The (self) Happy One Returns: How Will Arsene Respond?

Prepare yourself for Maureen's continuous shenanigans next season!
Prepare yourself for Maureen’s continuous shenanigans next season!

The self declared Special One returns. It was inevitable he would return to the PL this summer, and whether we like him or not, the PL will quickly find out he is back.

I remember a ‘rug-sack holiday’ in Portugal in the early nineties. My mates and I were eating at a seaside restaurant in Sesimbra, not far from Lisbon. My mate, Ron, detected a large fly in his soup. He was quite shy and was not going to say something about it. We spurred him on to get the waiter and when he arrived, Ron said: ‘there is a fly in my soup’. The waiter, who had a large, red, shiny boil protruding from one of his cheeks said without a care in the world: ‘you can eat it with the fly in it, or I can get you another one’. Ron wanted another one, which arrived 10 minutes later, handed to him with utter disdain by our Portuguese friend. It only took two seconds for Ron to cry out: ‘there are now two flies in my soup!’ Ron realised he was not going to win this, and as he was very hungry he ate the soup, which apparently was delicious!

Back to Maureen – our PL fly in the soup – and what his return will mean for Arsenal.

A bold statement: nobody will be able to win the PL conceding 43 goals in the process, like MU did last season, any time again soon.

We all know what Mourinho likes best, and it’s what he has done at Porto, Chelsea and Inter: being lean and mean at the back and very efficient up-front.


After the departure of Maureen in 2007, Abramovic has desperately tried to get Chelsea to play more attractive football, but since then, all seven managers have not been able to satisfy him; and their heads (except the interim ones) have rolled one after the other stuffed with lots of banknotes in them.

It looks like Abramovic wants stability (is he looking to sell the club in a few years, maybe?), and as he has seen and held the CL trophy in his own hands now, he appears to be willing to compromise on style in order to repeat the experience. Maureen’s ego is very low on strokes right now, and with the departure of Ferguson he will be bullish about his chances to become the dominant force in the PL.

There is little doubt in my mind that Wenger will now face one of his biggest challenges in his life, despite being in a better position than in any of the previous eight years (financially and no departures from his core team).

Will he continue towards developing another free-flowing, attack-minded Wengerball team next season, or will he adjust his plans in order to stop the exhibitionist from winning the silverware we so desperately want for ourselves?

If we want to win something next season, Chelsea will be our toughest competitor. Ooh, I want and need Wengerball football again, but I reckon we have to focus and invest first and for all in being a lean and mean defending machine next season, if we want to have a good chance. We have become one during the last quarter of last season, and by adding the much discussed beast of a DM, and a PL-experienced back-up GK, we can nail down that machine even more firmly.

We will also have  to continue with the disciplined double-DM pivot approach, with the main tasks of keeping it tight in midfield and  protecting our defence as much as possible.

And finally, we will need  the sort of players in attack who are very efficient, as in not needing many chances to win a match for us.

We will need to be solid and safe at the back, play with patience, discipline and maturity throughout the entire team, and be able to grind results out on a regular basis.

Is this the sort of football we want? Or should Wenger just go all out and aim to beat Maureen with a more adventurous and attractive style of football?

Not easy to answer, me thinks, but as per the anecdote of Ron’s soup with the fly in it, Maureen is back and, one way or another, we’ll have to overcome him. We are famished for silverware and it’s our time to shine now: time to decide how we’re going to do it and stick with it after that.

Let’s wipe the staged, sickly smile of the self-declared Special One this season!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

What if Arsenal bought no new midfielders and promote Coquelin, Eisfeld and Frimpong?


What if Arsenal bought nobody this season?

I know this is sacrilege to the transfer horny hordes out there, but it is a necessary question to ask in my opinion. The paint on the old season has not even dried and everybody is talking greedily about the players we need to buy – and I have been as guilty as anybody. We all feel we have £70m+ burning in our holsters! 🙂

Yet, I feel there is not enough recognition for the incredible feat our boys have achieved since our painful loss against the Spuddies.

In a previous post I discussed our defence, and in this one I would like to focus on the midfielders we already have. It will be hard to do so without discussing our attack as well, but let’s give it a try.

Ever since Fabregas and that other guy left Arsenal two seasons ago, Arsene has been struggling to get his midfield – the most important ‘department’ of ‘Wengerball’ – to play the football he wants to play.

This season, Arsenal’s midfield has been our weakest area, either not supporting our defence sufficiently enough and/or not contributing to our attack enough. If we take out Cazorla’ goals, our remaining midfielders – Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Diaby, Wilshere – have only scored a handful of open-play PL goals, and the assists-count is also nothing to boost about.

However, if we look back at the last eleven games (including BM away) our team has done very well: winning nine out of eleven matches and conceding just a few goals in  the process.

So, if Arsenal were not to buy any new midfielders, how would we cope?

It all depends what Arsene is planning to do next season. If he wants to return to more attractive, attacking football, he will have to invest in at least a DM and possibly a nr.10 midfielder/attacker as well.

With the imminent return of Mourinho to these holy football shores this summer, no team will be able to compete for the big domestic prices without having a mean defence. Even if he did not, it might be best for Arsenal to continue with two defensive midfielders who operate under a conservative remit, which has been one of the main factors of Arsenal stopping to concede unnecessary – and often early – goals.

If Arsene decides to continue with this – un-Wengerball-like – unadventurous double-DM pivot next season, he does not have to buy anybody, as the likes of Arteta, Wilshere, Ramsey, Coquelin, and possibly Frimpong, can all play there with decent to very good effectiveness.

This would leave us with the third midfield position in Arsenal’s 4-2-1-3 formation: the ‘1’, also known as the ‘player in the hole’ position, or simply AM. Many believe Cazorla is the best man  for this position, others prefer Wilshere  in the hole, or Rosicky, or even the Ox.

If Arsenal were not to buy another midfielder, and simply stick to our end-of-season formation, we would probably cope quite well in midfield, as long as the emphasis is on defending and not making play from that area, as well as scoring far more goals than our midfielder did last season.

We would see a battle, this summer and at the start of the season, between Wilshere, Cazorla, and maybe Ox, to claim the AM position (I expect Rosicky to remain a back-up midfielder next season).

Jack is best suited to conduct play in midfield: to give us shape and find the  deadly through-balls. However, he appears unready to score a decent number of goals in  that position next season.

Santi is best suited to play close to the box, where he can find through-balls for his fellow attackers and can shoot at goal as much as he likes. However, his positioning there often leaves a big gap between the DMs and the opposition’s box, and this might be the main reason why he has been played more and more on the wings as the season progressed.

You would say that Ox is the most intriguing player in terms of determining his potential AND the most suitable position for him. Next season, we should see him make a big step forward, especially if Arsene is not to buy another attacking midfielder, which for this post I am assuming he isn’t.

Can Ox develop into a player who can do to a large extent what Wilshere and Cazorla can do: bring the ball forward from midfield and produce through-balls – ala Wilshere – as well as score goals from outside and inside the box – ala Cazorla?

I reckon he might well get there and it looks like Arsene is slowly developing him into an all-round AM. But next season is probably too early for him to take on the AM role as our main man.

So, although Arsenal have some fine players for the hole position, we are currently missing a candidate who has it all.

Eisfeld is a very promising talent who is both good at pushing forward from midfield/producing through-balls and scoring goals/producing assists. It would be good to see him getting more and more games in the first team, but he clearly has a long way to go.

If Arsenal were not to buy any midfielders, we could still cope well, even though our AM position would continue to be a work in progress. It would probably not be pretty, but if Arsene sticks to two defence-minded DMs, we could go on a very good run in the new season.

However, if Arsene wants to return to Wengerball, he will have to look for one or two additions. Firstly, a more traditional ‘beast of a DM’ (who can play a bit of footie as well): the DM should enable Wenger to reintroduce a proper box-to-box midfielder (ideally Jack if fit), and as a result play with a more attacking, flowing style of football.

Secondly, an experienced, more a Bergkamp type AM/nr10, who can set up attacks from midfield through speed, physical strength, great overview of the game, and ingenuity; produce a large number of assists and score double figures PL goals himself.

The key question, fine fellow Gooners, is: do we want Arsene to return to Wengerball OR, for the sake of stable progress and possibly the best chance of finally winning something next season,  continue with, and build further on, what he and Bould have established during the latter part of the season?

The former could come at the cost of results/winning something; the latter at the cost of our enjoyment of our football (and winning something is not a given either).

Let’s see what will happen in the TW this summer: it will tell us a lot of what direction Wenger and Bould will be taking with our team.

Written by: TotalArsenal.


The Special One is still incapable of winning beautifully


Isn’t it nice to see Real Madrid getting dumped out of the CL by a proper football team tonight?

One that was build  slowly without reverting to spending hundreds of millions of pounds in one summer; one that has a manager at the helm who remains humble and warm towards others, and would never do something so vain as referring to himself as the ‘Special One’.

I despise Mourinho: a brilliant ‘traditional’ manager, but an absolute twit of a person. He always tries to put his boot into Wenger whenever there is an opportunity, whilst never acknowledging the vast discrepancy between his and the Frenchman’s transfer budget in the last eight years or so.

To see Dortmund go through to the final whilst playing attractive, proper football is just fantastic. They lost Nuri Sahin to RM, and also Kagawa to the Mancs in recent seasons, and yet, here they are eliminating a star-brimming team who have tried everything possible to knock Barca of its domestic and European throne: even contracting the vile, self-loving Maureen.

For some time, RM have been desperate to not only overtake Barcelona again, but to do so with breathtakingly beautiful football. Despite Capello winning La Liga for them in 2007, RM did not like the football on display and he was promptly sacked. The same goes for Bernd Schuster, who won the league the year after, but also got the boot after just one and a half season in charge (also winning La Liga in the process).

Juande Ramos was given just half a season, and then RM went mad by spending in the region of £200-250m on the likes of Kaka, Alonso, Benzema and Ronaldo in 2009. Manuel Pelligrini was hired in that same summer to turn all this star quality into gorgeous, sexy and triumphant footie. But the Chilean did also not last very long, as the trophy cabinet did not get any new additions; whilst their bitterest of the bitterest rivals in Cataluña won everything with the sort of football that took the world by storm.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and so the self-declared and celebrated Special One was hired. The Portuguese master tactician had just won ‘the triple’ for Inter Milan, including the so coveted CL cup, and he simply had to be hired to break the excruciating, suffocating dominance by the Blaugrana over Los Blancos.

Maureen joined a team with top class players throughout the squad, a number of which had just won the world-cup in South Africa. On top of that, he still got funds to strengthen his team further, which he promptly did. Unfortunately, he was not allowed to let Los Galacticos play Maureenball sort of football. Something nobody had argued with him about at Internazionale, the home of catenaccio in the end…

Now this was a new challenge for him: winning titles with beautiful, daring football. He had not managed to do so at Chelsea, which appeared to have cost him his job there ultimately. At Inter and Porto this was never a requirement, but as per the above, for the RM board and supporters winning in style – ideally better than their one and only rival – is a must.

He tried everything in his powers to topple the despised Blaugrana during his first season in charge, but it was all in vain for the most self-adoring man in football. Fair is fair, he won the Spanish cup for his new paymasters; it meant so much to them that they promptly dropped it from the ‘parade’ bus hahaha.

Then last season, Maureen’s second for the Galacticos, he overcame Barcelona in the league to win La Liga for them: the first time in five years of trying. Quite an achievement, even when taking into account that Guardiola clearly needed a break from the incredible pressure he put himself/ was under.

But for the second time running, RM did not manage to get into the final of the CL: a cup Los Blancos feel simply entitled to every single season.

Then came his third, and what was always likely to be his last season for RM – because the man has not got the patience and stamina to sit it out much longer at a club, and nobody can take him much longer than a 1000 days, no matter how desperate they are!

Despite Barca being at their weakest in a long time, RM never gave them a fight, squandering points like no tomorrow during the first half of the current La Liga season. But all hope and focus was on winning the CL this time round.

He got his team to the CL semi-finals once again, and was so convinced they would beat Dortmund that he even issued the team-sheet 24 hours prior to the game. BD wiped the floor with Los Blancos in the first leg:  a total embarrassment for the club, and especially Maureen.

Tonight, in front of 85000 supporters, RM tried in the beginning and towards the end of the second leg game, but BD were simply too good for them.

Maureen has failed, and as he has burned a lot of relationship bridges in the process, it is very unlikely he will last much longer at the historically biggest football club in the world. Beautiful winning football, despite an army of top, top talents at his disposal, cannot be added to his CV, and probably never will – something Arsene will always  hold over him. 😉

Written by: TotalArsenal.

Let’s move from 4-2-1-3 to 4-1-2-3: give Arsenal its identity back!

Santi Cazorla celebrates after scoring against Reading

When will Arsenal rediscover its beautiful football again?

It has been a while now since Arsenal played the sort of football that makes us all purr like a cat; the sort of football that makes the crowd go ooh and aah!

I reckon ever since Fabregas’ last season for us, Arsenal have been struggling to find their identity again. And when I say, Arsenal; I really mean Arsene. Last season we played more or less continuously Plan B: the ‘feed the Dutchman he will score’ scenario. We became very dependent on him, and despite my absolute loathing of the self-celebrating traitor now, it is fair to say that he played a big part in Arsenal finishing third last season.

This season, many of us will struggle with describing what our plan-A is. Arsene has tried a number of different player-combinations up-front, in midfield and at the back. We have seen glimpses of both effective and beautiful football, but it has been pretty ordinary most of the times. This season, I have been to Norwich and Wigan away and Blackburn at home; and last season I watched Fulham, QPR and Blackburn at home, and their was little beauty/ real quality of play to be seen in any of these matches: a far cry of how we used to play!

Whilst driving back through black and bleary motorways from London last night, I thought deep and hard how and when we will get our beautiful game back. Is it simply a matter of buying more quality players, as in players who can reach the heights of Bergkamp, Henry, Fabregas and Pires again; or is it a matter of getting a couple of solid, quality defenders/midfielders who will allow the rest to play Wengerball again?

Having analysed our recent games a bit, it is clear to me that both Wilshere and Cazorla are more than capable and willing to lead our game back to Wengerball. They are working their socks off to get this team going. However, their efforts have been wiped out by big, and mostly unnecessary, defensive mistakes. On top of that, with our strike-force still finding its feet and going through a big goal-lull at the moment, we have been unable to do a ‘Mancs United’; simply outscoring the opposition.

A simple answer to the main question in this post is to go and buy both top quality players and a couple of solid defenders. Like everybody else, I also believe that without adding these sort of players in the summer – as early as possible, ideally – we will not make much progress next season.

However, as Arsenal cannot buy any players until then, and we have still 10 games to play and with a top-four place at stake – and going with the answers in yesterday’s post, most of you believe we are still going to make the top-four this season 🙂 – let’s talk about what can be done NOW to get back to both beautiful AND effective football again.

Arsene has said on a number of occasions that his team has been playing with the handbrake on. I agree with him, but what can he do about it? For me, the answer lays with the ‘2’ of our 4-2-1-3 formation.

I would like us to play 4-1-2-3 for the remainder of the season. I cannot see us fix our defensive issues any more without buying a quality DM and CB, or at least one of them during the summer. I also cannot see us change to 4-4-2, 4-5-1 or even 3-5-2 during the remainder of the season; the change would be too drastic, whereas moving the ‘2’ forwards can be done without too many adjustments.

So I say, let’s focus on playing our game as much as possible in the opposition’s half and scoring as many goals in the process. Allow Arteta to play as our deepest laying midfielder; or maybe even move Vermaelen there. In the ‘2’ we can play Cazorla and Wilshere or Rosicky and Ox, or even bring back the Siberia working camp exiled Arshavin.

We have so many quality players to play in the double advanced midfielder positions, that we could see an instant, and much needed, positive impact.

Arsenal would be buzzing with attacking intent again, and the likes of Podolski, Walcott and Giroud would get plenty of service to start adding to their goal tally once more. In the process Arsenal might find its new identity again, and in the summer we can add the necessary steel at the back and in midfield, and add another quality flair player as well.

Let’s hope Arsene will be a bit braver now, and will try something different for the remainder of the season: throw the handbrake away and let the team go and enjoy themselves again. There is still plenty of quality in the team and it is time to allow them to throw the shackles away and dictate play again. Yes we are likely to concede a lot of goals in the process, but as recent games have shown to us, this will happen anyway.

So, we might as well go out there and play the sort of football that we are capable of and will bring joy to our Gooner hearts again. I also reckon, it is the best way to secure a top-four spot this season.

But what do you think Arsene should do to give us back our identity again; to start playing beautiful and winning football once more?

Come on You Rip Roaring Gunners!!!!!!!!!!!

Written by: TotalArsenal.

Lack of world-class talent keeps Arsenal from reliving glory years

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The lack of world-class talent, and its role in preventing us from realizing past glory.

 This article will address what I feel has been the main issue that has prevented the mighty Arsenal from being genuine title contenders the past 7 years.

When Wenger first joined Arsenal in 1996, he brought with him a great deal of change.  His transfer signings went beyond anything one could predict and he unearthed talents such as Vieira, Henry, Campbell, Pires, Toure, van Judas etc.  He was able to take advantage of the fact that he was able to shape the team and make it his own.  Bringing in so many new faces at the same relative time period meant there was less of an entitlement of senior players at the club feeling that they deserved a starting place.  Also, we must be cognizant of the fact that Wenger developed those players into world-class talents and he’s never been one to overspend to acquire those types of players.

Fast forward to the current crop of Arsenal players and players with much less experience are demanding they be starting every week and being played in certain roles.  This is one of the few downsides of Wenger’s daring approach to give young players an opportunity.  However, I accept that the game has evolved and that Wenger is currently dealing with a “me-first” generation where players’ demands continue to escalate in unreasonable manners.  Although this is a huge issue, my article will look to compare and contrast our current roster with the world-class talent during the Invincibles season.

I identified five key players that I believe to be world-class talents and were integral to the glory years where Arsenal was always a contender and occasionally won the Premier League.  These 5 key players played in essential positions that helped us dictate and dominate games.   They should come as no surprise to any of you and are the following:

Sol Campbell – He was a rock for us in the heart of our defense at CB and was a no-nonsense player who provided invaluable leadership to our team.  He is still regarded as one of the best CB to ever play for Arsenal and I believe he is well deserving of that recognition with two Premier league titles and three FA Cups to his name.  Centre backs are one of the more overlooked positions on a roster, despite the fact that defense wins championships and CBs provide a necessary stability to any side.  While Vermaelen, Mertesacker and Koscielny are all good defenders in their own right, we have failed to adequately replace Campbell since his departure.


Patrick Vieira – An individual who really made the box-to-box midfielder role his own, and was renowned for his galloping runs forward and domination of the midfield.  He was an astute reader of the game, an excellent passer, a fearless tackler and an emotional leader.  He could singlehandedly change a result and elevated the games of those around him.  Opposing players feared the presence of Vieira and much like Campbell, Arsenal has failed to even come close to replacing him.  When healthy, Diaby has had flashes of brilliance that mirrored Vieira’s passing and momentum charging forward, but his game has never been about being a vocal leader or a no-nonsense player.

Robert Pires – My favourite player to ever don an Arsenal jersey, Pires was a classy winger who accomplished everything from an offensive standpoint.  He scored as if he were a striker, delivered many crafty passes and had an unparalleled combination of speed, movement, ball control, and on-pitch intelligence from out wide.  Because he was such an immense threat on the wing, Pires opened up space in the middle of the park for Vieira, Henry and Bergkamp.  Arsenal has lacked the creativity, directness and delivery from a wide position since Pires’ (and unfortunately to a lesser extent Na$ri’s) departure.


Dennis Bergkamp – A player capable of producing some truly spectacular moments and he had a strong desire to win through any means necessary.  He was the epitome of a complete footballer who understood the game at another level.  Defined by a sleek, fluid technique, Bergkamp also had the mental toughness that current Gunners are lacking.  Wenger’s attempts to develop complete footballers have been in vain; current youth are not willing to develop their talents in various positions and want to make an immediate impact in their preferred spots.  In an era where capitalism dominates, loyalty is extremely tough to come by.  Bergkamp was and still is the epitome of a true Gunner through and through that wore his heart on his sleeve.

Thierry Henry – What more can be said about this football icon who is considered as one of the best strikers of all time?  He was so fast and agile that he made everyone else look slow yet had the ball control and flair to take on defenders in tight spaces.  He was dangerous from set pieces, could play a dangerous ball in the final third to a teammate, score from 35 yards out, create goals out of absolutely nothing and had unmatched movement.  Despite not being the exact same type of striker, van Judas was a world-class replacement and Wenger failed to replace him after letting him go this summer.  I rate Giroud relatively high, but I do not believe he will ever reach a world-class level like his predecessors.

Two areas that could be strengthened with class talents in January are the holding/box-to-box midfield position and right wing.  If we can somehow acquire both, the onus once again falls on Wenger to groom them into world-class talents.  Victor Wanyama of Celtic, Etienne Capoue of Toulouse or Kevin Strootman of PSV Eindhoven would fulfill the first need, while Jesus Navas of Sevilla, Isco of Malaga or Cristian Tello or Isaac Cuenca of Barcelona fit the latter need.  All the suggested transfer targets are relatively young and can be groomed by Wenger, with the exception of Navas who is already a world-class talent.  In my opinion, a world-class striker is not necessary if the delivery is top notch.  It will be sufficient if Giroud can prove his ability to score goals whenever given the opportunity to.  A support striker with a different playing style that complements Giroud would go a long way in providing us with a fresh approach, while also contributing if Giroud goes on a run of poor form.

I strongly believe it is this lack of world-class talent at those five key positions that is holding us back from the results we desire.

I accept that with Arsenal’s wage and transfer policies it may be impossible to ever build a squad as divine as the Invincibles, but our current roster is still a far cry from that of the glory years.  One world-class talent in Cazorla and a burgeoning world-class talent in Wilshere are not enough for Arsenal to be consistent contenders.  Finally, I would like to point out that I’m not saying we have zero talent in our squad; simply that we lack two to three top-end talents that would allow us to compete with teams like Manchester United, Manchester City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.


Do you Gooners agree about the lack of world-class talent currently in our side?  Do you think a world-class striker or CB are more imperative than my suggestions?  Let me know what you think, all comments appreciated!


Written by: The Gooner

Ooh, how we miss his magic: what is your favourite Bergkamp experience?


All of us have seen the videos of Dennis Bergkamp’s best/most beautiful goals many times over during the last few years. Some of us were even lucky enough to witness one or more of these magic goals live during Dennis’ tenure at Arsenal: the ‘pirouette’ in and against Newcastle; or the ‘foot ball juggler’ in and against Leicester (his last one of a truly great hat-trick); or maybe even DB’s 89th minute ‘outer space ball collecting and juggling skills’ winner for Holland against Argentina, during the quarter finals of the 1998 world cup finals in France.


A couple of weeks ago, I spoke to my mate Elliot, who told me about his one-off meeting with the Iceman. He is never that keen to go up to players and speak to them, as he feels they should be allowed their privacy; but when he had a chance to speak to Dennis, he ignored his principles for once and introduced himself to him. He had a general chat with Dennis and the Dutchman was very easy going and humble. At the end of the conversation he asked Dennis to sign a napkin, which he promptly did.

Elliot told me that he no longer has the napkin, but that this did not bother him at all: what really mattered was the experience of meeting up with Dennis, and the Iceman signing his autograph on the napkin. It is an experience he will never forget.

And this is really important, because on object is nothing compared to an experience.

It would be great if we could hear your favourite personal experience(s) with regards to Dennis Bergkamp. Not many of us will have met him personally, but that’s not necessary: just tell us about your favourite DB10 moment.

Mine was on 16 September 2001. A colleague of mine, who was a Fulham season ticket holder, had arranged a ticket for me at Craven Cottage. Around that time, I knew very few fellow Gooners and it was hard to get tickets to any Arsenal games, so I was over the moon for getting the opportunity to see our mighty team live. Arsenal won 1-3 and we played fantastic football on a late-Summer’s Saturday.

Dennis came on for the last fifteen minutes, and very late on in the game he scored a peach of a goal right in front of me. It was a quintessential Bergkamp ‘placed shot’ from the edge of the box into the goalkeeper’s top-left corner.

Now, I had seen many matches and goals by Dennis on TV at that time, but all of those could never be compared with that one moment of seeing him score right in front of me, and with such a beautifully executed goal. It is an experience I will never forget. I have seen Dennis play live on a number of occasions since that day, but that first, fantastic experience will always be my personal favourite Dennis Bergkamp moment.

However, I am sure there are many fellow Gooners who have had even better personal Dennis Bergkamp experiences; and, whatever they are, it would be great to hear them from you today!

Total Arsenal.

Although some bloggers might appear very familiar and informal with each others, please never hesitate to comment if you feel like it: Bergkampesque welcomes any new contributions.

What did Dennis Bergkamp mean to you? Leave a tribute

We all love to witness winning football by our beloved Arsenal, but nothing surpasses the experience of winning beautiful football. For many supporters, DB10 will always be the epitome of (striving towards) beautiful football. This site was set up in honour of his genius and quest for beautiful football. See also the page ‘About Bergkampesque’ above.

Dennis has inspired me even beyond football: he made me realise that the pursuit of beauty is a worthy aim in itself in whatever you do; but also that just winning, or being successful, is not everything in life.

It has been a while since we had the luxury of experiencing winning football, let alone winning beautiful football. There has still been plenty of beautiful football though: even during the last seven years there were many games in which we played deadly attacking, breathtakingly beautiful football.

Since Dennis played his last game for Arsenal, now more than six years ago, it is fair to say that not only Arsenal lost a great player, but the whole of the Premier League did so too. Cesc Fabregas could have been on his way to get somewhere near the genius and beautiful football of Dennis, but he left far too soon to be even considered in the same league as the Iceman.

Sometimes, a footballer in the PL does something beautiful on the pitch; and whether it is an Arsenal player or not, often the commentators refer to this with the term ‘bergkampesque’. I am hopeful that one day the word ‘bergkampesque’ will end up in all English dictionaries as the definition for an act of pure beauty by an individual footballer. Dennis would totally deserve this for what he has done for football in England and the rest of the world.

It has been almost two months now since ‘Bergkampesque’ was launched, and I would like to add a separate page to the site with tributes by fellow Gooners, and possibly supporters of other teams – including supporter of Dennis’ previous teams Ajax and Milan, if they would wish to do so.

I would like to ask you to leave a comment on Bergkampesque with regards to what Dennis meant to you, and what your best personal memories are of DB10.

All comments will eventually be placed on a separate page, and over the years, I hope many more comments will be added.

Many thanks in advance,


Total Arsenal.