Dennis Bergkamp has said that his former club Arsenal should go back to their English roots in order to satisfy their trophy-thirst that has now gone unfulfilled for almost seven years.
The Gunners last lifted a major trophy back in 2005, when they defeated Manchester United in the FA Cup final, and Bergkamp was a part of that side.
But since then, there have been no title glories or cup successes for a club that was used to winning trophies every season. Like many Arsenal fans, Bergkamp is also fed up of his beloved club’s trophy drought and he believes that coach Arsene Wenger should now tell his players to man up and adopt a more ‘English’ style of play.
Speaking in a recent interview with the Daily Telegraph, Bergkamp said, “I feel there are a lot of similar players there at the moment. It needs to be more diverse. You need a few strong characters who can get the team going, in training as well as matches.”
“I don’t know if the English mentality is missing a little bit. We had it with the back four, of course, who had the mentality of thinking, ‘OK, this game is ours now.’ Sometimes I see their games and it’s always the same way of playing, a bit too predictable. They are all fantastic players, that must be said, but sometimes you need a bit more of the other side.”
Bergkamp, who is currently helping Ajax prepare for their upcoming Europa League meeting with Manchester United, also thinks that Arsenal rely too much on his fellow Dutchman Robin van Persie for goals.
“You also need a few players who can make a difference in terms of scoring goals. I don’t feel there are enough of them. You look at the midfield and compare it with ours. We had Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Ray Parlour – when it wasn’t working for one of the big names, one of these could step up. You can’t only depend on one or two players. When they’re having an off day, you need someone else.”
Wenger was under immense pressure at the start of January because of his team’s three-match winless streak in the league. But since then, they have registered back-to-back wins against Blackburn Rovers and Sunderland, which have propelled them back to the fourth position on the league table above Chelsea and provided some breathing space for the Frenchman.
However, after tonight’s comprehensive 4-0 defeat at the hands of AC Milan in their away Champions League fixture, the Arsenal boss could again be the target of his own fans’ anger. But Bergkamp has trust in Wenger’s managerial skills and he has backed his former mentor to turn around the club’s ailing fortunes once again.
When asked if Wenger might be considering the idea of leaving Arsenal, the Non-Flying Dutchman replied, “He can’t just let go. He would think he hasn’t finished there yet. He would want to finish on a high or at least do something that makes the team successful again. So I think he will wait and push as hard as possible to achieve that before he leaves.”
“I’ve worked with Arsene for 11 years and it goes up and down. You do well, then you need some time to rebuild, then you do well again. But the thing now is that he isn’t winning any trophies. That’s what I was talking about earlier. Sometimes you just need to win something by showing a certain attitude to get the team going again. That isn’t happening at the moment so it is a bit of a struggle.”
“But I wouldn’t say that’s down to Wenger because he has been fantastic and he still is fantastic for the club. He brings in young players and sells them on for more money. Financially, he’s doing great.”