Whilst rumours over the past day may suggest that Arsene Wenger is swaying towards another season with the club after this campaign, it doesn’t stop the stories and questions surrounding who his potential successor could be. Diego Simeone and Jochaim Low may be big names in the limelight, but Arsenal have also been linked with the lesser known managerial gems of Eddie Howe and even our very own former player Dennis Bergkamp.
Bergkamp who retired from professional football with the Gunners after many glorious years in North London under Arsene Wenger, has always been one name to be tipped as a potential candidate to take over the Arsenal post once Wenger decides enough is enough. The former forward currently has a role in management at Dutch side Ajax, where he admits he is very happy, but there are also hints he could soon be ready to take the next step up as a manager elsewhere.
Of course the rumours then set in and the media links Bergkamp’s interest with the potential slot available at Arsenal in the not too distant future. But would Bergkamp seriously return to London with Arsenal?
Speaking about his career at this point, Bergkamp said: “At the moment I am happy in my role at Ajax. I have a say in sporting terms and in policy making. Besides this I like being on the training pitch with the first team and helping the players improve, so at the moment I’m happy. Though I won’t rule out making a move to another country and working abroad in the future, either as a coach or in another staff position.”
It’s the last line of his statement where the media make their links to Arsenal and of course there’s no doubt that he probably would be interested in working with Arsenal again if the chance was to arise. However realistically I don’t think there’s a possibility of Bergkamp coming back to the Gunners, mainly hinging on the fact that he does not like flying. It was a well known fact during his time at Arsenal, that Bergkamp did not like flying at all and as a result of this, he missed many key games for the Gunners.
If it was the case where he was the Arsenal manager, this would put a strain on the club’s fixtures in Europe, as well even long trips to other part of England where Arsenal choose to fly rather than use other modes of transport. Not having the club’s team manager present for these games, or reduced time in preparation is exactly the reason for why Henry wasn’t allowed to coach the Arsenal youth team and stay at Sky Sports at the same time. I therefore highly doubt they would allow such a case regarding the first team managers position!
I have no doubt that Bergkamp would have the right ideas and an interesting philosophical approach to the game. In fact I think Bergkamp shares a similar approach to Arsene Wenger when it comes to understanding the game and how it should be played. Bergkamp would therefore be in a similar position to Wenger when he joined as a relatively unknown figure in football management, with extremely little experience.
Would Bergkamp be someone the big bosses at Arsenal would be interested in? Personally I don’t think they would be interested in appointing him as the club manager, but it would no doubt be good to have the Dutch master back at the club in some coaching capacity.