WARNING: May contain vitriol & large doses of sarcasm.
We’ve waited for a long time for this. We were promised this from the moment that Secco, Blanc, and the post-calciopoli clown car of a front office was finally purged, taking much of the dead weight players along with them. Yes, it’s been a long time coming. While our swashbuckling, marauding, fearless DS “One-Eyed” Beppe Marotta has always delivered — true to his word — on quality in the past, THIS TIME he’s really outdone himself.
Yes, before last season even ended and Champions League qualification was all but guaranteed, we all had dreams about signing that elusive ‘bomber,’ that ‘Top Player,’ that prolific goalscorer up top we so sorely lacked. Many of us imagined a certain tall, northern-European Arsenal striker adorning Black & White stripes next season. Well, we certainly were not disappointed.
In a season in which Juventus didn’t lose a single game, the one pube in the glass of bourbon was the inability to break down sides and avoid drab draws, despite dominating possession and creating more than our share of chances. It’s been largely said that the one missing piece of the jigsaw puzzle was this alluded-to striker. Certainly, someone better than anyone who is currently on the roster. Someone better than our top scorer, Ale Matri.
Well, that someone is here. Ladies and gentlemen, I am tickled pink to present to you our TOP PLAYER who we finally signed from Arsenal, fighting off stiff competition from Tuscan giants Siena.
That’s right. You guessed it. It’s him.
After being discovered despite Arsène Wenger’s notoriously poor eye for youth, Bendtner was signed by Arsenal in the summer of 2004, before making his first team debut in 2005. Not wanting to offend Thierry Henry who could feel the young Dane breathing down his neck just ready to snatch his starting spot, Wenger lent out Bendtner to Birmingham City from 2006 to 2007. There, in 42 appearances, he scored a massive 11 goals.
He then returned to Arsenal, and a lot has happened since, but I’ll give you the Cliffs Notes version. Basically, he came back, and completely dominated the EPL from day 1, winning countless (no really, we can’t count them) trophies for the storied London-based squad. Meanwhile, Arsenal had some other striker, I don’t really remember what his name is, but I think he’s Belgian or Dutch or something. Now that I think about it, his was Rob Van Damm or something. Anyway… Wenger feared losing Van Damm, so he eventually again lent him out to Sunderland, where he finally broke out, showing just how deadly he can be with 8 goals in 28 games. It would be that year when Zlatan Ibrahimovic would famously say that his biggest-ever honor was earning the nickname “The Old Bendtner.”
And now, yet another one of Wenger’s biggest mistakes this time stands to be our gain. Imagine that: allowing one of the best, young players on the face of the Earth leave on loan with a paltry right of redemption fixed at seven figures. This at the age of 24, where he’s just ready to win countless Ballon d’Ors. Once again Arsène you’ve proven to be a fool, inept at judging young talent. But whatever. As they say: “one man’s famished while another celebrates Festivus”. But I digress.
Aside from what he can obviously offer on the pitch, Nicklas Bendtner undoubtedly fits in with lo stile Juve. After what was a tumultuous summer involving betting scandals, Bendtner can provide a calming, non-confrontational, soothing presence to the squad. Always known for his good relationships with his teammates, Bendtner received accolades from UEFA for his show of support for his favorite charity, St. Patrick’s foundation, at Euro 2012.
But all of this talent would mean nothing if the lad were too cocky. I’ve always thought it important that in order to be successful, one has to have a ability to know his or her limitations, so that they have the motivation to work harder and overcome them.
According to his Wikipedia page:
Known for his extreme self-confidence, Bendtner once received a confidence rating that exceeded the scale in a test carried out by an Arsenal psychologist. The psychologist ranked his results from one to nine. Bendtner scored 10.
Massively talented AND humble? Sign me up.
And conscientious? You betcha. When he was famously handed Arsenal’s storied # 52 shirt — a number with a level of significance at Emirates Stadium comparable to the # 5 at Real Madrid, # 7 at Manchester United and, of course, # 10 at Juventus — he famously offered to pick up the tab for any fan who needed a switch in replica number.
Before the season starts, I wanted to change my squad number from 26, which I’ve obviously had for a number of seasons. I chose to move to 52 because it’s a special number to me personally, and I hope that it brings me good luck for the new season. I appreciate that a good number of fans have bought their kits for 2009–10 already with names and numbers printed up so I’d like to personally cover the cost of replacing anyone’s shirt that has my previous number. It means a lot to see supporters wearing your name and number, and I want to ensure people aren’t inconvenienced by the change.
It is believed that this single act of altruism cost him a whopping ₤ 115.00. The two fans he reimbursed were absolutely elated. In an era where the biggest superstars in sports are often believed to be spoiled prima donnas, out of touch with the tifosi, his example is one which should serve as a model to us all.
Yes, ladies and gentlemen: the jigsaw puzzle is complete.
If you did not enjoy John’s multi-prodded, razor-sharp attempt at satire, tune in again in a few days.
Our own Lars Pedersen will (try) to provide a more positive view on Juve’s newest signing from Scandinavia.