With six British talents signed up is it not time for Bergkamp to join Arsenal?


I am absolutely over the moon we signed up Theo for at least another 3.5 years. After Jenkinson, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlaine, Gibbs, and the biggest talent of them all, Wilshere, were contracted to the club for many years to come, it was important to hold on to Theo as well. Wenger is entering a new era now in which he will be given time to develop these six into the core of a team that should be able to go all the way.

Two full backs, three midfielders and a winger/striker. And we could still see another Englishman added to the team before the end of the month. It would make sense to also sign up Zaha, a self-confessed Arsenal supporter, and make it seven Brits on long term contracts at Arsenal.

Of course, there is also still Frimpong to be considered: will he make it, or not? I hope he will as he has all the right characteristics, although he still has a lot to learn.

On top of the above mentioned players, we have all our important players signed up for at least a couple more years, if not more. So, we should now enter a period of stability and growth. The good thing about combining early twenty year old fine and promising talents with experienced mid to late twenty year old players, is that success does not have to take a long time necessarily. Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Podolski, Gervinho, Arteta, Sagna, Giroud, Koz, Cazorla will want success now, and  I reckon this will combine very nicely in the next two to three years.

And in addition to the above, there are a few very good non-British talents coming through: Coquelin, Gnabry, Eisfeld, Miguel, etc; and some more British talents might come through as well in the next few years. And of course, we have our Pole in Goal who is still young but has established himself as our nr.1 goal keeper now.

The seemingly obvious thing to do now is to get an inspirational coach to work with all these young talents. Other than the full backs, all newly signed-up Brits are strongly attack-minded players, and it would be good to have a Master-coach to guide them technically,  tactically and mentally/professionally towards their full potential.

I don’t think Steve Bould is the man for this; his job lays elsewhere; and I reckon  Wenger needs more support. I am also a big believer in a Master-Apprentice learning and development approach, and for that we would need a top class player, who everybody respects and who has coaching capabilities.


At the moment, there is nobody who would fit the bill better than Dennis Bergkamp.

If he were to join Arsene as one of Arsene’s coaches it would give the whole club a lift. Just imagine how much the likes of Wilshere, Ox, Ramsey and Theo – and hopefully Zaha – could learn of the former Dutch Master. On top of that, he would be a very good coach for Giroud, who, I am sure, would love to get guidance from Bergkamp.

Maybe there are other options. Is it maybe time for Arsene to sign up Henry or Pires as one of his coaches? They have not got ‘the batch’ yet, but they would still be fantastic in guiding our precious talents to dizzying heights.

To me it would make perfect sense to try and get Bergkamp to come and coach all our talents. Get yourself some help Arsene, and bring back to us our godly hero!

Written by: Total Arsenal.

Why Arsenal? Calling all International Gooners

Torridon holiday 2011 129

From the statistics provided by WordPress – the company that provided the set-up for the Bergkampesque blog – I know there are Gooners almost in every country of the world. This really fascinates me: who are you, how did you end up supporting Arsenal, and how do you follow our beloved team?

Generally speaking, there are four categories of Arsenal supporters:

  1. Those who were born in an Arsenal family (one or two parents, or  an older brother or sister were already Gooners);
  2. Those who choose at an early age to support Arsenal (sometimes opting for a different team than their father and/or mother support);
  3. Those who ‘fall in love’ with Arsenal’s football and the club in general, through watching them over  a long period of time;
  4. Those who were/are a big fan of a particular footballer who went to play for Arsenal, and became an Arsenal supporter gradually.

I fall into category 4 first and for all, but also in category 3. My father has always been a great lover of football and had brought me up to find and see the beauty in it. He turned 70 recently and still does not support a particular team, and yet he watches at least 6 football games per week. He will watch the teams that play the most attractive football; something I used to do a lot more before I became, ever so gradually, a fully devoted Arsenal supporter.

In my early twenties, I became a great admirer of Dennis Bergkamp: he just had something that set him apart from all other players from the first moments of his career. We all know that Dennis was developed into one of the greatest footballers ever at Ajax firstly, and that he had a miserable time at Inter, before he came to the mighty Arsenal. At Arsenal, and under Arsene’s tutelage, DB10 was able to both develop further into the top star he eventually became and to express himself; his abilities, and vision of how football should be played to the full.

I did not become an Arsenal supporter simply because Dennis had joined the club: it was a gradual process.

Firstly, I loved the way Dennis was treated by the club, fellow players and the fans: he was respected and fully supported by everyone from the start – a far cry from what happened in Italy.

Secondly, I loved the way Dennis was deployed and how Arsene built his teams around Dennis’ capabilities.

Thirdly, I loved the way Arsenal played football and I gradually became a big supporter of everything Arsenal: the club, the players, the style of football, the manager, the history and the general culture of the club. For me, Arsenal became the true home of football, and this will never change again. Unlike my dad, I have put my football anchor down at a particular club; the best club in the world: the mighty Arsenal.

That is my reason for becoming an Arsenal supporter, but what is yours? Why Arsenal, for how long, where are you based, and how are you able to follow our beloved team?

Total Arsenal.

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.