Looking like a Danish samurai, Nicklas Bendtner made his triumphant return to Arsenal's lineup for the first time since 2011. And as expected by many people, regardless of whether they knew Bendtner was playing or not, Arsenal won. On penalties. Which is pretty much the best way to win anything, according to Nicklas Bendtner's inner thoughts right now.
Arsene Wenger admitted earlier in the week that Bendtner was supposed to leave the club during the summer transfer window after two consecutive season-long loans at Sunderland and Juventus most memorable for his drunken demands for free pizza and driving on the wrong side of the road to get his license suspended for six months (to be clear, these were separate incidents involving different levels of ill-advised drunkenness). But through the benevolence of the cosmos and Arsenal's inability to sign any other striker, Bendtner was given the chance to prove that the club being forced to keep him was even better than the acquisition of Mesut Ozil.
In a Capital One Cup match against West Brom, Bendtner started while Ozil wasn't even in the squad (because he was being rested). Just eight minutes into the match, Bendtner collided with the goalpost, momentarily hurting himself before he remembered that inanimate objects cannot defeat him. He continued on and when regular time ended with the score even at 1-1, Bendtner kept playing...because the match went to extra time. And when extra time ended, Bendtner overcame the fact that he didn't score in any of his 10 appearances for Juventus last season by converting his penalty in the shootout. Inspired by this show of bravery and excellence, Arsenal won 4-3. They will now face Chelsea in the fourth round unless Chelsea are consumed by the terror of facing a rejuvenated Bendtner and forfeit.
After the match, Bendtner put on a pair of pretentious glasses and retired to the team bus where he took a picture with captain Thomas Vermaelen, who undoubtedly felt both embarrassed and inferior since he had no glasses at all.
Nicklas Bendtner is back. Even if his license to drive is still suspended.