Lee Dixon: Bendtner must back up big talk with big performances

Notes from the Nou Camp

I was commentating on the Barcelona against Arsenal game on Tuesday night for Radio 5 Live, and I must admit it was hard to be impartial, especially when Nicklas Bendtner missed that chance late on.

I said on commentary that my granny could have controlled the ball better, and then also said that Ian Wright, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry would all have scored from there. My comments came out of frustration and I probably would not have said them had it been a domestic game.

I have defended Nicklas in the past, and when I've met him I've liked him. I know how difficult it is to live with the pressure of being a professional footballer, being under the spotlight. He sets himself up when he makes his confident comments in interviews and he had the chance to back it up on the pitch, but he failed.

I have been supportive of Nicklas but the truth is he didn't produce at the moment of truth, and so I was critical of him. I was frustrated with him, as a footballer and as a fan. As a former Arsenal player, I really wanted them to win. But I also like to think that most of the people listening back in Britain also wanted Arsenal to win, just as I always support the British teams when they play in Europe. If it had been a domestic game, I would have been more objective.

Have a word, referee

The laws of the game have to be observed but there is also an imperative on referees to uphold the spirit of the game as well. The officials have a responsibility to the wider footballing world who want to see a great game, a great occasion. So if the referee thinks Robin van Persie is guilty of time-wasting – and how he can say that for certain when there are 90,000 in the ground, only he knows – but if he is sure that an offence has taken place, then common sense dictates that he should just have a quiet word with him, rather than whip out a second yellow card.

After the game all the conversation was about the decision, and not the brilliant football that Barcelona had played. It says a lot about the ego of the official that he was happy for his controversial decision to become a bigger talking point than how well the best team in the world had played on the night.

Barcelona were out of sight

The BBC's commentary position at the Nou Camp was high in the stands, over by one of the corners. We were miles away from the action when it was at the other end of the ground, so much so that my eyes had trouble focusing from looking down at my notes, and then peering at the game. It would take me a couple of seconds for my eyes to adjust. So that's another part of me that's deteriorating.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence