Dogged determination and an ability to never accept defeat saw the team through. But that’s enough about the America’s Cup.
Arsenal beat West Brom last night in the Capital One Cup – or as Gary Neville called the tournament after the United v Liverpool game, The "Carling Cup", causing consternation amongst credit card executives, if not the ones of a certain beer company.
There may also have been a feeling of consternation amongst many Gooners yesterday as it dawned on us that our Great Dane, Nicklas Bendtner was back playing for the club for the first time since a 2-0 home defeat against Liverpool in August 2011.
In between living in Wearside and Lombardy he has been accused of being a makeweight, a lightweight, overweight and a dead weight. Last night, after a long weight he simply looked like a Nordic Gutierrez with his goatee and swept back hair into a ponytail - or whatever it is the style merchants call it. To me he also looked like a tall and cumbersome Tom Cruise lookalike from The Last Samurai, although to be fair judging by how slow he was I think it could may well have been more than merely sushi and ramen he’d been eating.
And no I’m not getting into a debate right now about what would happen if Olivier Giroud’s knee decided to pack up much like Theo’s Stomach muscles. While we are on the subject of Theo I blame him for fully for the injury - anyone who has stomach muscles that are so tight they snap clearly isn’t eating enough kebabs.
767 days have passed since Bendtner last played. To paraphrase a cricketing sledge to a well-known batsmen walking to the crease after a lengthy ban led saw him asking in a mickey-take what the bowler had been up to since he last played: – ‘Don’t worry about what I’ve been doing in that time mate’, the bowler replied – ‘but it looks like you’ve spent the time eating’. Our Nick did look like he’d put on a few pounds, though I can’t imagine it was through drinking too much alcohol – especially when it was reported that he allegedly poured a beer over the Danish ‘Miss Fitness’ during the summer. Was it Carling? Probably.
God bless him though. Any bloke who asks for the number 52 for personal reasons - personal reasons in his case meant the number on his back representing the first two digits of his reported weekly wage – cannot be accused of lacking in self-confidence, even if they could do with a large injection of irony.
Likewise, a bloke who has lived in a Scandinavian Castle, who has married (and divorced) a member of the Danish Royal Family and is now father to an heir to the Danish throne is probably not going to be too concerned with facing Craig Dawson. (Even if you could argue Craig Dawson probably wouldn’t be too concerned with facing the father to an heir of the Danish throne either).
5,000 Gooners made the trip last night to see our 11th away win on the bounce. I don’t care what people say about the atmosphere at the Grove, our away support is nothing short of superb. We have sold out every away league game since 2006. I wonder how many clubs who criticise our fans have done that?
With our record stretching back to March now reading P 20, W17, D2, L1, AVB’s Google Translate quote on the 3rd March 2013 that: ‘for them, possibly a downward spiral is occurring and maybe will be developing and continuing’ is looking about as prescient as buying a Real Madrid shirt with Mesut Ozil on the back on the 1st September.
I last went to West Brom in 2008/09 when we won 3-1. Can you remember the line up? Almunia, Clichy, Denilson, Djourou, Toure, Eboue, Song, Arshavin amongst others. And I seem to remember we played well that night. Or at least I think we did, I had been drinking since midday for a 7.45 kick off. I do however recall a certain Nicklas Bendtner scoring two goals that night. Maybe he likes the Hawthorns, as it was his assist last night that set up our young German Thomas Eisfeld to score, as well as slotting his penalty away in the shoot-out with aplomb.
Either way if you can’t recall half the side that night with a team that was supposedly going places I doubt we’ll remember the majority of last night’s League Cup line-up this time next year. (It will be interesting to learn how many will still be at the club in Sept 2014, let alone pushing for a first team spot – but that’s another matter entirely).
Hayden, Miyaichi, Gnabry all started, along with Bellerin, Ollsen and Akpom coming on meant that we wouldn’t have to worry too much about extra time taking it out of us ahead of our trip to the Gower peninsula this Saturday. Just out of interest though, why did Sky say Gnabry he was making his full debut? Unless I had drunk one too many of Alan Partridges favourite drink the Ladyboy ahead of our game at Carrow Road last year I’m pretty certain I saw him with my own eyes swaying unsteadily in the away end back then (me swaying unsteadily not him) – and that was a few weeks after playing in a 6-1 win v Coventry in the League Cup third round.
Anyway, even if we do have a German who misses penalties it was job done as they say. Olivier Giroud, obviously thinking in French simply tweeted ‘Ouff’. Tweet of the night for me though had to be from @WengerSir who wrote after the relief of winning the shoot-out: ‘All the Arsenal youngsters deserve a happy meal”.
I think the Gooner summed it up as well as anyone: “it wasn’t the best of games but the boys stuck at it and got their rewards. Bring on the chavs”.
I couldn’t agree more. However, I do seem to recall our reserves playing Chelsea’s first team back in 98/99 at Highbury, for a league cup fourth round game which saw us getting tonked 5-0. It was a result that resulted in me being unable to speak to anyone after the game through a mixture of shock and shame, a feeling that persisted well into the next day.
Here’s hoping "The Happy One" brings his B team next month to avoid that doomsday scenario.
Although knowing the ego of our Nick he’ll probably think it’s in tribute to his surname.
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