AW: Bendtner needs to be patient

The 22-year-old has just returned from a groin problem which

sidelined him since the World Cup, with five substitute appearances

in the Barclays Premier League but no starts. Bendtner – who scored

against Manchester City and in the Carling Cup win at Newcastle –

claims he is in the best shape of his life and lamented during an

interview to a Denmark newspaper he was “wasting my time on the

bench” suggesting he could look elsewhere for regular first-team

football. Wenger, though, has heard it all before and would expect

nothing less of a confident young man. “Have you ever seen a player

who is on the bench and not frustrated?” the Arsenal manager said.

“When you try to convince a player that he has to be patient, then

you waste your time, but that is what you have to do. “You ask a

player if he is fit after two training sessions and he says ‘yes’.

That is normal. I was the same.” Wenger continued: “I have been

very pleased with Nicklas’ attitude and spirit. He has to continued

to work, and when he is completely match fit he will play. “I can

understand because he has put a lot of effort in. Now he has to be

a little bit patient. “Nicklas has a good level of confidence and

that is not bad, but you have to justify it on the football pitch.

“He is getting sharper in training. He will play games. “But we are

a big club and we have big strikers – you cannot start the season

with one striker. You decide and, unfortunately, you can only play

11.” Part of the reason Bendtner has found himself on the bench is

the continued form of Marouane Chamakh. The free transfer summer

signing from Bordeaux has adapted quickly to life with the Gunners

and his brace at Wolves made it eight goals from 17 appearances.

With Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie also now back in the frame,

Wenger has plenty of attacking options as he prepares for Sunday’s

trip to Everton. “When you look at the number of times Chamakh was

decisive, you can only say that if you are not happy you must be

very difficult to please,” Wenger reflected. “I am extremely

satisfied I signed him. “Chamakh is a guy who gets others involved,

who creates chances, who is collective in the final third. “He is a

very collective player and even if he doesn’t get 20 goals I am

sure the players around him will score because of him.” The Morocco

striker has, though, drawn some criticism for the way he is

perceived to go down too easily in the penalty area, most notably

away in the Champions League to Partizan Belgrade and also against

Birmingham. Wenger, however, insisted Chamakh was no diver. “I

spoke with him and said, ‘In England it is not tolerated, the

English people become very aggressive about it’,” the Arsenal boss

revealed. “He said ‘I don’t dive. Since I was young people ask me

why I dive, but I don’t even know the way I go down and when I do

it is because I have been unbalanced’.”