4 Big Reasons why Bergkamp, Henry and Vieira are perfect as Daniel Ek’s partners

What Can Our Legends Offer To Daniel Ek? by Dan Smith

They often say that great players for your club doesn’t mean they will be successful managers for the team. Well, what about helping to run the whole club?

It has been confirmed that Daniel Ek has had two bids to buy Arsenal rejected by the Kroenke Family, with the co-founder of Spotify seeking help from Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira to own the club he’s supported since a child.

Most of the finances will come from the Swede with three members of our Invincibles being the ‘football people’ to advise and even manage the day to day running of things. For the record, combined the three’s net worth is estimated to be approx. just over 250 million.

If you want to win over Gooners, you couldn’t pick three better ex-players, all legends in North London, two with statues outside the Emirates. It’s harder for Vieira to talk about the topic in public, but he still has ambitions to continue his managerial career.

Both Henry and Bergkamp have confirmed this is not a PR stunt, this is very much real.

If the Kroenke Family can be convinced to sell (which will be a long process) this would be the first step in Arsenal adopting the Bayern Munich model.

On the current Bayern board, one of their former players is the president and deputy chairman while another three are Executive members.

After nearly two decades of being controlled by a man with zero ambition or interest this would reassure our fanbase that; if nothing else, the club they love is being overseen by people you know who care.

Many players find it easy to kiss the badge and give soundbites, but you would find it hard to find anyone who would question the sincerity in Henry’s, Bergkamp’s and Viera’s affection for the Gunners.

So they are passionate about the sport and have a romantic connection with Arsenal. That’s already more pros then the Kroenke Family, but what else can they offer? What other reasons could there be for them to be good in essentially a new line of work?

Mr Kroenke owns a large profile of franchises where his business model is not dependent on success.
That’s why since he first took power in 2011, we slowly transitioned away from being title challengers and only seemed to care about qualifying for the Champions League.

Once TV contracts (especially abroad) went into the billions, the American no longer cared where we finished in the table, because European competitions were no longer his main source of revenue.

Daniel EK plans to work with three athletes who are born winners. That’s not something that can be taught, that’s just something that will be natural to them from childhood.

To make a living out of being a professional athlete, yet alone the level they got too, would have meant sacrifices, discipline, an outlook that the majority can’t relate to.

Why so many great’s in the game can’t translate that into coaching is that they can’t relate to those they are working with not having the same standards they do.

You would hope from day one, certain things would simply not be tolerated? They wouldn’t accept 8th place as players, they would have been embarrassed, so why would they accept it now?

Under their watch the captain wouldn’t be showing up later, players wouldn’t be celebrating a draw at home to Fulham and in a semi-Final, players would show up.

If this happens, that would be 51 winners’ medals on our board, so I think they know what is needed to win.

I remember a comment Vieira made at Inter Milan. Jose Mourinho taught him that it’s okay to accept the opposition might have better players but that just means you find a different way to win.

They would equally be able to relate and empathise with the modern player. Our current regime probably couldn’t name our squad. Plus imagine being a youngster and having those three around the place!

It can’t be a coincidence that the first time Henry and Bergkamp spoke to the media about their talks with Daniel Ek, they both kept referring to our ‘DNA’ – Or more specifically our lack of one.

Let’s make it clear, at no stage has anyone promised trophies or a certain budget. They have insisted that even in the club’s darkest moment they had an ethos in how they acted and conducted themselves.

Both Henry and Bergkamp feel this is lacking and clearly would make it a priority to get that back.
That goes beyond the football pitch.

Have you ever wondered why so many players come to us from abroad and seem to form a unique connection?

How many players have you heard regretted leaving us?

That’s because many were at the club at a time when Arsene Wenger revolutionised so many aspects.
Some fans like to remind their peers that Arsenal had a history before Mr Wenger, and of course they did ……. yet what Arsenal became renowned for, their image around Europe, was down to one man.

In their twenties Henry and Bergkamp were among a group resistant to some of the Frenchman’s methods but (thanks as well to Adams, Dixon, Keown, etc) were taught the ‘Arsenal way’. They bought into the fabric of the club.

In Mr Wenger’s last year he spoke about the club being in danger of losing our proud values and he’s been proven right. The 55 redundancies, paying players to rip up contracts, players admitting being abused online by their own fans, the Super League! We no longer have that family feel at the club.

I believe Henry and Bergkamp when they say they care about getting our DNA back.

Style Of Play
I know every fan feels they have their ‘way’ of playing. How often do we hear Hammers refer to the ‘West Ham way’? With respect to our London neighbours though, they have never really had a prolonged period where a style of play led to success.

Ek’s 3 potential business partners not only were part of the club’s greatest period in our history, but became famous for playing in a manner that became renowned across the world.

Henry and Bergkamp in particular were proud of that reputation. So if they ever have to pick a new manager or recruit players, I think they will want to ensure we get back to our tradition of playing the ‘right way.’

We had zero identity under Emery, and while I can see what Arteta is trying to do he’s taken away a lot from our offence.

We know Kroenke’s motives for owning Arsenal. They want to make value off the brand for just being a brand. That’s their prerogative.

3 of the most famous footballers of all time obviously don’t need the money nor the need to stay relevant in the public eye. Therefore logically there can only be one reason why they would get involved in this project, they generally want Arsenal to return to their old selves.

Outside Ventures
It’s worth stressing that this isn’t like the ex-Man United players leading a consortium to buy Salford City (not that I’m comparing us to Salford).

My point is members of ‘the class of 92’ have benefitted from Gary Neville’s experiences in outside business ventures.

Henry does understand how business works though having been part of so many endorsement deals that in his prime he was the 9th most valuable footballer in the world. The point being that outside agencies are not going to be able to take advantage of our naive board.

If anything just by association, our three club legends could bring an increase in sponsorship.

Daniel Ek himself has confirmed that he’s willing to play the long game, acutely aware that the Kroenke’s would reject his initial bids.

If they change their minds though he is ready, and already I think he’s built a team behind the scenes who can make us better

Be Kind In The Comments


Tags Bergkamp Daniel Ek Henry Vieira


  1. I don’t think Kroenke would sell, because he can sell the tickets next season and the team is still making progress. Although it could be different if we’re out of top 6 in the end of next season

      1. The Arteta fan boys want us to believe otherwise. We are wallowing in mid table mediocrity and some call this progress. These same folks were probably not happy with the top four trophy back in the Wenger days. Go figure!

  2. GAI- trust me when I say this. The fans drove out Arsene Wenger. The fans got rid of Unai Emery. The same fans will drive out Kronke. He either starts acting as a proper owner should, by actually investing real funds, and bothering his fat lazy arse to spend time here and start understanding what this club is all about or he will be driven out. Not be a fanbase refusing to trend games. But by a fanbase who will let him, his family, the board and whoever know that they are despised and not wanted.
    It WILL happen if he doesn’t take the situation seriously

    1. Lolz.. You give fans too much credit.. Kroenke will sell WHEN he wants to sell….so unless someone can cought out around 2.5 billion upward.. Kroenke is not going anywhere soon

      1. Any club is nothing without the fans. The England fans have much more power than Kroenke regardless of he is the owner if they exercise it.

        It is us the international fans who have absolutely zero power to make any change.

        If you still doubt it think about the EL which took years to prepare, and prepared by biggest clubs and very powerful people. It took less than a day for fans to shut it down.

        1. The super league will still happen, they just tested the ground.. Maybe not now, eventually

      2. @Simon, my exact sentiments, the American will only leave if he’s offered an above actual-value deal otherwise he’s going nowhere.

      3. @Simon- so “I give the fans too much credit” do I? Seriously PAL? This is what you believe?
        Kronke was allowed to buy the club by a Board of Directors who pocketed millions of pounds for their shares. They sold us fans down the river. This has NEVER been forgotten by a fanbase who has seen the club, since Kronke took over, lose all ambitions, and our status as a Tip Club who would be up there challenging for the major honours. We pay the highest ( or pretty near anyway) ticket prices to watch our club, snd still have a waiting list of 60,000 for season tickets. Do not mistake this simply ad fans who will do anything to just watch their team whatever position we are in. These figures clearly demonstrate we are by far the biggest club in London, with a huge fanbase who love the club. How much longer do you believe these fans will put up with mediocrity and no ambition? Kronke was starting to get the message after Emery was sacked, with many protests, at EVERY home and away game. These stopped only because of the pandemic that closed the doors. The movement has been building rapidly and will continue until he starts acting in the best interest of the club, and not himself, or preferably, he sells the club to someone who cares about Arsenal football club and not profit.
        Do not under estimate the power the fanbase has. Kronke knows this. He hasn’t seen anything yet. But he soon will if things do not change

    2. Perhaps your most important ever post Phil! Every REAL* Gooner prays it comes true. I believe it will too, but it may well be a long game to beat this snake and kill his “ownership”.
      * I say REAL, as there are some on this site whose credentials as REAL Gooners are distinctly suss!

      1. Jon-as you well know, the Arsenal fanbase is passionate about our club. You may not agree with AFTV and they are at times too commercially orientated, but never doubt these guys love of Arsenal. The Black Scarf Movement is growing in both numbers and strength. These fans are serious about the demonstrations against everything KSE stand for.Profit over everything. There is only so much any owner will take. If this time next year Kronke has not acted as any owner should, I’m convinced he will sell.
        You know only too well the times we endured in the sixties, seventies and eighties. The nineties only got better when David Dein took it upon himself to drive the club forward. Kronke will be reminded at every opportunity of his duties. He either takes this seriously of be shamed into selling. It will happen.

        1. Phil
          I support everything you said.
          But what I want to clarify is that, we did not lose ambition when Kroenke bought the club, we’ve already lose ambition before he bought the club.
          We are already 2years trophyless before he came on board and 7 years trophyless before he became the majority share holder and 9 years trophyless (when we won the FA CUP in 2014) before he owned the club in 2018.
          Don’t let us think everything was bad since Kroenke took over. The signs are there before Kroenke was even introduced.
          We’ve signed the likes of Adebayor, Clichy, Fabregas, Hleb, Walcott etc soft players compared to Henry, Bergkamp, Viera etc and Wenger changed his way of playing to suit Fabregas before Kroenke was introduced. Henry left the same season Kroenke was introduced and even at that, Kroenke was not part of the Board of directors then till June 2008.
          So not like the signs are not on the door before Kroenke was introduced to the board.
          David Dein was ready to make Arsenal compete by introducing a rich man to the club but the remaining Board of director fought with him because of that which make him quit in 2007 and Kroenke has not been on Board then.

          But my problem is Kroenke is not attending games or even stay enough to see the problem at the Emirate. If Kroenke was around, I know the money spent on players will be spend well.
          I don’t believe the money will be spend well even if he give put 500M, except if we are lucky this time around. He need to be around.

          3 of the most famous footballers of all time obviously don’t need the money

          Says who?
          Henry rejected Arsenal for skysport…for what exactly?
          I can speak for Bergkamp but even at that, not 100% cos he too might want the post more than anything else.

          You can speak for yourself, not for millionaires.
          Every millionaires always want money.

          Everything is still rossy in there camp now, but you will still write article about them in future about there greediness.

        2. Phil, unfortunately AFTV have driven Mo Haiter from the program, because he had the audacity to wear a small Palestinian flag on his jumper.
          So much for free speech.

    3. I wish every fan has what you say in their heart other wise the reality is we have to do it now or never bcz they enjoy the money every time we play whether we win or we lose but it’s we fans and supporters who take the cross of losing game.

    4. Kronke has billions and he can burned a few millions easily

      he can let the club rot and ceased to exist

  3. Perhaps the single most inspiring and hopeful article of top quality to appear on JA since goodness knows when!

    Bravo Dan and so good to read a PROPER article that actually says something of value , from a PROPER writer!

    1. You are right bro, most times I don’t comment on JA because most of their articles are not detailed.

  4. Even if you’re a billionaire you can’t buy eternal life. Krank is 74 this July. He will leave.
    I don’t think his ignorant son get a kick of being disliked or hated by millions of fans. Josh is smarter than daddy. When old Krank goes junior sell the club. That’s the long time strategy.

    1. everyone can just protest to make anyone disappear

      Protest to get neighbors to move

      Protest to get the boss fired

    1. Winners
      Style Of Play

      These words were in bold in the article – If you read it!

      1. OK thanks Pat, I was only asking, I wasn’t having a pop, just wanted to understand it better, I did read it and “Outside Ventures” was also in bold, got it now thanks

  5. I really like articles like this. In a way it is our only hope. A change in the complete structure of the club. We will see if the result of the government review has balls or wimps out. I would love to have just one share in Arsenal before I meet the great footballer in the ‘Bardo’. ‘If things don’t change they stay as they are’….a recipe for a club to swim in it’s own waste. Credit to Daniel EK and our lads, I hope they can stay the course and buy Arsenal before the club has imploded……it will take time, I hope I am here.
    Arsenal has been the singular most respected name in football. Whether worthy or not, those marble floors at Highbury carried something special, more than the sum of it’s parts. Those who support Arteta now, do so only in blind hope. Only hope. Our eyes tells us, the quality of football he produces, the players stories tell us, many stats tell us what we all know…..we are a poor excuse for football at the moment. The hope is in our youngsters, we have the best. Does Arteta’s struggle with grudges mean he can succeed. It’s the unknowable, nothing he has done yet tells us he has got what it takes. All pure hope, based on hope not facts. Sadly it is blind hope. It hurts me to see my beloved in such dire straits. Personally I wonder why some put their faith in Arteta who, to my eyes, has reduced our football to ashes. My hopes and wishes cannot rest on him. What could turn me towards Arteta though…….will be buying clearly good quality players with experience of our leagues? We just don’t need more players who will take a year to adapt to the strenuous EPL. Who Arteta buys will make a big difference to how supporters see him. I am genuinely willing to change my stance if he factually produces the goods. Will those who blindly cling to him admit their mistake if he just cannot elevate us. Their may be a few supporters dancing with delusion, holding the zeitgeist and spirit of the club back from real development.

  6. I normally only read the “headlines” on this site, but I read this article. And I like it. We have the same gooner-dream You and I, Dan. Thank you.

    1. Maybe if you read more of the articles Hans, you may actually start making sensible comments!

      1. This isn’t what I call reading. This is something else. Ever heard of the 17th Earl of Oxford?

  7. Ah, you read the article instead of the headline on this one hans, that’s why you answered my question to Pat the way you did

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