Bendtner Needs to Play a Striker
Too often last season Wenger deployed Bendtner as a wide player, whilst not in an orthodox left-wingers role, sufficiently wide to keep out of the penalty area. The same pattern has been repeated this season, resulting in the young Denmark striker pleading for Arsene to play him in a more central role.
Bendtner has a point, he does not possess speed or skill to start out wide and cut in past defenders, a favourite ploy of Thierry Henry and latterly when he could be bothered Adebayor.
Bendtner’s strengths, and there are some cynics who will say he has doesn’t have any, are his height, his ability to control the ball with his chest and to bring others into play. With the Dane on the wing, there is nobody in the centre to get onto the end of the crosses. His threat is negated out on the wing.
I would prefer to play van Persie out on the wing; he has speed and skill to get past defenders. Van Persie’s trickery is amazing and his tight ball control is completely mesmeric. Robin out on the wing always reminds me of the wonder goal he scored against Blackburn many years ago in front of the North Bank, he twisted the defender so many times that when he unleashed his shot from an impossible angle he must have hypnotised the whole defence because everyone stood watching. I do not advocate van Persie staying on the wing, just until we have Arshavin, Walcott and Nasri fully fit.
In a three man attack Bendtner needs to be the fulcrum of that attack, allowing other tricky players to supply him with the chances for him to score. We will not see the best of Bendtner if we try to convert him into a Kuyt type work-horse (a striker who can’t score but the manager’s reputation is at stake if he sells him for a loss!), Bendtner is an orthodox number 9 and that is where he needs to play.