THE Heavenly Goal by The Greatest PL Artist is 20 Years Old Today

I remember vividly looking out of the window of one of the tired looking railway offices in Derby twenty years ago. My big boss Brian – the chairman – was standing next to me and we were admiring the velvet blues and greens of a few magpies below us. I said jokingly to my Sunderland supporting superior that I knew he was supposed to hate magpies but wasn’t it a magnificent bird?! He agreed smilingly and then out of the blue asked me: “Did he mean it, Frank?”.

I knew instantly what he was referring to. I said yes he did mean it alright. Bergkamp is a dancer and that was football ballet. Brian smiled and agreed and said he enjoyed that goal in multiple ways. I have always respected him for his knowledge and warmth, his great anecdotes and love of operas; and in particular for his decision to retire early and then study the horrors of the holocaust afterwards. A true inspiration, he was.

Today is the exact 20 year anniversary of that goal: the quick readjustment to a slightly misplaced pass by Robert, the tennis-volley-like first touch and resulting spin on the ball, the pirouette around sorry Dabizas, the readjustment after a dizzying spin, and that cool and calculated finish passed the frozen goalkeeper. It was indeed as the commentator said ‘magnificent’.

Nobody after Dennis in the Premier League has reached that level of artistry and efficiency that the Iceman brought to the game. That ability to find or make space through a sumptuous first, second or even third touch, that turning around his own axis, those lofty balls over stranded goalkeepers and those mesmerising deceptions of defenders. I could go on and on but would love to hear your thoughts on what DB10 brought to the game and did for you.

Here’s the goal again. 🙂

TotalArsenal

37 thoughts on “THE Heavenly Goal by The Greatest PL Artist is 20 Years Old Today

  • Aston Villa v Soton………… Draw Newcastle v Brighton….. Home Liverpool v West Ham….. Home (3-0)
    Watford v The Arsenal…. Away
    Man City v Man United… Home (3-1)
    Chelsea L v Man City L… Home (3-0)

  • Great post Total and a truly wonderful goal, one of many.

    Did you ever discuss the great goal with Brian that Dennis scored at Sunderland in the League Cup if I recall, a couple of drag backs before the perfect banana around the keeper?

  • Total that’s a great story about Bk’s super goal. I distinctly remember watching the game in a pub full of football fanatics (The Mad Hatter) and the Arsenal fans just went absolutely potty. One of the many incredible contributions made by BK and he always seemed to be so humble to the accolades showered on him.

  • I was there and even in miniature from the Toon outskirts where they put us it was a moment of magic that warmed the cockles and i have smiled and extolled its virtue ever since.Never to be forgotten 🙂

  • There can be no Bergkamp ever. No Messi or Ronaldo can ever take his place. He is our legend forever. We are fortunate to have him in our team and his through balls to Anelka, wrighty and Thierry are master pieces. His through ball to Viers to score that goal on the final match of the invincible season was out of this world. Each of his goal are master piece. I have all his goals on a DVD and watch it so many times. He was an artist indeed and made the game beautiful.

  • Twenty years! Goodness me. Where has it gone? I remember watching it live here in NZ on TV with a Spurs supporting mate. We didn’t truly realise what we had witnessed until viewing the replays.
    The Spock like perception of his run into the box, that first touch was a brush stroke Claude, Leonardo or Michelangelo would have been proud of. Nureyev would have applauded the pirouette (or Alastair Campbell, the spin), the dismissive fend off was pure Jonah Lomu, and the finish was as cool as Daniel Craig’s 007 and unerring as a Tiger putt.

    For me his finest performance was in the 7-0 dismantling of Everton at Highbury, and his goal v Argentina is as otherworldly as anything I have seen. But if I could have only five goals to watch for the rest of my life on a desert island, they would be Ray’s header v Tottenham in ’71, Michael’s goal v Liverpool in ’89, Thierry’s winner at the Bernabeu, Jack’s v Norwich and DB10’s v Newcastle.

  • Cheers Madhu. I just love the thought of a devout Gooner watching a Bergkamp dvd in Bangalore with such passion as you have. One day I hope to visit you and we watch it together.

  • Super comment, Stuart. You could have picked Rembrandt, Johannes and Vincent but I forgive you.

    I like your pick of five goals for a dessert island. Bergkamp would have a couple for sure, Henry’s goal v Spuds, Van Basten’s overhead v Den Bosch and the 2-1 v Germany in 88. So many more to consider!!!

  • Amazing to think that’s it’s been 20 years already; time sure flies. Dennis was pure magic, a smooth operator who went about his task like a craftsman at work. That goal was even admired by the most ardent Arsenal hater, with most wondering if he did mean it.

    Dennis was also deceptively strong and tenacious in possession. Notice how he fended off Dabizas with his hand (VAR would have reviewed that and a few would bay “foul”) which bought him more time to pick his spot.

    I also loved his goal against Argentina, the way casually controlled the ball and picked his spot is a rare level of composure in front of goal in a crucial game. There cannot be another Dennis Bergkamp.

  • From the previous thread, got to hand it to OX1O for playing a great round of predictions. Two “correct score” is a sensational outing; I would need to call for a VAR check on you, just to slow you down a bit😁

    Thanks for the report, GN5.

  • Here are my predictions for this week’s picks:

    Aston Villa v Southampton D
    Newcastle v Brighton H
    Liverpool v West Ham * H 3-2
    Watford v Arsenal A
    Manchester City v Manchester United * H 4-2
    Chelsea Ladies v Manchester City Ladies * H 1-0

  • Here’s my first outing, GN5. I’m hoping the disarray at the Bridge allows the Citeh girls to do our lasses a big favour…

    Aston Villa v Southampton D
    Newcastle v Brighton H
    Liverpool v West Ham * H 2-0
    Watford v Arsenal A
    Manchester City v Manchester United * D 1-1
    Chelsea Ladies v Manchester City Ladies * D 1-1

  • I wonder if the departure of Aubameyang has anything to do with the resurgence in the form of Pepe?

    Nico strikes me a quite a shy fella and he might have struggled in the all encompassing shadow of Auba but now he’s one of the ‘seniors’ and that responsibility might have sparked what’s been missing up till now – here’s hoping anyway…

  • T, Kev,
    Pepe does frustrate as an attacking wide mf. His instincts are to go it alone, which makes him useless out on the touchline. It comes from excelling in France because he was able to get past 2 and 3 weak defenders anywhere on the pitch. A classic case of culture shock in moving up leagues.

    Once he gets closer to the box he either combines a little better as on his assist last week.. or dribbling and shooting in the box, at which he is our best player. Even though his left foot is amazing, he’s scored nice goals for us with his right too. He is the slightly selfish player we need to take it on himself to attack the goal.

    The guy needs to be more central. Imagine having a player who can run under those balls over the top from Ben White, or through balls from Øde and Xhaka . As it is, those beauties are creating small chances because Saka only receives them out wide, and still has lots to do while defenders catch up in the middle, long before Lacazette gets in the picture.

    On another subject, I hope that no matter how things shake out at Chelsea, it means that they’ll be looking at a long dark period, just as Tottenham.

    The timing of our ascendancy couldn’t be better. I predict that in a few years, after Pep and Klopp, we’ll be part of a super competitive top 4 including Newcastle, Arsenal, a less dominant Man City (as long as we don’t let them poach Mikel to replace Pep. United may be in the mix, but won’t dominate.

  • Aston Villa v Southampton H
    Newcastle v Brighton H
    Liverpool v West Ham * H (3-0)
    Watford v Arsenal A
    Manchester City v Manchester United * H(2-0)
    Chelsea Ladies v Manchester City Ladies * H (2-1)

  • Welcome to the competition Stuart, your predictions have been recorded.
    I would love to see some pictures of your son’s Yurt – if it’s possible?

  • It would be marvelous if Pepe showed us his real capabilities, I really believe that the EPL was a real shock to hi system and that he has gradually become more accustomed to both the pace and the ruggedness of our game.

  • Stuart, there cannot be a draw in the Chelsea v Man C Ladies League Cup Final – so kindly revise your prediction.

  • I’m coming for you, Total…

    Sure thing, GN5. I’m just off down south to conduct a wedding over the weekend. I’ll snap some shots when I return.
    Let me have your e mail addi, and I’ll send them thru’.

  • Ah, thanks GN5. I didn’t realise it was the cup final. 2- 0 to Chelsea.

  • Maybe Pepe is a “Diesel engine” sort of player who gets going late in the season. We must not forget how influential he was towards the end of the last season, scoring and assisting goals, so that we all looked forward to his contributions in the 21/22 season; alas, he let us down in the first half of the season.

    I think he was always going to do well this season and only had that lull because the Ivory Coast wanted badly to win the AFCON and may have warned that only fit players will get a chance. He looked to be saving himself the closer we got to the tournament (I did say this about Pepe and Partey before the AFCON); I may be wrong, though, but that’s what it looked like to me. The only African players in the EPL, billed for the tournament and still playing at a good level, seemed to be Salah and Mane; perhaps keeper Mendy.

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