Bergkamp lifts lid on 'childish' fallings out with Wenger

Bergkamp Euro 96

Two of Arsenal's most iconic figures often clashed in juvenile ways, according to Bergkamp.

'Not many times but it did happen,' an honest claim made in 'Stillness and Speed', the autobiography by former Ajax, Arsenal and Netherlands trequartista Dennis Bergkamp, as adapted by Sam Wallace.

Bergkamp was brought to Arsenal by Bruce Rioch in 1995. He already had a reputation as one of the greatest second strikers in Europe due to his earlier performances at Internazionale and Ajax, his touch was deft, his passing was artistic and his vision was ingenious and, under the later tutelage of Arsene Wenger, the Dutchman flourished all the way until he retired in 2006.

However, relations between Bergkamp and Wenger were not always rosy. He continued: 'With respect [there was] no swearing or name-calling. It would happen on the field when he told me I wasn't playing.

See also: 5 things Arsenal must do to win the Premier League

See also: Arsenal could secure second Galactico as Real target Falcao

'Even late on, when I was 35 or 36, he would say: 'Do you still want to come to the game? Do you want to be on the bench?' And he'd leave the decision to me. I don't know what he was thinking. Was it like 'I'd rather not have you there' or 'I've got so much respect for you?' Of course I knew when I was 35 or 36 that I couldn't play every game. But within yourself you think you can.'

'The arguments we had were only about those sorts of football-related things. Me playing or not playing. It was very childish, but it came from the heart – from both of us.'

Bergkamp, currently an assistant at his former home - Ajax, also uses 'Stillness and Speed' to discuss his footballing ideology, how the sport should be played and how he sees it in the future. It is priced at £15.99.

image: © nicksarebi

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch