By Richard Clarke
Nicklas Bendtner believes there are plenty of young Gunners who
are ready to follow his example and make a real contribution in
Arsenal's title bid.
The 19-year-old striker headed home the winner in a see-saw game against Tottenham on Saturday. Within seconds of coming off the bench the Dane met Cesc Fabregas' corner to score with his first touch in a North London derby.
Having been teetering for a time, Arsenal needed a spark from the bench and Bendtner feels the emerging young talent in the squad can play a part in such circumstances throughout the team's title bid.
"It is the squad that wins all the games," said the
former Birmingham loanee. "You need to have a strong squad
these days. If someone is tired later in the season it is important
that you have someone who can come in and take over. The young
players showed that in the game against Blackburn. You could call
that the second team if you like but we showed what we can do - it
seems everyone is ready and can step in and do the job."
Meanwhile it turns out that Bendtner's contribution on Saturday was inspired by Vic Akers, the Arsenal kit man.
"Arsène had actually told me to get on and tell Sagna to defend," he remarked. "But I said to Vic our kit man to get me on for the corner and I'll score for you. It was quite funny when it actually happened.
"It was fantastic really. My first touch in a derby and my
first Premier League goal. People said to me that they don't
remember that ever happening and I don't think it will happen
in a long time.
"I'd only ever played Reserves against Spurs before. It was my first time in the first team against them. It's always good to score in the Tottenham game because it's such a big rivalry. But what is also important is the win - that is the best thing we got from this game."