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Wednesday, 25 September, 2002, 12:25 GMT 13:25 UK
Bergkamp's fear revealed
Arsenal striker Dennis Bergkamp
Arsenal have felt Bergkamp's absence in European games
Dennis Bergkamp was put off flying for life after an engine cut out during a flight to the USA 94 World Cup.

Former Arsenal team-mate Lee Dixon revealed that the experience had left the Holland international afraid to take to the air again.

Bergkamp has been a notable absentee from Arsenal's away games in their previous Champions League campaigns.

But the in-form Gunners striker has made the journey to his homeland by car so that he can face PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday.

"Dennis had a bad flight to the USA 94 World Cup with the Dutch national team," Dixon told BBC Radio Five Live.

"I think there was something wrong with the engine. It all seems a bit mystical but he doesn't talk about it an awful lot.


It's the luck of the draw and fortunately there are couple of games that Dennis can travel to this time
Lee Dixon

"But that's the reason why I think he decided that flying wasn't for him and fair play to him.

"He made that decision and he has stuck by it.

"Everyone at the club has stuck by him and there is no anomosity towards him in the squad and everyone respects his view.

"He made that decision with his family and told the manager how he felt.

"The club respected him and told Dennis that they would try to get him to as many games as possible.

"It's just the games involving the long European trips that he misses. It's the luck of the draw and fortunately there are a couple of games that Dennis can travel to."

Dixon added that Bergkamp could make all the difference to Arsenal's progress in the Champions League this season following the disappointment of recent years.

The Gunners have failed to make it past the quarter-finals in their four previous appearances.

"Even when Dennis is perhaps not on song and not playing as well as he can, he's always a big boost when he plays because he's able to produce something out of the ordinary," he added.

"You see it day in day out in training. When you have a player of that ability, it is great to have him on the bench and more importantly in the team.

"Travelling does take it out of you. But knowing Dennis, he will declare himself fit to play in the game against Leeds on Saturday."

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Arsenal defender Lee Dixon
"He had a bad flight to the 1994 USA "World Cup"

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