Could this be Bergkamp’s first step to being the Arsenal manager?

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?

Be Kind In The Comments

Dan Smith


  1. No definitely not.

    He’s said many times previously he doesn’t want the top job (anywhere) and the fact he doesn’t fly is a major issue with regards the further flung places in European competition, let alone pre-season games in the US, Oz, etc…

    However, would I love DB10 back at the club to inspire the next generations coming through and add his genius to the set-up? Without a shadow of a doubt.

  2. The players Wenger feared were the English. Adams, Keown, Campbell etc. He had no problem with French and the others

    1. Too simplistic a reason , I fear. WENGER WAS MANY THINGS, MOSTY GOOD AND SOME NOT SO GOOD. BUT NATIONALISTIC ATTITUDES WERE NEVER INE OF HIS PROBLEMS. He saw people, not country, race,or any other nonsensical and fake differences in people. That is one among MANY reasons why AW was always and remains, loved, even by those who wanted him to leave as our manager. As a human being he was and is a top class act. He was also for a long time a genius manager too!

  3. I think it would be a great move to have Denis working alongside Arteta. He has had the experience of working at a big club at Ajax and he knows all about us as well.

  4. Arsenal fly to a lot of away games in the Premier League and all away games in the Europa League which could have a major impact on him becoming our manager, not forgetting preseason tours to places like China, Africa, Australia and the USA. Having said that, I think Bergkamp is happier staying as a coach rather than being the head man as it suits his lifestyle.

  5. Always been a legend, but not so sure this would be a good idea. There were a lot of rumours that he was really difficult to work with during his time with Ajax and he clashed with multiple people there, 1 being Overmars. This led to his departure in the end. Also there is the matter of his fear of flying, which is why he quit the national team. Not sure how convenient it is to have a coach who doesn’t want to be flying..

    1. Never heard a hint of Bergkamp being difficult to work with; however he and Overmars had different coaching philosophies.

      1. There were a lot of rumours in Dutch media. He also clashed with Peter Bosz and Wim Jonk. Was supposed to be one of the reasons Wim Jonk left Ajax back then.

        1. Mr Lucky, I suppose this is what you get with strong personalities working together. One thing I know about Dennis Bergkamp is that he doesn’t tolerate fools gladly.

  6. Strong minded folk, like MA who are in charge never fear appointing other legends to support them. Wenger always seemed to fear giving any other Arsenal legends a proper chance to have any imput on coaching,. As we now know, Bould was never given areal chance to have input in defensive coaching, whichwas a huge mistake and somewhat of a tragedy for us all. Adams should have been brought in and more besides but Wenger always insisted on total control of all important decisions and football has much changed of late. So that mentality has proven outdated asnd outdated is what WENGER BECAME OVER THE TWENTY ODD YEAR PERIOD. THAT WAS HIS PERSONAL TRAGEDY BUT ALSO OURS.

    MA is cut from different cloth and has amply shown that already. He is a modern man, younger by a decade or so than Bergkamp , I believe. That alone makes a future Bergkamp managership very unlikely, I’d suggest. I also have reservations about WHY Dennis has been away from top football for three years. That is an alarm bell for me!

    That having been said though, I still welcome the likely arrival of such a legend and under MA, I hope other greats of our recent past come on board. Such tactics kept the great Liverpool era of the sixties to late eighties thriving , so I say welcome Dennis, legend and hero. May you thrive and make yourself and us all very happy, even though I just cannot envisage you as our future manager.


  7. Off topic but we could have two players with Gabriel on their shirts😜.
    Awaiting incoming comments that it’s not allowed in the Premier League🤔

    1. Declan. Then perhaps one of the two Gabriels can use one of your emojis beside his name and the other Gabriel use the other! I can see a time coming when we don’t even use human players -in this fast changing world -but only robots to play for us. All players can then do what Ozil has been doing for four years already; have a permanent rest!

      1. Then it will be the programmer’s fault because the learning algorithm was imperfectly trained for our top bot to miss a penalty in Champions league final 2060. And if this site would still be running then we would slate the programmer.😂😂

  8. Dennis should be the head coach. Under Arteta, Arsenal is not gonna progress because his desire is to sign players who are old. His interest in the likes of Boateng, Lovren, Umtiti, Alcantara, and Willian cleary shows the direction that Arsenal will.take under Arteta

    1. What qualifications so far has Dennis got for the job, apart from being an absolute legendary player both at Arsenal and on the world stage?

      Coming to Arsenal is one thing (And welcome) but taking the reigns from Arteta is a bit much for me. I’d have thought DB would have shown more desire by now if managing Arsenal was his aim

      1. Dennis Bergkamp has a coaching diploma under the auspices of the Royal Netherlands Football Association. He has coached Netherlands National teams and at Ajax Amsterdam.
        I believe Bergkamp due to his non flying has expressed a lack of desire be a head coach; however he has a lot to offer in coaching expertise and mentoring of young players. In addition he is financially savvy and the logical thinking and managerial skills of a qualified Mechanical Engineer. He could add considerable strength and football expertise to the Arsenal Board.

        1. Ozziegunner
          I’m ready to accept that DB has the qualifications and should not have implied that he didn’t have them. That said, he hasn’t shown interest in going beyond assistant level and at 51 may have missed the boat. I wasn’t aware that he was joining the Board so you will have to excuse my ignorance and nowhere did I suggest that a return to Arsenal would not be welcomed

          1. SueP, I’m not aware Bergkamp is joining the Board either, just suggesting he would be a great addition.👌
            My comments regarding his coaching qualification and experience were in answer to what I thought was an enquiry from you. 😊

        1. Dan
          Please see my response to ozziegunner. The difference as I see it is that at 38 Arteta has shown the desire to manage at the highest level
          According to Wikipedia, Arsenal, Pochettino and Guardiola were queuing up to employ him
          I was not in any way decrying DB but I got the impression you think he could fill Arteta’s shoes and I think it’s too late for that

    2. Top Gunner, your opinion on Arteta shows that you know nothing about football. maybe you should and supporting Villarreal

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