• Premier League

Wenger: I always believed in Bendtner

ESPN staff
December 5, 2013 « Cricket Australia apologise for Panesar tweet | Chartbeat test »
Wenger refuses to dismiss United

Arsene Wenger has stressed he never lost faith in the talents of Nicklas Bendtner, after the striker scored Arsenal's opening goal in their 2-0 win against Hull.

Bendtner was handed the chance to replace a rested Olivier Giroud at the Emirates Stadium, with the much-maligned hit-man confirming he was ready to defy his critics on his return to the Arsenal first team with a goal just two minutes into the game.

The strike was his first goal for Arsenal since March 2011 and he won a glowing endorsement from his manager.

"Nicklas has the qualities," Wenger told reporters. "I signed him twice on long contracts here because I believe in his qualities and when he shows that kind of attitude and commitment, it shows he has the qualities.

"His last performance was not convincing against Chelsea [in the Capital One Cup in October], but he has worked hard in training and deserved a chance.

"He has the stature, he has good technical quality, he has quite good pace. We had him as a boy of 15 or 16 and I made him sign a long contract twice so that means I always believed in his qualities.

"It all depends on his commitment and his fitness. He has worked hard recently and when he is physically sharp, he can compete with everybody. He had a good performance."

Arsenal maintained their four point lead at the top of the table with their latest win, as Wenger made five changes to his side and suggested the win confirmed his squad has the strength in depth to maintain a title push. "We were in control and we had a good solid performance, with some great technical quality," added Wenger.

"There was a very good attitude and it was a deserved win. Hull never gave up, kept fighting to the end, but overall we have seen some great football tonight.

"We brought the right intensity into our game, in our movement and passing. It shows that everyone works well together in training, no matter what kind of changes we make, our basis is there, our team play is there."

Arsenal now face a severe test of their title credentials, with their next four games coming against Everton, Napoli, Manchester City and Chelsea.

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