Bergkamp’s First Step To Being A Future Arsenal Manger? By Dan Smith
A few years ago, when it was clear there was a divide in our fan-base towards Arsene Wenger, I remember checking the odds for Dennis Bergkamp to be our next manager. I can’t quite recall what the odds were, but remember it was a tempting bet because the winnings would have been big (I just never have the patience to do long term betting).
While the likes of Henry, Vieira and of course Arteta were often in the conversation of being an ‘ex-player who could return to Arsenal’, the Dutchmen seemed to never be in the discussion. That surprised me as he’s been as quick as any other ex-gunner to get some coaching experience.
Two years after retiring, Ajax offered Bergkamp an opportunity to learn the ropes, which they often do for those who played for them.
In 2008 he was invited by the Dutch FA to be part of the staff for the Netherlands B Team, that same year he took charge of Ajax’s Under 12’s before he was promoted in 2011 to assistant manager of the first team.
A change of set up saw him spend more time working with youngsters on the training pitch before he was sacked in 2017 (Ironically by his former teammate Overmars).
Still, that’s nearly a decade of learning at a club who have very strong principles about how the sport should be played, an ethos Bergkamp was familiar with at Highbury.
Now I’m of course In no way planning for Arteta’s departure. He only arrived at Christmas, has just won the FA Cup, and has demonstrated great man management to get an average squad to trust his tactics and ideas. Yet in an era where everyone is so reactionary, the days of anyone staying in one job for more than three years is rare.
Some of my fellow gooners are suggesting we can challenge for the title! That level of expectation could put a lot of unfair pressure on our manager. Who knows, this could be Pep Guardiola’s final campaign at Man City, what if they offer the Spaniard a return to the Etihad?
Let me stress, I want Arteta to go nowhere. I like that he has a plan which alters depending on who is the opposition. Yet I don’t trust our owner to long-term match his ambition. So, if reports are true that Bergkamp is going to be offered a job in North London as part of our coaching team then that could be his first step in one day being the main man in our dug out.
The striker has admitted in the past it would be a ‘dream’ for that to happen one day and as recently as lockdown, I heard a podcast where he said the family have plans to live in England again one day, they were just waiting for the right circumstances.
Not just at the Emirates, but how most clubs work is they base appointments on who’s in the right place, at the right time.
It’s unfair, but some have written Henry off as our future boss due to his spell at Monaco.
What would have happened if Freddie Ljungberg had won all his games when he was in temporary charge of the team? That’s how Ole Gunnar Solskjaer got his chance at Man United.
So, if the next time we are looking for a new manager Bergkamp is already part of the set-up, surely that puts him a strong position given his legendary status and principles.
The only aspect that would put anyone off hiring him would be his fear of flying. Yes, he used to drive to certain away games in Europe but that might be too time consuming if he were the main man?
I’m grateful to Arteta for responding to one Invincible leaving by recruiting another.
He clearly sees the importance of keeping the Arsenal job in house, having people around the place who understand what it means to represent the badge and everything that means.
In my opinion one of Arsene Wenger’s biggest mistakes was to take too long in employing players he used to work with. The likes of Tony Adams have suggested the Frenchmen felt threatened to possibly be undermined with anyone who fans would hold in high regard. That eventually changed when he found roles for the likes of Freddie, Pires and the BFG.
Arteta clearly has zero reservations, which again shows his self-belief. He realizes who better for a young squad to see every day and getting advice from than one of the greatest to ever wear the red and white shirt. Arteta is confident enough in his own skill to respect the opinion of a legend, but not intimidated to say if he wants to do things his way.
For the players and the mood of fans there are so many positives if Bergkamp does return. For him personally, it could be the first step to one day being our manager?
How About It Gooners, Is This Bergkamp’s First Step To One Day Managing The Arsenal?
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