Interview: Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp interested in future role with Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace

Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp was at Selhurst Park to see Crystal Palace beat Watford, and told LondonWorld how he would be interested in working with his former teammate Patrick Vieira in the future.

Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp has revealed that he would be interested in working with Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace in the future - if the opportunity arose.

The non-flying Dutchman was in the stands at Selhurst Park as the Eagles beat Watford on Saturday, matching their points tally from last season which was 44.

In the other dug-out was for former Palace boss Roy Hodgson, who watched on his boyhood club relegate his current side.

When Vieira took over from Hodgson at the start of the season, there were fears that the Eagles could get relegated, with fans of rivals Charlton Athletic singing “see you in the Championship” in a pre-season match.

Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp of Arsenal with the Premier League Trophy (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

However ex-star midfielder has been a huge success, helped by some of his former teammates, such as Claude Makelele, who he has invited to study training sessions and also to matches at Selhurst Park.

And Bergkamp, who now lives in the Netherlands, has been the latest footballing icon to visit Croydon and cast his eye over Vieira’s side on a short trip to London..

The Dutchman was regarded as possibly the best player in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal Invincibles, scoring 87 goals in 315 appearances for the Gunners while winning the Premier League three times and the FA Cup four times.

The midfield genius would have enjoyed watching his former teammate’s proteges exerting their dominance over Watford.

Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira of Arsenal share a joke during the Arsenal Football Club training session at London Colney training ground on April 30, 2004 in London. (Photo by Paul Gilham/Getty Images)

“I’ve really enjoyed watching this season,” Bergkamp told LondonWorld.

“I feel he’s really influencing the team, you can see his imprint on them.

“The way he approaches things and the way they’re playing - you can see his philosophy which is always a good thing.”

And Bergkamp said he thought Palace were mirroring Vieira in his pomp for Arsenal and France.

“Maybe not today but during the season you can tell what his way of playing is - aggressive in midfield and trying to win the ball,” he said.

“Simple passes going forward.

Patrick Vieira watches on during Crystal Palace’s match against Watford. Credit: DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

“Everyone knows the battles he fought in midfield, but outside the pitch there was also a calmness with him, talking tactically about getting the ball in the right areas and letting players play to their strengths.

“That’s what he did as a player and you can see it as a coach.

“He has things sorted where every player has improved over the season and that’s a sign of a good manager.”

Bergkamp himself has been looking for jobs in football, after being assistant manager of Ajax between 2011 and 2017.

And the superstar admitted that he would not turn down an opportunity at Crystal Palace, if he was able to link up with his former Arsenal teammate at Selhurst Park.

“Who knows?” Bergkamp said.

(L-R) Patrick Vieira, Rami Shaaban, Thierry Henry, Pascal Cygan and Dennis Bergkamp (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

“I get along well with Patrick as I said, I admire his calmness and his career.

“Especially the person he is and he’s nice to be around.

“Who knows what will happen in the future?

“It’s not something you create, it’s something that is just there.

“The other day I saw Theirry and he reminded me it’s been 16 years [since they last played together] which is unbelievable.

“We speak over the phone but it’s how it goes. It felt like only the day before we’d seen each other.

“It’s a really good feeling, I consider all of them friends and it’s important to have such a connection as it’s for life.”

Ex-Arsenal players Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. Credit: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

One of the secrets to Vieira’s success in his first season in Croydon has been the recruitment.

They had a whopping seven players leave the club, including key men like Andros Townsend, Mamadou Sakho, Gary Cahill and Patrick van Aanholt.

In came Michael Olise, from Championship side Reading, Marc Guehi, originally a Chelsea player but who had spent the previous season helping Swansea make the playoffs, Joachim Andersen, a classy defender who can pass, and the promotion of green left-back Tyrick Mitchell.

However the most exciting new star was Conor Gallagher, on loan from Chelsea, and Bergkamp said he was interested to see how the summer played out, and whether the young England international would return to Selhurst Park.

“He’s on loan so it’s difficult,” Bergkamp told LondonWorld.

“You can use them for a year and then that’s it.

“So you can’t build a team with those players.

“But it must have been very helpful to have a player around this year to help the team.”

Vieira’s first season at Selhurst Park has exceeded expectations, with some stylish football that Bergkamp would have been proud of.

The challenge is to see how the Arsenal legend navigates his summer transfer window, and then see if he can overcome the difficult second season syndrome.