Sunday, April 16, 2006

Dennis Bergkamp: Goonerboy salutes a legend.


Ok, first some concerns. We ended up winning convincingly yesterday, but only after a very edgy period in which West Brom equalised, and had a pretty decent penalty shout turned down. Eboue was at fault in both, putting in a very unconvincing tackle on Quashie, which he shrugged off before slamming the ball home, and, stupidly, leaving a trailing leg for Curtis Davies to fall over in the area. Another day, a penalty; another day, we'd be 6 points behind Spurs. Eboue looked great going forward, and helped set up our third, but a few too many defensive slip ups for my liking today. Thankfully, he clearly has the talent to improve and learn from this season. I think Wenger will have a real dilemma on his hands when Lauren's back next year. I wish Jose would have some shooting practice, and undertake some confidence building practices, as well.

A good result, but we made more work for ourselves than we needed. I was happy to see we battled back though, hopefully we've learnt something from Wednesday. Song was no where to be seen I noticed.

On a happier note, Hleb continues to show what a class act he is. A superb finish after he'd beaten a defender and played a lovely little one-two with Henry.

I mention Hleb because he, in some ways, bears resemblence to the real hero of the day: the one, the only, the irreplacable Dennis Bergkamp. It seems almost inconceivable now, but Dennis, like Alex, had his fair share of critics when he first arrived at the club. The goals didn't immediately flow, and some began to wonder if Inter had done a bit of good business in off-loading him on us. Then, one glorious late-September afternoon in 1995, Dennis hammered in two against Southampton, and none of us have looked back since. His second, in particular, when he snaked past a couple of defenders and then hammered it in from 30 yards was, for me, a pivotal moment in recent Arsenal history. That we had a player of that quality at the club was surely a potent springboard from which the Wenger era was launched. It's one of my favourite Arsenal goals, and I'll never forget it.

Dennis was awesome today. I wrote in a post a while back that I felt he still had one great moment left in him. In fact, he had two. Firstly, after some nice build up play from Adebayor, he used his head and fed in Pires, who finished with a cute little dink over the keeper. His second was possibly his last great Arsenal goal. Effortlessly finding space, he deftly controlled the ball and then, in the way only he can, almost contemptuously curled the ball in. Nearly brought a tear to my eye. Hopefuly I'm wrong and they'll be a few more yet.

It seems fit that I dedicate this post to Dennis considering everything he's given us in his 11 glorious years at the club. In all the melodrama over Henry's contract some of us may have forgotten that there will be, sadly, but rightly, one contract that definitely won't be renewed this summer. [at least not in a playing role - please stay on as coach Dennis!]

As I said at earlier in the post, I think Dennis's signing was a hugely significant moment in the club's recent moment. The early 90s, the period when I started supporting the club, wern't exactly all fun and games at the club. Mid table finishes, the club's drinking culture, and Georgie G's moment of misjudgement had left the club under a cloud. Now, obviously, Arsene must take the majority of the praise for turning the club round, but Dennis's arrival was a wonderful moment. The way he immediately lit up the club seemed to offer hope for the future, which, combined with Arsene has led to our recent glory years.

A few particularly great moments for me. That piece of skill before threading through Freddie against Juve; those three goals against Leicester; that goal against Newcastle. He is a true Arsenal legend, and, although I doubt he's reading, I'd just like to say thanks and all the best in the future. You truly made the game beautiful.


So, for a change, the comments section is a 'type out your best memories of Dennis zone'. If I get enough maybe I could try and forward them to him via the club.


As Rupert Brooke might have put it,

'When he leaves thinks only this of him,

That there is a part of Arsenal that shall be forever Dennis Bergkamp'

20 comments:

Tone said...

1-3 in the rain at the lane, a great finish, a sliding flourish, forget the damp - vintage Berkkamp.

Anonymous said...

fook off gooner scum

Anonymous said...

cant even spell bergkamp u egg

Anonymous said...

While his talent and skills on the playing field has left viewers breathless and wanting more, it was also his loyalty and unasumming character that stamped the name 'Dennis Bergkamp'in my heart permanently.

There are too many Bergkamp moments to pick but if I have to, I'll say the wonder goal against Newcastle. What's sweeter was he asked for the ball to be played to him which Pires duly obliged and man! we all witnessed something magical that day!

I love Dennis and it's because of him that brought Arsenal to my life. Thank you Dennis!

While I take heart/pride in the fact that there is only Dennis Bergkamp, I'm also saddened that there will never be another Dennis Bergkamp.

Anonymous said...

supported spurs as a boy though..can't change that!!!HA HA

Anonymous said...

Just like Defoe & Carrick supported arsenal you muppet!!

Anonymous said...

who was talkin about carrick and defoe u goon scum - team full of booners - arse will lose against villa real and yids will finish 4th u all know that ! ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Anonymous said...

The day Bergkamp leaves will be one of the saddest days in my leave! It was a great day yesterday especially for Bergkamp Fans like me!

We will miss you and always love you!!!!

My best Bergkamp moment:
his 2 goals against sheffield wednesday 1999 in the last 3 minutes, because it was my first visit to highbury and he signed some stuff before kick off!

Robert from Germany

Iceman said...

The day Bergkamp leaves will be one of the saddest days in my leave! It was a great day yesterday especially for Bergkamp Fans like me!

We will miss you and always love you!!!!

My best Bergkamp moment:
his 2 goals against sheffield wednesday 1999 in the last 3 minutes, because it was my first visit to highbury and he signed some stuff before kick off!

Robert from Germany

Anonymous said...

You lot hate the fact that you support a team of foreigners with a foreign manager, Your team will fail in the CL and Spurs will finish 4th.......Henry will go....We are loving it and there is nothing you can do about it!....Nobody gives a shit about the gooners.

Anonymous said...

Weird contrasts on this site. Good blog, very up-market -Rupert Brooke of all things! - followed by the lowest of the low style of comments - 'fuck off, u r scum' etc., etc.

To the Spurs fan who thinks no one is interested in Arsenal: oh really? Then why are you reading this site? The truth seems to be exactly the opposite, i.e. that Spurs fans are obsessed with Arsenal, to the exclusion of their own club, it appears, whereas most of us are completely indifferent to Spurs.

And to the Spurs fan who imagines we hate the fact that our players aren't English: what makes you think so? I for for one love Arsenal precisely because it's an island of Frenchness in the otherwise dim-witted wastes of north London - and Spanishness, Dutchness, Ivorianness, Germanness, Cameroonness, etc., etc.

Eleven years ago I scarcely ever watched Arsenal. I was depressed by the style of football they played and felt alienated from the heavily male, white, perhaps slightly thugish, perhaps even racist character of the fan base. Then one day on a bus in the Holloway Road I was eavedropping on a young Nigerian couple enthusing about a player Arsenal had recently signed. And I thought: if those nice-seeming people are so excited about Arsenal perhaps I could be as well. The new signing was Bergkamp. I've been an Arsenal fanatic since then.

Anonymous said...

I've an idea. Why not change the site's language to French (or Spanish, German, anything spoken in the Arsenal dressing-room, with the exception of Russian perhaps)? That way the linguistically challenged foreigner-hating thickos from Spurs will piss off.

Goonerboy said...

Bien, Mon francaise est assez bon.

Comme: Le Spurs est plus bas que merde.

Anonymous said...

Les Totts etons les Putes de la monde!!!

Anonymous said...

WE speak English in our dressing room... "You fucking mug"

Anonymous said...

"Au revoire" France!!!!!!! 'BOOOMMMMMMM!!!

Anonymous said...

yktdky

Anonymous said...

According to Reyes, who gave this as his excuse for not learning it, Arsenal virtually never speak English in the dressing-room, though Wenger disapproves.
French is the mother tongue of at least 10 of the players and the new arrivals Diaby and Ade probably can't speak anything else. Spanish/Portugese has to be the second main language (Pires, Gilberto, Reyes, Cesc, Lauren, Almunia, Senderos ...) Hleb presumably speaks German with Wenger and Jens.

Goonerboy said...

I was a bit dissapointed that Jose still is no closer to speaking English than ever. I think it would help him settle in more. I've always wondered how they communicate with eachother on the pitch; although i guess they only have to shout eachothers names.

waking_giant said...

don't worry, at least Sol and Ash will leave in the Summer so you can finally concentrate on not speaking any English at all.

English team, my arse-pipe