I’ll be honest; I was a little lazy this week in trying to dig out another goal that meant so much when it was scored. However, luckily for me, 20 years ago today the Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp set foot at Highbury. I will take this opportunity to be shameless about my laziness and simply pick up one of Bergkamp’s most memorable goals.
He’s scored several of them but the one that sticks out for me is that piece of magic versus Newcastle.
You can watch it first before I briefly delve into why this is one goal I can never get over:
It’s the little flick that has had me mesmerized ever since it happened! It’s no ordinary flick.
Recently a vine was doing the rounds on social media of Zelalem outfoxing his marker with, what was described as, Bergkamp-esque skill. Please watch this as well:
MASSIVE difference between the two!
Dennis’ flick came from the INSIDE of his LEFT boot. Let me repeat: the INSIDE, of his WEAKER foot. Bloody hell, I couldn’t even flick the ball with such finesse – ensuring it travels in the right trajectory and weight to JUST evade the defender – using the inside of my right foot!
Zelalem’s move used the outside of his boot, not that difficult really. It’s a lot easier to execute; essentially it’s not even a flick when you execute such a skill using the outside of your boot. You just have to make sure you angle your foot right (ever so slightly inward) and that the ball grazes the outside of your boot – the upper-middle part of it. To turn the defender after touching the ball requires timing and confidence.
Coming back, how on earth Dennis did it with the inside of his left, with such accuracy, I’ll never know. Does he talk about it in detail in his autobiography? I need to get my hands on that!
I think I’ll be watching a bit of the Arsenal Centurions Dennis Bergkamp video after this!
By the way, one of my other favorite goals of his comes in the Orange shirt in the ’98 World Cup QF versus Argentina. I won’t go into details about how new I was to football then (though you can read about it here on my personal blog) but let’s just say that’s the first time I got a PROPER look at the Dutch legend and I was awed by the 3 touches he took to score such a brilliant goal.
However, since it was in the Orange shirt, I thought I shouldn’t focus on that here!
Anyway until Part 2 to follow – Did he mean it?