“From the first moment we saw each other there was a bad vibe.” An interesting insight into life at Arsenal from Nicklas Bendtner.
After joining Arsenal at the age of 16 and making his debut in 2005, Danish striker Nicklas Bendtner was tipped for great things.
However, 15 years on, it’s arguable that Gunners fans remember him more for his eventful off the field antics and in his new book, the former Juventus and Wolfsburg striker is candid about his problems with gambling and fame.
During his time at Arsenal, the Danish striker scored 24 goals in 108 games – including memorable strikes like his first Premier League goal which arrived in a North London derby, a hat-trick against Porto, and Arsenal’s only goal at the Nou Camp in a 4-1 defeat to a Messi-inspired Barcelona in 2013.
Ultimately, his erratic finishing and wayward lifestyle meant that his future at Arsenal was far from certain, resulting in the Dane going on loan to a litany of clubs including Birmingham, Sunderland, and Juventus.
After leaving Arsenal on a permanent basis, the striker has played for five clubs in six years which include spells at; VfL Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest, Rosenborg, F.C Copenhagen, and his current club, Tårnby FF.
While often playing up to the ‘Lord Bendtner’ image, it’s easy to overlook Bendtner’s impressive pedigree in international football.
He played in all three of Denmark’s group matches at the 2010 World Cup, and scored his country’s first goal of the 2–1 win against Cameroon. Aside from this, he also scored in Euro 2012 and with 30 goals in 81 matches, his strike rate for Denmark is excellent.
In fact, his last goal for the Danes was in Dublin when he scored a late penalty for Denmark in their 5-1 playoff win over Ireland.
However, during his time at Arsenal, it was well known that he didn’t see eye-to-eye with his fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor.
In fact, both men almost came to blows in a North London derby.
During Arsenal’s 2008 League Cup semi-final second -leg away at Tottenham, the pair had a heated on-pitch altercation with Spurs leading 4–1.
At the time, referee Howard Webb, Arsenal’s captain William Gallas, and other teammates had to intervene and separate the two.
In a recent interview with TalkSPORT, Bendtner elaborates on his rivalry with Adebayor.
“We just didn’t like each other. We sat next to each other in the changing room – he was 25 and I was 26 – and from the first moment we saw each other it was just a bad vibe. That never changed. We had some small bust-ups in the changing room and obviously, quite a big one at Tottenham where it sort of blew out of proportions. We were hammered 5-1 and were so bad – the disappointment of obviously letting the fans and team down just got out of hand between us.
“We had that staying on the pitch, then we had a little bit in the dressing room. The next day, we were in Wenger’s office getting fined, both of us. Sort of got explained to how we had to deal with each other on a professional and personal level. It was actually quite a good way of learning how to work with someone that you really dislike,” he said.
Aside from his career on the pitch in Denmark, Bendtner is also participating in a reality television show with his girlfriend and in a recent interview with The Guardian to promote his new book, he has also said that he’d like to become a manager.
Watch this space.
😡 “We just didn’t like each other.”
👎 “From the first moment we saw each other there was a bad vibe.”
😅 “It was good to learn how to work with someone you really dislike!”
— talkSPORT (@talkSPORT) October 20, 2020