St Nicklas’s road to Damascus

nickAs he neared Damascus on his journey, suddenly a light from heaven flashed around him. He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?”
“Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked.
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

The Fifth Book of the New Testament tells the conversion of Saul of Tarsus to Paul the Apostle. The Acts houses the Letters from Paul about his journey from persecuting Christians to becoming an Apostle.
What has this biblical act to do with our own St Nicklas you may ask?

Much has been debated over the merits (or otherwise) of having such a divisive figure among our rank.
On-the-one-hand we have Bad Boy Bendy (think Bad Boy Bubby) a lad so bad his mother should’ve kept him under the stairs, making him believe venturing outside of the sanctity of his home would result in suffocation and ultimately death.
This version of Bendtner we saw falling drunk out of nightclubs, negotiating Royal maternity suits and parading around in Paddy Power lingerie. And all the while his talent, and he does have football talent was being heinously neglected on his crazed and demented demise into the football graveyards.
Indeed anyone would think he was in direct competition with Andy Carroll for Best Worst Ignoramus In Football Award. At least Carroll could blame it all on Dalglish’s equally crazed opinion he was worth £35m of Liverpool’s money. Not bendy though…
In between those periods of morose disposition he showed glimpses of his ‘genius’. The towering header in the NLD, the goals that kept us in the 2009/10 title hunt.
Genius is decorated by mutterings of grandeur, at least in the eye of the beholder if not the genius himself.  Sports Psychologist Jacques Crevoisier had the enviable task of assessing Bendy’s confidence “One of the categories is called ‘self perceived competence,’ i.e. how good the player himself thinks he is. On a scale up to 9, Bendtner got 10! “
To which Pat Rice, the then Asst Man responded in side splitting laughter.
But it’s the mark of the man that he can blame others for him missing a sitter. Oh to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in that Camp Nou dressing room when they returned from an eventual mauling at the hands of Messi. Who amongst the team might’ve stolen a rueful glance at Bendy? If he’d tucked away that chance after coming on as sub who knows, they might’ve prevailed in the most unlikeliest of venues. But it wasn’t to be because Jack Wilshere, that blithering idiot of a boy was at fault because, well, erm, he supplied the assist for Bendy’s opportunity. Obviously.
And what about the barbs thrown at the fatherly Wenger and the Club.
“I will never go back to Arsenal. If I can have it my way, I will never play for them again.
“I am really looking forward to playing for Sunderland and then we will see next summer.
“I will find a new club — but I will not go back to Arsenal, that’s for sure.”

Oh Nicky, way to endear yourself to the club…

Anyways, that’s the past. That was Saul. So  let’s forget the disastrous loan spell at Juve and his weight problems, let’s move on from the DUI’s, the smoking in nightclubs and put aside the ridiculous Samurai persona he’s adopted.
Let’s focus on what Wenger said recently
“It’s just down to attitude and fighting [spirit] and when he has that, Nicklas can be an unstoppable striker,”
“Fans forgive you everything as long as you produce the performances on the football pitch. That’s what people want. I think our fans have a positive attitude towards Bendtner and they will be behind him. Only you can create that with your performances.”

The good Lord Wenger has spoken to him. He’s now on his own Road to Damascus seeking redemption. And wouldn’t it be great if his first steps were to put paid to Mourinho and his cocky Chavs from the Fulham Road.

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