Arsenal’s Century Club – Dennis Bergkamp

April 14, 2019

Nineteen players have achieved the feat of scoring 100 goals for the Club over the past 96 years. The players are sorted by the number of games taken to reach the 100 goal mark. DB10 sits at number 16.

Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp – Born: May 10, 1969 Amsterdam, Netherlands was the fourth of four sons. He was brought up in a working-class suburb; his father, who was an electrician, played amateur footballer in the lower leagues.

He was named in honour of Scottish striker Denis Law but in order to comply with Dutch given name customs, an extra “n” was inserted into his first name, by his father, after it was not accepted by the registrar.

Dennis Bergkamp outside Nicolaas Lyceum School age17

He was spotted by Ajax and was brought up through their famous youth system, joining the club at age 11 and making his professional debut on 14 December 1986. He scored his first senior goal for the club against HFC Haarlem on 22 February 1987 in a match Ajax won 6–0. He went on to make 23 appearances in the 1986–87 season, including a European debut against Malmö FF in the 1986–87 European Cup Winners’ Cup, Ajax won the competition, beating Lokomotive Leipzig 1–0.

In later seasons he established himself as a first-team player for Ajax. This culminated in a period of success for the club, which won the Eredivisie title in the 1989–90 season for the first time in five years. Dennis scored 29 goals in 36 games the following season and became the joint top goal scorer in the league. Ajax won the 1992 UEFA Cup Final, beating Torino through the away goals ruling. He was the top scorer in the Eredivisie from 1991 to 1993, and was voted Dutch Footballer of the Year in 1992 and 1993. In total, he scored 122 goals in 239 games for his hometown club.

Dennis attracted the attention of several European clubs as a result of his performances for Ajax. He was insistent on playing in Italy, as he considered Serie A “the biggest league at the time” and preferred a move to either Juventus or Internazionale. On 16 February 1993, he agreed a £7.1 million move to Internazionale and made his debut against Reggiana on 29 August 1993.

In his first two seasons at Internazionale, the club changed managers twice and Dennis had a difficult time, troubled with stress injuries and fatigue from the 1994 World Cup, he only scored five goals in 26 appearances. Off the field, his relationship with the Italian press and fans became uncomfortable. His shy persona and his propensity to go home after matches were interpreted as apathy. Because of his poor performance on the pitch, one Italian publication renamed their award given to the worst performance of the week, L’asino della settimana (Donkey of the Week) to Bergkamp della settimana.

Dennis left Internazionale and signed with Arsenal in June 1995 for a transfer fee estimated at £7.5 million. He became manager Bruce Rioch’s first signing at Arsenal and broke the club’s transfer fee record of £2.5 million. On the opening day of the 1995–96 league season, he made his full debut against Middlesbrough. He struggled to adapt to the English game and failed to score in the club’s next six league matches, prompting ridicule by the national press. A brace against Southampton at Highbury broke the spell and he ended his first season with 33 appearances and a goal tally of 11.

The appointment of Arsène Wenger as Arsenal manager in September 1996 marked a turning point in his career. Wenger, who had moderate success coaching in France and Japan, recognised his talent and wanted to use him as a fulcrum of the team’s forward play. Both were advocates of a continental style of attacking football, and Dennis was happy with Arsene’s decision to impose a strict fitness and health regime.

Despite making fewer appearances in the 1996–97 season, he was more influential in the first team, creating 13 assists. The following season he was instrumental in helping Arsenal complete a domestic league and cup double. He became the club’s top scorer with 22 goals and recorded a strike rate of 0.57.  In 1997/8 he was the recipient of the PFA Players’ Player of the Year award, becoming only the second foreign player to be recognised by his fellow professionals as the outstanding performer in English football.

Bronze award in the 1997 FIFA World Player of the Year award. Tied in 3rd place with Zinedine Zidane, behind Ronaldo in 1st and Roberto Carlos 2nd!

After 3 seasons of finishing second, more success finally came in the 2001–02 season. Arsenal regained the league, beating Manchester United at Old Trafford in the penultimate game of the season to complete the club’s second double under Wenger; Arsenal defeated Chelsea 2–0 to win the FA Cup four days prior. Dennis played in 33 league matches, setting up 15 goals.

After a 3 game red card suspension he made his return against Newcastle United on 3 March 2002. Early in the match, Arsenal midfielder Robert Pirès played a low pass from the left flank to Denis in the edge of the opponent area with his back to goal. Under pressure from his marker Nikos Dabizas, he controlled the ball with one flick and went around the other side before placing the ball precisely into the bottom right-hand corner to score. Arsene described the goal as “unbelievable”, adding “It was not only a magnificent goal but a very important one – I enjoyed it a lot”

Dennis reached a personal landmark during the 2002–03 season, scoring his 100th goal for Arsenal against Oxford United in a FA Cup third-round tie. On 20 July 2003, he signed a one-year extension at the club. The 2003–04 season ended on a high point as Arsenal reclaimed the league title, becoming the first English team in more than a century to go through the entire domestic league season unbeaten. He committed himself to Arsenal at the end of the season, signing a further extension to his contract.

The team finished fourth in the league in his final season at Arsenal. After much campaigning from Arsenal supporters, the club designated one of its Highbury match day themes, organised to commemorate the stadium’s final season as home of Arsenal, to Dennis Bergkamp. “Bergkamp Day” took place on 15 April 2006 It celebrated his contribution to Arsenal; fans were given commemorative orange ‘DB10’ T-shirts – the colour of his national team, his initials and his squad number. Dennis came on as a second-half substitute and set up the winning Pirès goal moments after Nigel Quashie had levelled the score. Fittingly, his 89th-minute goal proved to be his last for Arsenal in competitive football.

He was the focus of the first match at Arsenal’s new ground, the Emirates Stadium. On 22 July 2006, a testimonial was played in his honour at the new stadium as Arsenal played his old club Ajax.

International Career

Dennis made his international debut for the Netherlands national team against Italy on 26 September 1990. He was selected for Euro 1992, where his national team were the defending champions. Although he impressed, scoring three goals in the tournament, the team lost on penalties to eventual champions Denmark. In the qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup, hep scored five goals and was selected for the finals, staged in the United States. He featured in every game for the national team, getting goals against Morocco in the group stages and the Republic of Ireland in the round of 16.

Against Wales in the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification on 9 November 1996, he scored his first hat-trick for the national team. The Netherlands finished first in their group and qualified for the 1998 FIFA World Cup, held in France. Dennis scored three times in the competition, including a memorable winning goal in the final minute of the quarterfinal against Argentina. He took one touch to control a long 60-yard aerial pass from Frank de Boer, brought the ball down through Argentine defender Roberto Ayala’s legs, and finally finished by firing a volley with the outside of his right foot, past the keeper at a tight angle from the right, he described the goal as his personal favourite in his career.  His international career ended with 37 goals in 77 appearances.


In April of 2007, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame by viewers of BBC’s Football Focus. A year later, he was voted second by Arsenal fans behind Thierry Henry in a list of the 50 Gunners Greatest Players.

This is a summary of his achievements in chronological order:

Dutch Football Talent of the Year (1): 1990

Dutch Footballer of the Year (2): 1991, 1992

Eredivisie Top Scorer (3): 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93

UEFA European Football Championship Top Scorer (1): 1992

UEFA European Football Championship Team of the Tournament (1): 1992

World’s Top Goal Scorer of the Year (1): 1992

UEFA Cup Top Scorer (1): 1994

Premier League Player of the Month (4): August 1997, September 1997, March 2002, February 2004

PFA Team of the Year (1): 1997–98

FWA Footballer of the Year (1): 1997–98

PFA Players’ Player of the Year (1): 1997–98

Premier League Goal of the Season (2): 1997–98, 2001–02

FIFA World Cup All-Star Team (1): 1998

FIFA 100

English Football Hall of Fame

His statue now stands outside Emirates Stadium honouring him as one of Arsenal’s legends.



Arsenal’s Greatest Premier League Team

November 20, 2014

Seaman – no question, surely?


Cole – vile human being who never seemed to ever have a bad game for Arsenal.


Campbell – immense in every sense of the word.

Gallas – couldn’t decide between Adams or Koscielny, so went for Gallas. J

Lauren – Dicko and Bacary in his prime were in with a shout but Ralphie wins because he was photogenic and did this.



Ljungberg – for his virtually goal a game run-in to the 2001/2 season. Stepped up when Bobby got injured.

Vieira – You just knew from the moment you saw him he was going to be an Arsenal great.

Fabregas – I can barely type his name without chundering but oozed class from every pore when wearing red and white (well for most of the time, anyway).

Pires – took a season to settle but once lift-off was achieved – Wow. Loved playing and scoring against the spuds. What more can an Arsenal fan want?!

Wright – imagine how many goals Wrighty could have scored if he’d been playing in the Arsenal team of 2001 – 2004?

Bergkamp – grace and elegance personified but with a devilish streak which made him a winner.



What do you think?


Blast from the Past No. 17 … Arsenal’s Exclusive 10,000th game club

June 6, 2014


Joined Left Years Games Goals
1 David O’Leary 1973 1993 20 722 14
2 Tony Adams 1983 2002 19 669 48
3 George Armstrong 1961 1977 16 621 68
4 Lee Dixon 1988 2002 14 619 28
5 Nigel Winterburn 1987 2000 13 584 12
6 David Seaman 1990 2003 13 564 0
7 Pat Rice 1964 1980 16 528 13
8 Peter Storey 1961 1977 16 501 17
9 John Radford 1962 1976 14 481 149
10 Peter Simpson 1960 1978 18 477 15
11 Bob John 1922 1937 15 470 13
12 Ray Parlour 1988 2004 16 466 32
13 Graham Rix 1974 1988 14 464 51
14 Martin Keown 1981 2004 23 449 8
15 Paul Davis 1978 1995 17 447 37
16 Eddie Hapgood 1927 1945 18 440 2
17 Paul Merson 1982 1997 15 425 99
18 Dennis Bergkamp 1995 2006 11 423 120
19 Patrick Vieira 1996 2005 9 406 33
20 Frank Mclintock 1964 1973 9 403 32
Total: 306 10159 791

These are the players who have each played in over 400 games for Arsenal, between them they played in an incredible 10,159 games, an average of 508 games per player. Many of us will be familiar with 18 of them as they played in the past 41years but I doubt that any of us would have been around when the final 2 played.

Bob John 1922-1937 – 470 games

Bob John 2

Bob John

Born in Barry, Wales, Bob played for Barry Town and Caerphilly, before joining Arsenal, who signed him despite stiff competition for his signature. He made his Arsenal first-team debut on 28 October 1922 in a 2-1 home defeat to Newcastle United, and soon became a regular, succeeding Tom Whittaker at left half.

He lost his place from the Arsenal side in the 1923-24 season due to stiff competition from Billy Blyth and Andy Young, but after switching to left back, he once again became a first team player. Eventually he was put back to left half, and this time he remained a first-team regular. A prodigious ball-winner and noted passer of the ball, Bob reached (but lost) in the 1926-27 FA Cup Final, after an error by his compatriot and close friend, goalkeeper Dan Lewis whose one mistake led to Arsenal’s loss. It was Bob who consoled Lewis after the final whistle, assuring him he would get another chance to a win a medal, but Lewis never did get the opportunity.

Despite some very strong competition he remained a first team regular, finally winning some silverware in the 1929-30, FA Cup Final. This was followed by three First Division titles in 1930-31, 1932-33, and 1933-34. He also scored Arsenal’s only goal in the 1932 FA Cup Final when Arsenal were controversially beaten by Newcastle United. Newcastle benefited from scoring a goal that was later determined to have been out of play just before the goal was scored. By this time he was one of the senior members of the Arsenal squad, and mentored many of the club’s younger new arrivals, such as Alex James. He played for Arsenal until he retired in 1938, playing for the final three years of his career mainly as a reserve player, missing out on a medal in the League win of 1934-35.

After his retirement he had a largely unsuccessful career as a coach, finishing his football career as a scout for Cardiff City.

His 470 games place him 11th on the all time list.

He passed away in 1982 aged 83 years.

Eddie Hapgood 1927-1945 – 440 games

eddie hapgood 2

Eddie Hapgood Highbury006

He was born in Bristol. Eddie started his football career in the mid-1920s as an amateur playing in local football (while still employed as a milkman), after which he played for Kettering Town in the Southern League. In 1927 Herbert Chapman signed him for Arsenal at a fee of £950. He was so thin and fragile that Arsenal’s trainer Tom Whittaker forced him to take up weight training and to start eating meat, as he was a vegetarian. This turned to Eddie’s advantage outside of football as his new found muscular physique allowed him to supplement his minimum wage, as a footballer, by fashion modelling and advertising confectionary.

He made his Arsenal debut on 19 November 1927 against Birmingham City; initially he was used as backup for left back Horace Cope. Eddie had to wait until 1929 before he became a first team regular, after that he made the position his own, right up until the outbreak of WW11 in 1939. He played 35 or more matches in every season in that period and went on to succeed Alex James as Arsenal’s captain and he led the side to the League title in 1937-38, while personally winning five League titles and two FA Cups.

He was capped by England on 30 occasions making his debut in1930, and was England’s captain for 21 games including his first match which was the infamous “Battle of Highbury” against Italy in November 1934. Italy was the reigning World Champions at the time and England had declined to take part in the World Cup, so the match was billed as the “true” World Championship match. The match was notoriously dirty, with many players sustaining injuries, including Hapgood who had his nose broken. England beat the Italians (who were reduced to ten men for most of the match) 3-2. He was also captain when the English team played Germany, in Berlin and were forced (under pressure from British diplomats) to give the Nazi salute before the match, England won 6-3.

When WW11 started, Eddie who was only 30 served in the Royal Air Force, while also playing for Arsenal and England in unofficial matches. In 1945, he wrote one of the first football autobiographies, entitled “Football Ambassador”. After that he left football completely; he fell on hard times and wrote back to his old club Arsenal asking for financial assistance (as he had never been given a testimonial match) but the club only sent him £30. He spent his later years running YMCA hostels.

His 440 games place him 16th on the all time list.

He passed away on Good Friday 1973 aged 64 years.

Two of the other members of the 10,000 game club are John Radford and Dennis (God) Bergkamp and they are also among only 16 players to have scored 100 or more goals for Arsenal, Paul Merson fell one goal short at 99.



Friday Newsround ……. Flood at Anfield, Drought at The Emirates

February 14, 2014

Last Friday:

“You always think about the psychological impact of the last result on the morale of the team, as well as the confidence and happiness of everybody. You think the only way to deal with it is to just focus on the next one and win it, then everything will be alright”. “And, if we can win this game, what about the next one? If we play at our best, yes we can win that, so let’s do it. It is very difficult to have a global plan because as we know we are in a job that is unpredictable. The best way to make it predictable is to win the next game”. ”

“Still” he concluded, “it is a good moment for us to win a big game because we have a tough predicted month. At the moment we are on a good run and the best way to continue that is to keep the confidence level high and, of course, stay in a strong position in the title race.”

That’s Arsène Wenger after being asked about his overall strategy for four massive matches in 11 massive days starting this weekend at Liverpool. So one game at a time then.

Reproduced courtesy of


Arsenal announced the date for the unveiling of the next statue outside The Emirates, 11.30am Saturday February 22nd. Oh! I forgot to mention, the statue is of Dennis Bergkamp who will be in attendance and will be a guest at the match. I’d like to see Dennis make a fifteen minute cameo appearance, wouldn’t that be a treat?


Team news was pretty sparse, basically the same squad as against Palace, Wilshere is a “might be” and Arteta is “alright”.

Liverpool 5 – 1 Arsenal

Nightmare at Anfield


Following the fall from the top of the table, in his haste to leave the scene of his team’s humiliation, Arsene Wenger took a tumble while hurrying to catch the homeward bound train at Liverpool Lime Street station, he was helped to his feet by two of that city’s finest boys in blue. After quickly checking that he still had his wallet, watch and mobile phone, he made his way without further miss-hap to join his defeated squad in the guards van for a subdued journey home.


Just like the flood waters on the Somerset levels the slurry from Saturday’s debacle is still washing around our club. With an important, and winnable, game coming up on Wednesday, Bob Crowe and his cronies permitting, it’s time to put The Great Liverpool Train Wreck behind us. So I will make no further mention of TGLTW.

“News” or speculation? However you look at it, it’s out there in the media, Sagna and Fabianski have both rejected new deals, so both could be moving on in the summer. Memo to AW, summer priority signing…. right-back.


The Tube strike is called off so both our game and that of Fulham go ahead as planned. Why am I mentioning Fulham you ask? Well the Cottagers announced that should the strike go ahead they would postpone their game against Liverpool thus giving the Bin-dippers a rest before arriving at Emirates Stadium to get their come-uppance for inflicting a heavy defeat on our beloved club.


Mesut Ozil is attracting unwanted attention from the sports hacks, Jeremy Wilson, in the Telegraph, asks if our record signing is just a mirage and cites some stats to back his claim, my well known detestation of stats prevents me from including them hear, suffice it to say that Ozil has scored less, and made fewer assists, had fewer shots, made fewer dribbles and put in fewer crosses since Christmas than before Christmas. A quick check of the top premiership suppliers of assists shows Ozil to be second to Rooney but ahead of Hazard, Silva, Coutinho, Oscar and Navas. So the mirage may well prove to a more a storm in a teacup and Mesut will soon emerge from his own personal Sahara.

In other reports, Ozil is working hard in the gym to build upper body strength in order to cope with the rigours of Premiership football,

Lukas Podolski has denied ever being close to leaving Arsenal in the last transfer window, and insists he has the complete faith of Arsene Wenger.

The German’s future was drawn into question in January, when he was mooted as being a possible makeweight in the Julian Draxler deal, however, the forward says there was no possibility of ever leaving the Gunners.

‘That was a myth. There was absolutely no truth to it,’ the 28-year-old said. ‘The coach told me as such, and I knew there was no truth in it.’


Oliver Giroud talking after the Man U stalemate…”I think we had a good reaction after the bad result against Liverpool,” the Frenchman told Arsenal Player. “I think it’s a good draw to be honest even if we could have scored at the end. It was maybe just about our confidence.

“We did well in the first half especially but after we looked a bit tired. It’s OK, we had a good reaction on the pitch and I think that’s the most important thing even if we wanted to win this game.”

No! the most important thing was to score a goal Olly then, we might have won. “I’m confident for the remaining games and we’ll know a bit more about our future after Liverpool and Bayern [Munich] because we want to play in every competition.” Is that the ambition? To play in every competition? What about winning every competition?

Quotes courtesy of

Arsene Wenger said….

‘I felt we were nervous tonight, yes. We are usually dangerous breaking through with speedy passing, but they defended very well. But it is not worrying because we care about what we are doing.

‘When you concede five goals like we did against Liverpool on Saturday, maybe that’s what you do. The team was highly focused on not conceding after Saturday.

‘We missed out on the chance to go top but a point keeps us in the race. We played with the handbrake on tonight. I hope and think the handbrake will come off.

‘We’ve had two bad results, but we are still in a strong position.’

Speculation? Maybe, A report suggests that Arsene has met with the agent of Mario Balotelli to discuss prospects of the player joining in the summer. See last week’s news round.

Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell, who joined Arsenal in 2011 but due to the lack of a work permit has never played for the club, is looking for a permanent £7 million move to Olympiakos where he is currently on loan. His agent said…‘Going back to Arsenal? He would not be happy sitting on the bench – even in a top league.’

That’s it for another week

I’m looking forward to “The Magic of the Cup”

Norfolk Gooner.

The return of the prodigal son… yeah, but which one ?

December 19, 2013

While we (still) sit pretty on top of the league, between two fixtures against sides that more than one Nostradamus-wanna-be pundit would have seen ahead of us by the end of the year, many attribute this success to the managerial consistency/continuity. But if the recent rumors of Arsène Wenger finally putting pen to a new three year contract in January will have fans rejoice about the stability ahead, the fact that Le Professeur will be 67 by the end of it has people start to consider a successor to the Frenchman (some started a while ago but they obviously have poor judgement so we won’t pay attention to them).

There’s a plethora of great coaches around, people with impressive careers and their bags full of trophies. But with The Arsenal’s tradition of welcoming back its former legends to see them work for the glory of the club, it is tempting to put the spotlight on these once top, top quality players and choose among them the One that is to lead us upon to the next chapter of our history.

Doing so would also ensure a relative continuity and is especially tempting due to the recent actuality seeing a lot of these aforementioned legends coming out, One about his hopes towards club and board, One about his views on the British coaching community and its segregation problem, One with a book, One with a documentary, and so On, I mean on.

I chose from the squads up until the Invicibles, considering most of those who came after are still playing. And with the idea of continuity in mind, I decided to choose only among the players that played under Arsène Wenger. So here you have it, among the players that graced the red and white shirt from 1996 to 2004 is the One. Pretty limited you will say, also considering that not every player, not even every great player, is coach material (that’s what club ambassador posts are for), and yet there is still quiet a few noticeable names that come out. So without further ado, here are the contenders.

Patrick Vieira (37) – The “Demolition” One

I will start with the One at the origin of this poll idea. Paddy’s declaration, though probably taken out of context by the media, about Arsenal’s lack of leadership threw discord among fans with some of them stating he was dead to them while others affirming their love for him, adding that they would be glad to welcome him back at the Arsenal, possibly as a coach.

Considering Patrick Vieira was only appointed as Manchester Shitty’s new reserve team and “Elite Development” (*Cough* what a load of crap) squad manager in May, it is still early to judge his managerial credentials. But, eager to find more so that you have all the information you need to make your judgement, I crossed the enemy lines to gather some intel. Yes, I went on the Shitty web site, looked through their video archives and finally got my hands on the Inspector Gadget’s post nomination interview. What I wouldn’t do for you guys. Paddy, it’s all on you !

To make it short, a few things popped out. The love of collective football he says he retains from his early age, playing with friends. The sense of responsibility he wants to instill in the young players as well as a winning mentality. For that last One, reflecting on Paddy’s declaration that he thought “Arsenal lacked what it takes to win dirty”, we all know what he means. And I for One am a little worried someone like him could coach the team, because that is so not Arsenal.

Dennis Bergkamp (44) – The “Godly” One

Here again it is hard to gauge Dennis Bergkamp’s managerial career. Slightly ahead of Vieira for he has already been in charge of a youth team and is now assistant manager of a team of the importance of Ajax Amsterdam, it is also good to note that the head coach under whom he is working, Frank DeBoer, is considered as One of the ascending talents of European football management. Undertaking the rebuilding of the mythical Dutch club, DeBoer has won three league titles in two and a half years at the helm. Learning from the mistakes that saw Ajax disappear from the European scene for a while, he is betting on youth and has revolutionized their academy. No doubt, seeing these methods baring fruit, Bergkamp could be tempted to consider them for his yet in gestation managerial style. That plus his Total Football education, Stillness, Speed, and the love for Attack he shared with Wenger and you might get a glimpse at what Iceman as a manager could look like.

Unfortunately, Bergkamp could have also been named the “Non-flying” One. And as long as his aerophobia problem isn’t solved, it is hard to see him appointed head coach of a team playing European football year in year out.

Tony Adams (47) – The “There’s only One Tony Adams” One

Mr Arsenal had an amazing career as an Arsenal player. He is the only One to have captained a major club in three different decades, and to the first League Cup and FA Cup double in England. He is One of the “Famous Four”, the back four that made the fame of the Arsenal offside trap. On his way to redemption after alcoholism blighted his career, Big Tone is a deep an attaching character. “In March 2003, BBC Sport named Adams as the former Arsenal player that the club would most benefit from returning” (Wikipedia). And he wants to return ! In June of this year, Adams said he had postulated to enter the board only to be snubbed and see Chips nominated. Now a board position isn’t exactly a coach position (not even close actually) but Tony clearly stated he would do anything at the club, even the tea, so I guess that also means head coach. At the same time he suggested Arsenal was ill prepared in case Arsène Wenger decided to leave. Very subtle.

Unfortunately, like mentioned above, not every great player makes a great coach. And with an average record of 27.73% wins in his three different spells as a manager, and a habit of quitting or being laid off within a year, Adams isn’t exactly in the league of an Arsenal coach contender.

Steve Bould (51) – The “Baldy” One

“He has no hair, but we don’t care ! ” Another of the “Famous Four”, Steve Bould has already an interesting managerial career to show off. Appointed head coach of the Academy team, he won two Premier Academy League and a FA Youth Cup. He knows the young guns and they know he can lead them to victory. How’s that for continuity ? Assistant Manager since last season, Bould bolstered our defense. His style might be very different from Arsène’s attacking style, but the same way, as an assistant, he complemented the Frenchman’s style, the appointment at his side of a Dennis Bergkamp could do the trick. Steve Bould would also undoubtedly provide the most seamless transition but One might argue that Arsenal needs to evolve.

For all of these reasons, Bould may look like the ideal candidate, and yet there might be another One…

Arsène Wenger (64) – The “Invicible” One

Who said 67 is too old for a manager ? Especially One gifted with such cunning intelligence, meaning that even if his body couldn’t move anymore, his head would still be able to win a few league titles and the Holy Champions League Grail.

Another thing, Arsène is nothing like Ferguson and he would certainly not quit while the club is still under reconstruction. Because the record signing of this summer was only the start. The “German speaking” Öne, as we could also have named him, is the reason why Mesut signed and, let’s face it, this Bizarre Sex Appeal is his and his only. If he keeps signing top, top quality players during the next three years, will he then leave like Red Nose after BSR followed his siren chant up north ? I believe not, because Arsène isn’t after legend, he is after Legacy.

Here are the candidates.


You can vote for up to 3 choices in the poll

I apologize to those of you who were hoping for more nostalgic faces, but feel free to add any suggestion in your comments. Same thing for any player you feel should have been on this list. I also apologize for the post kind of answers to itself but I look forward to standing corrected in the comments. Let the debate begin !

Written by Benjamin Rochet

Arsenal Arsenal’s Friday News Roundup

October 11, 2013


The news broke that Jack Wilshere had been photographed with a cigarette in his mouth, naturally the anti Arsenal media jumped all over the story, they haven’t had much to moan about recently, Arsene Wenger “fumed” at the news, oh aren’t these journos funny, and claimed that the player was risking his health as well as his reputation, he went on to say that he would be “speaking” to the 21 year old about it.

Liverpool moved to the top of the table with a predictable win over Crystal Palace, Arsenal target Suarez scored after just 13 minutes. Man City came from behind to beat Everton as did Man U to beat rock bottom Sunderland. It took two goals from unknown teenager Adnan Januzaj to spare the blushes of Gollum and his two mis-firing strikers Rooney and the Dutch bloke, who missed an absolute sitter near the end of the game.

Sunday: On this day …

6th. October 1973 a seventeen year old mid-fielder made his debut for Arsenal, coming on as a substitute for Geof Blockley against Birmingham City, soon to become one of the best players to pull on a Gunner’s shirt, Liam Brady. Forty years ago and it seems like yesterday.. 😀

In the lunch time kick-off Chelsea secured a win with a late goal and a late, late goal against Norwich City to move into third place in the table.

Later in the day, with a somewhat stuttering performance, we got a point at West Brom which was enough to return us to the top of the table on goals scored. A good position going into the international break.

Spurs returned to their true form taking a three nothing hammering from the team from The Boleyn Ground. Despite wide spread chanting of the “Y” word by the home fans police made just one arrest, although they have announced that they will be looking at video evidence and could not rule out further arrests.


Naturally Jack Wilshere grabbed the headlines, and the pun prize must go to Mr. Henry Winter of The Telegraph. “After all the controversy over pictures of him smoking, it had to be Jack Wilshere lighting up the afternoon here. It had to end here with the Arsenal mid-fielder enjoying a draw.”

The incident took place outside Dstrkt Club in Rupert Street, Soho on Thursday evening, the squad had been given two days off following the win over Napoli on Tuesday. Wilshere was on a “team night out”.

Jack Wilshere has admitted he made a mistake by smoking a cigarette but has insisted he will never be drawn in to it again in future. “Players make mistakes,” he said. “I am not a smoker. I spoke with the boss and he asked me what happened, I explained to him and we sorted it out”.

Editors note. It is believed that the owner of the club has an “issue” with spelling. 😀


England called up Kieran Gibbs to the squad for the two internationals after Ashley Cole pulled out with a rib injury, Kieran gets recognition for his excellent early season form.

Aaron Ramsey received the Barclays Player of the Month award for September and Arsene Wenger picked up the Barclays Manager of the Month award. Ramsey scored five times in five appearances while Wenger oversaw a perfect month with six wins in six matches.


In the wake of the FA’s attempt to poach a player born in Belgium of Albanian/Kosovan parents Jack Wilshere entered the argument over “foreign” players playing for England. “The only people who play for England Should be English people”. Wilshere was talking at St Georges prior the upcoming internationals. “If you live in England for five years it doesn’t make you English. You shouldn’t play”.

I want to come back to Arsenal, says Bergkamp: Yes Dennis would like to return “at some stage”, “but maybe not for at least another three to five years”. “I don’t see myself as a manager. I see myself as part of the coaching staff. I really enjoy training with the strikers”. Yes please Dennis anytime you like. 😀

Nicklas Bendtner’s reputation for arrogance often precedes him but the Arsenal striker believes such preconceptions are inaccurate.

Star (in his own mind) striker Nicklas Bendtner says he is a changed man. The reason the Great (in his own mind) Dane gives for his resurrection is that he has had a baby. Now I’ve heard of virgin births, but this is virgin on the ridiculous. During his time at Juventus some accused him of being “too fat to play”, well now we know the truth, he was pregnant. Talking to Arsenal Player he said “First of all I had a baby, which changed me a lot, I think a lot of people say that you have babies and they change you and stuff but for me I could really feel a big difference to my life. Being abroad showed me a lot of different things and different aspects of how to live and how to cope with problems. That has given me a lot more as a man for now”.


Overnight news – Carl Jenkinson was called up by the England U21s, recognition for that will help his confidence and could be a good thing for Arsenal as well, some competitive game time for him ahead of a couple of games standing in for the injured Bacary Sagna.

The furore over Jack Wilshere’s comment “only English players should play for England” continued with an attack on him by a South African bloke named Kevin who plays cricket for England. Most of the critics seem to have missed the context of what young Jack was saying, Professional players brought into the country should not be able to play for England, thus preventing home grown youngsters having the chance.

Backing for Wilshere’s stance came from Harry Redknap on Radio 4s Today Programme.

Tony Adams celebrated his 47th birthday.

Later in the day Arsene Wenger revealed that he may remain in England for the rest of his life. As reported in the Evening Standard. “I can see the rest of my life in England, why not?” he said. “I feel comfortable in this country because we share a common passion for football and as well I am very thankful for this country for having accepted me and giving me a chance. “I am happy on the football pitch.”

Written by Norfolk Gooner

Tribute to Dennis Bergkamp (A story of a Legend)

December 16, 2012

Take note of especially from 38min – the end of video: Comments from Arsene Wenger, Thierry Henry, Lee Dixon, Ian Wright, Ray Parlour and other players that have played with Dennis Bergkamp. How much respect from his fellow professionals of D.B.’s class as a player and a person.

We need that type of player right now at the club. Someone who commands the respect of others around him and he need not hold the captain’s armband physically. Since we are bluntness in our attacking third and not scoring goals, I would take a look at the attacking midfielder, second striker and main striker categories (because the 60% of football plays and influences comes usually from the middle spine of a team – the GK, CBs, CMs, AMs, FWs; while the remaining 40% comes from the sides – FBs, WMs, LW/RWs).

Players who could provide the class and commands respect from fellow professionals in the footballing world currently.

Main forward:

(1) Lionel Messi (Barcelona/Argentina), 25yrs old – valued at least £105million in transfer fees.

– The best player in the world right now. Only the World Cup title is missing from his personal accolades, which includes 3x

Ballons d’Or.

(2) Rado amel Falcao (A.Madrid/Columbia), 26yrs old – valued at least £44million in transfer fees.

– The best striker in the world right now. 176 goals in 262 competitive club games (River Plate, Porto, A.Madrid), a goal ratio of 0.67/game (i.e. almost guarantee a goal in a game played). Europa League top scorer in consecutive years 2010/2011 and 2011/2012.

(3) David Villa (Barcelona/Spain), 31yrs old – valued at least £24.5million in transfer fees.

Agent details: Vos Marketing ( Which only has David Villa as their client.

– An accomplished striker in his own right. 242 goals and 78 assists in 465 competitive club games (Sporting Gijon, Zaragoza, Valencia, Barcelona), he has won everything he could at club (CL, La Liga, Copa del Rey, FIFA World Cup, UEFA Super Cup) and international levels (World Cup and EURO champ). UEFA EURO 2008 Golden Boot winner and 2010 World Cup Silver Shoe & Bronze Ball winner.

Attacking Midfielders:

(1) Andres Iniesta (Barcelona/Spain), 28yrs old – valued at least £61.5million in transfer fees.

Agent details: Sostres, Ramón ( Who only has Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol as his clients.

– The best attacking midfielder in the world right now. Won everything he could at club and international levels. UEFA EURO 2012 – Best player of tournament. La Liga’s best attacking midfielder (2009, 2011, 2012). Zidane praised him, Cazorla admires him.

(2) (Ricardo)Kaka (Real Madrid/Brazil), 30yrs old – valued at least £16million in transfer fees.

Agent details: Kotscho, Diego ( Who only has Kaka as his client.

– A model professional footballer and a classy person off it as well. Won whatever he could at club (Serie A & CL with Milan, La Liga with Real Madrid) and international levels (World Cup with Brazil). Ballon d’Or winner in 2007. He still has a lot to offer at club and international football and could be ready for his last challenge in EPL.

Ricardo Kaka – Real Madrid Tribute (2009-2012)

Kaka – The Return 2012 HD

Of the above 5, the closest we could get should be Kaka (including transfer fees, wages, agent fees). He could play behind the main forward as a playmaker or second striker. He is not over-the-hill as yet and gives a positive attitude wherever and whenever he plays. I see him in a similar stature as Dennis Bergkamp.

Adding him together with the loan of Thierry Henry in the next transfer window would provide at least a glimmer of hope in our club’s reversal of fortunes ahead.

PS: Kaka is close friends with Falcao.

The other player I wish we could secure is Henrikh Mkhitaryan (valued at least £15million) – 20 goals and 8 assists in 26 competitive club games (league, CL) currently this season. A star playmaker/second striker in the making for the future.

His league strike rate (18 goals in 17 games) is level with C.Ronaldo (13 goals in 15 games) & El Shaarawy(AC Milan)(13 goals in 16 games) and just behind Messi (23 goals in 15 games), Falcao (16 goals in 14 games) & Ibrahimovic (17 goals in 14 games).

(Season 2011-2012)

(Season 2012-2013)

Written by JM

#once a gooner always a gooner?

September 22, 2012

I often come across this hashtag on twitter about former Arsenal players. Usually it’s in reply to Cesc or Henry saying something complimentary about Arsenal. Personally I think Cesc should be #oncebarcaalwaysbarca but that’s just me. I’ve always wondered how Arsenal fans make up their minds about which former players deserve our support/love and which deserve our contempt and the ones we could say neutral. Here is a list. Make your own minds up

Dennis Bergkamp

Real name God. Finished his career at Arsenal after signing several 1 year rolling contracts. The most gifted Arsenal player in my limited experience.

My Verdict Always a gooner

Ian Wright

Ian was top scorer for the Arsenal until Thierry took his crown. Since he retired he likes to wind gooners up on talksh*te and says he’s a Millwall fan but I think his heart is in the right place.

My verdict Always a gooner

Tony Adams

“Mr Arsenal” Spent his entire career at Arsenal. Famously said “Remember the name on the front of the shirt and they’ll remember the name on the back”

My verdict Always a gooner

Patrick Vieira

He came from Senegal to play for Arsenal. He was a great player for us but I feel he’s tainted himself working (and tapping up our players) for the northern oilers.

My Verdict Traitor

Cesc Fabregas

Cesc came to us from the Barca academy when he was 16. It was inevitable that he would go back someday. I think his timing was all wrong. Whatever talent he naturally has, Wenger made him the player he is today (and he’s sitting on their bench)

My verdict Traitor

Ashley Hole

He was the best left back in a generation. Was offered 60K PW by Dein but the board objected and would only give him 55K famously making him swerve his car (if only) and go for a secret meeting with Maureen. Still can’t stop talking about us. I get the feeling he’s a bit bitter despite the trophies.

My verdict Traitor

Thierry Henry

Our all-time top scorer and Monarch. Like Cesc, he went to Barca but unlike the Spaniard he’d helped us to win trophies. He got the CL he wanted and dedicated it to Arsenal. Came back last winter and scored the winners against Sunderland and Leeds.

My verdict Always a gooner.

Robin van Persie

He was with us for 7 years, Spent a lot of time injured, had one season without injury and f***ed off. He grew up as an arsenal fan but the “little boy inside him” was screaming Manchester United.

My verdict Scum

There are plenty more but you get the idea:

Eduardo Always a gooner

Eboue Always a gooner

Freddie Always a gooner

Nasri traitor




George Graham



What do you think?

Written by goonermichael

Will the spirit of Wenger & Bergkamp always live on at Arsenal?

May 31, 2012

Micky’s post on Sunday: ‘Calling International Gooners’, in which he asked why ‘millions of bright eyed and highly intelligent young guns from around the globe discovered their spiritual homes at The Arsenal’, led to a fantastic collection of comments. It became very clear there is a great support for Arsenal across the world and that the passion, with which International Gooners (IGs) support the mighty Arsenal, is equal to that of those who are based on British soil.

It was also fantastic to read that Gooners across the globe state that the style of play and the philosophy of how the club is managed were, and still are, major reasons for supporting the Gunners.

The lack of recent successes, as in winning silverware, hardly seemed to bother many IGs, which should bin the belief held by some ‘cradle-Gooners’ that many newly acquired fans by the club are predominantly ‘glory hunters’ – who would start supporting another team as soon as it would become clear that future trophies are no longer a guarantee for Arsenal.

The majority of Arsenal’s worldwide supporters, who responded to Micky’s brilliant post, have become Gooners in the last 17 years, and this seems to be directly related to the arrival, and subsequent impact on the club, of/by Le Professeur, and especially, The Iceman.

A considerable number of IGs said that it was the discovery of the phenomenally talented Dennis Bergkamp and his beautiful skills that got them interested in Arsenal. Subsequently, the club’s history, the philosophy of how the football club is managed, the style, and the passion with which Arsenal play football drew them further in, never to look anywhere else again.

Exactly the same happened to me. Dennis Bergkamp had become the embodiment of all that was beautiful about football. Nobody in Holland thought the national football competition would fully recover from the departure of Van Basten to Milan, but on to the scene came a young Dennis Bergkamp, another great youth product from the Ajax academy, and Dutch football fans – including many of those who, like me, did not support the Ajacieden – rejoiced in the sheer beauty of his football.

It seemed, back then, that he simply had everything, both as a football player and human being. Not only was he technically gifted and had a great spatial awareness, he also had a great desire to do beautiful things with a ball – but always in an efficient, extremely deadly way. He was strong and aggressive but at the same time light-footed and nimble on the pitch, a total professional on and off the pitch, humble when interviewed, always focussed on his health and fitness, and constantly practicing to stay fit and get even better.

I was 20 years old when Dennis started his professional football career, and it was probably the first time I started to understand football a bit more (still learning every day though). Bergkamp lifted my appreciation of football to another level, and I became a huge fan, and a ‘follower’.

It was inevitable that Dennis would leave Ajax/Holland sooner or later, and he ended up at the inventors of catenaccio: Inter Milan. In the two years he was at the Italian club, he did not settle down at all, due to both cultural differences and a couple of significant managerial/ownership changes at the club.

Dennis needed to escape/ to be rescued, and the rest is well-known history.

I never forget the initial welcome and warmth Bergkamp was given by the Arsenal supporters, as well the adoration he received almost straight away from newspaper journalists and TV analysts. Dennis had finally arrived at his spiritual home and after a slightly difficult start – it took a while before he scored his first goal – he slowly but steadily grew into a modern-day legend.

It is hard to think about Bergkamp without thinking about Arsene Wenger at the same time, and visa versa. Wenger cleverly built his team around the Dutchman and through him he was perfectly able to translate his vision and tactical ideas onto the pitch. Of course, it did help that Arsene had been able to build up a fantastic team of international world beaters – in goal, defence, midfield and attack – around the Iceman.

Dennis was a loyal player, and the fact that he was willing to end his career at Arsenal was, in terms of continuing and safeguarding Wenger’s football philosophy on the pitch, of great value to Arsenal.

Many worried what would happen once DB10 would leave, but in Cesc Fabregas, Wenger had found another player around whom he could build a team, and continue his total football-esque philosophy. And occasionally, we were able to forget about DB10 a bit.

Although Bergkamp and Fabregas had different attributes to offer, what they had in common was the ability to conduct the game, to translate Wenger’s vision onto the pitch, and to lift our football to another level. The Spaniard, however, decided that Arsenal was not his spiritual home and left us, just as we were ready to start picking the fruits of his phenomenal development at the hands of Wenger and his staff.

This season, it became clear for all to see that Wenger has been struggling with putting his Wengerball stamp on this new Arsenal team. Due to a bad start, the departure of Fabregas, and the season-long injuries to Diaby, and especially Jack Wilshere, Arsene had nobody with both the qualities and the stamina to fill the conductor role. Both Ramsey and Rosicky had decent stints at it, but they either missed the experience, form, consistency, or stamina to really make Wenger’s most important position theirs.

So what will happen next season? Who will become Wenger’s conductor in charge? My view has always been that Jack Wilshere is the man around whom Arsène wants to build his next big team, but his long term injury combined with his inexperience, make it very hard to bank on him next season.

It will be interesting to see what will happen this summer, and I would like to invite you to share your views on this matter with us today.

But there is also a more long-term question to be answered.

What will happen once Arsène decides an oeuf is an oeuf and retires, or leaves us to manage another club? What will happen to the spirit of Bergkamp & Wenger; the culture and style of football that they have been able to establish over the last 16 years?

Do the Board of Directors want to continue with it, and if so, how will they achieve it?

And what do you think Arsenal should do once Arsène’s hangs up his boots? What sort of football should we play / what do you want to be the long-term, future football-identity of the club?


‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit’ – Aristotle.

Now is the time to make Arshavin Arsenal’s Playmaker

October 13, 2011

‘We cannot allow ourselves to indulge in sadness and melancholy’

Andrey Arshavin, December 2010 (after MU away game)


With the departure of Cesc Fabregas and the long-term injury to Jack Wilshere, Arsenal is left with a hole, in more ways than one. It is a cruel double blow to have neither of them available for this pivotal position, especially during this transitional period. Since the start of the new season, the much-changed Arsenal team has looked unfamiliar to us, as if it has lost its identity, its USP, its typical style of football, and the main reason for this is, nobody has been able to make the ‘hole position’ theirs until now. It comes as no surprise that our results in the League have also been well under-par, and now is the time to make some bold moves so we can regain momentum and confidence again, and shake-off this mantle of sadness and melancholy once and for all.

The Playmaker position, just off the striker – the Dutch call it ‘de hangende spits’ (the ‘hanging-off’ striker) was made for Dennis Bergkamp and vice versa, back in the mid-nineties. He epitomised what can be done to a team and its style of football if the right player takes up the no. 10 position. DB10 was always able to find space for himself, so the defence and midfield had an outlet, he was able to hold on the ball and allow the attacking midfielders to move forward, but he was just as capable to set up a quick attack for his fellow striker and wingers – often with an inch-perfect defence-splitting pass that would make you go weak in the knees for joy – or to take on defenders himself and score goals from just outside the penalty area, or inside the box. Dennis had it all: brilliant first touch, superb vision, a winner’s mentality, a professional through and through, and somebody who took pleasure in doing beautiful things with a ball on the pitch. It was this quest for beauty that has made him such a special player and made him immortal to us, and, in a way, he made us all feel a bit immortal along the way.

Cesc Fabregas was a different ‘no. 10’ for us: more of an attacking midfielder than a striker, with a great ability to pass the ball within tight spaces and to boss the midfield area. However, what he had in common with Dennis was the ability to pick a defence splitting pass and to create something out of nothing, for which he also had the vision and touch. He was another great Arsenal player although not in the same category as Dennis, but then who is, or will ever be?

Jack Wilshere is a very promising player for both Arsenal and England. For me, he is our future ‘nr. 10’ as he is similar to Cesc in many ways, with great vision and a superb passer of the ball, very good in tight spaces and with a phenomenal fighting spirit and stamina. He came off age last year during our game against Barcelona, and to do so at such a young age is truly astounding. We are unbelievably lucky to have him, and I am sure he will be another Arsenal great. The only thing missing until now is Jack’s goal scoring ability/record, and until this improves he can compensate it with his vision and passing ability, which should lead to setting up many successful attacks and assists.

So, who is going to fill this position for us until Jack returns?

The candidates are: Aaron Ramsey, Thomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta, Yossi Benayoun, Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin. I cannot see Arsenal change the system to 4-4-2 in the near future, so I am going to base my views on the current 4-2-3-1 system. In the ‘2’, Alex Song is our ‘pure’ DM and there is back-up for him from Emmanuel Frimpong and Francis Coquelin. For me the best partner to Song in the ‘2’ is a typical box-to-box midfielder and either Aaron Ramsey or Mikel Arteta should play in that position. The DM’s partner should be an all-round midfielder who can defend, and go forward, create chances for others and score goals himself. Both Arteta and Ramsey can offer this, and we are lucky to have two such good players to cover this position.

But who should play in the hole: who should be our Playmaker? Ideally, a player for this position should have vision, hold on to the ball really well, a great passer of the ball and ability to score goals with an average of 0.25 goals or higher, per game.

For me, for now, it is neither Ramsey, nor Arteta. For different reasons, I find it too early for them to be given this vital role in the team. I am not convinced that both of them have the vision that is required for this key position and with PL goal-scoring records of 0.16 goals per game (Arteta) and 0.12 (Ramsey), I do not feel they are prolific enough either. However, it is early days and both could claim this position over time.

Rosicky has the vision and the passing ability, but lacks the stamina and consistency to really claim this role. When TR played in this role this season, he gave Arsenal its identity back, but he cannot do this twice a week for us and his goal scoring record is not great either with only 0.13 goals per game. For me, Rosicky should be the second choice for the Playmaker role, and he is a good squad player for Arsenal to have (just think back to his second half performance against Udinese in Italy).

Yossi Benayoun could be a possibility, but as he is on loan at Arsenal I don’t think we should give this position to him on a regular basis. His goal scoring record is the same as Arteta’s (0.16 goals per game), so not bad but also not brilliant. I would like to see more of Yossi in an Arsenal shirt so I can make a proper assessment of his abilities.

This leaves me with two remaining possibilities: Robin van Persie or Andrey Arshavin. Both are options I would like us to try out, just to see whether it works. As a captain, RvP is isolated as our lone striker. If he were to play in the ‘hole position’ with either Chamakh, Park, or even Gervinho or Walcott, in front of him, he could be both a better leader of the team and improve our attacking options. He would not be a typical Playmaker, but fill in the role similar to the way Rooney does at MU. If we were to opt for a 4-4-2 formation, as many of us would prefer, this would work very well.  It would mean a strong decrease in focussing on our passing game and continuous emphasis on breaking quickly – a bit like the Arsenal of the early parts of the last decade. We have the wing-players for it now with Walcott, Gervinho, Ryo and Ox, and with Chamakh and Park we have the typical strikers to make this system work for us. We could add to this strike-force at the next TW and all could be rosy again.

However, as I said earlier, I don’t believe we will adopt a 4-4-2 system in the near future. In the current 4-2-3-1 system, we need a playmaker in the middle of the ‘3’. As we are not talking about a classical playmaker – as in a 4-4-2 formation in which the player next to the DM would be: a role that would fit both Arteta and Ramsey a lot better in my opinion – we need somebody in this role who can hold on to the ball in tight spaces, pass it with ease, find gaps in defences easily, makes good attacking decisions in a flash, and can score goals from just outside the box as well as inside the box.

For me, this player is Andrey Arshavin. Please don’t get me wrong in thinking I am a huge fan of Arshavin: he is not consistent enough, and does not work as hard as is required, but then – as we all know – he is not playing in his best position either. Arshavin has a PL goal scoring record of 0.27 goals per game, which is the same as DB10 had for us. He is great passer of the ball and can split open defences easily. He holds on the ball reasonably well, although this is not one of his strong points. He can score from just outside the box, and I have no doubt he would link up well with RvP.

It is only a matter of time until Arshavin leaves Arsenal, but I think he deserves to be given the ‘hanging-off’’ striker position, just this once: at least until Christmas this year. He is our best option there and it would be cruel not to give him a last opportunity to show us all how really good he is. Why Arsene Wenger has not done this until now is a mystery to me, but hopefully the current lack of alternatives might change his mind.