Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp says it “hurts” to see his former club being left behind in the current footballing landscape.
The 50-year-old Dutchman enjoyed 11 trophy-laden years in north London, nominally playing behind the centre-forward, and has since been considered among the club’s greatest ever players.
Arsenal’s plight post-Bergkamp: Five key things to know…
- Dennis Bergkamp joined Arsenal from Inter Milan in 1995.
- He’d go on to make 423 appearances in all competitions, registering 120 goals.
- Across 11 seasons, Bergkamp claimed 10 major honours including three Premier League titles.
- Since leaving in 2006, Arsenal have managed just three FA Cup successes.
- Bergkamp says he’s “hurt” to see them in their current situation.
Since hanging up his boots Bergkamp has moved into coaching, spending six seasons as an assistant manager at boyhood club Ajax before operating in the same role at Dutch side Almere City’s U21 team, where he’s currently working.
Bergkamp, nonetheless, is synonymous with the Gunners whom he helped win three Premier League titles and four FA Cup crowns with all coming under Arsene Wenger’s tenure.
However, it’s been 15 years since Arsenal were champions, that last accolade coincided with Wenger’s men going an entire league season unbeaten. Since those days they’ve seen no fewer than four different clubs win England’s top division.
It’s this fact that has unsettled Bergkamp, who feels Arsenal should be performing better given their history and resources.
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“It (Arsenal) is different, of course, from what I was used to with all the English players and a few foreign players,’ he told former teammate Ian Wright on his YouTube channel.
“It’s now probably turned the other way around. Sometimes it’s good, but a lot of times, you don’t really feel that it’s the Arsenal how we know it, with the passion and a few players who make the difference.
“It’s different. It’s difficult to say if it’s better or worse, well better, of course, is always shown in trophies, which aren’t there at the moment.
“On one hand, there are so many clubs who have improved so quickly to a high level, whereas Arsenal, maybe improved, but not to that level.
“It’s hard, it’s difficult, it hurts sometimes because you feel about Arsenal that they should do better, but I’m still hoping.”