Nicklas Bendtner hangs up his boots

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At the age of 33, Nicklas Bendtner has called time on his playing career.

The Dane last kicked a ball in anger at the tail-end of 2019 for FC Copenhagen. He was on the verge of accepting an offer to play in China last year when the pandemic scuppered his plans for a final payday. His focus turned to a revealing autobiography called “Both Sides” where he openly admitted he wasted his potential indulging various vices.

Speaking to Danish station Kanal4 this morning, he said: “It’s over now. I have to find other things that can give me what football has given me all these years.

“Football is such a big part of my life that I cannot imagine stepping away from it, and that’s why I want to complete my coaching badges”

During nine years at Arsenal, “Lord” as he became known, played 171 times, scoring 47 goals and making 22 assists.

Lured to the academy by Arsene Wenger as a 16-year-old, the striker was tipped for the top (often by himself) and fleetingly flirted with greatness but ultimately left the club in 2014, via three loan moves, a frustrated and frustrating figure.

His goal against Sp*rs in the 2007 north London derby, headed home 1.8 seconds after coming off the bench, remains the quickest scored by a substitute in the Premier League and is undoubtedly the high point of his time at the Emirates.

A spell on the sidelines with a groin injury, sustained in a car crash he was lucky to survive, became a persistent issue and irregular game-time and disciplinary issues eventually took a toll on his form.

He did bag a very decent Champions League hat-trick against Porto in 2010 and a goal in the Nou Camp as Barcelona knocked us out at the quarter-final stage. A year later, he had the opportunity to exact revenge on Messi and co. but with a heavy touch squandered the chance to bag a tie-winning late away goal. Two years on loan followed.

First, he went to Sunderland, where he joined forces with Steve Bruce who’d had him for a season at Birmingham in his formative years, and then he picked up a Scudetto with Juventus even though injury meant he spent most of his time in Turin in the treatment room.

There was still time for a couple more Arsenal goals before he left as a free agent, one year after he’d told Wenger he was a wanker and an arsehole for denying him a transfer deadline day switch to Crystal Palace. Unhappy spells at Wolfsburg and Nottingham Forest were followed by better times with Norwegian side Rosenborg before his return home.

At international level, Bendtner thrived throughout his career, even after leaving London. He loved working with Morten Olsen and scored 30 goals in 81 appearances. Celebrating one of those goals – against Portugal at Euro 2012 – also earned him international recognition for the wrong reasons. FIFA fined him £80,000 and banned him for a match after he pulled down his shorts to reveal a pair of boxer shorts promoting a betting site.

The incident nicely sums up Nicklas’ relationship with football; his talent took him places, his behaviour held him back.

Weirdly, despite all his off-field antics – which later earned him jail time in Denmark – most Arsenal fans can’t help but have a soft spot for the guy.

He might be a tortured soul prone to being a plonker but he’s also lived the dream; scoring a winner against Sp*rs.

Bendtner – the highs and lows

2004 – joins Arsenal Academy

2005 – makes Arsenal debut against Sunderland in League Cup

2007 – makes Premier League debut vs Fulham

2007 – scores winner against Spurs with first touch; his first Premier League goal

2008 – on-field altercation with Emmanuel Adebayor as Arsenal lose to Spurs in the League Cup

2008 – blocks goal-bound Fabregas effort on the line as Arsenal draw 1-1 with Liverpool in the home leg of Champions League quarter-final

2009 – stumbles out of Boujis nightclub with his pants down hours after Arsenal lose Champions League semi-final to Manchester United

2010 – changes number from 26 to 52

2010 – crashes Aston Martin on the A1

2010 – scores Champions League hat-trick vs Porto

2012 – scores brace against Portugal at Euro 2012. Celebrates by revealing bookie-sponsored pants and earns a huge fine from FIFA.

2013 – convicted of drink driving in Copenhagen while on loan at Juventus

2013 – arrested for bashing up swimming pool at his London home

2013 – bust-up with Arsene Wenger after he’s blocked from joining Crystal Palace because Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho won’t sell Demba Ba to a rival

2014 – sports top knot

2014 – scores final goal for Arsenal against Cardiff and injures ankle in the process

2014 – goes AWOL from Arsenal, ends up drinking in Copenhagen and may or may not have rubbed genitals against a taxi

2014 – joins Wolfsburg on a free

2016 – fined by Wolfsburg, who are owned by Volkswagen, for posing with Mercedes

2016 – makes Nottingham Forest debut against Arsenal in League Cup

2017 – joins Norwegian side Rosenborg and scores 35 goals in 86 appearances

2018 – spends 50 days in prison following a conviction for assault on a taxi driver

2019 – signs short-term contract with FC Copenhagen

2020 – appears on the Arsecast

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TGSTEL

Johnny 4 Hats

When I look at the humility of Saka, ESR and Willock, I feel like Arsenal failed Nick just a little. We should have brought him down to earth. I don’t think he was ever Arsenal no 9 good, but he certainly should have achieved more.

Maybe we learnt from our mistakes after players like Bendtner, Song and Frimpong all were the wrong side of cocky. The new lads have a totally different ethos and we have Per to thank for that.

A Different George

That last is an interesting point. I wonder about Mertesacker’s influence. Everything I have learned about him since he played has increased my (already high) respect for him.

Viv The 🐐

Try to bring that lad down. I think he just had the attitude of Ravel Morrison, Balotelli, etc. You can hardly save them from themselves

MojoWillneny

Agree about Bendyner and Frimpong.

Not so Song. Very good player, good mentality.

punter

what a wasted talent

Lettra

Retirement .. Or a noose around some random cabdrivers neck?

Rob67

That story of him being arrested in Copenhagen for wacking the side of a taxi with his b ell end, is the most preposterous football related story I have ever heard. Sort of Monty Python meets Benny Hill. Credit to him for owning up to wasting his talent, because he really did have plenty. And with more self control and determination he could have been massive goal scoring asset for us. He plainly needed more stick than carrot and sadly didn’t get it. I saw him score a brace for Denmark once – and he took them like Messi. Let’s… Read more »

Lettra

i hope we can foster half the confidence TGSTEL and SCSZ had in our Academy lads ,the confidence in those two was enough for ten full squads!
I quite enjoy the characters even the bellends when the talent is clear.

Georgeycharles

It’s pretty much no fault but his own, but you have to feel a bit sad at the way his Arsenal career turned out – there was a decent player in there somewhere.

Fenman

Well he certainly thought he was great. Pity he never showed it on the field.

Matt

I still regularly think of *that* header. Guy jumped so high he had to stoop down to head it.

truj

As a member of the NNBC (National Nicklas Bendtner Committee) we are sad and deeply disappointed. We honestly hope this is the day of the first coming of the GMTEL – The Greatest Manager Ever Lived – (in the Universe of course).

Twatsloch

Not an Arsenal legend but certainly a legend.

Alex

A colossal twat who squandered his talent and left us for free having won fuck all. Thank god our new academy products seem to have their heads screwed on properly.

Collibosher

He should have been one of the greatest… but fluffed it.

Alex

Respectfully, I don’t think he was even that good. In a 14 year career he got into double figures for league goals twice: 19 for Rosenborg and 11 for Birmingham.

Riku

Scored great goal v Ipswich in semi final of league cup. Moments after Ipswich fabs booed him for let ball go out for a throw in. Curler top corner. He should have started final not r.v.p. who was tested all the rounds and then return ING from injury. And was rubbish in final Am sure NB scored in ever round of the cup. Leading to final . A moment big bad form from Wenger .

Paul

“All hail Lord Bendtner… He scores when he likes”

🤗🤗🤗

arseblog

Or he likes when he scores!

Paul

I remember once he scored and got injured while celebrating.

Andy

What a corner from Fabregas. Them were the days.

Man Manny

Them were the days…that we flattered to deceive at the beginning of seasons and ended up with zilch; nada; nothing at the end.

Qwaliteee

We made top four though.

And before you scoff, we’d all of us crawl over fucking glass for that now, including Arteta.

gooner

Bendtner and Arturo Lupoli scored more goals for our junior team than Messi and Ronaldo have in their career

Bendtners Cat

Meeeooow…

Arsenalista

Noooooooooooooooooo

Jarghs

Did he really change his shirt number to 52 because that’s how many thousands of pounds he was on per week? Or was that one of those pub stories?

Merlin’s Panini

I heard he just really liked the B52s.

😇🚗Zola

I always thought to our was because of the Boeing B-52 bomber…

😇🚗Zola

*it was

Bort

Read somewhere (maybe marca or as?) that he changed it because a fortune teller said it would bring luck and more goals

😇🚗Zola

Apparently we’re all wrong. This is a web archive from his official website saying that he liked and wanted the number 7 (which was Rocky’s at the time) so he opted for 52 because 5+2=7

http://web.archive.org/web/20120425135208/http://www.nicklas-bendtner.com/B52.aspx?ID=33

John

The world was not worthy of him. Quite simply the greatest striker that this planet has ever beheld. Pele, Messi, Maradona, Dean Windass, Ronaldo and Zidane are not fit to lace his awesome, golden boots.

Corona X

Pink. His boots were pink.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

This is a sad day in the football world.

TGSTEL, and remembered most by me for blocking that Fabregas certain goal.

Torterrier

Given 11/10 by the club psychologist for confidence. What a fucking player! RIP.

Zenithreptile

RIP in peace TGSTEL

C.B.

I was there behind the goal for the fastest ever substitute goal, incredible!

He could have been a legend, had the height, athleticism, footwork to do it. Shame the brain didn’t match and helped him realise what he could have acheived. We could have been giving him a send-off as one of the best no 9s we ever had (now or in the next couple of years), with 14 years or more of goals scored.

I hope he has grown up and can make the best of the rest of his life.

Torterrier

He’s got a reality tv show with his wife here in Denmark. It’s pretty embarrassing, sad to say he’s not making the best of things.

Teta's cult of personality ●█▀█▄

So in essence. His career was like poundland version of Balotelli’s. Everything you said about Nik could be said about Super Mario.

BringBackSeaman

What a pedigree wanker…… but he was our pedigree wanker… Lord Bendtner… The Greatest Striker that Ever Lived 😀

Merlin’s Panini

Such a weird guy. Lots of talent, total bell end. Kind of David Bentley in striker form. Wasted his career when the right attitude could have taken him much further.

Bergkamps boots

And no-one will miss the clown 😆

Canadagoon

Watching those goal clips hurts a bit (not just from the poor edits), he scored some really nice goals at key moments and I badly wanted to watch him have a great career for us, but he let it all fall apart. Reminds me of the whole team at that time with Cesc, Eduardo, Nasri and Adebayor and how we were so close, and then it all fell apart. Pain.

Qwaliteee

Couldn’t offset his maverick antics off the pitch with goals on it. He didn’t have the charisma of a Nicholas or a Merson either.

And, unlike Charlie and The Merse, you always felt he cared about Nick Bendtner first and foremost whilst not really giving a shit about The Arsenal one way or the other.

Nice winner against the Spuds and a good goal against Ipswich.

And that was about it, really.

Average player who thought he was the dog’s bollocks.

MojoWillneny

Exceptional arrogance.

Average professional footballing talent.

Hank Scorpio

Good luck to TGSTEL in retirement. My lasting memory of him (aside from the hilariously unprofessional ones) will be his missing a good number of sitters in a premier league game then promptly scoring a hattrick the very next game against Porto (I think it) in the the Champions League. Unfazed due to his supreme ‘confidence’, he went from the laughable to the sublime.

benjmin

We missed Bendtner so much, he’s better than the mediocre Auba

Baz

Can’t tell me if sarcasm or not. But just in case it wasn’t ( I suspect it wasn’t )

Bendter 28 goals in 108 appearances
Auba 64 goals in 108 appearances

Pretty dam obvious right there who is the mediocre one.

Terrible attempt at sarcasm if that’s the case

Peter Ryan

My first Arsenal goal at the Emirates was the Lord himself against Blackburn or Bolton I think.

czerwonadupa

For all the criticism I don’t think Nicklas would change anything, The cars – £120K Aston Martin at 21, son with girl friend –  Baroness Caroline luel-Brockdorff.
Football allowed him to have a great time.