To be frank, over the last couple of seasons, I’ve been more scared of injuries than any team or opposition player. I’d certainly argue that we’ve lost more points to an astonishingly large number of injuries that also include some unique, hard to diagnose cases.
When Arsene said that Bendtner was going to miss the start of the season it left me really worried. Just a few days ago Arsene had said that the Dane was not far away and will be a week behind the others along with Denilson. Something’s changed in these few days and Denilson might be ready for the start but Bendtner won’t be.
If we really think about it,it seems the striker never completely recovered from the injury he picked up in October last year. And the real scary part is that the Bendtner story has a lot of parallels to Rosicky’s woes.
The youngster was substituted in the 3-0 win over Tottenham with a groin injury, which at the time seemed innocuous. He was expected to be out for up to four weeks but ended up missing close to three months.
Bendtner played a big role for us after his return but was injured again towards the end of the season. And we don’t really know how he managed to play for Denmark at the World Cup. It was probably due to pain medication and stuff like that because he was certainly not fit to play. He has come back to Arsenal in a crocked state I have a feeling no one really knows what his problem is. Obviously, treating the injury and ascertaining a return date becomes that much more difficult if we don’t know the exact ailment.
I think that is very similar to what happened to Rosicky except that the Czech star had a hamstring issue. At that time it seemed innocuous and Arsene had said it was a matter of days, not weeks. In the end it turned out it was a matter of years, not months! If I remember it right, Rosicky lost a lot of time because no one could make an accurate diagnosis.
I have in the past raised questions about Arsenal’s medical staff but both Bendtner and Rosicky have had treatment abroad as well. Bendtner had surgery in Germany and even the Denmark team doctors must have seen him. As in Rosicky’s case, no one seems to be able to get to the root of the problem and that doesn’t help anyone but hurts Arsenal the most.
Arsene has to rely on the opinion of the medical professionals and he makes his squad decisions and recovery date projections based on their advice. So far, it’s been wide off the mark and I’m a bit concerned this could go on forever! With Rosicky we had reached a stage when Wenger/Doctors didn’t know when the player will be back.
Of course, if you are a doom merchant or don’t like Bendtner then you get another reason to crib. It would be easy to say discard him and get someone else. Obviously, that works in Championship Manager and that means it’s the correct thing to do!
On the other hand if, like me, you believe in his potential and want him to succeed then there is genuine cause for concern. Arsenal have invested a lot of time and effort in developing Bendtner and he is now very close to being a top class striker. It will be a real shame if his injury problems take a year or two out of his playing career. I hope I’m wrong about this and the doctors are able to treat the Danish Player of the Year in an appropriate and timely manner.