Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to speak about the performance of striker Nicklas Bendtner following Tuesday night's Capital One Cup tie with Chelsea, after the striker suffered a mauling at the hands of Twitter users for his lacklustre performance.
Often, in such circumstances, managers will choose to speak out in defence of their players, even if harsh words may be exchanged in private.
Bendtner looks as if he won a competition to play for Arsenal.— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) October 29, 2013
However, per Arsenal.com, Wenger felt it unnecessary to publicly defend the Dane, telling his post-match press conference:
I do not want to go into the individual assessment of the players in the press conference. I leave that between the player and myself.
Twitter is far from the most reasoned of places during football matches, and on Tuesday night, the knives were out for Bendtner all through the match—although not helped by his lacklustre performance.
Having not scored a goal at club level since early 2012, perhaps it is somewhat to be expected, while his previous proclamations of greatness have not helped his image in the eyes of the wider public, per Matt Lawton of the Daily Mail.
As Jack Wilson of the Daily Star demonstrates here, Bendtner was the focus of much criticism from Arsenal fans—including outspoken television host Piers Morgan:
Bendtner should be sold on January 1 for that performance. And that headband. #Afc— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 29, 2013
If necessary, I will personally pay another club to take Bendtner in January. #Afc— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) October 29, 2013
It is becoming clear that Bendtner needs to move away from the Emirates Stadium to get his career back on track. His last spell of success came on loan at Sunderland, but he is now 25 and a permanent move is surely his next step.
He is not a poor player, but just isn't up to the levels that Arsenal require at present. Wenger has cleared out a lot of deadwood over the past 12 months and, but for the lack of a new striker this summer, Bendtner could also have been on his way, per the Express.
For now, it would appear that his exit from the club is simply being drawn out, with no prospect of redemption and certainly no chance of replacing Olivier Giroud in the first team.
If Wenger was not certain that a new striker was needed before, Bendtner's showing on Tuesday night may just have made up his manager's mind.