Did Wenger ruin this Arsenal striker’s career?

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One of the most consistent criticisms of Arsene Wenger in recent years has been of his inability to change style or tactics, either mid game or mid season. The 4-3-3 formation has become the default setting even when certain players are struggling for form.

None of Arsenal’s wide front men could ever find consistent performances last season and even though Robin Van Persie prospered in the second half of the campaign, you could argue that he would have been just as prolific in a more conventional 4-4-2.

Man Utd’s success has been built upon Sir Alex Ferguson’s flexibility and ability to constantly evolve his team’s approach depending on the personnel available and the opposition. In games against Arsenal in particular we have seen a shift in approach to contain Wenger’s team which has worked almost without fail, particularly in the biggest matches.

In contrast Wenger refuses to adapt for any opposition or any occasion. One of the most notable occasions when he did was for the FA Cup Final in 2005 and the more negative approach gave Arsenal their last trophy. The signing of Chamakh last season appeared to suggest that Wenger would now be more flexible in his approach as the Moroccan’s style of play could be used in combination with van Persie.

Instead the slick haired striker was only given a chance when our vice-captain was injured before Christmas and he spent the rest of the season alongside Niklas Bendtner as a last gasp substitute and even then both target men were instructed to play as awkward wingers.

Both Bendtner and Chamakh have proved that they can be effective when played through the middle and yet Wenger will still not adapt to the strengths of his squad. This summer Wenger has bolstered his attack once again with the arrival of Gervinho, who has already excited the Arsenal faithful with a quick fire brace in the friendly against Cologne. The Ivorian’s physical presence suggests that he too could provide a foil for van Persie in a 4-4-2 but Bendtner’s imminent departure hints at the fact that the manager will again prefer to use his attacking options in the wide positions either side of last season’s top scorer.

This policy already appears to have killed Bendtner’s Arsenal career but Arsenal fans, Gervinho, Chamakh, Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin and Vela will all be hoping the manager can broaden his approach as the season’s start fast approaches.

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  • bob says:

    He’s scored about 1 in 4 for Arsenal but a lot of his appearences have been from the bench and like you say bizarrely out wide.He’s scored 1 in 3 for Denmark where he played as a centre forward.Clearly he should play up front.
    I feel when he goes he will score lots of goals.Not sure if he will ever get to 1 in 2 but if he had a team that played to his strengths he may.
    At 23 he’s got lot’s of time to improve.That’s the problem with Wenger’s system,they all want to move before their peak.Crazy.

  • JeffersAFC says:

    “One of the most consistent criticisms of Arsene Wenger in recent years has been of his inability to change style or tactics, either mid game or mid season” Who has led these alleged criticisms? Bendtner promised so much and delivered so little, in contrast to your article, which says a lot, but delivers nothing constructive! Get real and get a job!

  • bradguns says:

    excuse me “can be effective when played through the middle” can you give me an example consistantly shit in the middle if you ask me
    he only played well when on the wing

  • Jack says:

    Bendtner has proved he’s effective through the middle… You’re having a laugh right.

    • Canapol says:

      This fella is right about one thing; Bendy IS GOOD IN THE MIDDLE of offence. And although I dont agree with Wenger criticism, I must say that we seem to buy players and then try to mould them into different positions which is crazy.
      In the past, when we were successful, we had genuine wingers Ljunberg, Pirez, Overmars etc… now we try to have our center forwrds do the job, that is crazy.
      I too believe Bendy will be successful elsewhere and will end up scoring against much like Eduardo did.
      I thought SAF was nuts for buying Ashley Cole but it seems that he will also do quite well in running at defences and providing the cross; something we lack.

  • ne says:

    yup agree. That’s why i respect SAF. If u can’t defeat your opponent by your strength, then outsmart him in otherway.

  • Matt says:

    Again, something negative about Arsenal. Bendtner failed at Arsenal. Period. He grew from the reserves playing Arsenal way and failed at it. Should we now hate Arsenal or Wenger for this. There is too much negativity at times I wonder if its all worth it. Bendtner’s career has not been ruined. He just failed at Arsenal. He will be successful elsewhere. That is life. Get over it.

  • Ashburton_Grove says:

    Like so many of Wanker’s players of recent, Bendtner played out of position on nearly every appearance and is miscategorized as a failure (like Rosicky, Walcott, Nasri, et. al.). it is Wanker to blame and no one else. Everyone who criticizes the players are numpties.

  • Arsene-al says:

    So first people b**** that they want bendtner out and that wenger is an idiot for constantly giving him chances, and now that hes leaving people b**** that wenger ruined him and didn’t give him proper chances..I feel like if wenger goes out tomorow and says his favorite colour is purple people would find a reason to b**** about that

  • joseph says:

    people are idiots and i agree with Arsene-al ^ ….people just have a probem with wenger and want to winge and b***h about him

  • Bluemoon says:

    I hope so it’s not but in the way that AW had done last season show he did as the article say . It’s hard to accept AW had done but it’s true and this year is so crucial that he may be ruined Arsenal team by his stupid and reasonless management like he doesn’t try to make defensive game solid by not invested in G Cahill or C Samba, not made the middle role prominent by buy someone like S Parker or J Barton even if barton is nearly free agent today and finally the attack part has no imagination to made chace to scores ,no effective giant striker to relied in the front role but AW try to change the natural type of player to the difficulty position that nobody understand why.

  • The BearMan says:

    Chamakh progress is halted because he is adjusting to a style of play he is very uncomfortable and ineffective at.

  • Sugar Lord says:

    Didn’t you know tha Wenger is responsible for the Credit Crunch and the World Financial Crisis? Isn’t it about time you reported that he had a hand in the genocide in Central Africa and the oppression in Libya?

    Oh and by the way. Bendner was played wide on the right throughout his loan season at Birmingham.

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