By Nick Teale
 
Arsène Wenger has explained why he started Nicklas Bendtner against Tottenham even though the striker had only just returned from a groin injury.
 
The Dane had previously missed the win against Birmingham and the trip to Alkmaar. He was a late substitute against West Ham the previous week before playing 75 minutes against Liverpool.
 
Bendtner then started against Spurs just three days after the Carling Cup win.
 
However, the 21-year-old was withdrawn after 36 minutes of that game with a recurrence of his groin problem and is now expected to be out for around a month.
 
Despite the injury, Wenger has defended his decision to start the Dane in the North London derby.
 
"Bendtner is a big blow," he acknowledged.  "I played him against Tottenham because he is strong in the air.
 
"It gives us more variety in our games because we can lose possession yet still win the next header with Bendtner.

"He makes us dangerous at set pieces and so we can change a little bit our game."

Copyright 2014 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 4 Nov 2009