* Flashbacks * Pt 2 Nicklas Bendtner 2005-6 + NB Not Involved Tonight
At six feet three inches tall, it’s hard to believe that Nicklas Bendtner is still only 16 years of age.
What is just as impressive is that the powerfully built young Dane has the touch, control and agility that belies his sizeable frame.
Before I came to Arsenal I tended to play as the second centre-forward. I have also played half a season as a centre-back but it is as a striker that I believe that I am at my best. People have said that I have good control for a tall player but that’s the way it has always been for me. I don’t think it is because I have played in midfield and other positions that I have developed my control and passing, I think it is because I could play well with the ball at my feet that I was put in those positions in the first place, explains Nicklas, who has been given a new task at Arsenal.
Since I joined last summer I was asked to play as the lead striker. For Denmark and my old club FC Copenhagen I was the second centre-forward. It took some getting used to,reports Nicklas.
Especially all the work that a striker has to do in England. In Denmark there was no requirement for me to track back and support the defence but over here it is vitally important. It isn’t the extra physical work, it’s more the change in the mental approach to the game. I had to become alert to the additional defensive responsibility. The youngster was spotted by the Gunners at a youth tournament playing for Denmark’s Under-19s where he scored three goals and particularly impressed in games against Spain and Portugal.
I was approached by an Arsenal scout who asked if I would like to come to England for a trial. I came over last year and signed in the summer. I knew a little bit about what it was like at Arsenal because I spoke a few times to Sebastian Svard when he was on loan with FC Copenhagen. We used to catch the bus home from training and so I had some idea as to what to expect.
NB is not going to be involved tonight in the Uefa Champions League Play-Off, For one reason or the other he is not in the squad to face the Italians, I’m not entirely sure why. Lets hope the Gunners’ go over there and do the job, It will no doubt be a tough challenge and an intimidating ground to play in like most Italian stadia are. Check back to NBNews for the latest news, opinions and video compilations on the Danish forward. Cheers, Matthew Collins