DENNIS Bergkamp admitted that ‘it hurts’ to watch the changing face of Arsenal compared to his old club.
The iconic former striker was instrumental in Arsenal’s success during his illustrious 11-year career at the club, scoring 122 goals and helping win three title triumphs in that time.
But things have been on the decline since they last won the title in 2004.
The team haven’t qualified for the Champions League for the last three seasons and are in a transitional phase after manager Arsene Wenger was replaced by Unai Emery in 2018.
The Gunners’ meek performance in their recent 1-1 draw with Manchester United summed up how far they have fallen.
During an interview with team-mate Ian Wright, Bergkamp acknowledged their recent performances leave a lot to be desired.
He said: “It’s different of course to what I was used to, with English players and a few foreign, now it’s moved the other way.
“Sometimes it’s good but a lot of times you don’t really feel that it’s Arsenal as we know it.”
“You know, with the passion and a few players that make a difference.
“It’s difficult to say whether it is better or worse, but better is always shown in trophies, which aren’t there at the moment.”
Arsenal boast a collection of talented footballers, but the 50-year old isn’t convinced that the North Londoners are matching the progress of other teams in the Premier League such as Liverpool or Manchester City.
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He said: “On the one hand, there are so many clubs who improved so quickly to a high level, whereas Arsenal, maybe improved, but not to that level.
“It’s hard, it’s difficult and it hurts sometimes.
“You feel sometimes that Arsenal should do better but I’m still hoping.”
While Arsenal’s future remains uncertain, Bergkamp plans on making a coaching return.
He was a coach at Ajax until he was sacked in 2017 but hopes to return soon.
Bergkamp said: “I would love to return into coaching, especially in an academy or be maybe even part of a first-team.”