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Celebrating the anniversary of Dennis Bergkamp’s arrival at Highbury

When the wonderful Dennis Bergkamp arrived on this day in 1995 he obviously had no notion what was going to happen.  His life in Italy had been miserable, as the media had regularly made fun on him and his alleged inability to get through a match without making a howler.

In his first season at Arsenal he played 41 games and scored 16 goals, and I guess he was fairly happy with that under Rioch.  But of course neither Dennis nor anyone else on the playing staff would know that Rioch was then suffer the worst Arsenal pre-season of all time, be sacked, and then replaced by someone who actually knew what Dennis could do.  Nor that he would get a statue either.  (The Arsenal History Society takes credit for that).

Across the next 11 seasons he played 423 games for the club, and scored 120 goals.  It was in fact over half his career.  He won three League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal.

Here are the anniversaries.

21 June 1919:  Admiral Ludwig von Reuter, fearful that the German fleet might be taken over by the British navy, which had interned it in Scapa Flow, scuttled the whole fleet.  52 vessels sank, and all but seven were eventually salvaged and the metal reused.

21 June 1951: Alan Hudson born.  He was rejected Fulham after a trial as a schoolboy but then signed for Chelsea Juniors.  After six years in the first team squad he moved to Stoke, and then in 1976 to Arsenal. After a period of alcoholism, being declared bankrupt and a very serious road accident which left him unable to walk without crutches, he re-invented himself as an author. 

21 June 1958   George Swindin became manager.  He was the final manager after the Shaw – Allison – Whittaker – Crayston sequence who had worked for the club in various guises before becoming manager but he was not a success.  He died in 2005 aged 90.

21 June 1982: Pat Jennings gave a masterclass in goalkeeping in N Ireland 1 Honduras 1 in the world cup.

21 June 1995: Dennis Bergkamp arrived from Inter where he had played just 52 league games.  He had been attacked by the press in Italy where a column highlighting the worst mistake of the weekend’s games was named Bergkamp della settimana  See also here.    And particularly about Inter, here.    

21 June 2002: Seaman, Cole and Campbell played in the 4-2 defeat of Croatia as England qualified for the European championship quarter finals

21 June 2004: Thierry Henry scored twice in France’s defeat of Switzerland 3-1.  As a result France finished top of their European Championship grop.

21 June 2014: Chuks Aneke left Arsenal on a free transfer to Zulte Waregem.  He never played for Arsenal in the league, but subsequently played regularly for the Belgium club. In 2016 he joined MK Dons and in 2019 moved to Charlton Athletic appearing 12 times for their first team in the 2019/20 season.

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