Individual Player Analysis: Nicklas Bendtner

Nicklas Bendtner is another Arsenal player who divides opinion. There are those who have already written him off and claim that he will never be a top class striker, while there are others who believe in his immense potentialhttps://desigunner.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post-new.php, and some consider him to be a great player already!

The facts of the case are as follows,

  • Bendtner played a big part in Denmark’s impressive qualifying campaign and ended with a national Player of the Year title.
  • The Dane has 6 goals and 6 assists in the league @103 min per goal/assist. Compare with Berbatov @116, Anelka @135, Agbonlahor @171, Defoe @111, and Adebayor @116.
  • Since his return from injury in January he has played 18 games in all competitions with 9 goals and 6 assists.

My conclusions are

  • Bendtner is the best second choice striker in the league (Anelka has a case, but if both played centrally I think B52 will outperform the ex-Arsenal player)
  • The young Dane is by far the best 22 year old striker in the league
  • He is going to get better!

I really don’t get the problem some people have with him. On one hand the Misery Brigade wants international players, on the other they don’t want to value a youngster who has taken his team to the World Cup and was recognized as the Player of the Year!

While some of the complaints against him are valid, the conclusions negativists draw are random and lack perspective. I see his strengths and weaknesses as,

Bendtner Strengths

  • Physical presence
  • Fantastic Header
  • Great positioning in the box
  • Times his runs well
  • Has the ability and judgement to assist (far too many strikers don’t have this)
  • Developing constantly and consistently
  • Confidence

Bendtner Areas of Improvement

  • Work Rate
  • Needs to know the corners of the goal (most top strikers develop it after playing centrally for 2-3 seasons. Many in the Premiership or Europe never develop this skill)
  • First touch
  • Shooting from outside the box and the weaker foot
  • Poaching instincts

If you compare him with the top strikers in the league there are some key areas where Bendtner needs to improve. I agree with the statement that he isn’t a finished article but that is only a good thing because he is already very, very good!

With the arrival of Chamakh, this season will be a challenge for the Dane. He might not get that many chances in his favoured central position. What I’d like to see is better contribution from him while playing in wider areas. Someone with his stature can be a really dangerous man while arriving at the back post.

So far he has maintained a healthy balance between confidence and effort. I hope he keeps improving this season and doesn’t sulk at the lack to central time. All I’d say is – keep up the good work.


35 Responses to Individual Player Analysis: Nicklas Bendtner

  1. gunner365 says:

    Great article on Bendtner. So maybe football fans and even many Arsenal fans don’t realise what we have on our hands, this guy is going to be a very good player.

    He might not get to where he says he wants to be
    – “I want to be the best player in the world”
    But you have to hand it to the lad, he’s confidence is unshakable, give him a season or two and he could well be a indispenable player for the Emirates faithful.

    • john says:

      i think he already has good work rate

      most notable thing he needs to improve is finishing

      don’t know what Poaching instincts are,

      lovely article, at least some people judge by performance rather than missed goal.

      • wondrinfree says:

        Totally agree. Bendtner always is up for it and works his socks off.

        I think his finishing and first touch are the only pick ups but I think thats because he tries so hard and thinks too much about it. Hey he’s got many years ahead of him. He will be an Arsenal legend.

      • desigunner says:

        Poaching instincts are what people like Raul and Robbie Fowler had. Strikers who are called a fox in the box are really good at that.

        It needs better anticipation of likely opportunities and enough sense to be in the right place.

        I find Bendtner a bit inconsistent wrt his work rate.

  2. Sud Gooner says:

    This guy’s goal scoring rate is better than Chamakh. At 26 (He gave himself a target of 25), he will be one of the best strikers in the World.

    Players get better with age – apart from a few exceptions. Most hit peak at 26 – 28 years. He is nowhere near that, we all know.

    Thats why we should be patient with him. If he can give us a double-digit return of goals every year, then that’s good enough as we wait for him to burst into the scene as a leading goal scorer in the league.

  3. Gooner80 says:

    In terms of age which alot people forget he is pretty darn good, you forget we have been spoilt at arsenal mr monsieur Henry.

    If you look at Drogba similar type of player he was in the second division in france and had much poorer stats so he he has the potential to be a world beater I dont argue with that one bit.

    IMO i dont think he will be world class i.e in the running for world footballer of the year. I do think the raw ingredients are there and if nick has the desire to become the best he could do it, until you get these negative aspects out of your game as mentioned the article he is going to be criticized.

    i would love to see him bang in 25 goals a season we need a 25 goal a season man but right now i just dont see it happening, my advice is nick stop talking about being the best and wanting toplay for barca get your head down and show people what you can do

  4. kassim says:

    Brilliant article on Bendtner….i love this boy i do believe he is destined for greatness,he just needs to time his runs get sharper near the goal mouth and find the net,its just a matter of time to his peak A.Song can testify.for those who don’t appreciate his talent are just hating……..bigup Niclas

  5. uncle mike says:

    i think he should learn how to hold the ball up and feed players in. i wouldnt say he is a fantastic headerer of the ball as ive seen him miss a few sitters.
    alot of people are divided on bendtner but this is my view.
    last hyear he scored more then berbatov a guy not long ago wenger said was the new henry.
    also drogba at 22 was in a 3rd division french team…..
    different plahyers develop at different ages.
    the problem at arsenal is because we have ridicolously talented youngsters like fabregas people expect way too much from young players.

    • desigunner says:

      I think everyone misses a few sitters now and then. Drogba missed so many in that Champions League semi-final against Barca (and he wasn’t 22). That didn’t make him a bad shooter, did it?

      I said fantastic header because of the technique that he has. The goal he scored against Stoke is really under-rated in my opinion because it needs tremendous skill and power to score from that position and that ball.

      He is by no means perfect, and will improve with time.

  6. Bonnie Maina says:

    This is one player we might send away and live to regret. Let’s believe in him.

  7. caleb says:

    bentner is a rock star, his got the game you will see

  8. The Fan says:

    I can only imagine how good our already good early 20’s players will be in 4 years time. Sadly they aren’t developing in a team out of the spotlight and so have to step up before they reach their potential as well as come under constant criticism unlike others of their age in other teams.

    Hopefully our players aren’t affected negatively by the demand and in fact makes them better. Unfortunately we are not in a era of patience and keeping these players together will be the hardest task of them all.

    • desigunner says:

      Very good point about spotlight. I’ve mentioned the possible psychological issues in previous articles, hopefully the Misery Brigade won’t drag everyone down.

  9. Rob says:

    A good striker, will never be anything more. I think that technically he just isn’t good enough, and also doesnt have the footballing brain, not a very intelligent player.

    I think his positioning is brilliant, finishing is better than average, heading good, pace ok’ish, first touch is shocking, but I just don’t feel he has what it takes to be worthy of being an Arsenal striker.

    His work rate is a quandary, one game of fighting for the shirt and the next of walking around like he owns the Emirates! I reckon that the fans like him in general, and he doesn’t get much stick from what i see when i go. Most fans seem to agree that he deserves some kind of chance

    And the we expect way too much argument is bollocks, because if he is going to start for the Gunners, as far as I’m concerned he should be damn near ready.

    Drogba is technically brilliant, very quick, brilliant with the ball at his feet, as well as a free-kick taker. Please don’t even try to compare, it’s unfair on Nik as they are very different types of player, the only thing they share is size.

    Was also appalled to hear the comments he made about wanting to play for Barca or Real Madrid! This is ridiculous!!!

    I’m very surprised that this hasn’t been mentioned!

    • Gooner80 says:

      When I mentioned Drogba what I was saying was that at 22 Drogba was nowhere to be seen so Nick has time on his side but likje I said he needs to let his football do the talking,

    • desigunner says:

      Drogba didn’t score much in his first two years in the league. He missed a lot of sitters in those days. And he was 26 or so at that time!

      He’s added free kicks to his repertoire in the last season or two.

      I don’t think we should look at what Drogba is right now and compare him with Bendtner.

  10. HansBuhbee says:

    Few players, at 22, can actually work through their “growing pains” as footballers and get regular appearances AND contribute. B52 is one of those guys. Yes, he frustrated to high-heaven several times last year missing point blank shots. But would you rather have a guy that instinctively gets into space (consistently) but misses sitters or a player that has a refined shot but struggles to find scoring space? In the PL, where space in the box is a premium, I’d rather have the former. B52 can develop the finishing. He’ll get there. I rate him highly and anticipate a big World Cup for him.

  11. joni goonah says:

    a first touch of a rapist
    and no pace to boot…

    and you guys think hes a ‘good’ striker…!!!!

    name me any other striker ever with both of the traits above that ever made it with a big club..

    we’ll never fckng win the league with these mentality..

    • HansBuhbee says:

      VERY funny first line. Still laughing on that one. Well-played.

      Nature versus nurture: he has the raw ability, but is unrefined. If he’s making these errors 2 years from now, yes, I think you can rightly put him in the category of wasted potential. But he’s still a baby. I’m not comparing him directly (hedging) but Henry wasn’t exactly refined one he first stepped on the pitch as a professional. Development takes time.

      • joni goonah says:

        thats my whole point really… 22yr old professional footballer with a below average first touch… how the hell did that happen.. i mean.. hes a striker ffs!!

        and unfortunately.. u cant develop pace.. maybe u can.. from slow to less slow..

        and its also unfortunate for Niklas that his real strength lies in aerial prowess.. and the club he plays for has 3 of the worst crosser of the ball in world football.. stand up Sagna, Clichy and Walcott..

    • desigunner says:

      A funny statement doesn’t really prove a point.

      Bendtner’s first touch isn’t very good but I’d like to see other 22 year old’s come and play in England and then we will see how many can actually do better.

      I don’t think there are many 22 year old strikers with better talent.

  12. rudygooner says:

    I believed B52 will be a very good player if only he can improve his finishing. Other than that I prefer to look after for another striker because I want Arsenal bring at least 1 trophy this year. For that reason, I better buy Suarez and send B52 on loan at EPL team so he can enhance his ability and prove many people that he is worth for Arsenal. May be let Bolton or West Ham have him for 1-2 years cause they have a brilliant coach. Anyway talk about Chamaks, he seems doesn’t have striker’s instinct specially for number of his goals. For me 10-15 goals in 40 games still isn’t enough. If we can have Van Persie and Suarez in front, and additional excellent defensive players then we are ready to fight for titles.

  13. uk says:

    where d hell did you guys get des stats from? hw come d stats dnt have missed opportunities? well dats my major problem with dat slug b52.
    he’s danish footballer of d yr, poor danes they aint got better
    it was also good u compared him only against flops berba, anelka &agbonlahon,tho i’l stil take gabby b4 him

  14. naijagunner says:

    well…. he’s just 22 but pato, pedro, bojan and even messi are young players as well…

    I think he talks too much… he should learn to do the talking on the field…and why is he flirting with spanish clubs? (that is if he really made those comments)

    and for the “misery brigade” you’ll agree they’ve been right these past few years as Arsenal has won nothing.

    It is possible for Bendtner (or any other) player to become world class in some years no doubt but the real question is how many trophyless seasons can we wait before they come good?

    • desigunner says:

      I don’t agree with the Misery Brigade at all. If you talk at such a high level of generalization that we haven’t won anything proves people right, then there isn’t much to say.

      By that logic we can safely say that Abramovic has been a flop and so is everyone at Chelsea because they have tried and tried for the Champions League and spent hundreds of millions and failed.

      There can be no rational discussion at such a level of generalization.

  15. Arsenal1Again says:

    Good article and great comments from fans. I looked in half expecting the usual crap about Bendtner because I never tire of defending him. It’s his bullish method of charging full pelt at the defense which I like and his work-rate is really only questionable in the league cup. When he’s put in those cup games to add some experience to the very young selected team, he usually goes missing and sulks instead of doing what he’s told by Arsene Wenger. It annoys the hell out of me when players feel they have the right to choose when they’re going to play ….. and then make no effort on the pitch when the Manager shows them he decides when they play.

  16. uk says:

    dez stats were definitely cooked up by a b52 fan. truth is d epl is not for potential, thats wat d reserve &d carling cup &under age tourneys are for, thats why drogba was in a 3rd div team in france @22.u wanna start 4an epl team @that age you beta be ready to get d job done,hell fab,milner,adam johnson,bale,pedro,messi,hart etc are 22or less,who’s complaining? b52 is lucky,he has arsene wenger a coach who’d rather manage crap than get quality.

  17. […] Individual Player Analysis: Nicklas Bendtner Nicklas Bendtner is another Arsenal player who divides opinion. There are those who have already written him off and […] […]

  18. Ben says:

    Very inspiring article and very well said. I hope everyone who believing in Bendtner please also have faith with Diaby, Denilson & other young players. I thought currently Arsenal squad is one of the best, and it will only getting better.

  19. Paul says:

    Wow, after reading this article Bendtner must be good or at least have great potential. Ah but for the inconvenience of reality….

    I see no reason at all to be excited by the prospect of potential with him, if in the extremely remote possibility that he does become a noteworthy stiker, we’ll just sell him on to barca or madrid, so why bother with him now?

  20. brad guns says:

    bad first touch

    never on the end of a through ball

    cant get into the arsenal rythem

  21. HansBuhbee says:

    B52 is probably 3rd choice striker right now behind RvP and Chamakh. Like the blog entry says, the measure is really how B52 rates against other 2nd strikers (as that’s what he was last year). But going into this year, he’s probably 3rd choice (assuming a healthy squad). So while I rate him highly and think his potential rates out to a 15-20 goal scorer, many here don’t. But if you don’t rate him, shouldn’t you adjust your scope and lower your expectations considering he doesn’t have to have the skills of a number 1 right now?

  22. M C auley says:

    i like bendtner.i think his accuracy is quite good.he scores vital goals eg:, hull,wolves,barca.and when he does miss chances he just stays strong and doesent let it affect him.

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