Monday, April 17, 2006

Sting scores on Sting Day, Gunners beat Old Boy Kanu

Arsenal 3-1 West Brom. (Hleb, Pires, Bergkamp)

In 1995 Arsenal were a medium sized club with moderate ambition when they were able to sign world class striker Dennis Bergkamp. He was the first big signing for the club and is seen as the starting point for the renaissance that would occur over the following 10 years that transformed Arsenal into what Myles Palmer calls "the biggest medium-sized club in the world". Oh, and he looks a hell of a lot like Sting, too.

121 goals in 420 appearances for Arsenal,

Saturday was Denis Bergkamp day at Highbury, in honor of the Arsenal legend who is hanging up his boots at the end of this season. He is 36 and no longer a regular starter, in fact he did not start on the day in his honor. But he did come on as a sub and scored a nice goal to kill off the game. Kanu, now with West Brom, marked the occasion by being totally invisible (perhaps he felt bad for scoring against Arsenal in WBA's 2-1 win earlier in the year), and Alexsander Hleb marked the occasion by actually taking a shot and scoring.

37 goals in 79 appearances for Holland...

The club also announced over the weekend that his testimonial match will be the first match in the new Emirates Stadium on July 22, 2006. A testimonial match is an exhibition match put on by a club in honor of a player who has played at a club for a very long time and contributed to the club in a major way. It is given to a rare few that have been instrumental & iconic at a given club (in US baseball, the Padres would have done one for Tony Gwynn, Braves for Smoltz, etc). It is kind of a going-away present from club to player, and traditionally the gate receipts from ticket sales are given to the player as a sending off. Anyhow, good for him - he has been loyal to the club over the years when he could have gone elsewhere and made more money.

...and 17 million albums sold

Here is a good video of some of DB10's greatest goals, including a dutch dude completely losing his mind calling Bergkamp's last minute winner to knock Argentina out of World Cup 94 and put Holland in the semifinals (basically the Dutch version of "Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott! Lindsay Scott!").


Anonymous said...

I'll always remember him (along with Overmars) for that goal he scored against Argentina during France 98. Great player. Some of my friends who are more into Serie A, however, still maintain he was/is wildly overrated because he failed in Italy (same applies to Henry actually). I don't buy it. Different leagues suit different styles and the Serie A just didn't suit either Bergkamp or Henry. Not their fault. Serie A didn't suit Baggio either.

Kanu said...

I agree with you that your hubristic Serie A friend are very mistaken. He didn't 'fail' at Inter because their league is vastly superior to the EPL. He didn't work out because they were using him in a sqaure peg/round hole way. They used him a a lone target man that they would pump long balls to, and this couldn't be further from his style - that is why he failed. At Arsenal he got to play the 'deep' role in a 4-4-2, sitting behind the forward striker and creating/feeding others as well as creating for himself.

Lots of players suck on one team but excel on another, and much of it has to do with the team's system and how they are utilized in that system.