Gunners legend Dennis Bergkamp has admitted he initially had doubts about Arsene Wenger when he was appointed Arsenal manager in 1996.
Dennis Bergkamp was not so convinced about Arsene Wenger taking over at Arsenal but it all turned out good with the Frenchman.
The Gunners took the decision to part ways with Bruce Rioch following a bad start to the 1996 campaign and brought in an ‘unknown’ Frenchman to fill in the vacant role.
Arsene Wenger, who previously managed Japanese side Ngoya Grampus was appointed Gunners boss and faced the daunting task of steering the club to sucess.
Just like many others, Bergkamp didn’t know what to expect from the Frenchman. Wenger would end up staying at Arsenal for 22 years, becoming the club’s longest serving manager and was also credited for bringing his unique philosophies to English football.
Bergkamp looks back at the Frenchman’s arrival and shares some insight on what it was like working with Wenger.
“I do remember it was kind of a shock they had to let Bruce go.” The Dutchman told the club’s official podcast.
“We’d not had the best of seasons in 1995-96 but I think it was good enough to progress to the next season with a lot of confidence, but it wasn’t meant to be.
“There were some doubts in my mind but they were soon taken away when Arsene came in because he was the one who had a philosophy that suited my philosophy, it was the same. His philosophy suited my game and therefore there were no doubts once he took over.” Bergkamp added.
“There was a good understanding and from day one we knew what we expected from each other and that’s why it worked.”
Bergkamp himself saw a successful spell with Wenger and was a key figure in the Gunners’ invincibles squad of 03/04 season.