Dennis Bergkamp and Martin Keown on where Arsenal's decline began
CAPE TOWN – Former Arsenal star Dennis Bergkamp believes Arsene Wenger’s decision to dispence with the 4-4-2 formation was the cause of the club’s decline.
Under Wenger, Bergkamp was a crucial cog as the club won three Premier League titles between 1998 and the undefeated 2003/04 season.
Arsenal failed to kick on after their undeated season, and the team immediately went into a decline that continues to this season.
According to the Dutchman, the problems at Arsenal started when Wenger started experimenting with the positions on the field.
“Arsenal after 2006, there was too much midfield play. There were no players going into attack, and only one striker who was lonely,” Bergkamp told former team-mate Martin Keown.
Keown agreed, saying: “With fine in midfield. Instead of having you there, he had Cesc Fabregas. You start high then drift into midfield.
“Then Wenger reversed it. Then the player started deep and went high, as Fabregas did. Many years later I spoke with a big-name winger at Arsenal. I asked him: ‘Why do you always stay wide?’ Play with freedom. Be instinctive. That’s what the boss wants.”