Dennis Bergkamp had to get used to the physicality of the English game (Picture: Getty Images)Dennis Bergkamp struggled with the physicality of the English game when he moved to Arsenal and Ian Wright says he had to tell him to start ‘leaving a bit’ on opposition players.The Dutchman arrived at Arsenal in the summer of 1995 for a then club record transfer fee of £7.5m but had a slow start to life in north London.Wright says this was due to the physical nature of the Premier League at the time and Bergkamp not being used to it after his career in Holland and Italy to that point.After another failure in a cup game against Hartlepool, Wright felt like he had to step in and teach Bergkamp how to deal with the aggression of English defenders.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I remember when he started he went about eight or nine games where it wasn’t going well for him, people were bullying him, he was kicked and went down pretty easily,’ Wright told the BBC. Comment Advertisement Phil HaighThursday 16 Apr 2020 8:54 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link181Shares Bergkamp and Wright enjoyed great success at Arsenal (Picture: Getty Images)‘We played a game against Hartlepool, it was the game before Southampton (when he scored his first two goals) the press did a massive piece on how poor he was, how he couldn’t score past a second string goalkeeper and I remember a few games before that I said to him: “Dennis, you’re going to have to start leaving a bit and letting people know you’re there.”‘He was 6ft 2in he was wiry he could put himself about, he could look out for himself. I told him you can’t leave yourself so open, you’ve got to leave something and let people know you’re not going to be kicked every single day. ‘Dennis was cute, he was cute the way he’d leave his foot in.’More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man CityBergkamp would go on to play 11 seasons with the Gunners, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups, scoring 120 goals for the club.Wright says the Dutchman was the catalyst to all the success achieved under Arsene Wenger and believes he is even the greatest signing in the club’s history.‘All the success we had was built upon what Dennis Bergkamp brought to us as a football player. Absolutely magnificent for our club,’ Wright continued.‘The best signing we’ve ever made in respect of the way it changed the DNA of Arsenal football club.’MORE: Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang a ‘great priority’ for Real Madrid this summerMORE: Ian Wright explains why Dennis Bergkamp is Arsenal’s greatest ever signingFollow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.For more stories like this, check our sport page. Ian Wright reveals the chat which kick-started Dennis Bergkamp’s Arsenal career Advertisement
It raises doubt on fairness, equity and sincerity of purpose in the entire bidding exercise given the fact that one zone alone, out of the six geo-political zones in the country, was alloted three cities namely Benin, Uyo and Asaba while the South West was given two slots (venues) in Lagos alone.Agreed that some parts of the country may not be favourably disposed towards female participation in sports, the South East is certainly a home for women football.That such a zone was not considered by the NFF and the Bid Committee is unacceptable. That the South East which has been the nation’s feeding/recruitment ground for female footballers in the country since the commencement of the women game was suspiciously omitted in the provisional choice of cities to host the proposed FIFA Women World Cup is unfair and unjustifiable.The South East, over the years, has produced more than 70% of national team players in all tiers of the female national football teams. Same goes with clubs in the women domestic league in the country. It therefore becomes very surprising if not shocking to observe that the zone with five states and world class football stadia and solid sporting facilities was exempted in the provision of cities for the global sporting fiesta.Moreover, the South Eastern governors have shown immense commitment towards sporting excellence in the country. These are factors that should have been considered while this decision of national importance is being contemplated.Recently, Imo State governor, Emeka Ihedioha voted millions of naira for the rehabilitation of the Dan Anyiam Stadium to prove his commitment towards taking sports to the next level in the state in particular and the nation at large. Ihedioha made it clear during his campaigns before his election into office that sports will be giving a paramount place in his administration to engage our youths gainfully and take them off the streets. This will further act as catalysts to curbing crime. With less than 100 days in office, the former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives has lived upto his pledges, promises and campaign vows. He is fast turning Imo State into the sporting centre of the entire South East.“It is expected that these should have been considered by the bid team constituted by the NFF while coming up with its decision or choice of host cities for the proposed sporting event.“On these premises, one can only call on the NFF and its bid team/committee to do a rethink, beat a fast retreat and make a bold u-turn in this unfair decision to exempt the South East from this “developmental project”. You don’t deny the hen that lays the golden egg her honour of feeding, even if you decide not to give her more food than others!”concludes Ndubuoke.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Former board member of the nation’s soccer governing body, NFF, Chief Fan Ndubuoke has faulted the NFF on the choice of cities chosen to host next year’s FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, should Nigeria get the nod of the world soccer governing body.Ndubuoke in a statement yesterday, noted that the NFF erred by ignoringcities in the South East zone, even as he called for a rethink.The statement by Ndubuoke: “The decision of the nation’s football governing body, NFF to ignore and exempt the South East among the cities selected across the geo-political zones in the country considered to host the proposed FIFA U -20 Women World Cup next year is to say the least most unfortunate, unacceptable, very questionable and above all, insensitive.