Tony Adams’ Quotes, What Do We Actually KNOW About Transfers & Why Arsenal Could Be Rocky

By Daniel Cowan
In Arsenal
Aug 21st, 2013
18 Comments

One of the things I like about blogging is it allows me to express my opinion to a wide audience. I’m just a normal bloke and am unlikely to ever have my views published by national media like ex-players do, unless of course I become a viral sensation because what I am saying has the shock and awe factor that the media lap up regardless of substance.

In a recent interview Tony Adams has reiterated his desire to one day become Arsenal manager. I don’t think he would be the right choice but that is my opinion and if this was 1996 I would probably have said that Wenger wasn’t the right choice but that is what the board is for. If at some point in the future they deem Adams to be the right man to take the helm he will receive my support 100%.

I am not a Wenger apologist and will elucidate my feelings on the summer once the window has closed but as I don’t know what is going on at the moment it is entirely pointless to apportion blame to Wenger or the board for the “shambles”, especially when it could turn out to be anything but. (That is not to say that blame is not deserved but certainly not to just one entity alone).

Ex-Arsenal Captain And Wannabe Manager Tony Adams

The Captain

When these legends or ex-players talk about the club in a negative manner they are putting the boot in for no other reason than their personal advancement and media exposure. These people have been around football so they know how it works at times so surely they can understand why Arsenal have not completed any transfers aside from Sanogo this summer.

Some may say that because they are ex-Arsenal and football people they know “the truth”. If they actually knew anything they would come out and say it. What do they have to lose by speaking the truth? It’s not like the club pays them anymore. Think instead about what they have to gain. Media exposure, substantiation of their knowledge and influence, and backing of the supporters.

If someone, not in the clubs employment, actually knew anything about our transfer dealings and all of these players we are supposedly missing out on or our change in focus to reported panic buys then it would be in their interests to say something.

Tony Adams and Harry Redknapp

I know everything about transfers. I learnt from the best

Some say that our lack of new signings is proof that we aren’t trying to buy anyone yet these are the same people who would deny that a lack of proof about what is going on behind closed doors means nothing and they are right to slag the club off without evidence because they “know”. Now on to the quotes. When talking about becoming the next Arsenal manager (and Adams seems to think this could be in the near future) he said this:

Of course my heart says ‘yes, yes, yes’, but my head says ‘can I win with this current team?’ My answer is no, I can’t and I am not sure anyone can.

This really annoyed me. When Wenger took over he inherited a squad that had an average finish of 9th over the previous two seasons and a club with an average finish of 8th since the inception of the EPL and 6th since their last title win. Total 8th (7.66), ie a mid-table/top 10 team.

The team he inherited over the two previous seasons had the 8th best defence in the league in 1995 with 49 goals conceded and a marked improvement in 1996 with 32 goals conceded making them the best defence. In 1995 they had the 11th best attack and the 10th best in 1996, a small improvement despite scoring fewer goals. Between joining and lifting the league trophy Wenger brought in 6 players of note; Garde, Vieira, Anelka, Grimandi, Overmars and Petit. If you want we can throw in bit-part and back-up players Manninger, Boa Morte and Wreh.

These first team additions and squad numbers elevated Arsenal to title winners by complimenting the core group of players they already had. If Wenger left today and a new manager started immediately he would be taking over a squad with an average finish of (I’ll round up) 4th over the previous two seasons and a club with an average finish of 4th (3.619) since the inception of the EPL and (again I’ll round up) 4th (3.44) since their last title win. Total 4th, ie a Champions League/top 4 team.

Tony Adams on the phone

It’s as easy as picking up the phone Arsène me old mucker

A new manager would be talking over a hugely consistent club that is incredibly financially stable. They would also take over a defence that spookily finished as the 8th best with 49 goals conceded in 2012 which almost improved as much the following year as the squad Wenger took over by finishing 2nd on 37 goals. The attack is much better, consistently the 3rd best attack in the league.

So if a new manager felt he couldn’t do what Wenger did and take a team in much better shape, in a much more competitive league and elevate them to champions with just a few additions like Wenger made, which incidentally weren’t that different to what we need now, then I really wouldn’t want to give that bloke the job.

On player additions Tony said:

I would want assurances if I walk through the door, those assurances meaning I’m given the go ahead to build a new team. I would get my teeth into building a new team but to achieve that, you would need to spend.

This wouldn’t fill me with confidence as a prospective employer, however, if he said:

I feel with the right players this squad could do something. However to obtain those players you would need to spend so I’d need assurances that the money would be made available to me immediately and without hesitation.

If he said that I would be crawling all over him saying “he’s an Arsenal legend, he knows what needs to be done, give him a chance”. But he didn’t. He basically said this team needs gutting and replacing with entirely new players. He pretty much said he would need 3-4 years to move our current squad out and replace them with his own players rather than doing what Wenger did and making what exists his and adding something entirely different.

Arsene Wenger

I could take a club from 8th to 1st in two seasons but 4th to 1st with a decent core of players? No, this is beyond all managers

What he essentially said was “give me an open chequebook and I’ll win us the title in 4 years time”. Basically he asked for a project. I’d argue that we are coming to the end of a project. That project being, “Project stay in the top four on a shoestring whilst billions are spent around us and then try to sign players that will elevate us rather than consolidate us”.

He spoke about how he would manage the club as well:

I’ve more of a defensive eye. That’s not to say I would be defensive, but the club have bought too many players like Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky and not enough Patrick Vieira types.

A few more Vieira types would be nice but it kinda sounds like you want to manage a completely different club in red and white. Don’t worry Tony, I expect Hughes will be gone as soon as a club with more money to spend come in for him. He also said:

I know Arsene would not spend £25million on buying Bayern’s goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for example, no matter how much he might need a new keeper

Well that’s just bollocks isn’t it? Firstly, why would Bayern sell one of the best keepers in the world? Secondly, Arsene bid £20m for Reina a few years ago when we didn’t have “buckets of cash” so why wouldn’t he bid a fraction more for a vastly superior keeper? Thirdly, even if Bayern would entertain bids for their keeper why would they sell him for £25m when they could probably get close to double that in the crazy world of Sheikh clubs?

Reina to Arsenal story on The Sun Newspaper backpage

Arsenal would never bid big for a keeper.

After that comment he went on to say:

I think that is a great policy, but the club needs to restructure its wages spend, that is a vastly different matter. The club are paying in excess of £150million on players’ wages but there have been a lot of average players on £50,000 a week when the big teams now need four or five players on a lot of money. Arsenal do not attract those big players because of their wages structure.

Where have you been Tony and was it you John W Henry smelled out the back of the Emirates?

You can’t complain we aren’t spending and then praise Wenger for not spending. Also, have you not heard of the massive clearout that Arsenal have had this summer getting those players off the wage bill? If you add it all up there’s your four or five players on top money. The only person we haven’t managed to clear out this summer is Bendtner and the window hasn’t closed yet.

Arsenal deadwood

All gone except for Bendtner (pic from old blog)

But going back to signings. Some of the players we have been linked with this summer would elevate us, some would consolidate us. This summer could end with a load of consolidation signings or it could end with the spectacular. We just don’t know and won’t know until the summer is over.

I would have loved us to have all our business done already but I am willing to give the club until the last minute to prove they are trying for the right players. It could end in complete and utter failure but it hasn’t yet because there is still time on the clock.

This summer and this season could be like Rocky I. We probably wanted to go out and prove ourselves early but ended up taking a load of punches. Until at the very end we claw our way back into the competition, show everyone what we are made of, win over the public and finish just a whisker away.

Rocky Balboa

It ain’t over ’til it’s over…. wait that was Rocky 6

I am certain that many Gooners would be pleased with that because we would have competed and I think most level-headed Gooners accept that we are not entitled to win but would dearly like us to at least compete. And we all know what happened in Rocky II.

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About "" - 509 Posts

I am a South London born Gooner now living in Leigh-On-Sea, Essex. I'm a husband, daddy, podcaster, trainer enthusiast and aspiring author. My work is my passion and for that I will always be grateful. Here is where I write my thoughts and views on Arsenal Football Club, the greatest team the world has ever seen.

18 Responses to “Tony Adams’ Quotes, What Do We Actually KNOW About Transfers & Why Arsenal Could Be Rocky”

  1. mogooner says:

    Good Post ! … Tony adams wtf ??

  2. Kevin says:

    Great article, spot on. The football world is very murky and there’s much we do not know.

  3. Obie says:

    Greart article but still doesn’t change the fact that Tottenham,Chelsea,Man City and even Southampton have signed quality players and we haven’t.What could be so difficult?As for Tony Adams being a future Arsenal Coach? Plssss!

  4. Harry says:

    So on point.. Everyone just wanna rant.

  5. David18 says:

    The pro-Wenger camp is almost as blind and deluded as the arrogant old dictator himself. Adams is about 70% right as Wenger would rather blow £40m on 6 pretty little technical attacking French/West African players than a proper defender, holding midfielder & yes a decent goalkeeper. Mind you such players would probably speak excellent English and have strong personalities that might challenge the old fossil’s tactics, training methods, etc as opposed to a bunch of meek oui-men.

    Arsenal FC not Arsene FC!!

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      Snore! How do you know? Have you tapped Wenger’s phone? You don’t know. You know nothing. I know nothing. It is all just speculation.

      I am not pro-Wenger nor am I anti-Wenger. I am Arsenal. You say Arsenal FC not Arsene FC but you don’t seem to really back that up. If you did you would accept that there is still time in the window and that you have no proof over who is blocking transfers whether it be Wenger, Gazidis, Kronke or other clubs just not selling.

      Support Arsenal by looking at the wider picture rather than shitting all over the manager who has been appointed by Arsenal FC.

  6. Rajat says:

    Man such a great article…blog more ofetn .. we need to take down this legrove guy.. spenind negativity around club with his constant rants online

  7. trugun says:

    Well thought out article with a rare sense of calm and balance well done mate. There are some ex players that show allegiance Romford pele, Nige Winterburn, Lee Dixon and then there’s Wrighty, Robson and the rest of the poisonous pack, Tony Adams seems to fit between the two camps with an added air of delusion, manage Arsenal his cv so far doesn’t suggest that he would cut it at all, he simply doesn’t have the attributes necessary to manage Arsenal. Great Captain, but manager? if I remember rightly a couple of weeks ago he wanted to join the board

  8. gooner52 says:

    Brilliant post, its so easy to blame Arsene but in my opinion he has taken us to a level we only dreamed about before he came, the club has had no cash for 8 years yet he has still been able to make us competative. The club is in my opinion again the only club in the league run in the proper way I.E. clearing any debt and we do only use our money. Big mistake though again in my opinion was the board getting rid of David Dean, we have just not been the same since he left, there is not the same urgency now or indeed backing to wards the mangager, again my opinion. My feeling still is give the manager the tools he wants and he will deliver as he has since he came.

    • Hernino says:

      Really great article.your analysis is spot on. I have to say it’s a shame to see someone like adams contributing to all this media nonsense. I mean we all know what wenger has done for us for the past 8 years,he stayed with arsenal when there was no money although he had big clubs aftet him.now that there is money to spend every club wants to sell their player for more than 30M!!!!! to arsenal. I say get us suarez and a cover for arteta a goal keeper to challenge schezney and fabianski and we can challenge for the title…
      adams i can’t even recognise the genius of cazorla and rosicky!!!!no wonder he did not last @ porsmouth!!!I also support this bloke who said that the likes of ‘le grove’ should be ridiculed they are poisoning arsenal fans pretinding to be football exeperts. I hope you blog often

  9. Kayode says:

    A certain @DLDN22 says he knows EVERYTHING that is going on at the club and has threatened to reveal all IF the summer transfer business of Arsenal is not to his liking. Lol

  10. Kenny Powers says:

    Great article with great perspective. Adams seems to have no recollection of his previous attempts at managing/coaching a football team. Although there is reason to be positive for the rest of the summer it has to be noted that it’s incredibly poor preparation for a squad with any true ambition competing for a league title as any new recruitments could potentially miss 3/4 games of the 38 league games before even training with their new team mates.

  11. wenkev02 says:

    Great post as usual… I used to want Adams after Arsene , not now . Shot himself in foot..Got hardly any experience …I would like Berkamp …he. Is learning the trade at mo….Will be ready…and could be ideal..

  12. Naija_gooner says:

    Brilliant post as usual, Dan.
    People just jump on the bandwagon and slag off the manager, who, btw, is the chief reason why we are still a force to reckon with given the rebuilding that we’ve gone thru in the last 8 years. He’s made some mistakes, yeah, but who’s perfect?
    We hold on in faith, that everything will look better, come Sept 3.
    Cheers

  13. Dastan says:

    Fantastic article as usual, thank you!

  14. Bootoomee says:

    All Tony Adams has going for him today is being Arsenal captain at a successful period brought about ironically by Arsene Wenger. He is a petty and petulant soul who would be a nobody but for the man that he is now slagging off in a passive aggressive manner.

    I recall TA slagging off Patrick Vieira when PV was excelling and eclipsing him as a great Arsenal captain. He is such a little person with delusion of grandeur. Please ignore him.

    About managing Arsenal: I am on the floor rolling with laughter. NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN. As some posters previously said, Dennis Bergkamp is more likely to get the job. He is currently painstakingly acquiring the needed skills and experience at the great Ajax FC. If all else fails, I get some kind of comfort in the personal genius of the DB10 (aka God) but what has TA got to offer other than the typical English bloviating and sense of entitlement?

    Screw him.

    • Daniel Cowan says:

      I don’t agree that he would be a nobody as he had won quite a few trophies before Wenger arrived. More than he won with Wenger I think. 6 before Wenger and 4 with Wenger.

  15. colario says:

    I believe the club made 2 basic mistake at the opening of the transfer window this summer.

    You don’t announce: ‘Ah we have money to spend.’
    You don’t go into a shop an say ‘Ah I’ve got lots of money to spend.’ Watch the shopkeeper’s reaction to the sight of the customer’ wad of money. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BcsMDgfyV6I

    2. The club knows that everyone who knows better than Arsenal and needs to be in the headlines will claim player after player as being sought by Arsenal.
    A simple announcement on the club’s website stating only players mention on the web site by the club are ones Arsenal are interested in buying would not have stop the ceaseless headlines but it would have shown their true value.

    As for Tony, a great defender, great player and great captain. Time he learnt to be a great defender of the club he loves. He would do well to learn fro Steve Bold who says not a word.

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