Bendtner's self confidence is off the scale
Published 23:00 04/02/11 By John Cross
Nicklas Bendtner goes to Newcastle today full of belief - after it was revealed his self confidence is literally off the scale.
Bendtner had Arsenal assistant boss Pat Rice in stitches as he even shocked a sports shrink during a psychology test on self-perceived competence.
French psychologist Jacques Crevoisier, a trusted expert who regularly works with Arsenal’s players, carried out a series of psychometric tests to see if their brain power matched their football ability.
Bendtner, who has claimed he will become one of the best strikers in the world within five years, showed self belief that Crevoisier had never seen in previous players he has worked with like Thierry Henry, Nicolas Anelka and David Trezeguet.
Crevoisier, in an interview with Swedish magazine Offside, said: “One of the categories is called ‘self perceived competence,’ i.e. how good the player himself thinks he is. On a scale up to 9, Bendtner got 10!
“We have never seen that before. Pat Rice was sitting next to me and couldn’t stop laughing.
“When Bendtner misses a chance, he is always genuinely convinced that it wasn’t his fault. You might say that’s a problem, and to a certain degree it can be.
“But you can also view it as this guy has an remarkably ability to come back after setbacks.”
Crevoisier has devised a series of up to 117 questions to analyse self belief, concentration levels and determination.
Arsene Wenger has known his fellow Frenchman for 40 years and Crevoisier - who specialises in working with young French players at the country’s Clairefontaine academy - has worked at Arsenal to help their youngsters.
It is designed to ensure that Arsenal boss Wenger’s players have the confidence to match their ability and, in Bendtner’s case, that is something that is clearly not lacking.
Denmark striker Bendtner claimed earlier this season that, when fully fit, he should always be in the Arsenal starting line-up and he was getting fed-up of being left on the bench.
Now it is clear that Bendtner will never lose that self-confidence even when he is battling with Robin van Persie and Marouane Chamakh for a place in the Arsenal team.
Bendtner has been in good form recently but has divided opinions in the past among Arsenal fans after missing big chances during games.
But Bendtner clearly feels it is not his fault when things do not go well, according to Crevoisier who wants to expand his work in the Premier League.
Wenger has also used power point messages in team meetings before games, focusing on “team relationships, dynamics and strong and united” players.
Crevoisier has said in the past that some English players sometimes lack mental strength compared to their French counterparts. But there is no doubting Bendtner’s belief.
Meanwhile, Bendtner’s strike partner van Persie also does not lack belief in Arsenal’s ability to win the Premier League title this season after insisting leaders Manchester United will drop points.
The Gunners go to St James’s Park five points behind United but they are in good form and van Persie also says he is coming back to his best after injury curtailed his start to the campaign.
Van Persie said: “It is vital to just keep looking at yourself. We all know United’s schedule, we know Chelsea’s schedule, but the main thing is to just look at our own.
“We have got a tough opponent now at Newcastle away, and so we only need to look at that.
“I am confident Manchester United will drop points, 100 per cent, because they have big games coming up - they have their own derby, they have games against Chelsea, other big games, so we will see what is going to happen.
“We just have to stick to ourselves and I am confident we can fight until the end.
“I am feeling really happy and healthy in myself at the moment. “I was right to take things quite carefully when I first came back - you have to keep in mind that I was basically injured for an entire calendar year, except for the summer.
“I’d had two big ankle injuries in the space of 12 months and needed some time to get properly fit.
“That is why the boss, the medical team and I chose to do things more slowly, step by step, and I think it has paid off in the end.
“Since the Chelsea game things have really kicked on - I have become stronger in every game and every training session. Sometimes it is good to start cautiously and that was definitely the case for me.”