In a recent vote the BBC announced that Thierry Henry was the best overseas player to feature in the premier league. 250,000 votes were cast and Henry got 45% of those but I have to argue the fact and the outcome. From an Arsenal point of view, Henry is certainly high on anyone’s list but everyone is forgetting about one player who was unfortunately not even in the list, Dennis Bergkamp.
Thierry Henry has been voted BBC's best-ever Overseas Player in the Premier League. pic.twitter.com/BaiHfrOXlb
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) March 24, 2019
From an objective view, Henry is alongside the likes of Zola, Cantona and Ronaldo with his impressive record of 175 goals and 74 assists in 258 appearances.
However, he’s not the best player, the best player wasn’t on the list. Denis Bergkamp has that accolade with or without the endorsement of the BBC or the absent minded British public.
The fact that Bergkamp is missing is an absolute freaking insult in my opinion. How can you overlook a creative talent that has given the game so much credibility and class in his ten years in this Country.
Anyone who wants to offer Henry’s record as proof of the Frenchman’s credentials would be advised to consider who assisted in a great many of those goals. Yes, Henry executed his goals well, with an air of superiority that comes with that level of class. He was also a vital ingredient in Arsenal’s success but without Bergkamp, Arsenal and Henry would not have fared so well.
The Dutch master had the vision of a man at the top of his game, the imagination of someone who was several levels above his opponents and at times, even his team mates. Bergkamp had the skill, the brain, the temperament and the professionalism, to achieve success in any team in the world but he chose Arsenal.
No idea how Dennis Bergkamp is not there!!!! ⬇️⬇️⬇️ https://t.co/fiy9AOodu4
— Paul Dawes (@dawesy2801) March 24, 2019
The partnership between Henry and Bergkamp took a few seasons to become one of the best in the club’s history.
Henry arrived in 1999 and would not become a regular feature in the side for two more campaigns but in 2001/02 Henry and Bergkamp were recognised as the best in the country.
Anyone lucky enough to be around at that time, will arguably have witnessed the best Arsenal side in living memory.
One which provided a style of attractive, attacking football which set it apart from everyone else and resulted in universal acclaim.
Bergkamp’s contribution was his creative genius, which was at its peak at this time and it was matched by the appetite and willingness of his French apprentice, who came in off the flanks to join a partnership that was almost telepathic.
Bergkamp had a quite calmness and a brilliant understanding of space, angles and the action of those around him.
Often anticipating their movements well before they knew what they were going to do themselves.
His touch was sublime and the older he got, the better he became. He was never fast, Bergkamp didn’t need to be with his level of ball control, besides Bergkamp had others around him that could race into space, knowing that he could deliver the perfect ball into their path or straight to their feet.
Dennis Bergkamp immortal goal vs Newcastle United pic.twitter.com/64kVOyvlto
— Football Sweets ⚽🍭 (@FootballlSweets) March 18, 2019
Henry is aware of Bergkamp’s genius and declared recently that he was the best player he’d ever worked with.
Better than both Zidane and Messi.
Henry told Sky Sports:
‘Because of longevity, and because I saw him every day in training for seven years, Bergkamp.
‘Why? Because he was always doing what the game was asking him to do.”
He went on
‘He was always trying to respect the game when he could do other stuff. I respected him a lot for that but also the way he trained. The way he used to train was just not normal.
‘The guy didn’t want to lose the ball; he would foul you; get in your face; he wants to be first in the run”
Unsurprisingly, Henry would be second in my list with Zola ahead of Ronaldo in 3rd and 4th. As for the number one, I suspect even Henry would agree with me, that Bergkamp was far and away the first choice.