No one would be more heartened by the appearance of Dennis Bergkamp in the Arsenal Dream Team than the other members of our all-time XI.
That's because the Dutch master was the ultimate players' player, a man whose touch, awareness and vision made life a whole lot easier for those around him. Ask pretty much all his peers for their No 1 team-mate and they would name Dennis without hesitation. He really was that good.
When you see how he lives it's a great example... he is fantastic on the pitch and off the pitch.Robin van Persie
If our Dream Team ever became reality, Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn could look up and know that Dennis would be finding space to receive a pass to feet. Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires could time their runs into the box, knowing that Dennis would hold the ball up and release it at the opportune moment. And his strike partner - whoever that might be - could spin off the shoulder of the last defender knowing that a through-ball would be heading his way.
Dennis' team play was imperious and if he wasn't picking passes or laying chances on a plate for others he would be converting them himself, usually with a measure of style.
So many of the 120 goals he scored in an Arsenal shirt were special: the outrageous spin at Newcastle, the balletic poise at Leicester, the belter against Bolton, the lob against Leverkusen… the list goes on and on.
According to the fans who voted in our Gunners' Greatest Goals poll in 2009, Dennis can lay claim to two of the best four strikes in the Club's history. So it's no surprise to see him feature so strongly in this summer's vote - he was named in 82 per cent of the teams submitted.
Dennis' arrival at Highbury in 1995 signalled a shift from 'Boring Boring Arsenal' to 'Scoring Scoring Arsenal', his signing a statement of intent and the catalyst for a new era of success. Arsène Wenger later claimed that the Dutchman's presence was "a blessing, a gift when I arrived".
How the Frenchman would love to manage this Bergkamp-inspired Dream Team.
NO 10 DENNIS BERGKAMP
Selected in 82 per cent of teams
He has intelligence and class. Class is, of course, most of the time linked to what you can do with the ball, but the intelligence makes you use the technique in an efficient way. It's like somebody who has a big vocabulary so he can talk intelligently, and that's what Dennis is all about. What he does, there's always a head and always a brain. And his technique allows him to do what he sees.Arsène Wenger
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5 Jul 2011