Wow.18 years ago we signed the Dennis Bergkamp. It was a time when The Emirates was a twinkle in our eyes. Hell,so was Arsene Wenger!
Many people forget or simply don’t know that it was Bruce Rioch that signed Bergkamp. Of course it was probably all down to David Dein.
I was at University, exiled in the north of England when I heard the news of his signing. Only the signing of Sol since have I actually thought wow!
We were a club in a bit of turmoil,having sacked George Graham in disgrace and Nayim compounding our misery in Paris. Bruce Rioch wasn’t exactly the manager of choice but the double signing of Dennis and David Platt went a long way to appease the jittery fans.
Cue 11 wonderful years of witnessing the Dutch master who truly was a master craftsman of his trade. A majestic player with exceptional vision and an amazing eye for scoring wonderful goals. His seamless partnerships with first Ian Wright and then Thierry Henry made us drool and how lucky we were to see it. Knowing that he had Vieria,Petit and later Gilberto behind him ensured he could truly express himself along with the exceptional service he received from Freddie and Robert Pires.
My top 3 Dennis Bergkamp goals won’t be much different to other gooners
3. The deft curl v Sunderland
2. 3rd v Leicester
1. THAT goal v Newcastle is my all time favourite. He blatantly meant it and I won’t entertain the notion that he got lucky. There was nothing lucky about Dennis Bergkamp’s play. He was the conductor of his own orchestra.
I’m not sure we will ever see the likes of him again at The Arsenal. The sun and moon must have been aligned in a certain way to ensure he signed for us. Football has changed and those of proven world class quality (even if have a bad year) now tend to go to the highest bidder.
But we were fortunate to see him week in and week out. He loved The Arsenal,and we loved him back. We still do.
His matchworn shirt from 2001-2002 sits proudly at home.