The Importance Of God

By Willem Gonggrijp
In Guest Bloggers
Feb 11th, 2013

Today I welcome Willem Gonggrijp aka @BergkampFlick , as a guest blogger to North London Is Red. Willem recently launched his own blog, BergkampFlick and describes himself as a realistic idealist. As a countryman of van Basten and Johan Cruijff, he’s looking to entertain us with the written word and I think he will with this delightful piece. Take it away Willem…..

I would like to tell you something about God. God has always been an important figure in my life, ever since I was a little boy. As a matter of fact, I remember my first encounter with Him like it was yesterday.

Six-year-old me had a boring summer. The Dutch weather is known to be very changeable, but 1998 was an utter disappointment. There was lots of rain and no sun to be seen. It was gloomy stuff back then but luckily there was a World Cup for me to look forward to.

Argentina '98

Argentina ’98

The Netherlands topped group E with 5 points, and had beaten Yugoslavia in the round of 16. A thrilling quarter-final against a dangerous Argentine side awaited. Players like current Atlético Madrid manager Diego Simeone, Batigol , Juan Sebastian Veron and never-ageing Javier Zanetti were part of their starting line-up. You can imagine why I wasn’t exactly confident.

Oranje took an early lead, but that 12th minute goal from Kluivert looked futile when Claudio Lopez scored the equalizer five minutes later. It was absolutely nerve wrecking to watch, especially when Dutchman Artur Numan got his second yellow with fifteen minutes to go. The boys in orange fought very hard, but it seemed like we were heading for extra time. Then “it” happened.

Frank de Boer found himself in possession after Lopez over hit his cross to Batistuta. The Dutch captain – a playmaker from central defense – ran all the way to the edge of the centre circle. He looked up and took a swing with that fantastic left foot of his. On the ball went; thirty yards, forty, fifty. As the camera panned, I saw a man running. He wore an orange shirt, with number eight on the back. Fittingly, as ∞ is the symbol for infinity.


God at work

Did he know? Did he know what he was going to do after he took that first touch? Did he know that he was about to rock a six-year-old’s world? Whether he knew it or not, that’s exactly what he did. God received the ball on the edge of the six yard box and in a flash or brilliance he flicked the ball past Roberto Ayala. He struck the ball with the outside of his supernatural right foot and it arced goal-wards.  The ‘keeper never stood a chance – the ball rippled the net; He had scored.  It was magic, a pure explosion of magic.

I was absolutely stunned. It was beyond comprehension that someone could manipulate a football like that. In that moment I found religion. I became a believer.  Shortly after I found out He played for an English club called Arsenal FC. From the moment the ball left his foot, Dennis was my God, and Arsenal became my church.

Now, almost 16 years later, I’m still  a believer. Wengerball is now my Dennisism, and through harmony we’ll be victorious.

The Lords Prayer

Our Dennis,
Who art in Winter Wonderland
Hallowed be thy name
Thy kingdom [penalty area] come
A goal will be done
On Earth as it was in seasons ’95 to ’06
Give us this day our daily chiselled Dutch Features
And forgive us our trespasses offside
As we forgive those Spuds who think they’ll finish above us
Lead us not into Stoke
But deliver us from Piers Morgan
‘Arry, Pubis and other scab ridden fools
For thine is the Highbury, the clock end & marble halls 
For ever and ever

Thanks Willem, that was a lovely story about how you found Arsenal and wonderfully written. I still can’t believe that is only your second blog in English. Thanks for reading guys and helping me support my fellow Gooner bloggers. Please do leave your comments and don’t forget to click that follow button!

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Communications at day, football at night. Manager of Europe 2018 winner. Wengerballer! Eredivisie and opinion columnist at

22 Responses to “The Importance Of God”

  1. Wernie86 says:

    And now his son Jesus ‘Jack’ Wilshere has risen

  2. TrueGooner says:

    See this is why the pope is retiring. People refer to anything as god with a capital G these days.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Depends on your perception of the word god. If you are a religious person and/or consider it a name then it should be capitalised. If you just consider it to be a word or a title then the capital G is optional. I am the commissioner of the grammar police!

    • Nir says:

      Ya and a great bugger 😛

    • I didn’t really mean it in a religious way, it’s just one of Dennis’ nicknames. He earned that nickname because of his surreal style of play and godlike technique. Didn’t mean to offend anyone who is religious

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I wouldn’t worry mate. 99% of people will take it as intended.

  3. Nir says:

    What a brilliant piece!

    • Thank you very much, humbling response!

    • weedonald says:

      Watching the added videos brought a tear to my eyes and made me appreciate how much the mid-table EPL teams have improved since 2002-5. The current edition of our Club has the potential to replicate the best of Wenger’s teams with the exception of the invincibles, as the EPL and the referees will NEVER again allow a Club to go unbeaten….especially the Arsenal.

  4. Dobromir says:

    Dennis Bergkamp!!! Enough said!

  5. Yuniz says:

    Never Play The Name Of God!!
    God is always there to punishe those who play his beautifull names

  6. Brazilian Gooner says:

    I already knew what was coming when I clicked this article and it was just as I expected…Well done mate!

  7. Sarah says:

    My religion on facebook is “Dennis Bergkamp”. Needless to say, I loved this.

  8. weedonald says:

    A perfect summation of why we all love the Arsenal regardless of their achievements or disappointments….its all part of Football but we are part of the legend we call the Arsenal and the Olympians we call the invincibles!

  9. Julian Bolligello says:

    There is and will always only be one DB10. A footballer with immense vision and ability as well as a true role model for any aspiring young sports person. Ever since he stepped onto Highbury’s pitch he found home and the EPL as his backyard playground. Memories of him and Overmars destroying opponents at random. His insane and impossible goal against Newcastle left me in awe and the ENTIRE NEWCASTLE family stunned and amused at what unfolded b4 their very eyes. Then there was FREDDY that DENNIS was able to pick out at will as if he knew ecactly where one of the shortest men will pop up in an Arsenal shit….. What any Arsenal fan would do to see the likes of DB10 back at Arsenal fc.

  10. Amber says:

    As a fellow Dennisist I really enjoyed this blog. I can’t count the number of times he casually did things that seemed impossible to us mortals. Pure class.

  11. Nikita Mokhov says:

    Dennis Bergkamp? Pfffffff would trade him in an instant for spurs legend Scotty Parker. The way that man can look busy whilst doing almost nothing at all is truly godly. Great post, do you think Arsenal will ever have someone like him again?

    • Thanks!

      I don’t know about that. He had a very complete set of skills; great finisher, great touch, intelligent, great passer. Not to mention the ‘it’ factor, that rare magic.
      Zidane had it, Bergkamp had it, but I can’t think of a player who has it nowadays to be honest.
      I believe it strongly depends on how a player is coached at youth level. Bergkamp went through the famed Ajax youth setup and de Godenzonen emphasize on technique and creativity. Most clubs/coaches prefer team play over individual brilliance, but at Ajax they realize that the bigger the parts, the larger the sum

  12. nashman says:

    Awesome piece Willem, too bad the other Dutchman refused to emulate Dennis 😉

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