clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Lord moves in mysterious ways; Ex-Sunderland 'superstar' Bendtner gets some stick in Norway

It's five years since Nicklas Bendtner left Sunderland - and it's not been going so well.

Tottenham Hotspur v Sunderland - Premier League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

The self-styled 'Lord' is having a tough time since joining Norwegian outfit Rosenborg. Stripped of his title and mocked as 'weak' by a young opponent last weekend, still only 29, Nicklas Bendtner has fallen some way since his days as a self-appointed superstar.

The Dane only spent a season at Sunderland, but what a season.

That was 2011/12. Bendtner completed the campaign as the Black Cats' top scorer and had scored a penalty at St James Park. But it wasn't exactly a rip-roaring success.

Newcastle United v Sunderland - Premier League
Bendtner's penalty at St James Park
Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

A sorry incident which led to him facing five counts of criminal damage for vandalising cars is possibly how he's best remembered on Wearside.

Bendtner and then-club captain Lee Cattermole were accused of causing £4,168.27 of damage in Newcastle's China Town area after a night out. The case against both was later dropped but it was cringe worthy.

Bendtner then caused further angst for new boss Martin O'Neill when he was left out for a trip to Manchester United having missed the team bus and he was increasingly accused of lacking focus.

And that was that, his highlights in a Sunderland shirt included a debut assist at Chelsea which was actually a failed attempt at controlling the ball; fracturing his eye socket in a challenge with Swansea defender Angel Rangel and scoring the winner against Liverpool in a 1-0 victory at the Stadium of Light.

Bendtner's climax for the Black Cats came in the month of March as he scored four goals in five games but O'Neill had seen enough of him to conclude he wouldn't be looking to make the move to Sunderland a permanent one.

Manchester City v Sunderland - Premier League
Bendtner with the rest of the Lads in March 2012
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

And off he went with a further loan spell at Juventus and another season at Arsenal before being released in the summer of 2014.

Bendtner then moved onto Wolfsburg where he just didn't fit in. In fact whilst he was in Germany, the Danish international would wistfully reminisce about his time on Wearside:

At Sunderland, the whole team went out on the town just before the first day of training, It was a great evening, and a great group of lads. Sadly, there has been nothing like that at Wolfsburg.

A sequence of poor seasons have since marred his career with an increasingly ludicrous public image fueled by bizarre headlines. From the unpleasant - drink driving and a serious car crash; to the showbiz - a relationship with a royal and running for Prime Minister in Denmark; to the ridiculous - naked social media images and sporting underpants with a betting sponsor emblazoned on them at Euro 2012. Bendtner has done it all.

But on the pitch, a move to Nottingham Forest did little to resurrect his hopes of a return to the top level with just two goals in seventeen appearances and he departed the City Ground a quarter of the way through a two-year deal.

But in his mind, no doubt Nicklas Bendtner is still a superstar. Still just 29, the striker signed for Norwegian side Rosenborg in March and his presence in the 'grey league' of the Eliteserien - as described by one commentator - has attracted much attention as you would expect. And not all of it good.

Tynset v Rosenborg - Second Round Norwegian Cup
Bendtner playing in the Second Round of the Norwegian Cup for Rosenborg last month
Photo by Trond Tandberg/Getty Images

Bendtner had to drop his 'Lord' moniker upon arrival - Rosenborg already had a terrace favourite christened as such. So he became the 'Emperor' or simply 'Nick'.

Four goals in twelve appearances isn't a bad return. But it doesn't seem to be enough for Norwegian observers who had been hoping for a little bang to lighten up Scandinavian football. And that's not to mention Rosenborg's upcoming Champions League campaign.

Something of a war of words has broken out. Norwegian football commentator Leif Welhaven last week called Bendtner "sensitive and unprepared". Then last weekend, 20-year-old opposition defender Frederik Pallesen boasted of it being a breeze playing up against the former Arsenal star:

I enjoyed myself with him. He just goes around and talks throughout the match and was actually surprisingly weak. He was not very difficult to play against.

The row escalated with Bendtner's coach at Rosenborg wading in to defend the player and that commentator mentioned above further retorting that as the "largest trade in Norwegian football", the Dane should prepare himself for attention when not all goes so well.

And it's not just on the pitch where Bendtner is experiencing some frustration. He's complained of not being able to go out into the city of Trondheim without being bothered, and it's not much better when he's at home:

People come to my house, knock, shouting through the windows and taking pictures outside the house. It's a bit annoying.

Still a superstar you see. Bendtner has a two-year deal in Norway but unless he can reproduce whatever he had as a self-styled player headed for the top, he will struggle to justify a significant salary in one of European football's lesser leagues.

Some had whispered that Bendtner could do a job for Sunderland when he was a free agent earlier in the year. He'd sure liven the place up. Anyone still fancy a punt on him?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Roker Report Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Sunderland news from Roker Report