Some excuses from Dennis Bergkamp

Last updated : 11 February 2003 By Martyn Elliott

The non-flying Dutchman claimed: "It is not my fault that he (Robert) chose to stand in front of the ball when I wanted to take a free-kick.

"Twice he stopped me taking it, actually, and I felt the referee had no choice with his decision."

Referee Neale Barry could still have used some common sense and just asked for the free kick to be retaken, as he had neither blown his whistle to signal that it could be taken or received a signal from the Arsenal man that he wanted to take it quickly.

Bergkamp undoubtedly used all his cunning to try and get Robert sent off and the reaction of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry reflected that.

But Robert did rather naively fall into the trap, and then did little to help his case by stupidly kicking the ball at Lauren.

It’s a shame though that a player as talented as Bergkamp has to resort to such gamesmanship.