Nicklas Bendtner hid in ladies toilets to avoid lessons and told Thierry Henry to 'shut up' at Arsenal

Posted Sunday, November 03, 2019 by

Nicklas Bendtner hid in ladies toilets to avoid lessons and told Thierry Henry to 'shut up' at Arsenal
Nicklas Bendtner revealed he hid in the ladies toilets to avoid lessons and told Thierry Henry to ‘shut up’ at Arsenal

NICKLAS BENDTNER revealed he hid in the ladies toilets to avoid lessons at the Arsenal academy and once told Thierry Henry to “shut up”.

The Danish striker arrived in London in 2004 aged 16 but still had to attend the classroom twice a week in the Gunners academy.

But Bendtner revealed in his new autobiography he hid in the ladies toilets in a bid to avoid his off-field duties.

He said: “The worst bit is Tuesdays and Thursdays when we have lessons. It is like being back at school.

“We have all sorts of different subjects, such as press management and financial management. I thought I was done with studying and if it is possible I hate it even more than back at Amager.

“One day I miss the lesson on purpose and from the ladies’ toilet I hear how they run around yelling for me like they are mad.

“When Liam Brady [the head of the academy] comes up to me in the canteen later he grabs hold of me and says: ‘What are you thinking, young man? Where have you been?’

“He has heard a story about how I was hiding underneath a table.

“That’s not true and I tell him that with a clear conscience: ‘Honestly Mr Brady, I haven’t been hiding underneath a table. This is one big misunderstanding’.”

Despite having to plead with academy chief David Court to keep him at Arsenal, Bendtner claims his attitude and on-field performances improve over the next year.

So much so that Gunners manager Arsene Wenger had the striker training with the first-team.

But Bendtner revealed he clashed with Arsenal legend Henry over a game of two-touch.

He explains: “During one session we are playing 11 v 11 with a maximum of two touches at a time.

“I am standing in a position to see Thierry Henry touching it three times. ‘Three touches,’ I shout. Wenger’s assistant, Pat Rice, shouts back: ‘Play on, for f***’s sake!’

“But Henry has heard me. He turns in my direction and puts his finger over his lips: ‘Sssssssh.’ Shortly afterwards I do the same.

“The ball touches my heel, and then my toe before I pass it on. It is one movement but the academy player gets a free-kick against him.

“Of course I do. I don’t think. I just start complaining, big time. I say it should be the same for everyone.

“Henry tells me to shut up, this time with a lot of swear words included. And in hindsight it is good advice. But I am not taking it on. I shout back that he is the one who should shut up.

“He runs in my direction, confronts me, yells into my face, says all kinds of things. He totally ignores the fact that the game is going on around us.

“Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell get involved: ‘Carry on, Nicklas, keep on running and shut your mouth.’

“And I do. I become unusually calm. That is what happens if one of the best forwards in the world stands there and shouts at you.”

Despite the training ground bust up, Bendtner reveals Henry had time to make up and offer the then teenager some advice.

Bendtner said: “After training Henry comes after me. We start talking, first in the dressing room and then in the players’ lounge.

“I didn’t know that he had that many words in him but he does. It is a two‑hour soliloquy about everything that is needed to get to where one wants to get.

“For me it is an honour. It is nice of him and not something he had to do. I soak everything up and it ends with us hugging each other.”

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