Bendtner criticized despite finding form

By Randy Osae

Former Arsenal striker John Hartson insists that Nicklas Bendtner lacks the quality to excel at Arsenal despite the Dane showing gleeful glimpses of his talent with a brace against West Brom in midweek.

He has also been a diverse feature among Arsenal fans this season, and Hartson’s criticism comes as little surprise, but the pundit could be wide off with his perception.

“I do like Nicklas Bendtner but I just feel that he is short of top, top notch quality,” Hartson told

“When you look at the top four teams; Manchester United have Rooney and Berbatov, Liverpool have Torres, Chelsea have Anelka and Drogba. And I’m just not sure with Bendtner whether he comes into that category of top class.

“Adebayor comes into the category of the other players, he is top quality. When you have got Barcelona with £25 million on the table that tells you about Adebayor. I don’t think you can compare the two. I don’t think that Bendtner is in Adebayor’s league.

“I look at his strengths and weaknesses. He has got a nice touch, I don’t think he has got real pace, I don’t think he scores enough goals. If you look at his goals record he has not got anywhere near enough goals. His goal ratio is actually very poor.

“But don’t get me wrong, I think he is a very good player, I still think the jury is out on him because he is still very young. Obviously Arsene Wenger sees something in him and it is not for me to question him as a judge as he has a great record, even though he sold me 12 years ago!

“Wenger obviously sees something in him so maybe give him a bit more time, but when you are at Arsenal you don’t get the time. You should be winning trophies, you know?”

Hartson also cited Bendtner’s “cocky” nature at the club, but argues whether the player deserves to even act that way.

Indeed, he claims Bendtner should be hot-heated only if he can emulate the likes of Thierry Henry and Ian Wright.

“It is okay to be confident and cocky but you have to back that up,” Hartson continued.

“You look at somebody like [Thierry] Henry. I wouldn’t say he had a chip on his shoulder but he had that blasé thing about him. He scored every week, he scored in Europe, he scored against Manchester United, he scored in the big games.

“That’s okay to be cocky, but they see his cockiness and they don’t see his performances.

“Arsenal fans have been spoilt by Henry in recent years, Wright and Bergkamp, Alan Smith and Kevin Campbell and Malcolm McDonald before that if you are going back that far.

“Arsenal have been spoilt with really quality strikers, it is a wonderful club and they should be in and around the silverware every year. “

This critic of the obviously promising Bendtner proved some points, but do you agree?

Posted on March 9, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. Oh God! I have to say the criticism is so sharp! It’s not good to say something like that through the media coz. Hartson was also Arsenal strikers. He should say something to encourage or give advice to Nicklas, that will be more suitable! God! I totally don’t agree with him!

  2. take it on a chin!

  3. His argument is completely invalid because of a point he made himself: Bendtner is still very young.

    Take a look at the likes of Berbatov, Henry, Adebayor and Drogba – had any of you or anyone else for that matter heard of them by the time they were 21? Let alone saving their teams in the FA Cup and Champions League?

    No way. People are way too harsh on Bendtner because they’re comparing him to someone with 4 – 5 years more experience, if not 8 – 9 and it’s just not fair.

    Give it another year or 2 and people will be eating their words and like usual the fickle cunts that are Arsenal funs will be loving Bendtner, having forgotten their previous animosity towards him.

  4. ALSO, it seems to me that his critics have a habit of overlooking his age.

    The guy is obviously too good for the Arsenal’s reserve team, but he just needs to improve a bit more to really break through on the 1st team, but because he plays quite often on the starting XI people automatically think he must be as good as Adebayor or Anelka or Rooney, despite them being a deal older with quite a bit more experience. Which is bloody unfair.

    I’m Danish btw, so maybe I’m defending him so fiercely because he’s a compatriot and it’s a nationalistic thing, but I truly believe this and I know he’ll get better. I can’t wait until he’s 26 and see where he’s at then. Probably racking up a ton of goals and silverware for Arsenal ;))

  5. He kind of shoots himself in the foot doesn’t he? He talks about the likes of Drogba and Berbatov, who are all obviously older and more experienced…and then he goes on to say just that, that he is still young?!

    I would agree, he isn’t top quality yet. But anyone saying he doesn’t have the potential to be, needs to look again. I for one certainly hope he sticks around a while. He WILL come good soon I feel, the only thing he needs to be better at is consistancy and some better finishing and he will be a top top player.

  6. I’m not Danish, so I can say without nationalism, but fair that he will be the top quality player in the very near future! Wait and See!

  7. I think everyone here is spot on. Nick is a top notch talent.

    I just feel he might have been thrown into too much responsibility here.

  8. I just can say that he was really annoying !
    Well, does Nicklas know about this ?

  9. I wonder if he reads this blog…

    If I were him I would since it says such good things about him ^^

  10. I can agree with the things he’s saying, mostly because being an Arsenal supporter has been frustrating this year, and Bendtner certainly hasn’t made it easier. I do agree, however, that this kid will come of age in approximately 2 years, along with the rest of the team, and Arsenal will be absolutely unstoppable.

  11. how can john hartson say that lol, hartson was poor wen he was a gooner, he has never scored goals at the top level he scored goals in the spl which is a joke the spl is like the championship and by the way bendtner dominated the chmpionship,nik b is only 21, wen u look at van persie and ades first couple of seasons their goal tallys are similar 2 bendtners, if not bendtner are better, van persie and ade both 25 now they have 4 years more experiance, nik b only 21 he plays good sumtimes but b coz we bin of form ppl looking 4 a scapegoat, he has been poor sumtimes but thtas like most of our players. john hartson is not a arsenal legand, legands like alan smith, david plat, ray parlour and ian wright no what bendtner about. john hartson do u think u have top quality lol??? u have never played at the top level. get of bentners bak ur jelous

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