Football

Dennis Bergkamp will never manage Arsenal

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Dennis Bergkamp has revealed that he is unlikely to ever overcome his fear of flying, effectively ruling out his chances of managing Arsenal in the future.

Bergkamp has had a successful start to his career in management, assisting Frank der Boer in a successful Ajax side for the last two years.

With Arsene Wenger's reign seemingly in their twilight years, speculation of who will succeed Arsenal's most successful manager has gathered pace.

Bergkamp, who scored 120 goals in an 11 year spell with the Gunners, had been tipped as a possible replacement, with Frank der Boer coming in as an assistant in a reverse to the current set up they have in Ajax.

However, in Bergkamp's new book, which describes in detail how his aerophobia developed, the Non-Flying Dutchman stated that he would never take flight again.

Such a claim makes managing a top European club unlikely due to the frequent long distances that have to be travelled for European away days.

In his book 'Stillness and Speed' Bergkamp says: 'It made me feel so awful and I began to develop such an aversion to it that it suddenly dawned on me: "I don't want to do this any more".

"It got so bad I would look up at the sky during away games to see what the weather was like. Were there any clouds coming? Sometimes I was preoccupied by the flight home while I was playing football. It was hell.

"I've flown countless times in large planes, small ones, tiny ones. At Ajax, I once flew in a minuscule plane over Mount Etna near Naples when we got into a terrible air pocket – in terms of flying, I've seen and done it all and I'm simply not flying again. Ever."

Bergkamp went on to reveal that his refusal to fly cost him during his time at Arsenal, who would deduct money from his pay because he couldn't take part in many European games.

"In talks with Arsenal, if I said 'a million' they automatically deducted a hundred grand 'because you don't fly', he said. "And I accepted that.'

The Arsenal legend has, however, been linked with a return to the club as head of the academy. Current boss Liam Brady will retire after the end of this season and the Daily Mirror reported in April that Bergkamp was seen as the perfect man to inspire the next generation of Arsenal stars.  

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Topics:
Football
Arsenal
Dennis Bergkamp

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