• News

I am tired of being portrayed as an idiot: Nicklas Bendtner

Nicklas Bendtner
Getty Images

Danish footballer Nicklas Bendtner talks about his time at the Arsenal Academy and how he wants to be treated better.

Arsenal’s Danish forward Nicklas Bendtner is a product of the Gunners Academy in the English Premier League.

And he has played for teams around Europe like Juventus, Wolfsburg, and now with Copenhagen.

But he’s fed up with the way teams have treated him so far.

“At the Arsenal academy, it is like I have come to a different world. I have to get used to no longer being the best in my age group. Here, suddenly, there is a lot of competition,” he told The Guardian.

“The worst bit is Tuesdays and Thursdays when we have lessons. It is like being back at school. We have all sorts of different subjects, such as press management and financial management. I thought I was done with studying and if it is possible I hate it even more than back at Amager.”

He explained: “One day I am called into Liam Brady’s office. I don’t expect anything to be wrong because Arsène Wenger has praised me several times when I have been training with the first team. I am wrong, though.”

“‘Look, son,’ he says. ‘I don’t think you understand what is at stake here, and how many boys would give their right arm to have the chance you have now. I think simply that you are not ready’.”

“I get a long speech. That I was a big fish in a small pond in Denmark. That I look at football as something I am automatically best at. That I shouldn’t be thinking about cars, expensive watches and model girlfriends. That is something you get when you deserve it and that the only way there is hard work,” he added.

“He is staring right at me as he talks to me. His gaze doesn’t deviate an inch. I try to stare back, to show that I am strong, but I can also feel that my eyes are welling up. My mouth opens and I can hear my own voice. I am agreeing with him. Even though I am doing more than OK I am a long way from being outstanding.”