Football

Arsenal future sits in Bergkamp's hands

Bergkamp enjoyed great success under Wenger. (©PAphotos)
Bergkamp enjoyed great success under Wenger. (©PAphotos).

Just over a week ago, former Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti touted his services to the top Barclays Premier League clubs, citing Arsenal as a possible destination for him to work in the future.

And, whilst the Italian has all the credentials to be a success at the Emirates, his appointment would be greeted with a frosty reception in north London given the fans' loyalty to current manager Arsene Wenger.

The club are struggling under the Frenchman in the Barclays Premier League this term, making their worst start in over 50 years and sitting 15th in the table after seven matches.

Pundits and ex-players have already written the season off, with he top four a distant dream at the current time after defeats to Manchester United, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur in the opening fixtures.

Ironically though, this could serve a positive for Arsenal who, if brave enough, could roll the dice in an effort to bring Dutch legend Dennis Bergkamp back to the Emirates - as manager.

The club legend has been working on his coaching skills at another former club, Ajax, alongside fellow ex-Dutch internationals Japp Stam, Frank and Ronald De Boer, Edgar Davids and Bryan Roy.

Bergkamp returned to Holland in 2008 after an invite from the Dutch FA to take his coaching badges, and now works as an assistant for head coach (Frank) De Boer for the Godenzonen.

"When I retired in 2006, I stayed for a further two years in England. I stayed because I wanted to be in England without being a footballer. Playing football was like being trapped in a rhythm and my whole career was like that. You have very little time to switch off. I needed afterwards just to be in London and enjoy it, because I love it," Bergkamp told the Daily Mail.

"Then just as we had to decide whether to stay another year or return to Holland, the Dutch FA invited me to do my badges over here. Then Ajax asked me to coach some of their youth players.


 

"I was working with the Under 12s, then the Under 18s but then last season Johan Cruyff (three European Cups, 10 league titles, seven cups and a World Cup final) came back and wanted to get more ex-players involved. So Frank asked me to be an assistant to him."

Taking tips from a man who has worked inside the Ajax academy wouldn't be the worst of ideas for a club who have, under Wenger at least, enjoyed much success in developing young talent themselves.

Should Bergkamp look to develop his own ideas as the Gunners' chief, then utilising Wenger alongside an in-experienced manager would certainly seem like a positive plan.

His eye for young players is without question, and the right way to thank a manager who has done so much for the club is to allow him to leave his post on top.

Moving to an 'upstairs' position, Wenger could maintain certain powers within the club whilst also having a say in the appointment of the next manager - and surely Bergkamp would fit the bill as a former player liked and respected by both the fans, former players and club hierarchy.

The Dutchman has even admitted that the lure of England is one he's struggling to resist.

"There is something that stays with me, something in my body that wants to go back to England one day as part of a coaching staff," he continued.

"That is always in my mind. I don't miss specific things but I miss the feeling, which I can't really explain. I haven't sold my house there yet."

Whilst the managerial role would represent a sharp increase in pressure on the former Inter Milan star, it is one that the Ice Cool Dutchman appears capable of taking in his stride.

It is, however, a cut-throat industry, particularly in the Barclays Premier League, and that is why getting Bergkamp into Arsenal NOW is so important.

The 42-year-old can work as Wenger's protegee for the remaining eight months of the season, learning the ropes under 'professor' Wenger and slowly gaining more control before taking over at the end of the season.

It's a move that would also appease fans for this season's probable failings, and could also have a knock-on affect in efforts to keep Robin van Persie at the club.

Make no mistake, a move to bring in Bergkamp as the future manager is a gamble, but it's one worth taking for the long-term success of Arsenal Football Club.

Topics:
Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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