Date: 9th January 2008 at 12:49am
Written by:

Knickers. Whaddya think of when you hear that word? Many a man goes dewy-eyed and gazes wistfully into the distance at the mention of the word.

Our female readers may be thinking of a nice cut, that looks good in a pair of jeans. Perhaps a nice cotton, that is comfortable against the bum, and won’t disappear up your bum like a thong, a la Paul Daniels pulling flags on a rope out of his sleeve.

If you are a gentleman, you might find yourself thinking salacious thoughts, remembering a pair that lay on a particular space on your floor one morning, whilst the lovely lady they belonged to slumbered in your bed. Perhaps it takes you back to when you were a wee whippersnapper, flicking through your mum’s catalogue, looking at the models in the bras (you knew you had reached the end of the worthwhile part of the lingerie section of the Freemans/Kays/Littlewoods catalogue when you came across (ahem) the ‘Miss Mary’ page – the bras for the over-50’s. Time to fast forward to the trainers and the tracksuits as soon as you hit Miss Mary.).

Me, I think about both those previous ones. Perhaps worryingly, when I hear that word, I also think about a Dane (and I don’t mean Helena Christensen in a nice pair of cotton briefs, and little else, save for a smile…).

The Dane I refer to, of course, is our very own young Striking Viking, Nicklas Bendtner.

I’ve had a wee bit of a say on the lad so far this season, saying he should be patient for his chance, as it would surely come, after various outbursts attributed to the player bemoaning his lack of opportunities in the first team.

Since then, he has had a few games, and I am sure everyone would agree, he certainly has a certain something about him. Save for a couple of ‘teething trouble’ appearances, Nickers has impressed hugely -he has scored goals, he has set up goals, he can cross, he can hold the ball up. Ask any spud if the lad can head a ball and they will most likely froth at the mouth apoplexy.

And what does The young Bendtner put his talent down to? None other than the man who is, in his opinion, the best coach in the world. Arsene Wenger. Nicklas is reported by Setanta Sports as speaking on Le Boss thus:

I give 100 percent so he can see that is the right decision that he gambles on me. That is what I think he thinks it is (a gamble).

He is the world’s best trainer, the best I’ve had. He talks to us young players and he believes in us. For me his playing style is key and his continued belief in me.

His faith in me has been fantastic. Wenger has given me the chance, and I feel in myself that I have paid him back on this belief by scoring so many goals in my half year at the club.

He’s certainly shown the potential that lies within. The lad seems hugely driven, and many-a-time, immense talent, overpowering-desire-to-succeed, and ego all go hand-in-hand in the make-up of a player. Especially for a striker – you need that sense of ‘me’ about you. And Nickers certainly isn’t lacking in self-confidence.

I’ve gotta say, I’m really chuffed with the way he’s shaping up so far. When Wenger let Lupoli go, you knew he had real big hopes for Bendtner, as the two seemed to be vying for that first team spot. Once Lupoli was shipped out (and subsequently to leave, in search of first team football back in his native Italy – which, as it turns out, hasn’t happened, leaving the diminutive Italian forward frustrated and in search of another transfer…), it was a matter of time before starting to witness the young Dane emerge. This is now well underway, and despite his tender years, he by no means looks out of place in the first team, or out of his depth. Everything he has encountered so far, he has taken firmly in his stride. A good example being his step-up to full international honours with the Denmark, where he scored on his debut, if I recall correctly.

Here’s hoping that Nickers continues to drive for 100% each and every game, hopefully scoring against the Tiny Totts this evening, before going on to powerlift Fat Sam before hurling him into the Tyne, screaming ‘Pillage and plunder’ or something equally viking-esque.