Nicklas Bendtner Recalls Thierry Henry Telling Him To 'Shut Up' In Heated Training Ground Argument
Nicklas Bendtner arrived at Arsenal as a 16-year old with a huge chip on his shoulder and was swiftly put in his place by senior players, specifically talisman Thierry Henry.
In his new autobiography, Danish striker Bendtner recounts the time both he and Henry told one another to shut up when he was training with the first-team.
He had banged in 12 goals in 18 games for the Under 18s, as well as five goals for the reserves. But when it came to mixing up with the big boys, Bendtner soon discovered he was only a small fish in a pond full of big fish.
"During one session we are playing 11 v 11 with a maximum of two touches at a time. I am standing in a position to see Thierry Henry touching it three times," Bendtner writes in his book, 'Both Sides', as per The Guardian.
"Three touches," I shout. Wenger's assistant, Pat Rice, shouts back: 'Play on, for f**k's sake!'
'But Henry has heard me. He turns in my direction and puts his finger over his lips: "Sssssssh." Shortly afterwards I do the same. The ball touches my heel, and then my toe before I pass it on.
"It is one movement but the academy player gets a free-kick against him. Of course I do. I don't think. I just start complaining, big time. I say it should be the same for everyone.
"Henry tells me to shut up, this time with a lot of swear words included. And in hindsight it is good advice. But I am not taking it on. I shout back that he is the one who should shut up. He runs in my direction, confronts me, yells into my face, says all kinds of things. He totally ignores the fact that the game is going on around us.
"Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell get involved: 'Carry on, Nicklas, keep on running and shut your mouth. And I do. I become unusually calm. That is what happens if one of the best forwards in the world stands there and shouts at you."
An extract from Nicklas Bendtner's new book. Henry should have his statue removed for disrespecting and cheating against the Lord. The Irish will back me up. pic.twitter.com/7PkRvxY3km- Niall ㋡ (@niallmoran_) November 1, 2019
The story doesn't quite end there, though the tension between the two does as the pair talked and hugged it out afterwards - almost like a married couple reconciling after an argument.
Bendtner continues: "After training Henry comes after me. We start talking, first in the dressing room and then in the players' lounge. I didn't know that he had that many words in him but he does.
"It is a two‑hour soliloquy about everything that is needed to get to where one wants to get. For me it is an honour. It is nice of him and not something he had to do. I soak everything up and it ends with us hugging each other."
In total, Bendtner was at Arsenal for 10 years and scored 45 goals in 171 appearances. Now 31, he has returned to the Danish capital after signing for FC Copenhagen in September.