Dennis Bergkamp admits it ‘hurts’ watching Arsenal nowadays.
The Dutchman was part of a hugely successful Gunners side, winning three Premier League titles and four FA Cups during an 11-year spell where he also scored 122 goals.
He left the club to retire from playing in 2006 and says the club is very different to the one he remembers.
Speaking to his former team-mate Ian Wright in an interview on his YouTube channel, Bergkamp said: “It [Arsenal] is different, of course, from what I was used to with all the English players and a few foreign players.
“It’s now probably turned the other way around. Sometimes it’s good, but a lot of times, you don’t really feel that it’s the Arsenal how we know it, with the passion and a few players who make the difference.
“It’s different. It’s difficult to say if it’s better or worse, well better, of course, is always shown in trophies, which aren’t there at the moment.
“On one hand, there are so many clubs who have improved so quickly to a high level, whereas Arsenal, maybe improved, but not to that level.
“It’s hard, it’s difficult, it hurts sometimes because you feel about Arsenal that they should do better, but I’m still hoping.”
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Despite ruling out a career as a manager, Bergkamp wants to return to coaching having spent six years as an assistant coach at Ajax, before being sacked in December 2017.
And he told Wright he hopes to eventually return to north London where a statue was erected in his honour in 2014.
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“At the moment it’s a bit difficult, family-wise, I’ve still got a young family, we’re settled [in the Netherlands], but as the kids move on, they’ve got their own plan in life,” the 50-year-old explained.
“Once that happens, I would love to return into coaching, especially in an academy or be maybe even part of a first-team.
“I don’t see myself as a head coach, I enjoy being part of a staff, but not being the main man.”