Wenger never gave up on Bendtner

first_img Bendtner, however, is now set for a spell on the sidelines having sprained his ankle in scoring the goal which Wenger believes was reward for his positive attitude since returning to the first-team picture this season. “Nicklas is a player who has gone through some difficult periods, so I just want to give him great credit,” said Wenger, who was already without lead striker Olivier Giroud because of his own ankle problem. “I told him already today that he is back to the level I want him to be at, and if he continues to develop like that he will come back into the team. “Unfortunately he got injured today. He was a bit unlucky, he said he landed on the foot of a Cardiff player and sprained his ankle. It looks like it is not a question of days, but weeks. “I am very sad for us, but for him as well.” Bendtner, 25, has endured a testing spell of his career, with unsuccesful loans at the likes of Sunderland and Juventus before seeing hopes of a move to Crystal Palace on transfer deadline day fail to materialise, often becoming a focal point for fans’ frustrations. Wenger continued: “I never give up on people because you always have to give them credit. “I know the expression of the fans is only the diagnosis of the day – they are always ready to change their mind if you put the effort and the performance in.” Bendtner is out of contract at the end of the season, and so could now sign an agreement to move abroad as a free agent. Wenger said: “It is January 1 so we cannot stop him [talking to clubs abroad], but he says he wants to stay here. “If he is focused on staying with us and his job, he is a great striker.” The Gunners boss maintains he will wait to decide how he tackles the January sales, with the squad in need of some attacking reinforcements. “I don’t know, it doesn’t mean we go straight from Nicklas’ ankle straight to the transfer market,” Wenger said. Wenger felt his side showed great character to finally break Cardiff’s determined resistance. He said: “It looked like in the last 25 minutes like the goal was coming, but sometimes it doesn’t – and not only does it not come but you are then caught on the counter-attack. “We needed resilience and intelligence not to make a mistake at the back and continue to go forward. In the end, Nicklas got us great relief.” Wenger revealed scans on Mesut Ozil’s shoulder problem showed “no big damage”. He said: “I believe Ozil will be short for Saturday (against Tottenham in the FA Cup) and should be ready for Aston Villa (on January 13).” Arsenal are now a point ahead of Manchester City once again, with Chelsea also having won on New Year’s Day, as did Liverpool. Wenger said: “We have a good togetherness in the side, the players come on with the right attitude and that makes the difference. “You know that if you do not have that in the championship, then you have no chance to do it. “We have that in the squad, we have to take care of that spirit and show it in every game.” For Cardiff, all the uncertainty off the pitch has not helped produce results, with the defeat at Arsenal making it just one victory from 10 league matches. Caretaker manager David Kerslake said: “We knew coming here, they have got wonderful talented players and that we would be put under the kosh, but you saw the discipline of the side, the way they defended for each other I thought we were going to hang on.” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger maintained he had never given up on Nicklas Bendtner after the Denmark striker netted a late goal to help beat managerless Cardiff 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium, but is now set to be sidelined for few weeks with an ankle injury. Press Association It had looked like the Bluebirds, with potential new boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer watching from the stands, would hold out for a much-needed point in the wake of relentless Arsenal pressure. However, with just two minutes left, substitute Bendtner crashed the ball in from close range after David Marshall had saved Bacary Sagna’s header before, in stoppage time, Theo Walcott sealed the victory which took the Gunners back to the top of the Barclays Premier League table. last_img read more

Andrea Bombace thrives as role player in freshman season at Syracuse

first_imgJohanna Grauer’s barrage of fastballs held Syracuse scoreless through five and a third innings on Saturday. Sometimes, as in the UCLA game, these matchups only arise once, so the coaching staff has to recognize them and make the necessary adjustments. That said, Bosch knows that Bombace can hit in almost any situation and usually make something happen. Before her plate appearance against UCLA, junior Sydney O’Hara told the freshman not to swing for the fences or try to do too much. Instead, Bombace said, she told her to relax and be herself. “Before I get up, I ask teammates, ‘What pitches have you been seeing, and where in the count?’” Bombace said. As singular as pinch hitting may seem, Bombace relies heavily on her teammates for support and guidance at the plate. That was, until Orange slugger Corinne Ozanne took one deep with two outs in the sixth. The home run cut No. 13 UCLA’s lead to one and the SU coaching staff knew the Bruins hurler would vary her pitches. “Just like every player, we find roles that they are going to be successful in,” Bosch said. Bombace said that when she’s called on to pinch hit, she has to prepare by inserting herself in her teammates’ positions. In the first month of this season, Bombace has strived as a pinch hitter. She has pinch hit in six of the Orange’s 12 games this season, and has become one of the Orange’s go-to hitters off the bench. In one-at-bat situations, the freshman is hitting .333. In games where she gets two or more at-bats, she is hitting just .188. “A lot of times, with the freshmen, we match them up against pitchers that they’re going to be successful against,” Goler said, “You don’t want them to be in a situation where they’re overmatched.” “We figured (Grauer) was going to a curveball at some point,” hitting coach Alisa Goler said, “She had to make a change.”To start the seventh inning, Syracuse called on freshman Andrea Bombace to pinch hit for left fielder Alyssa Dewes. An exceptional curveball hitter according to Goler, Bombace belted a 2-0 curveball over the center-field wall to tie the game at two. Published on March 8, 2016 at 11:41 pm Contact Matt: mjfel100@syr.edu “I love that I have my teammates there to keep me humble, and keep me ready for any situation,” Bombace said, “It’s not like it’s just me up there hitting, it’s like it’s the whole team.” Comments AdvertisementThis is placeholder text Facebook Twitter Google+ “(UCLA) hadn’t seen (Bombace) in the game before,” Syracuse head coach Mike Bosch said, “They didn’t know how to throw to her, so we took a shot.”“Yay for us, for guessing that one,” Goler joked.In her first year with the Orange (8-9), Bombace is tied with Ozanne for the most home runs on the team with three, and has the second highest slugging percentage at .727. As what Goler calls the “epitome” of a role player, Bombace has to be versatile enough for a multitude of roles at any time. Often, she’s called on to pinch hit in tough situations or to fill a spot as a designated hitter for a game.last_img read more