Nicklas Bendtner’s nine-year stay at Arsenal is one of the more memorable in the club’s recent history.
Signed as an unknown 16-year-old, the Dane went on to make more than 150 appearances for the Gunners, scoring 45 goals.
But it was arguably his antics off the pitch which earned him cult-like status not only in north London, but across the country.
Whether it was claiming he would be “one of the best strikers in the world”, after netting 14 times in 2005/05. Or suggesting that the only two clubs who could offer what he needed were Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Add in a controversial pant-related celebration for Denmark and it was rarely quiet during his time under Arsene Wenger.
And in his new book, Both Sides, the striker has gone behind the scenes on some of his more infamous moments in a Gunners shirt.
If there was any confusion about his attitude as a youngster, those are quashed as he recalls, when aged 16, he went head-to-head with Arsenal main man Thierry Henry.
It was back in May 2005, when the two had words, with Bendtner unwilling to bow to his more senior colleagues.
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“I sometimes forget, after arriving at Arsenal as a 16-year-old, that I’m only on trial with the big guns,” he said via the Daily Mail.
“During one training session, we play a match with some rather unusual rules. It’s 11 on 11, but each player can only make a maximum of two touches at a time. I’m in a position to see Thierry Henry touch it three times.”
“‘Three touches,’ I shout. Pat Rice, Wenger’s red-faced assistant coach, shouts at us to carry on.
“But Henry has heard me. He turns in my direction with his index finger pressed to his lips. ‘Sssssssh.’
“Not long after, I do the same thing. First, the ball hits my heel, then my toe, then I make a pass.
“Even though it’s all in the same movement, it’s not a clean touch and a free-kick is awarded against the academy pupil. I complain — big time. I snap that there should be equal treatment for everyone.
“Henry tells me to shut it, but this time with a load of profanities. Looking back now, it’s all pretty good advice. But I don’t take it. I shout back that it’s him who should shut it.
“Then he strides over to me — right up in my face — and tells me to p*** off. Completely indifferent to the fact that the game is still going on around us.
“But it doesn’t end there. After training, Henry comes over and grabs hold of me. We end up talking — first in the dressing room and then in the players’ lounge. I didn’t know he had so many words in him — but he does. He delivers a two-hour monologue. About everything it takes to get to where you want to be.”
But arguments weren’t consigned to Arsenal’s training pitches. In 2008, while a much-changed Arsenal team were being thumped by rivals Tottenham, he and fellow striker Emmanuel Adebayor went head-to-head.
Bendtner went into more detail on the clash with Adebayor, a player he admits he couldn’t stand.
“After drawing the first leg 1-1 at the Emirates, we’re 4-0 down,” he recalls. “Arsene Wenger sends Eduardo and Adebayor on. On the way past me, Adebayor shouts that it’s my fault he has to come on and waste his energy: ‘I’m here because you’re playing like s***.’
“It’s not especially encouraging, and shortly after when we win a corner, we both seek out the back post. There’s a lot of pushing and jostling, and suddenly we’re fighting each other.
“We push back and forth while the Tottenham players watch in puzzlement. Afterwards, Adebayor claims I gave him the finger, but I don’t remember that.
“What I do remember is him sticking his head forward. That’s the thing with him. He behaves illogically. Completely unpredictably. I don’t know if it’s totally deliberate, but it feels like a headbutt right on the bridge of my nose. The blood gushes out and my nose swells up. As if it’s not big enough already.”