Dennis Bergkamp reveals the Arsene Wenger error that started Arsenal slump

Arsenal’s decline coincided with Dennis Bergkamp’s departure from the club after the 2006 Champions League final (Picture: Getty)

Dennis Bergkamp believes Arsenal’s decline under Arsene Wenger was sparked by a tactical error and his decision to dispense with a 4-4-2 formation which had yielded so much success.

Wenger masterminded three Premier League title-winning campaigns in the space of six years between 1998 and 2004 with Bergkamp in the No.10 role, supplying the ammunition for Nicolas Anelka, before he was replaced by his compatriot Thierry Henry.

As Wenger started to break up his Invincibles, however, so he began tinkering with formations and relying on a sole striker.

That system helped the club reach its first and only Champions League final in Bergkamp’s last season with the club, but the Dutch legend believes it was at that point that his old boss became obsessed with dominating the midfield and neglecting his forward line.

Asked by his former teammate Martin Keown why the second half of Wenger’s reign was nowhere near as successful as the first, Bergkamp said: ‘Arsene started experimenting.

Dennis Bergkamp enjoyed the most successful period…