Why are they immortalised with a statue at The Arsenal #3 – Dennis Bergkamp the King


I have been asking why just three of our players have only been awarded the honour of having a statue made in their image – the answer regarding Dennis is simple, he has been the most magical player ever to wear our famous shirt.

Now I know that the previous post on Tony Adams praised the man for his commitment, strength and love for the club, but the Dennis Bergkamp signing signalled something that shook the world of north London football at that time.

First of all, The Arsenal broke their club record, with a £7.5 million coup when signing him in 1995 and, secondly spuds turned him down and bought Chris Armstrong from Crystal Palace for £4.5 million instead!!!

Dennis confirmed the interest from the spuds later, saying that they had been in the equation “but even then I considered Arsenal to be a bit above Spurs. I’m not sure why!!!! That’s the first part of becoming a legend Dennis!!!!!

Now here’s an interesting point…his mentality, which was branded as weak by his critics, the media, who widely questioned it when he arrived.

How ridiculous that seems now, when we remember his outstanding technique, composure and vision at our club.
There was never a minute his that so called “weak mentality” ever crossed any Gooners mind during his stay, proving those who labelled a player with such a moniker really didn’t know what they were talking about.

I quote someone else when I write “Vieira provided the power, Henry got the goals, but it was the quiet Dutchman who was the brains behind the entire operation as the north Londoners emerged as the team to beat in England” – what a true and superb statement this is.

I never understood why Wenger put him on the bench against Barcelona in the CL final, such a waste of talent, and not using him as well!!!

Bruce Rioch was the manager when Dennis arrived, but in my opinion, it was David Dein who masterminded this fabulous transfer right under the noises of our noisy neighbours.

Dennis played 315 times for The Arsenal and scored 87 times – won the premier league three times 1997-98 2001-02 2003-04 – FA cup four times 1997-98 2001-02 2002-03 2004-05 featuring in two of our three double winning teams in 1998 and 2002.

His international career spanned ten years (1990-2000) where he played in 79 games and scored 37 goals for The Netherlands.

Dennis spoke many times about his love for the club and here are some of the quotes:

1. Other clubs never came into my thoughts once I knew Arsenal wanted to sign me.

2. When you start supporting a football club, you don’t support it because of trophies, or a player, or history, you support it because you found yourself somewhere there: found a place where you belong.

3. I went for a walk with my wife and saw eight or nine Arsenal players sitting outside a pub, drinking beer. I thought: This is unbelievable! You just had two hard sessions to prepare for the season and now everything you did is going down with the alcohol.

4. People can say the money doesn’t really matter, but it does show how much a club respects you.

5. And then I saw Highbury for the first time…WOW! This was football! I loved all the houses around it, then you turn the corner and there’s the stadium! That’s not Dutch or Italian; you don’t see it in Europe. It’s just typically English.

His testimonial game, attended by 54,000 Gooners, trumpeted the opening of The Emirates Stadium… the crowd was limited due to it being the first game at our stadium.

Such was the pulling power of Dennis Bergkamp, the match was live on television…for a testimonial!!!

Special T shirts adorned every seat in the colours of red, white and orange.

Ajax were the opponents, Dennis’s other main club and the players who attended was a who’s who of football greats, including Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten!!!

They formed a guard of honour as Dennis came out to an explosion of cheers and chants, including “one more year” and “Only one Dennis Bergkamp” and the game was played.

After 11 years, 423 games, 120 goals and incredible, wonderful, magical memories the greatest footballer I have ever seen in our beloved shirt, finally called it a day.

How I wish I could have seen his magical performances on the large and beautiful playing surface of our new home, but time catches up with us all.

I have always hoped that this “King of Kings” would one day return to our club as a coach, or ambassador for the club that he ended up appreciating even more than when he joined us…perhaps it will still happen?

All I can say, finally, is “Thank you for the memories” Dennis Bergkamp, you are a true legend for our club and the supporters.



  1. Been watching a lot of Bergkamp lately, and how I miss him! Absolute legend! Those goals against Newcastle, and Leverkusen…wow! Hilarious that some on here compare Ozil to Bergkamp.

    1. Oh yeah-tell me who those people are then PAL. They need naming, so let’s have the details

      1. I won’t do that for you Phil, because EVERY TIME I ask you to back up your wild opinions with facts, you go quiet 100% of the time.

        But there were a lot banging on the Ozil drum for years, and now they’re a complete minority, because the truth about Ozil as gradually permeated through the masses…PAL!

        1. I’m not so sure it’s me that goes, as you say, 100% quiet. And not sure if I have ever not replied either, unless I missed the post. You have your opinion on Ozil, which I respect and I have mine. And certain times I find it very hard to disagree with your points, such as goals scored and assists made. But it does not hide the fact that Ozil has been allowed by Arteta to be played in EVERY Pl game that’s he’s managed, and we have yet to lose. So however you spin things it fails to agree that Ozil has been an effective player in an unbeaten team that is managed by Arteta.
          I watched the Sky Highlights of the 4-0 win over Newcastle yesterday and Ozil was, without doubt, the link that produced every attacking move were involved in. Only one games highlights I know, but he is not as bad as you make him out to be, and that is confirmed by the fact Arteta continues to select him.
          And for the record PAL, in my opinion, there has NEVER been a better player than DB10 to wear an Arsenal shirt, and I doubt there ever will be.

          1. You once again prove that you’re either not watching Arsenal games, or that you are, but you do not understand how team sports work.

            Ozil maybe playing all the time, but that doesn’t mean he’s contributing anything. He retains the ball well, and that’s about it! It’s been the likes of Saka, Martinelli, Auba, etc that have been actually producing consistent, quality performances. I am not saying Ozil has been awful, but he’s not been producing the goods like others in the team have been, by an absolute country mile!

            Before you say, well why is Arteta playing him then…well I do not know. But constantly playing the likes of Bellerin, Xhaka, Ozil, Luiz, etc, clearly hasn’t been helping us. I have been really impressed with Arteta so far, but he has been making some awful team selections, which have been costing us. Just look at the shocker against Olympiakos! How on earth did Martinelli not start that game?

          1. TMJW- so you didn’t actually mention anyone other than Ozil – Pepe? Has he been consistent? Lacazette?Ceballos? Nketiah ? Why only Ozil PAL? And the ones you do mention have all shown an improvement under Arteta, have they not? Results are better all round. Performances are not consistent but at least we are playing as a team under Arteta.And one last point PAL. When I go to a game, that I can assure you is practically every week, home, away, Europe, I support the team. Surely that’s what being a supporter is don’t you think

          2. So name those that have compared DB with MO.

            It’s not a hard thing to do, as you have the details I assume?

            You make yourself open to ridicule with your baseless accusations – not one other fan has backed up your ridiculous claim, simply because it isn’t true.

            Yet again, your negativity has turned a tribute to the greatest player ever into a war of words over Ozil… my description of you as being the grim reaper once again holds true – have you nothing else to do down under except to spread doom and gloom?

            So, let’s see you back up your words and name any single person on this site who has compared these two players.

          3. I never said you weren’t a supporter Phil, it’s your knowledge of the game is what I am questioning. You keep saying how Ozil is contributing the same as anyone, and it’s statements like that, that makes me question you. Anyone with a set of eyes can see how wrong that is. The only reason I keep mentioning Ozil is because that’s who we’re talking about, but if you had ever bothered to read any of my comments on other articles, you’ll notice I talk about other flops just as much.

            In fact, I have talked about Luiz far more than any of our other players this season. I think Ozil gets mentioned a lot by everyone is because he’s the biggest waste of money in our history.

            Of course things have improved under Arteta, but it’s factually wrong to suggest that Ozil has played a key role in that improvement.

        1. ken1945, mate you have a fantastic opportunity to show me up then. Clearly you think I am lying, so speak with Admin about searching through old articles, or better still, do it yourself you slanderer!

          1. So in actual fact, you have no example of any fan on here comparing DB with MO then, but Instead want Pat to search the site to see if he can help back up your lies?

            As I said, you’ve turned a tribute to our best player in living memory into a Ozil debate yet again.

            Still nobody backing your argument up of course, just as no one expects a statue erected for Ozil, the point of the whole four articles of course – you just can’t see beyond your absolute negativity of the club – even to the point of criticising Arteta… you are a complete joke of a so called supporter, when you can’t even enjoy articles about our successful players – God help Australia!!!

          2. Yet again ken1945 you expose yourself as the disgusting, petty person you are. I have told you time and time again not to bother commenting on what I have to say, but you just can’t keep your nose out can you! Always have to be attacking peoples opinions, even if they’re facts! You and Phil are the ones that have decided to make this into an issue, again, not me. I am just defending myself to your ongoing attacks on anything I say.

            Feel sorry for anyone close around you that dares to express their thoughts!

  2. As the person who put the idea of statues to Ivan Gazidis I can help a little with answering the question “why just three of our players have only been awarded the honour of having a statue made in their image”
    Mr Gazidis posed the question of what should be done to make the new stadium more “Arsenal” at a meeting with three members of AISA including myself. I pointed out that if fans at the Emirates who wanted to meet prior to entering could meet away from entrances it would help the flow of people. So if statues were placed at key locations people would say “meet you at Tony Adams” etc.
    At the same meeting I also proposed that the first statue should be Chapman, as a replacement for the bust of Chapman we could previously see by the box office at Highbury. In my notes to Mr Gazidis after that I suggested Chapman should be gazing up at the new stadium as if to say, “I did that.”

    1. Wow Tony that’s a great story, now YOU can look at Chapman as if to say “I did that” lol.
      But you didn’t answer the question as to why there are just three?

    2. Tony, great to have the man who runs “untold arsenal” replying to the article.

      Thanks for the information regarding the statues and your thoughts regarding them as meeting points certainly proved right.

    3. Tony, I have to ask the question. Did you specifically name Adams, Henry and Bergkamp, and did you note any others?
      Not arguing with the three we have, just interested to know if it was you or the Club that decided who were to be given the statues.

  3. TMJW-but it is because you consistently debate Ozil when I feel it is unwarranted. If he plays badly, as he no doubt has done over the seasons, especially the last 3, I’m the first to agree. But it’s fact that no matter what he contributes Ozil attracts criticism that I feel is not fair.He is questioned for his workrate, yet stats show he covers as much ground as anyone. He is slaughtered for not defending.Well he just isn’t a defence minded plaster, who obviously cannot tackle like, say, Torriera, but that’s just not his game. Wrong player at the Club, who has no doubt nor fulfilled his potential? I wouldn’t disagree with this. But not trying and not seeming interested in anything over his salary is something I will never agree to.
    Let’s face it,Ozil will be at this Club until his contract is over.Arteta knows this, and the OBSCENE wage he is paid, which should never be blamed on the player, is probably a reason Arteta will be unlikely to bring in a replacement.The manager is having to work with what he has, and has found a way for the player to fit into a system that “seems” to be providing the team with an outlet that is at least consistent. That’s my opinion, and until the player is gone, and we either buy a replacement or promote from the youth (ESR possibly) Arteta will continue to play Ozil

  4. Another fine article KEN and keep them coming please! I put Dennis a close second behind Thierry as our best ever but will never argue with those who see it the other way around. Almost a coin toss I’d say”

    1. Bergkamp a classy superb player but best Gunner title belongs to Henry who i might add used to choke in finals but for general play he is the best.

  5. Jolly reminisce.
    Yes, every gooner has been looking forward for his return. Except, that he does not want to be the Head Coach or Manager, that’s what I read he said years ago. However, he is ideal quality for such position, passed through Ajax and for sure, Ajax passed through him, which is a club that has and continues to produce great talent. On top of the fact he played The Arsenal Way.

  6. Yes Ken, another briliant article, mind you can’t go wrong talking about Arsenal’s greatest ever player, even Thierry Henry says Bergkamp was the greatest player he ever played with and he played with some real greats. Followed his career as a youngster with Ajax and when he signed I told anyone that would listen”we’ve just signed one of the worlds greatest players and without doubt he proved that and was the catalyst behind Wenger’s great ten years.

    1. Agree 100% Kenny, nice to have a positive disagreement between the fans regarding Dennis or Thierry – both absolute gems and deserving of their statues.

      As you say, commenting on all four statues was an easy one, enjoyed looking through and finding the information as well.

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