tagged Arsenal, Chelsea, Football, Nicklas Bendtner, Premier League, Soccer. Bookmark the permalink. 223 Comments.