Mr. Arsenal….captain, leader, legend….but wrong on our opening day defeat…

Mr. Arsenal….captain, leader, legend….but wrong on our opening day defeat…


Image result for adams arsenal 1989


He’s a boss in many ways.

I doubt there are many, if any, Gooners alive who don’t rate Tony Adams. Every club seemingly has a pre-eminent player, who represents the best triumphs and spirit of the club in question. For Man United, it’s Sir Bobby Charlton. For Liverpool, Sir Kenny Dalglish. For Barca, possibly Messi. “Tone” is our Sir Bobby, or our Messi. Whilst we’ve had many great players in our history, who have contributed much, Tone stands out as the personification of Arsenal’s spirit.

He’s our most successful captain. Vieira, McLintock, amongst others, were greats, but Adams was the greatest.

Many in the game, even non-Arsenal players, have marvelled at his leadership qualities.

And of course, he has battled and overcome many personal issues.

He stands as not only our best ever central defender, but arguably the best in the PL era, or in England period since the late 1980s.

But his comments on Talksport the other day were…..ill-advised in my own view.

Check it out below:

Tone, like everybody, is entitled to his views.

However, to use an old adage, Rome wasn’t built in a day.


Problems and time lengths

Image result for tony adams arsenal talksport

Patterns often take time to erase. It’s not as simple to say “things should be resolved immediately”. If we’ve had an ingrained pattern for years, then it will take time to resolve. To use an analogy, if a person is used to overworking, or even under-working, it takes time to resort to a more normal pattern. Our tactical issues are the same. It’s not and seldom ever can be a quick fix.

What were people, and Adams no less, expecting when Emery came in? To demand an instantaneous change is unrealistic. Not impossible, but not fair either.

City, whilst not at full speed in the recent game, are a better team than us, with higher class players in most areas, and a more seasoned manager. Emery is no dud, but he hasn’t won multiple Champions Leagues or leagues in England, Germany, and Spain.

Everything in life is a process. And the process has just begun.

Image result for tony adams arsenal 1980s

A young Tone in his emergent captain heyday.

Weak examples


Tone cited pre-season as time to implement things. But these games meant little. Despite the falsely-hyped ICC (isn’t that cricket’s global governing body?), the games we played were meaningless, as were the victories and loss.

Image result for tony adams arsenal 1980s

When Tone won the league…..

And yes, few of our players were in the latter World Cup stages. But then other teams have more settled styles, or managers with extended tenure. Spurs haven’t made any signings, which is hilariously cute. But their team is settled, despite them having numerous players who were in the WC semi-finals. City is similar, as they only got Mahrez. But we knew first hand that they were ready for the season.

To implement any tactical style takes time. And Adams himself should know this. The defence that he led requires many hours of work on the training ground to perfect, and this was a bedrock of the 1989 and 1991 title wins. The same defensive discipline helped us also win the 1998 Double, 2002 Double, and even the Invincibles, given the influence he must have imparted to Campbell, Ashley Cole, etc.  It’s said in some quarters that Cole developed as a defender because of tutelage in training from Adams.

So really, he should know better.


Jumping the gun


I think Adams’s comments left a bad taste for me since he IS Mr. Arsenal. Yes, Wright, Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, etc. are legends, as much as he is. But then he embodied everything positive about our club. Leadership, tenacity, strength, boldness, and success. And also encountering and rising above challenges. Bar his evident issues with addiction, he also went to jail in the 1991 title season. As a player with immense success, he has gone through and experienced a lot.

So I think it’s more his heart talking, then his head, in my honest view. And as a seasoned ex-player, and manager of far less comparative success in must be stated, he should know how much it takes to progress and be successful.

Emery is bedding in, and it seldom can be done in just one day. He needs time to adapt and advance, that’s all.


This is intended in no way to disrespect Tone. He is MR. Arsenal, after all.

But we ALL need to not be worked up. I contend that had we played Brighton or Watford at home, we would have won.




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3 Responses to Mr. Arsenal….captain, leader, legend….but wrong on our opening day defeat…

  1. DEW August 16, 2018 at 9:05 am #

    I also agree he was a bit harsh on Emery. But I think there is no need to criticize him as there is no need to criticize Emery after one game. There was aspect of a game where you feel Arsenal is going nowhere against big teams. Someone could be forgiven for thinking the resources are short for games of this magnitude. Given that he is footballer, his vast experience and his instincts may have told him the future may not be as bright as fans have wanted it to be.

    Over all the vast majority of arsenal fans assessment of the game is quite reasonable, the only ridiculous thing for me is the talk of lack supporters’ patience.

    • Dave Seager August 16, 2018 at 9:12 am #

      Agree my friend

  2. Victor Thompson August 17, 2018 at 10:56 am #

    I agree that Tony was our best and most influential Captain, but regrettably, he has not made it as a manager.

    I have no doubt that if Emery had a 28 year old Adams available, he would be his first pick every week. As a manager, he could not fail to appreciate his talents but that is the difference between a manager and a player. I don`t really know anything about Emery`s playing days ( if he had any ) but he has a high reputation as a progressive manager. Conversely Adams had it all as a player but if he could not make it as a manager then it is like Senderos criticising Adams for the way he played as a CB.

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