That Arsenal Technique Sees Tricky Nicky On The Rise
Young Gunner Nicky Nicolau won the FA Youth Cup with Arsenal, but despite getting a three year deal at 18, to cement a decade at the club, he never made the first team. Arsenal were right, the Camden lad is never going to burn bright enough to set the footballing world alight, but his loyalty and commitment are just what crisis club Lincoln will need in the fight.
Thank you for reading Neil Gentleman-Hobbs
As an Arsenal season ticket holder in the West Stand lower for 13 years (Ian Stone and Alan Davies were just 2 & 3 seats along) one can get accustomed to consistent quality and pre-match rituals. The culture of fast-food combined with overeating, saw me never fail to indulge in a salt beef sandwich and of course the obligatory kebab. It is the quintessential, indeed staple, part of a North London diet. Even had one as part of dealing with my fathers funeral when back down there last week. He loved them god bless him.
But what has the humble kebab got to do with how and why Lincoln have managed to keep hold of an initially unfancied lad, who has stepped from the shadows this season. Quite simply his interest in a chain of kebab shops meant he was willing and able to accept a low wage and bide his time. Nicky gets less as a professional footballer than he would working full time in a kebab shop. Yet he has waited and come from the shadows, to show that the technique honed at Arsenal can and will have an important place in the BSP.
The few Imps that turned up to see the Lincolnshire Cup final against Grimsby, moaned and groaned when he was named. But his fantastic control, step and curling thirty-five yarder from the by-line was worth the gate money on its own. As it left his sweet left foot you could see the arc as the ball flew just inside the post. It was like a gun-flash followed by a matrix moment that silenced the travelling Cod army. All fans appreciate a good goal deep down despite the intense rivalry that can so often cloud our judgement. Nicky would appreciate that growing up in Camden, with that big shoe sticking out of the wall on the High Street, splitting the great Spurs and Arsenal North London divide. There’s another really good kebab house as you turn right at the fork to make the journey to what was once a spiritual home.
But as the season started he had to bide his time. A bit part player getting under 5 minutes in the first two and then just 9 in the next couple, he at least started at Gateshead. The criticism is that he does not get forward enough, even though he can track back for England and St George. Whilst Power was a passenger in the centre, Nicky under orders held back, keeping his passing skills and forward thinking instints under wraps.
Against Ebbsfleet, he started with a bang. Beast Bank Boyce won a towering header and Mills flicked left. He surprised us all and skinned his man, firing a twenty yard cannon-ball into the corner, mesmerising Edwards. The relief around Sincil Bank was immense given our slim pickings, but Nicky’s doubters were not quite silenced. His passing and movement during the game saw him go back into that quiet unselfish shell as the Imps were overwhelmed at times. But during our few quality passages of play, he and Mills were the ones threading the balls that Larkin and Taylor thrive on.
Last night he got a sublime floated free-kick from 35 yards, that everybody missed, including the commentary team that questioned its fortune. Maybe so, but the delivery, craft and technique were there for all to see, if you cared to look. Play on Nicky you will win us all over in the end. With Power now out your engine could be just the job in the middle. As could your technique brighten what seems all around so bleak. For it is so easy to miss the beauty when the beast has the beholden within its deathly grip. But search and ye shall seek.
|Sq no||Player name||Starts||sub||Mins||Goals||Shots||Shots on||Assists||YC||RC|
|FULL NAME||Nicky George Nicolau|
|DATE OF BIRTH||12 October 1983 (age 28)|
|PLACE OF BIRTH||Camden Town, London|
|HEIGHT||1.73 m (5 ft 8 in)|
|WEIGHT||10st 8lbs (67.19kg)|
|POSITION: LEFT BACK / LEFT MIDFIELD|
|CURRENT CLUB||Lincoln City|
|2004||Southend United (loan)||9||(0)|
|2006||Hereford United (loan)||10||(1)|