Analysing a great Dennis Bergkamp interview

Those were the days...

Those were the days…

Good morning all. We’re only a few days into the international break and I’m already struggling to cope. It makes you wonder what actually do during this time? They hardly update the website, so do their development team just sit around for a week, getting high, drinking whisky and telling tales of when they was told to write articles about how good Santos will be? Doesn’t sound half bad to me.

Fortunately we have an Arsenal man we all love and adore to come save our souls from the devil that is boredom: Dennis Bergkamp. The Non-Flying Dutchman spoke to the press today about a couple of pretty interesting things, it’s a very worthwhile read if you’ve got the time. He started by talking about his love for Arsenal, comparing it to Cruyff’s for Barcelona, before touching on his future and whether or not it involves a return to the club, saying

I can’t really plan ahead. I know I will be here [at Ajax] for at least another three or five years and then I don’t know. I don’t see myself being at Ajax for the rest of my coaching career. I don’t see myself as a manager.

I see myself as being part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy that role, especially the individual training with the strikers.

I’ve spoken to or have heard about others [former Arsenal colleagues] who would also love to come back.

And I think we’re all in agreement that we’d love him to come back. Having an Arsenal coaching staff, board, management and everybody involved with the club – even up to the tea ladies – is something we should be aiming for. If we want to push the club values, history and traditions into the players it needs to be ingrained into every aspect of it. From top to bottom we need as many like-minded individuals as possible.

Having Bergkamp on the coaching staff is something we should aim to do when he becomes available, along with many other greats like Lehmann, Campbell and Henry. Don’t get me wrong though, the priority should be the quality and experience of the individual first, we can’t go handing roles to these people just because they were great players. They need to be great coaches, too.

Bergkamp continued, talking about our new man Ozil and the comparisons that have been made between the two. He said

I don’t like comparing. We’re all unique. But I do understand the similarities people see and I believe he can be very important to the team.

It is still early days. He is a tremendous player with a lot of effective skills like controlling the ball, making creative passes and assists, taking the right position in the field every time. And he’s extremely experienced.

Putting all that together I think you’ve got a player who can be the missing link in the Arsenal team, a player who will make a striker score goals, who will link up in Arsenal’s position-game and who will score goals as well.

Regular readers will know that I’ve long said the missing link in the team was always a world class creator, not a striker. We’ve always missed Fabregas’s influence in the team which is why many of us have always hoped of his return and I think van Persie only covered up the damage but didn’t actually repair it. When he left, people assumed we needed to replace van Persie, but we still hadn’t replaced Fabregas who literally made not only Robin tick, but the entire team.

Ozil’s influence cannot be underestimated, it is huge and one that is still very much in it’s early days. He’s only going to get better, which is extremely exciting, but Dennis is right – he can and will be the missing link in this team. He will get Giroud and other players around him more goals, something which we desperately needed in the side. If Giroud gets 30 goals this season, will people call him world class? Of course not, they’ll point to Ozil and say it was his influence and that without him he wouldn’t have got the goals.

I’m not saying Giroud wouldn’t be considered world class in our eyes, because if he did get 30 goals he probably would be. But generally the public are quite anti-Arsenal and won’t want to admit that some French bloke that cost £10m that they all slagged off two years prior is now world class. Bunch of negative twats.

He does continue praising Ozil and gives a great insight to what goes through his mind when he’s on the ball, how he sees the pass and how in a split second he knows where to put it. It’s quite impressive and remarkable, actually. He also says that Ozil’s presence will influence other players to move into different pockets of space because they know he has the ability to pick them out.

He finally touched on the main man that brought him in – Arsene Wenger. He

The things some of the fans were saying to Wenger were quite shocking. Arsène is a decent, normal guy and I’m sure he’s the first one who wants to win trophies.

You know, paying for the stadium, playing good football, bringing up a few good players. Now you feel ’OK, now it’s time to get going, to really make an effort and win a trophy.

Can Arsenal go all the way and win that trophy? The signs are good.

I still feel up front there should be a few more goals. Maybe in the winter transfer window they might look at that. But I think there is a chance to get to a higher level with the team.

And Dennis is again, completely bang on the money. Arsene obviously wants to win trophies, only a small part of naive fans think otherwise. The stadium move is now coming to fruition and he deserves all the rewards it’s generated and a new contract to enjoy it for even longer.

We can go all the way and win trophies, it’s just a matter of when, not if. We certainly lack goals up front but not necessarily because Giroud isn’t good enough, more because we lack a solid replacement. Again, as Bergkamp points out, we can look at options in January and perhaps find a suitable option, but we’ve got 17-18 games to play until then and a lot can change. Let’s get behind the team we do have, the players that are there and see what happens.

More tomorrow.


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