Bergkamp's Highbury high

ARSENAL striker Dennis Bergkamp set his sights on Champions League success and extending his Highbury career for another season after scoring his 100th goal for the club.

Bergkamp, 33, whose contract runs out at the end of this season, has previously indicated he might consider either hanging up his boots or returning to his native Holland.

However, after helping to inspire Arsenal into the FA Cup fourth round with a 2-0 win against Oxford, he revealed he is set to carry on next season.

"If I had to make a decision now then, yes, I would carry on but there's still a long way to go in the season. I think I would regret stopping but I don't want to make a final decision yet," he said.

"I expect this to be my last club though. The enjoyment of scoring never goes. I still get the same buzz, the same excitement, whether it's my first or my 100th goal."

Champions League success has so far eluded Bergkamp, but he believes he could yet achieve the pinnacle of his career this season.

"We do have a chance in the Champions League," he said. "When you look at the whole squad, there aren't many better squads around. So if we can all gel together and get something going even better than so far, we do have a chance. That would be great for me."

Reviewing his memorable career at Highbury, while his main focus is on club honours, reaching the landmark of 100 goals for Arsenal is still a notable achievement.

"It was a very special moment for me to score my 100th goal for Arsenal, it was historical for both me and the club," he added.

"It's not only something special for me but for the club as well as it shows how long I've been here.

"The fans understand that it is important.

"I've got a shirt and the match-ball signed by the team and, when I get time, I will frame them and put them up in my house."

Manager Arsene Wenger added: "I'm so thankful for Dennis' contribution and I was lucky to find him here when I arrived.

"He is a great player and we have built a team around him that allows us to play this kind of football."

Bergkamp, embodying the class of a side missing seven first-team regulars but still containing seven internationals, struck his 100th goal for the club after just 15 minutes against Oxford.

And while Francis Jeffers allowed a hat-trick of chances to slip by, there was no doubt about the result as Arsenal toyed with the visitors before an own goal by Scott McNiven with 22 minutes remaining put them 2-0 up.

Arsenal never really got out of second gear but, then again, they never needed to and Oxford manager Ian Atkins was fulsome in his praise. "People may moan about the foreign mercenaries in the game but I don't think that can ever be said about the players here," he said.

"Especially with the way they've treated our players with respect after the game, they were absolutely magnificent.

"They all waited in the tunnel after the game, like David Seaman waiting to give Andy Woodman his shirt. That means the world to my players." Meanwhile, Arsenal have dismissed reports they are considering a breakaway from the Premiership.

A report yesterday claimed boss Arsene Wenger had warned FIFA that the Gunners would form a European Super League if the world governing body persisted with "Mickey Mouse" tournaments which left his players tired.

But the club have "categorically" denied they were interested in such a move. A club spokesman said: "There is categorically no truth that Arsenal has ever contemplated quitting the Premier League.

"We are the current champions of the best league in the world."

The report had claimed Wenger was furious FIFA were insisting this summer's Confederations Cup in France went ahead, despite it meaning up to seven of his squad will have no summer break.

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox