Football: Bergkamp can win title, says Wilson

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Dennis Bergkamp's demonstration of his abundant talent left the Barnsley manager, Danny Wilson, predicting he would bring the title to Highbury, but the pounds 7.5m striker is willing to wait - for a while.

Bergkamp's delicacy of touch and outstanding vision were evident again as he inspired Arsenal to their impressive Coca-Cola Cup victory at Oakwell on Tuesday night.

It was the Dutchman who was responsible for Arsenal's first two goals in their 3-0 win, rifling home the second from 22 yards, four minutes after Dave Watson had spilled his searing free-kick into Steve Bould's path.

Bergkamp said his rapid adjustment to the English game was vindication of his decision to leave Serie A for the Premiership. "When I came to Arsenal, it was because I thought we could win the League. It was important to me and when you look at the start we've made, that's very satisfying," the former Internazionale player said.

"But I agreed a four-year contract and want to win something during the course of those four years - whether it comes in the first year or the fourth is something we'll see. Of course it's very early to make predictions. The only thing we can do at this time in the season is go out and win every game we can.

"But there's no doubt that we've got a lot of real quality through the team. Time will tell, of course, and as I said, it's not desperately important that we do it this year. If it comes, it comes, but we've started well."

Bergkamp's contribution against Barnsley earned the manager's admiration. "I thought before we played them that they would win the championship and what I saw only cemented that thought in my mind," Wilson said. "They're so very solid and composed at the back and when they get the chance to play football, they do so."

Arsenal have won eight of their last nine games - sandwiching their only defeat of the season so far, at Chelsea - and Wilson said that Bruce Rioch's new-look Gunners, with David Platt soon to return, were frighteningly strong.

"They've always had those solid foundations at the back, but Bruce has added that extra flair to them, and in Bergkamp he's got an extra dimension," Wilson said.

"Bergkamp is just class. As a defender, you're always on your heels against him because you know he pops up everywhere, and when he gets the ball he's just so confident in his ability. And he can look after himself as well. Some of our defenders kicked him up the backside, so he left his foot in occasionally.

"He wanted them to know he was there and that's part and parcel of the game, but it's one of the reasons why they'll finish up on top."

Bergkamp's goal was his sixth of the season, and with fellow striker Ian Wright already having scored 11, the partnership is already looking to provide all that Rioch had hoped for.

Bergkamp said he was enjoying working alongside the man whose England career never blossomed, despite his consistency in the Premiership.

"The good thing about playing with Ian is that when I get the ball, I know I can play the ball into him," Bergkamp said.

"I think it's a partnership that's good for both of us. Ian wants to have somebody around him who can feed him and I need somebody in front of me who I can find. It's going well."

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