Bendtner to dig deep in the Hurt Locker for Champions League Oscar

Bill Gallas is missing for tonight’s crucial Champions League clash with Porto at the Emirates and he will be laid up for a while yet, according to this morning’s papers.
And in the Sun Arsene Wenger admits he hasn’t helped the situation by pushing the defenderm suffering from a calf injury, too hard in training. AW said: “We were a little impatient with Gallas and we pushed him and he wanted to get on as well, which is why maybe it has happened. But there is no obvious sign as to why it keeps coming back.
“He has no pain at all, then goes for a little jog and then it goes again. Gallas has been out for a month and now he has had a recurrence of his calf injury. He felt very well on Sunday and went out – but he has gone backwards again. At the beginning it was a minor injury. We don’t know how long it will be, he needs a scan and we will assess it from there.”
The tabloid adds that Cesc Fabregas underwent a scan yesterday on the hamstring he tweaked in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Burnley and was told there is no major damage. He could even be back at the weekend against Hull. He said: “I wanted to play but the doctors recommended I rest and avoid any risk. I am sad to miss out because Porto is important to us. I will suffer far more than usual, having to watch from the side.”
AW added: “There is no surgery needed. In the end, I didn’t want to take the gamble. To play again could mean significant damage. Ideally you want him there, we want to qualify. But the absence of Cesc is not any excuse as we have enough players and a strong enough squad.”
The Daily Mail carries quotes from Manuel Almunia backing NIcklas Bendtner’s ability despite his glaring misses in front of goal against Burnely.
‘Nicklas is a special guy,’ said Almunia. ‘He is young, he is learning and he needs people around who will tell him the truth. When he does well, everyone will tell him he has done well. When he misses the goals he needs someone to push him to improve and develop. That’s what we will try to do.’  The paper says AW is likely to opt for Bendtner ahead of Eduardo against Porto.
The Mirror says AW has challenged the players to overcome the odds in the Champions League. He said: “We have a good opportunity, we have good chances to make history. We are very young but we are in a very strong position, we want to win.
“I believe we are in a position where we want to go for both, not in a position where we can make any choice. We want to do well in both competitions. To score away from home is still a massive advent in UEFA rules, that is why we are confident that we can do it. We have scored, that is a massive difference.
“To lose 1-0 would have been a terrible result. It’s completely different. We know it’s a tricky game. But we believe we can do it, we have good confidence. We are in a good position so let’s just go for it.”
And AW says we have not practised penalties specifically for tonight, even though a shoot-out is a strong possibility, says the paper.
“Any scenario that qualifies us is positive,” said AW. “We always practise penalties in training, but the day before a game is not the best. It can have negative consequences if you miss. We didn’t practice the day before in Roma. Let’s qualify without penalties.”
The paper says we are still favourites with the bookies to progress, but we will have to rely onNicklas Bendtner to come up with the goals. AW said: “You cannot fault him on confidence. He is one who can take remarks and criticism and analyse it without being offended. He has not fooled himself. He knows that he could have scored.
“People take a lot from the negative side of his confidence, but he has a positive side as well. He can face his problems and analyse it and change his behaviour.Nicklas is on the way up in his overall game contribution to the team performance, but he missed big chances on Saturday.
“It is something that is needed for any young striker, he isolates the factor as to why he missed and gets it right into the next game. I’m convinced that he is really improving at the moment. He has good mental strength, I’m sure it will not diminish his desire or confidence to go into the next game. I’ve spoken about it with him, but I don’t think it is necessary to say here what we spoke about.”
Bendtner added: “I missed some great chances in one match, but before that I scored in three matches in a row for Arsenal and Denmark.I have just returned from injury, and overall things could not be any better for me. The most important thing on Saturday was not, whether I scored or not, but that we won as a team.
“I felt that the Arsenal fans really got behind me and supported me, because I tried to give everything I had. I was just not lucky with my finishes in that game, but sometimes it is like that.”
As we know, Cesc will be missing tonight and the Telegraph says the most obvious replacement would be Abou Diaby, although it adds that AW may well be tempted to utilise the versatility and guile of Samir Nasri in a more advanced position. With Alex Song and Denilson both also available, there are plenty of midfield options even without a player who has come to provide an almost talismanic influence this season, adds the paper.
“The difference in Fabregas is unbelievable; he is completely mature now and he looks to dictate games but one year ago he was not able to do that,” AW said.
“Without him we will have to share the responsibility and make sure we have the right players who can technically lead the game. We couldn’t take a gamble – to play again would be significant damage and he could be out for a month. The absence of Cesc is not any excuse; we have enough players and a strong enough squad.”
Unsurprisingly, Henry Norris is in confident mood in the Bugle this morning. He writes: “Key players such as Gallas, van Persie, Fabregas and Ramsey are missing yet the Arsenal still have enough in their locker to overcome Porto. And in the case of Dane Bendtner after his misfiring against Burnley, let’s hope he digs deep into his personal ‘hurt locker’ and comes up with an Oscar or two in front of goal.”

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