Nicklas Bendtner Interview
Time after time you hear the same thing. Nicklas Bendtner, people say, isn’t short on confidence. Maintaining self-belief has never presented the Dane with a problem. So, if anything is going to stop from making the grade, it certainly won’t be a lack of faith in his own ability.
The player himself happily admits to his self-assured nature. “I don’t know where that comes from,” he shrugs with a wide smile. “It’s just always been there.
“I have always thought if you’re going to do something, just go out and do it. Don’t think about what might happen – the worst thing is that you will fail.”
As a boy growing up in Denmark, Bendtner used to go down his local swimming baths to try his luck from the 10 metre diving board, throwing in a few somersaults on the way down. He uses this analogy to further his point.
“I always thought to myself if I can do one spin, why don’t I try to make two? And if I can do two, why not try for thre? It’s the same with football. I don’t see any reason why, if a defender is there, I shouldn’t try and go past him. That attitude has always been with me. I don’t really know why.” To be fair, the approach hasn’t served him too badly up until now.
Having returned from a successful loan spell at Birmingham last season, the 6ft 4in centre-forward with a neat turn of pace and very deft touch has racked up a creditable 30 appearances for Arsenal so far, with tomorrow’s ‘Grand Slam’ trip to Chelsea promising another.
“Yeah, so far so good,” he replies in his matter-of-fact way. “I’ve been quite happy with that. Obviously I want to try to start more games but I’m doing what I can in training and when I come on.
“That’s all I can do – show the manager I’m ready.”
If goalscoring interventions are any measure at all, Bendtner has already proved to Arsene Wenger that he can, indeed, make a difference.
His first Premier League goal, a towering header from a corner seconds after coming on at the Emirates, saw off Tottenham in December and his recent last-gasp equaliser against Aston Villa may yet prove vital in this tight title race.
Yet patience, he confesses, isn’t one of his strengths.
“I know you’ve got to be patient when you’re young but it’s difficult being on the bench all the time,” he admits.
“Depending on my situation and progress, there is a certain time limit in my head, a time when I wouldn’t be able to sit on the bench any more. But that’s something I keep for myself. It’s the last resort. I hope it doesn’t come to that and I can stay with Arsenal.”
From that you can probably tell Bendtner is a strong-willed character – not the sort to back down if he feels wronged.
Actually, Bendtner has always known his own mind, going back to his schooldays in Copenhagen.
“I knew I wasn’t going to go to college,” he says. “It wasn’t a target for me so I did my school work as I should, but I didn’t try and get the highest grades because I knew I didn’t want to become a lawyer or anything. That wasn’t what I wanted to do.”
When Arsenal signed him as a 16-year-old prospect from FC Copenhagen, that single-minded attitude looked to be paying off.
“A few clubs were interested but Arsenal was always where I wanted to come. It was the football they played here. It’s how I always wanted to play.
“It was difficult when I first came over. I missed my family and friends. But the main thing in my life has always been to become a football player and I felt, in order to become the best I could, it was time for me to leave Copenhagen.”
The move certainly didn’t harm his international ambitions. The forward might not be able to guarantee a place in Wenger’s first XI just yet, but he’s now an automatic choice for his country, notching goals in Denmark’s last three games.
For a 20-year-old, he seems to handle the burden of responsibility with incredible composure.
“There’s always going to be pressure when you’re playing for your country,” he says. “It doesn’t matter how old you are. You’ve just got to live with that. Do what you can do.”
“There have been games that we should have won,” Bendtner says. “When the referee made a bad decision like at Birmingham, or we didn’t do as well as we should have, not concentrating all the way through.
“But, I still believe we have the strength to compete.
“Of course it’s going to be hard. You don’t go to Old Trafford and beat Man United easily and you don’t go to Chelsea and win easily either.
“But if we do win those two games the league table will look totally different.”
“I don’t have a clue what the manager will do but all I know is that the 16 that go to Chelsea will be ready for the fight and ready to give everything.
“When all of us play together and play well then we’re as good as anyone. I don’t think anyone can beat us when we’re at our top level.”
quotes from http://www.telegraph.co.uk