Dennis Bergkamp joins three other Arsenal legends immortalized in bronze monuments outside London’s most modern stadium. His statue was unveiled today, ahead of Arsenal-Sunderland game.
Tony Adams, Herbert Chapman and Thierry Henry had theirs presented in late 2011, now it’s time for Dennis Bergkamp to join the pack of Arsenal legends. Trained initially by Ajax, the player spent 11 long years at Arsenal.
The 44-year-old Dutchman admitted it’s a special moment of his life. "I spoke to Thierry Henry last night and he warned me about this moment, he said 'you will be fine until you have to talk a little bit, and you will be emotional', that happens to me now," said Bergkamp.
"All this makes you realise how many good years we had here and how big this club has become over the last 20 years. I was just happy to play a role in that.”
The statue immortalizes Bergkamp taking control of the ball while in the air. Previously announced to be installed in mid-2013, it arrived later than expected. It’s another step by Arsenal to add more identity to the Emirates Stadium, widely criticized over the past years for being soulless.
Despite large expenses and marketing efforts the club still faces criticism. Recent protests and appeals regarded extremely high ticket prices and lack of proper football atmosphere on matchdays. Fans urge Arsenal to drop the prices, relieve young fans’ finances and support new singing section, ideally with safe standing, should legislation allow it.