Date:Saturday May 20 2006
With all the drama of the Champions League Final and Thierry Henry signing on the dotted line to become one of the all time Arsenal legends, THE greatest Premiership import has slipped silently away into the background, but he will never be forgotten.
The Iceman has presented some of the most wonderful football moments the world has ever seen, whether for club or country, Bergkamp has always produced & for this, I will always be grateful.
His crowning glory, in my personal opinion, was his goal at St. James' Park that had the world debating whether what he did was intentional. His touch and turn round Nikos Dabizas was the most sublime piece of quick thinking genius ever, and a skill that would have been impossible to pull off by accident, infact, had he not known what was coming next, there would have been no way he would have been first to the ball. However, I can understand why supporters the world over doubted whether it was intentional, infact, I must have watched the goal about 30 times before I could fathom what the Dutch master had done. Football turned into an art form in the blink of an eye.
His goals against Argentina, Leicester, Southampton, Bolton, FC Thun, West Brom, England & Birmingham need no explination, infact the mention of our Dennis' name and the team draws the image of the goal from the minds eye with no need for viedo clips or dvd's. Dennis's goals were so special that they can be never taken from our memory.
It was not only his goals that made him a genius, but his eye for a pass and the vision possessed by the greatest Dutch player since Cruyff. The epitome of this was his assist he gave to Freddie Ljungberg in the Champions League against Juventus at Highbury. His close control to keep three defenders at bay was out of this world, but to have the vision to not only see Freddie, but to find him aswell was boardering on super human.
Saturday 15th April 2006 saw the last ever 3 o'clock kick off at the famous Highbury stadium, and it followed suit from every other home game in the final season and was given a theme. That days theme was 'Dennis Bergkamp Day'. The fans were kitted out in orange T-shirts (kindly provided by 'red action')in homage to Bergkamp, we watched footage of the great man on the big screens, and fondly recalled memories of the great service he gave to the Gunners. Unfortunately, Dennis began the game on the bench, with us still in hot pursuit of Tottenham for 4th place, Wenger remained professional and didn't let senitment get the better of him, I'm sure Dennis understood. However, when the moment finally came for his big entrance, West Brom decided to spoil the party, scoring the equaliser as chants of 'We got Dennis Bergkamp' still filled the Highbury air. How dare they ruin this special day. But, having been rescued by Bobby Pires, Dennis reminded Arsene Wenger what he had in his team all along, scoring one of the most fitting goals I have ever seen. Picking the ball up 25 yards from goal and bending it into the top corner was what Dennis Bergkamp was all about, and he didn't fail to deliver.
I could write all night about this Arsenal legend, and still not do him justice, so I'll just leave it here & offer thanks to the great man for bringing such joy and inspiration to, not only Arsenal fans, but football lovers around the world.
Football will be a duller place without you.
Thank you so much.
Click Here To See Bergkamps Final Arsenal Goal.
Click Here To See A Bergkamp Compilation.
Date:Saturday May 20 2006
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