While idly surfing for a way of extending velkommen to the Danish equivalent of “welcome to the madhouse”, I came across a comment that “Swedish is a language, Danish a throat infection”. it didn’t help much, but at least it made me chuckle.
Nicklas Bendtner, brought in on loan from Arsenal for a year, is a confident young man and if he has, in the eyes of some, an excess of that confidence, we have no need to worry about his mental state (or, so far as can be told, his throat).
He is, of course, mightily welcome to the Stadium of Light as far as Salut! Sunderland is concerned.
And it is not remotely his fault that some SAFC supporters who had been encouraged to view the closing days and hours of the summer transfer window with excitement are now bitterly disappointed at the thin pickings: one loan deal.
I have no doubt that efforts were made to attract others. Bruce knew he needed strike power and presumably tried to sign at least one attacker outright.
I poked fun yesterday at the stream of different names with which we were associated in newspaper, TV, radio and internet coverage of the transfer frenzy and would love, this morning, to be abe to read an absolutely full and accurate account of who we attempted to sign – and who we did not.
We will see no such account, of course, a fact for which many editors, sports reporters and – at a guess – manipulative agents ought to be grateful.
It no longer matters whether Peter Crouch really was, as so routinely predicted, a Sunderland target to the extent of being the subject of a formal bid. It was always assumed, in any case, that his wife Abbey Clancy’s well-documented distaste for the prospect of life in the North East would rule out the move now as it had before.
Her prejudice should be seen as our gain. I still believe signing Crouch would have been about as successful as signing Tore André Flo.
And how fitting it would be if Mr C now informed Mrs C they had to uproot and buy a place in Stoke, which may not be the ugliest, dullest town in England but runs all others close. Egg on M Salut’s face if he scores a hatful and she takes heartily to the WaterWorld aqua park and the display of Staffordshire ceramics at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
Let us concentrate on our own modest bit of business.
Here is what Steve Bruce said of his new, temporary acquisition:
“I’ve had the privilege of working with Nicklas previously. I had him as an 18-year-old and he helped clinch promotion for Birmingham. He’s an outstanding talent and is a big, physical presence who will lead the line magnificently for us.”
No left-sided creativity came our way in the event. No so-called “marquee signing”.
On the other hand, given all the rumours about Asamaoh Gyan’s own wishes, speculation to which Gary Bennett alluded in his punditry from Swansea, it can be seen as encouraging that he remains, for now, a Sunderland player; the onus on Bruce is now to get him fitter and sharper so that he can show a little more of the promise of last season and less of the lacklustre wastefulness of the Liberty Stadium.
The departure of Anton Ferdinand had been expected and we wish him well at QPR, save that we also hope he plays his best football against others and keeps costly blunders for the two games against Sunderland.
Bruce has already attracted flak. Not everyone sees Bendtner as the answer to our glaring problems in front of goal. I am prepared, as before, to judge both on results.
One loan signing would not have been the extent of my shopping list. But I recognise that Messrs Bruce and Quinn know rather more about football and, while respecting those whose criticisms of their choice have already begun, conclude on an upbeat note with two positive assessments of Nicklas Bendtner:
Ian Lynch (responding to a doubter at the Blackcats list)
I’m flabbergasted that you think Bendtner on the cheap is a bad short-term move. It makes the most sense to me of any of the players we’ve been linked with as a stopgap to give Wickham more time to develop. Bendtner is proven Prem class, albeit not as good as he thinks he is or we might like him to be, and if Wickham isn’t ready next year then we can go again this time next year. He’s good in the air and also scored plenty of
goals last time he lined up in the same team as Larsson.
Mike Alcock (same list)
I think he’s fine. Good, even … lot better than N’Gog, for instance. And yes he’s less than half as good as he thinks he is, but as the old adage goes, tell him he’s Messi and get him out there. That way he might play about as well as Heskey. Whatever we think of him, he’ll be marked. Which will free up Gyan and Sess. Which is really the point. I think he’ll get 6 or so, maybe 10 if he has a good season.
And while I am sure the Danes have their own way of saying “welcome to madhouse”, the translations I found seemed disrespectful of mental ill-health.