Bergkamp vs Özil: A Comparison


God’s manifestations on earth are well known amongst both the religious and non-religious communities. His first coming was as Jesus, being born in a manger to the Virgin Mary and ultimately being dubbed the saviour of men on earth.

He went on to perform miracles, such as feeding the 5000 with no more than a little bit of fish and a few bits of bread. Then came his great sacrifice, to die on the cross in order to forgive the sins of mankind.

He rose again in order to appear to people over a period of 40 days before finally ascending to heaven to sit with God.

There was however, a little known third coming, made apparent largely to football fans. On May 10th, 1969, God took the form of a newly born Dutch boy, and was named Dennis Bergkamp.

This time, he had no intention of feeding the 5000 or turning water in to wine. Instead, the miracles he performed were with a football, in front of  38,000 people at Highbury.

He is regarded as one of the best players to have played in English football’s top division and is considered by many Arsenal fans to be the best player to ever pull on an Arsenal shirt.

During 423 appearances for Arsenal, Bergkamp accumulated a total of 124 assists and 120 goals. His first touch was often likened to that of a higher power and in front of him to help finish off his good work was Thierry Henry; the clubs highest ever goal scorer.

At Arsenal Bergkamp won three premier league trophies, four FA Cups and four community shields. By the time his Arsenal career came to an end he had made sure that his name would go down in the Arsenal history books.

It is probably fair to say that since the Bergkamp era, we haven’t ever replaced him with anyone who is as naturally gifted as he was, largely because there are very few players out there on that level. But now, we have Mesut Özil.

Photo via Kieran Clarke -
Photo via Kieran Clarke –

Bruce Rioch has said it is unfair to compare Özil to Bergkamp, due to Özil only being a creator, as opposed to a goal scorer as well. But I see no harm in a little comparison.

Özil’s arrival has been very well received by Arsenal fans, and judging by the amount of shirt sales his signing has generated, he will soon become a fan favourite. His arrival at the Emirates has been compared to Bergkamp’s arrival at Highbury time and time again since his deadline day move to Arsenal.

Over the course of Özil’s career he has made 358 appearances, assisting in 147 goals and scoring 60 himself. At the age of 24, that’s a very impressive record, deserving of his nickname the ‘king of the assist’.

A key factor, which will of course affect Mesut’s assist rate, is the striker he has in front of him. Where Bergkamp had Henry, Özil has Giroud. After a good first season in 2012/2013, his good form has continued this season. His off-the-ball movement towards goal is brilliant and is easily one of the strongest aspects of his game.

He is getting more confident with every game that passes and if he continues to keep scoring, the Özil Giroud combination could be one that frightens premier league defenders.

Given his young age, Özil has the potential to gain a status similar to that of Dennis Bergkamp, and if his current rate of assists continues, he could enjoy a long and prosperous career in North London.


Header Photo via nicksarebi-

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