I remember when Nic Bendtner went to Birmingham City a couple of years ago.
The notoriously demanding Blues fans lambasted him for a lack of effort and being wasteful in front of goal – and I took it with a pinch of salt.
After all, here is a full international at a young age with a lot of playing time ahead of him and a lot of experience to gain.
When he came back to Arsenal last season, though, I think a lot of us wondered what was wrong with him, because he never used to stay around after a game and applaud the fans or bond with his team-mates. It smacked of arrogance.
Ever since our Veteran, Samuel Mowbray, wrote about the failings of Bendtner, I’ve been keeping a closer eye on his appearances....
To be fair to him, he did well against Sheffield United, when everything fitted into place for the team.
When Bendtner comes off the bench, as he did against Kiev and Ch*vski, he brings energy and a new dimension to the team, taking advantage of tiring legs and helping to create threats.
Last season, late goals against Aston Villa and T*tt*nh*m underline the substitute impact he can make.
Apart from that? I disagree with those who said he had an outstanding performance against M*nure and don’t think he has shown anywhere near the potential or talent of Carlos Vela, who is some way behind him in terms of experience.
Bendtner had an early chance to give us the lead but never looked confident of taking it and was then put through soon after the home side had taken the lead, scuffing his chance once again. Missing two one-on-ones as an international striker against a second division goalkeeper is inexcusable.
Of course, some praise must go to Burnley keeper Brian Jensen but even our youngsters should not be losing to a side of Burnley’s pedigree.
Bendtner was one of the senior and most experienced players in our team, and if he is one of our top strikers, he shouldn’t be missing the chances he has done, such as the sitter at the end that Vela created for him.
Even Jay Simpson had more presence about him when he came on, and the fact that he is about to sign a new contract suggests Wenger may be re-thinking his opinion of our young forward who so impressed against Wigan.
He has something of an old-style centre forward about him and I hope he gets his chance again, perhaps on his return from a loan at Norwich which has been reported this morning.
Arsène Wenger talks of the Carling Cup as being a learning curve, as much for him as for the young players – and if he learnt one thing last night, it was that Bendtner simply is not good enough to start matches for the Arsenal.
And those pink boots suggest he thinks he is better than he is - no wonder reports have circulated today about his departure!
Our Mexican starlet has less experience but more talent, and who would you bet on to get us 20 goals a season at some time in the future? I know who my money is on and his first name isn’t Nic.