Thoughts on Dennis Bergkamp and his Ambitions to Coach at Arsenal
When I think about the demigod, Dennis Bergkamp, I think about a player that was a great goalscorer and a scorer of great goals.
He started his trade in the Ajax Youth Academy and played a lot of football for the Dutch outfit under the tutelage of the great Johan Cruyff before making a big-money move to Inter Milan in 1993. He endured a somewhat torrid time in Italy but he was offered a new lease of life when he joined Arsenal in 1995.
After spending the best years of his career under Bruce Rioch then Arsene Wenger, Bergkamp scored 120 goals in 423 appearances for the club, winning seven major titles in the process. In honor of his outstanding service to the club, Arsenal played the first ever game at the Emirates Stadium in a testimonial match for him and further down the years, the club planned to unveil his own statue.
Since leaving the Gunners in 2006, Bergkamp spent sometime outside football with his lovely wife, Henrita Ruizendaal (married since 1993), and his four children, but when his first love, Ajax Amsterdam, offered him a chance to return back to the beautiful game and he was offered a role as an assistant manager alongside ex-Ajax legend, Frank de Boer, that was given the managerial role.
With de Boer at the helm of affairs in the Amsterdam ArenA, he has won the EreDivisie title for three seasons in a row, and it seems as if Bergkamp’s stint with the Dutch juggernauts is about coming to an end. The Telegraph has reported that Dennis Bergkamp is bracing himself for a coaching role at Arsenal,
“At Arsenal it was a good click. I always enjoyed it. I never had a bad day there. It is always on my mind. It is part of my ambition to come back at some stage. I see myself as being part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy that role, especially the individual training with the strikers.
I’ve spoken to or have heard about others [former Arsenal colleagues] who would also love to come back. I don’t see myself as a manager. I see myself as being part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy that role, especially the individual training with the strikers.”
For a legend like Dennis Bergkamp to offer a “come and get me” plea to Arsenal, I believe that the club must swoop swiftly for him and welcome him back with open arms.
Bergkamp has even stated that he would like to practice some individual training with the club’s strikers, and I see a technically-adept player like Olivier Giroud benefiting from Bergkamp’s tutelage. Giroud is already making a new for himself in this part of the world and he has already notched up 23 goals in 57 appearances for Arsenal.
Some of the goals Giroud has scored this season, such as his deft finish against Tottenham has shown how technically-sound he is with the ball and learning some more tricks from a legend like Bergkamp would do him some good. Bergkamp was a striker that wasn’t known for pace and power but his technique and intelligence made him a force to be reckoned with.
Giroud’s movement on and off the ball is exemplary and he’s an ideal target man that holds up play and links up his teammates well. He has even added goals to the equation which makes him an indispensable player to the team right now. When he suffered the ignominy of a red card against Fulham last season, Arsenal clearly struggled in the three games he missed, which showed how important he was to the team.
Besides working with the attack, Bergkamp can also be a positive influence on the young lads coming up at the club. These kids watched him play for the club when they were toddlers and seeing him around, and enhancing their football education will be hugely beneficial to these lads.
Bergkamp would also feel at home bearing in mind that his old buddies, Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg, are very much around, as they have taken ambassadorial roles at the club, so they would make things easy for him. To spice things up, even the great Thierry Henry and Mr. Arsenal himself, Tony Adams, have spoken about their desire to join the club at some capacity, so it would be amazing seeing all these legends at the backroom.
With Arsenal’s Head of Youth Development, Liam Brady, stepping down at the end of the season, who will be a better candidate for the job than Dennis Bergkamp to further the development of young talent at Arsenal? Like Brady before him, Bergkamp is the embodiment of Arsenal’s footballing philosophy.
The only constraint with the potential return of Dennis Bergkamp is his well publicized aerophobia, and it stemmed from an incident where the engine of the plane cut out during a flight, prompting a journalist to joke about having a bomb in his bag. Following this incident, Bergkamp decided he would never fly again.
Notwithstanding, having a legend like Bergkamp in the backroom staff would be a massive lift to everyone connected with Arsenal and I hope it happens sooner rather than later.
Don’t forget to have a look at his recently published autobiography tagged Dennis Bergkamp – Stillness and Speed; My Story.
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