Bergkamp eyes return to football

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Dennis Bergkamp says he’s ready to return to football and sees himself taking a position outside the Netherlands.

It has been nearly 18 months since the 50-year-old was sacked by Marc Overmars and Edwin van der Sar due to ‘a difference of opinion about the technical policy to be implemented’ at Ajax.

Bergkamp had returned to Ajax, the club that gave him his debut as a 17-year-old, in a coaching capacity in 2010 as Johan Cruyff looked to get the club back on track after six years without an Eredivisie title. He went on to become Fran de Boer’s assistant in the dugout but took more of a backseat under Peter Bosz.

On the lookout for a new opportunity, the Arsenal great explained that he’d ideally use his experience to nurture up-and-coming talents.

“At Ajax, I formed a bridge between the academy and the first-team,” he’s quoted as saying in the Mirror.

“And I want to work in a similar way – talent development, a role on the coaching staff and, where needed, working individually with top talents.

“We’ve seen many styles in the game but whatever you analyse, it comes down to pure football talent – and developing that talent.

“That’s where I want to contribute. At Ajax, I was not just focusing on the first-team strikers when it came to specialist training, I also enjoyed working with strikers in the academy – taking them to a higher level.

“My time at Ajax ended very suddenly. But I’m not done in football yet. I now see myself getting a job abroad.”

Bergkamp also touched on the important role played by Cruyff, who died in 2016, in luring him back to Ajax.

“Cruyff’s influence runs like a thread through my career,” he said.

“He was the one who picked me out when I was still playing in a youth team, putting me straight into the first team, while others had doubts.

“Johan came up with his blueprint for Ajax in 2010. We both felt things had to change and we were on the same page immediately.

“We had dinner and he opened my eyes. That was the beginning of the ‘Cruyff revolution’ at Ajax.

“The club had been going in a certain direction. But Johan and I had different ideas to them about coaching and producing players.

“I’ve always been a massive fan of Johan Cruyff’s football vision.”

As much as any Arsenal fan would love to have Dennis Bergkamp back at the club, it doesn’t feel like we’re set-up to accommodate his genius at the moment.

Dennis doesn’t want – or have the experience to undertake – an administrative position, which rules him out of any link with the vacant Technical Director position.

The major roles at the Academy are currently filled and Unai Emery, whose coaching team he tends to take wherever he goes, is unlikely to want to bring in a man with a reputation that could in any way undermine his own.

We could create a position out of nothing (it’s Dennis!) but that’s something that Arsene Wenger often suggested was a bad idea. Perhaps the timing isn’t right. No doubt, this news will have other clubs on red alert though. It’ll be interesting to see where he ends up.

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Rich
Rich

We should have gone for Overmars as Director Of Football, he’s that ruthless and single minded that he sacked his mate and didn’t blink an eyelid in the process?….

This type of ruthlessness is exactly what we’ve been missing at Arsenal

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

Overmars was giving bad passes to Henry on purpose and it was out of jealousy. Old fans know Henry was making these accusations.

Red-Sky
Red-Sky

wut?

Frank Bascombe
Frank Bascombe

Henry did the same to Reyes. For precisely the same reason.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Overmars lost me when he said there was no reason that Sanchez couldn’t come back to Arsenal. I don’t want Overmars or Bergkamp, they’re massive egos and that doesn’t end well in a training environment.

NorthernGoon
NorthernGoon

“Leave now, and never come back.”

You don’t get to call Bergkamp and remain on these boards.

Anthony
Anthony

I’d love to see him return and work alongside Freddie!

Don Cazorleone
Don Cazorleone

I’d slot him in behind our two strikers at the moment

PGunner
PGunner

That goal against Juve ☺️

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

That goal against Leicester🙉

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

You literally read my mind or maybe I read yours lol

Chrispy
Chrispy

If he comes to England with any club other than us, a part of me will die inside. Absolute gem of a player and he absolutely must have a position training the Arsenal players in some capacity.

karl
karl

Would love to have Dennis back at the club.

Mind you, getting George Graham out of retirement as defensive coach wouldn’t do any harm!

goonero
goonero

A few of my mates when I was a young lad had the likes of Bergkamp and the de Boer brothers take them for the odd coaching session once a week. They’d come in the next day and show the rest of us what was what!

I think his value as a football educator can’t be overstated, not just because of my silly story. He really does have the football equivalent of a doctorate. His understanding of the game on a technical level, from control of the ball to space, to movement and opposition management is legendary.

I remember an odd story of Bergkamp playing football with tennis balls so he could get a better grasp of the effect and application of curve on the trajectory of the ball or something mad like that. The guys is just something else a real football brain. Just I think he’s one of those types that’s almost like a bit of a savant, he really is a technical football specialist, but I think because of that he makes a bad decision maker/administrator.

I genuinely believe you could sit a bunch of Arsenal youngsters in a room and give Dennis a chalkboard and 30 mins and they’d learn a shit tonne.

goonero
goonero

https://youtu.be/SX3ngi-LlYg

Small bit of Keown interviewing the great man…pointless hypothetical I know, but just how much of an influence would Bergkamp have had on Ozils Arsenal career? You get all these anecdotes from the likes of Henry and van Persie and Justin Kluivert about how much he did for them… just something to think about. Great little interview either way.

goonero
goonero
goonero
goonero

Ayy…ignore that, shiet copy with dodgy audio

Frank Bascombe
Frank Bascombe

Dennis didn’t invent playing with a tennis ball. Of that, I can assure you.

Magneto
Magneto

Well over the years, Trevor Brooking has often spoken about how, when growing up, he sometimes used a tennis ball to play football, which he subsequently discovered improved his technique when using a real football to play the game.

And Brooking is at least twenty odd years older than Dennis Bergkamp.

But the real point here is that different players in different cultures at different times all have their own stories about how they developed their football skills and techniques, and that no one person or culture or country has a monopoly on how to do it.

Santori
Santori

I practised with the tennis ball ala Brooking’s advise.

Have to say my close control isn’t too shoddy thereafter. Works.

Arsenalista
Arsenalista

Yes he did

Anthony
Anthony

IIRC in Dennis’ autobiography he describes initially playing with a scrunched up ball of paper until someone gave him a tennis ball.

He would watch the flight of the ball and how differences in speed, spin and how it bounced would affect it’s movement. He described it as an obsession and something that when he took up playing golf, it was a behaviour that resurfaced.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Sign him up NOW!!!

C-J
C-J

I do wonder if it would really be impossible to find a role for him in talent development within the club. It would be interesting to see him get a role where he helps to further the development of the club’s young talent.

Would rather see him at Arsenal, than at any other club, especially any other club in England.

Santori
Santori

Can’t see any harm.

He won’t need to travel much and he has experience in this area.

We will need to continue sourcing and developing young talent as another avenue to stay competitive (much like Ajax)

We’ve been OK with talent – Iwobi, Bellerin, AMN, Nelson, Smith-Rowe

Its the new generation Academy core.

Some interesting younger ones coming up Sakho, Nketiah. Maybe a bit lacking with Cbacks (Bielik?)

Media often doesn’t give us the credit we deserve.

Hantal
Hantal

His inability to fly will probably limit higher up positions but I’m sure Freddie and Per could work with him

Hamburg Gooner
Hamburg Gooner

Well, this should be a bloody no brainer, shouldn´t it?

It would be really horrible to see him turn up at any other english club. He´s an absolute legend and would be welcomed with open arms from nearly every Arsenal fan (which is a rare thing these days ..). Turning down Fabregas back in 2014 for example was one of AW´s lowpoints: he would have energized the fanbase, would have helped on the pitch (even more so after Santi´s injury) and basically wouldn´t have turned up at Chelsea, which was awful to see.

Can you think of a better guy than Dennis teaching our players, especially the academy ones, a thing or two? he will be respected 100% and would be a great ambassador for the club again. And he knows Edu and Freddie – so, what can go wrong?

Naked Cygan
Naked Cygan

Come and replace ozil.

Heavenly Chapecoense
Heavenly Chapecoense

He will still be mobile on the pitch.

Flaminis' psychologist
Flaminis' psychologist

Always the right time for him. You know…. God.

PGunner
PGunner

I would make the role ‘Arsenal God’ for Dennis, I mean he is already but let’s make that shit official for fuck sake.

Dave
Dave

Did we sign him up already? if not, what are we waiting for to sign him?

Tiny
Tiny

Fuck it. I’d tell Gunnersaurus to fuck off and pay Bergkamp to be our permanent mascot

Drew
Drew

Give him the number 10 shirt

Goonsquad
Goonsquad

He’s got a bloody statue outside the ground. If we don’t get him back in when we have the chance it’ll be idiotic.

Shank

Stillness and speed

Thesoulofpauldavis
Thesoulofpauldavis

Turning Dabizas inside out…… Thats the Dennis I remember

James
James

First ever comment.

He’s coming home (from what I heard when in Valencia). Mark this comment.

Joe Kupoluyi

Please Arsenal must create space to acomondate Denies Bergkamp we Arsenal Fans Loved him he is a Great Player to us.

Santori
Santori

We should try and get Luis Campos off of Lille.

Proven track record first with Monaco and now doing great things at LOSC.

But it may entail shifting Raul upstairs (not necessarily a bad thing bc we don’t have a suitable Chief Executive (with sufficient clout) after Gazidis departure to function as a balance between management and owner.

Experience in market is key for us now.

If we want to punch higher, we need to be very shrewd and astute with our buys.

You pay for what you get (most of the time)

Naturally there is risk in everything especially football but if we are to play the lower budget game, we really need someone who can spot the talent.

Wenger was good at this (albeit he short changed himself partially in early reconstruct bc of stadium later simply bc he was naturally spendthrift)

Mslintat less so. He had some decent picks but tended toward a smaller black book thereby leaned against what he could get (which ended up being plenty of low hanging fruit). In any case he wasn’t entirely the real genius behind Dortmund, Zorc was.

At present, we do ourselves a huge favour if we went for a proven man who can both spot the talent but also bring the deal across the line against 9 or 10 competitors who can and are willing to pay higher than us.

Whether we do so of course is unlikely bc of ownership and insecurity issues.

Santori
Santori

A word about City…sure they spent money like water and we can never emulate that sort of construction…

BUT you’d be very blinkered as well not to appreciate what Pep has achieved as well as the brand of football they play.

They were simply outstanding.

To stay ahead of a very good Liverpool side this season (with that false messiah Klopp) and win the title.

Never mind CL failure to Spurts of all teams but they’ve also won the two domestic cups, one against Chelsea.

They literarily tore apart Watford.

Where we’ve struggled to find solutions against teams like the Hornet sitting deep andpreying on the counter, City had the tools to pry them open.

Partly they have (Through generous investment) technical players across the team who can beat a man or two on the dribble. Mahrez, Sane, the two Silvas, De Bruyne, Sterling, Aguero, Jesus, Gundogan.

Ball retention was superb but ability to go by their man also meant Watford were scrambling to plug holes.

BUT tactically, they were also instructive to watch.

Movement off the ball should if anything be a lesson to us.

Small movements giving the player on the ball a continuous option was critical.

But they were also adept at taking you apart within your own (packed penalty box) with darting runs and diagonal passes often from the middle across to the wide players to over load on the wings. Passes were snappy without need for too much deliberation bc there was always that option making the run for them to exploit the space being opened up.

Sure we may not have entire resource to get close to funding the sort of depth they have but at present we are shy of technical players of the like that can take on and upset opponents balance in defense.

As I mentioned, we will need two exceptionally technical players to come in (for now)

One in CM to carry the ball for us the way Santi did and also retain it better in crowd.

Another on the wings (to add to Iwobi and presumably Nelson)

Who we can bring in for these positions will be critical. It will afford Emery a better option to develop better close quarter tactics to break down deep seated teams we will have to play against on the road next season.

Anders B
Anders B

The way he worked at Ajax you could justify paying him just to work as a technical/attacking coach for a select group of players (Iwobi, Nelson, nketiah, Smith-Rowe etc) if it started to cause friction have him just work with the academy.

Shedzy
Shedzy

I’d sack the entire hierarchy and have DB back in a heartbeat.
Best footballer we ever had.

Crash Fistfight
Crash Fistfight

Leaving all sentiments aside, can Dennis be credited for some of the success of the Ajax academy in recent years?

I know they have always had a good academy traditionally, but if you read Stillness and Speed, he talks about the changes he made to the way young players were taught – more room for individualism and less attention to making sure everyone does the same thing. The idea was that the academy was churning out lots of very similar, technically good players, but none of them had that spark of something special. I wonder if that is paying dividends now (it takes a few years for these things to bear fruition)?