It is very rare for Arsene Wenger to publicly criticize his own player, but he went off in his press conference today on Nicklas Bendtner in a way that I can never remember the Arsenal boss reacting.
Bendtner’s problems started midweek when he decided to take an unscheduled trip back to Denmark. Apparently he did not have Wenger’s permission to go and then to make matters worse he was involved in a drunken row with a taxi driver where he reportedly unbuttoned his trousers and rubbed himself against a cab and the police were then called.
Asked about it today Wenger said:
“Honestly, I don’t know what happened [in Copenhagen]. I haven’t spoken to him [Bendtner]. The only thing that is for sure, he had nothing to do in Copenhagen.
“Nobody gave him any permission to go to Copenhagen. He will be fined for that. For the rest, has he created some trouble? I don’t know. I will speak to him today.”
When asked whether it was the final straw for Bendtner, Wenger said:
“Look, he’s at the end of the contract at the end of the season.”
It’s pretty clear from the last comment that Bendtner will not be offered a new deal at Arsenal and that the Gunners will finally be rid of him at the end of the season.
The just turned 26-year-old Bendtner’s career has really fallen off the tracks the last couple of seasons.
In his first four seasons at Arsenal, Bendtner scored 45 goals in 153 games. Not a bad return for a player in this early twenties. The following season (2011-12) Bendtner scored 8 goals in 30 appearances with Sunderland before going to play well at the 2012 Euros.
But since then Bendter’s career has cratered. He went on loan to Juventus last season, where he arrived out of shape and only played 8 games. This summer Arsenal again offered Bendter to reportedly everyone in Europe, but the Danish striker was unwilling to take a reduction in wages so he ended up back at the Emirates where he has scored 2 goals in 12 appearances.
Bendtner is still young enough to resurrect his career, but he seems a person more interested in the celebrity and monetary side of being a professional footballer player rather actually fulfilling his potential.