The official website for European football

Bendtner bent on proving his worth

Published: Wednesday 12 December 2007, 2.00CET
Arsenal FC striker Nicolas Bendtner is determined to seize his chance if given a rare starting place at home to FC Steaua Bucureşti in Group H on Wednesday.
by Matthew Spiro
from London

Tournament statistics

ArsenalSteaua

Goals scored19
 
4
Attempts on target53
 
14
Attempts off target55
 
33
Corners51
 
16
Offsides36
 
37
Fouls committed129
 
110
Yellow cards17
 
12
Red cards0
 
0

Matches

4 December 2007

D Milan
1-0
Celtic
D Shakhtar
1-2
Benfica

11 December 2007

A Marseille
0-4
Liverpool
A Porto
2-0
Beşiktaş
B Chelsea
0-0
Valencia
B Schalke
3-1
Rosenborg
C Real Madrid
3-1
Lazio
C Olympiacos
3-0
Werder

12 December 2007

E Rangers
0-3
Lyon
E Barcelona
3-1
Stuttgart
F Roma
1-1
Man. United
F Sporting
3-0
Dynamo
G PSV
0-1
Internazionale
G Fenerbahçe
3-1
CSKA Moskva
H Arsenal
2-1
Steaua
H Slavia Praha
0-3
Sevilla
 
Published: Wednesday 12 December 2007, 2.00CET

Bendtner bent on proving his worth

Arsenal FC striker Nicolas Bendtner is determined to seize his chance if given a rare starting place at home to FC Steaua Bucureşti in Group H on Wednesday.

Teenage striker Nicklas Bendtner is relishing the prospect of leading Arsenal FC's attack in their final UEFA Champions League Group H game against FC Steaua Bucureşti on Wednesday, hoping to catch the eye of manager Arsène Wenger.

Mature displays
First-team opportunities have been a rarity for Bendtner since he joined from FC København in 2004, with the Danish international being loaned to Birmingham City FC last term and then requiring considerable patience following his summer return to London. Indeed, the 19-year-old played more regularly for his country than for his club in the early stages of this season, before two mature displays in the English League Cup and a series of powerful substitute cameos forced him into Wenger's plans.

Debut goal
Having marked his European debut by scoring Arsenal's record-equalling seventh goal against SK Slavia Praha on Matchday 3, the forward was rewarded with starting berths away to both Slavia and Sevilla FC. Bendtner could now feature in a fourth successive UEFA Champions League tie on Wednesday, with Robin van Persie only just returning to training after a knee injury and Emmanuel Adebayor likely to be rested. "I certainly hope I will start," he said. "Every time I get a chance, I want to show people what I can do. It's not easy because we have such a great strike force at Arsenal, and we've been playing really good football so the team has been settled. But when a chance comes along, it's important for me to take it."

Middlesbrough memory
While Wenger's charges are already assured of reaching the last 16, the visit of Steaua represents an opportunity for them to clinch top spot, should Group H leaders Sevilla slip up in Prague. For Bendtner, winning would also help erase the memory of Sunday's 2-1 defeat by Middlesbrough FC, the Gunners' first in the Premier League for 22 matches. "This game is a good opportunity for us to bounce back," said Bendtner, a second-half substitute at the Riverside Stadium. "We're disappointed but when you play in such a tough league, losing is always going to happen. We need to put that behind us and show everyone what we're all about."

Birmingham experience
Most Arsenal fans are only now beginning to learn what Bendtner is all about. The imposing Dane scored 22 goals in 27 reserve-team outings before moving to Birmingham, where his ability to lead the line and weigh in with important strikes – eleven in the Championship – helped Steve Bruce's men clinch promotion to the top flight. "The season I spent at Birmingham was fantastic," he enthused. "I just wanted to help Birmingham win games and get promoted, as well as trying to improve as a player. I think I achieved that." Recent displays suggest Bendtner's career is on an upward curve, and another scoring show on Wednesday would give Wenger even more food for thought.

Last updated: 12/12/07 21.42CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15105/match=301245/prematch/focus/index.html#bendtner+bent+proving+worth

  • © 1998-2014 UEFA. All rights reserved.
  • The CHAMPIONS LEAGUE and UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE words, the UEFA Champions League logo and trophy and the UEFA Champions League Final logos are protected by trade marks and/or copyright of UEFA. No use for commercial purposes may be made of such trade marks. Use of UEFA.com signifies your agreement to the Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.