So it’s Thursday, the Carling Cup game detour is done and dusted and we can all look forward to the real football again. That might sound a little harsh on the Arsenal kids who beat West Bromwich on Tuesday but it’s certainly how I feel ahead of Saturday’s game away to Fulham at Craven Cottage.
One of the players who is certain to feature is Nicklas Bendtner and in the past couple of days he has spoken of Arsene Wenger’s somewhat surprising decision to use him predominantly on the right this season. In his own words he said:
“I think it is a short-term decision. I have spoken to the manager, obviously, and he explained why he’s playing me there at the moment. He knows as well though that my position is to play up front as a striker. That’s where I prefer personally, but if I have to do a job for the team and play on the right or the left sometimes then I’m happy to do that as well.”
With his physique and aerial prowess – plus the fact he’s played their nearly his whole career – I think most Arsenal supporters would agree that Bendtner’s best position is up front. In saying that I also believe that Wenger’s decision to play Bendtner on the right and Robin van Persie in the middle is proving to be the right one for the team. He provides a physical yin to Andrey Arshavin or Emmanuel Eboue’s nippy yang as well as an aerial target out of defence, something that Gael Clichy and in particular Thomas Vermaelen has used regularly.
It’s clear that the manager wants the Dutchman to be the focal point of the attack and although he’s not slotting his chances just yet he’s certainly making them as well as creating a whole host of opportunities for the players around him. There’s no doubt that Bendtner’s time as a striker will come as van Persie is rotated or gets injured – we saw it against Standard Liege – and the most important thing is that the Dane maintains his clearly positive attitude and keeps playing for the good of the team.
Moving on now and Arsene Wenger has today received some fierce criticism from Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud over his behaviour regardin the Marouane Chamakh transfer. The problem is, as far as I can tell from Triaud’s comments, the criticism is completely unfair. Read for yourself:
“What I do not like in the behaviour of Arsene Wenger who is doing this again today, is that at the beginning, he declared his interest in Chamakh, a long time before calling me. Then he ended up doing so. I said I wanted around 18million euros for the transfer because in a negotiation, I know very well that there is always a counter offer. He said that was a lot, and called me 48 hours later, as agreed. He offered seven. I replied that was too low and he suggested calling me back a little later to find a compromise, but in the end he never called back.”
“Seeing Eduardo make a fantastic start to the season, Wenger suddenly realised he no longer needed Chamakh. So there was no more news from London. At that point Chamakh asked me to block everything for Arsenal and I told him no, and called Wenger to know (what was happening). He told me he didn’t want him anymore, stating that he is a great player, that he respects him, but if he takes him and he does not play, it would not be right for the player or for the club. He said that, regardless of the price of the transfer, he was not interested. Thank you and goodbye!”
Hmm – not sure I see anything wrong with it. As far as I can tell Wenger stated his interest without approaching the player, called Bordeaux to negotiate, wasn’t happy with the price and decided he didn’t want the player after Bordeaux turned down the offer. Sounds OK to me, or am I missing something?
Anyway, that’s really it for today aside from some more comments from the manager regarding the FA’s proposed changes to prevent clubs signing certain players under 18 years of age. I’ve not yet made too much sense of the proposal so instead of writing something wishy-washy and ultimately flawed I think I’ll just link to a more appropriate article from another Arsenal blogger who knows what they’re talking about.
Watch this space and other than that, have a lovely Thursday.
Have your say on Bendtner, Bordeaux or the youth policy by leaving a comment.