Many great players have passed through the great gates of Arsenal and amongst the larger army is the famous Dutchman Dennis Bergkamp. The Dutch striker arrived at Arsenal after a failed project in Italy with Inter Milan. Dennis Bergkamp has revealed how he ended up at the Serie A giants and that included turning down advances from Spanish giants Barcelona.
“I got along well with the president. President [Massimo] Moratti loves football, he assured me that there would be changes and asked me to stay, when I left, he was sorry,” Bergkamp told Four Four Two in an interview granted 3 years old but recently released to the internet.
“Before I went to Inter [Johan] Cruijff did not want me to move to AC Milan, he wanted me to accompany him to Barcelona but Serie A was in the top at the time.
“Milan were excluded from the choices because I did not want to go and play there. Gullit, Rijkaard and Van Basten had already played and therefore only Juventus and Inter were left.
“Inter’s leader gave me many promises, among other things, that we would play a more attacking football. We did, yes, but only the first month.
“I got along with everyone, from Bergomi to Ferri and Battistini, as well as with Berti. I was only disappointed with Rubén Sosa because we could have been able to do so much more on the pich, but perhaps I bothered him a little. But I repeat, off the pitch, we had no problems.
“The relationship with the press? They expected that I would talk every day, I did not want to do that and it annoyed them. In England, I received criticism because I didn’t score a goal in the first 7-8 games and I didn’t care if I fit in with the football.
“But in Italy they invented the most ridiculous stories. When I cut my hair they said I couldn’t handle the pressure.”
Interesting thoughts from Bergkamp. It is obvious from all he said that some of the reasons why he left Inter was Inter’s lack of attacking football on a persistent basis and also the problematic nature of the Italian press. Seems the Dutchman is a quiet person who wanted his space and less intrusion. Just like the Spaniards, the Dutch has flair and always wanted to express themselves. Inter didn’t give him that opportunity, Arsenal offered him and he jumped ship immediately.
Bruce Rioch might not have made any real impact in his short stint at Arsenal but we need to be grateful to him for landing us the great Dutchman that would eventually flourish under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger.