By Chris Harris
Arsène Wenger insists that scoring goals is not the be-all and end-all if you’re an Arsenal striker.
Nicklas Bendtner has come under scrutiny in the past week after squandering a string of chances against Burnley before making amends with a hat-trick against Porto. In time-honoured fashion, the Danish striker lurched from zero to hero in the media with one tabloid going as far as issuing an apology to the player after his Porto treble.
But a closer inspection of Arsenal’s scoring stats shows that strikers are responsible for fewer than 40 per cent of their goals this season. And as far as Wenger is concerned, it doesn’t matter whether Bendtner or a fellow striker finds the net provided Arsenal play well enough to create chances and win each game.
“For me the most important thing is that we have the best attack in the Premier League this season, and our strikers haven’t scored as many goals,” said the manager.
“For us it is important our team play is right, then anyone can score in our team. There is no special responsibility on any given striker to score goals.
“I was not tempted to drop Bendtner because we had a good game [against Burnley]. You can have a good game and miss chances. He missed the chances where you feel the striker always feels guilty, but I never make a special thing of somebody scoring or not. What is important is the team wins, not whether Bendtner scores or not.
“We won against Burnley and won against Porto. In one he scored, in one he did not - but most importantly we won both the games.”Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 11 Mar 2010