Wenger saddened by Tony Adams book comments

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Arsene Wenger says he finds it sad that Tony Adams felt the need to criticise him in his upcoming book.

The former Arsenal captain has a second autobiography coming out, and in it he said he had considered saying his former manager ‘couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag’ before tempering it slightly.

In a serialisation in The Sun (ugh), Adams said of a piece he’d written, “In the original draft, I said he couldn’t coach his way out of a paper bag. And though I modified that in the final article, it didn’t go down well.”

Whatever you might think of Wenger now, he helped extend Tony’s career, and enabling him to captain Arsenal to a double in 1997-98, and the Premier League title in 2002, making him the only man to captain a side to the title in three different decades.

Speaking about what was said in the book, the Arsenal manager said, “I know him for a long time. It’s sad. I’m not here for personal glory or to sell books, I’m here to do the job.

“I am respectful to everybody. I don’t have anything to say about that. For me it’s a subject of no interest and so I would like to dedicate my time to something that is more interesting.”

And responding to Adams’ claims about how he’d tried to find a job at Arsenal over the years, Wenger was clear about why it didn’t happen.

“In a football club today, you have to employ people who can help you to be successful,” he said.

“And sometimes it is necessary to make harsh decisions. But there is no right. I think if I leave tomorrow Arsenal I have no right to come back, because I have worked here.

“You have to be needed. And like you have made a career as a player somewhere, it doesn’t give you any divine right to come back. That’s what it is.

“Because all the players, at some stage, they decide to leave, when their interest was to leave. It is not like some players have never left the club.

“When it was their interest to go somewhere else, they went somewhere else.”

Arsenal did offer Adams a job coaching the under 18s last year, which he accepted, before chasing a more lucrative offer in China. One which has led him to managing Spanish side Granada now, but they have lost every game since he took over.

And as much as Tony Adams was a brilliant player and captain for us – something nobody can ever doubt – it’s difficult to see what he could have contributed as a coach when you look at his post-playing career to date.

As Wenger said, the whole thing feels a bit sad.

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167 Comments on "Wenger saddened by Tony Adams book comments"

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Dave

Just what we needed to help the fan base join together! Please hug and make up!

John C

What Adams has achieved as a coach/manager has nothing to do with his ability to recognise the coaching skills of a manager, as such considering how he and the other members of our high achieving back 4/5 where expertly coached by GG I defer to Adams judgement on the matter.

The back bone of Wengers first 2 titles were those players, and how he has disregarded that experience and winning mentality has been part of the reason we’ve been found wanting for the last decade.

Hank Scorpio

How has he disregarded their experience? Steve Bould sits next to him every game & he’s previously had Keown in. Also his post-playing career has plenty to do with his value in terms of an ongoing contribution to the club. Unless you are suggesting his loiters around as some sort of mascot that magically imparts his ‘winning mentality’.

Hank Wankford

Cool name dude

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject

That’s kind of a weirdly ferocious reaction to a Simpson’s reference…

John C

Imparting a winning mentality into the squad is exactly what they should be doing because they currently have a losing one!

And if you don’t think a “winning mentality” exists then you’re a idiot.

ZakGooner

I mean the irony….”you’re a idiot”

78/79/80

There’s nothing to suggest that TA has imparted a “winning mentality” in anything he’s football wise since hanging up his boots.

John C

I didn’t specifically say Adams, i said the backbone of those winning teams, but i think it’s important to keep club legends around.

As Adams still has a larger trophy haul for Arsenal then Wenger does, i think he could be useful

planet ape

Can you provide any empirical proof about keeping legends around a club leading to trophies/success?

John C

Bobby Charlton at United, Beckenbauer at Bayern, Cruyff at both Ajax and Barcelona off the top of my head.

Van der Sar, Overmars, and Bergkamp are all at Ajax at the moment, they’re doing quite well.

The point is you don’t get rid of that level of winning experience.

SantCarzor

If he can’t impart winning mentality at clubs he’s managed, he won’t do it as a background figure at Arsenal. And United had a certain guy named Ferguson that led them to success. Beckenbauer and Cruyff were great managers. What the fuck have Tony Adams, Lee Dixon and Winterburn done in their post playing careers that makes you think they’d be able to coach or “impart winning mentality” as if it’s something that can be handed out? Did Giggs do that at United? Or Beckham and Neville for England?

John C

Maybe he can impart a winning mentality some other way. Beckenbauer, Cruyff, Charlton, Overmars, Van Der Sar etc haven’t only occupied managerial roles but also administrative ones.

Maintaining standards and experience doesn’t only have to be passed on on the training ground. Someone in the boardroom with experience would be useful to assess whether standards are being upheld, it clearly isn’t happening at the moment at Arsenal.

Hank Scorpio

Are you implying it is their presence that ensures their respective teams continue to win trophies? Bayern, Ajax & to a slightly lesser extent Barcelona have historically been dominant sides in their leagues & the presence of these people is hardly the cause of their perpetual dominance. You’d have to be an idiot to believe it was. As I mentioned before Bould is at Arsenal, Keown has been there, Ljungberg, Henry & Pires have been at the club post-playing career. I’ve probably missed a few too. Tony Adams thinks he’s coach/management material but he’s not & in that capacity he has nothing to offer. If you genuinely believe he’d impart a ‘winning mentality’ based on all his post playing career exploits then good luck to you.

Sachin

Real Madrid had the amazing Jorge Valdano during the shit Pavon years, Liverpool lagged with Dalgish, newly rich PSG had Leonardo… now have Kluivert…

Basically it can go either way.

Also no one ‘got rid’ of anyone.

a different George

Bayern keep everyone, when they’re not in prison.

Goonshow

And back home here – in an effort to be more relevant – Messrs Keegan, Shearer, Hoddle, Bruce, Pardew, Hughes, Neville, etc etc etc…
You selective editing of both comments here and historical facts leave you no credibility whatsoever.

Whits

Zidane,Guardiola and Conte.

Goonerest

“Useful” how? By walking around the training ground wearing all his winners medals?

Heavenly Chapecoense

Not even any winning mentality shown in his books. He is rallying everybody around Wenger and that is no winning mentality. Some fans here say Henry criticizes Wenger.In reality anything Henry said was a compliment if you compare to what Adams had said in the past.

GoonerN16

Judging by your constant negativity I doubt you’d recognise a ‘winning mentality’ if it smacked you in the chops….

John C

Constant positivity, negativity is wanting the more of the same.

People like you are part of the problem, you think your support equates to positivity when really you’re just helping the club go further in the wrong direction.

Sachin

“Constant positivity, negativity is wanting the more of the same.

People like you are part of the problem, you think your support equates to positivity when really you’re just helping the club go further in the wrong direction.”

I’d rather we be happy and in the top 4, than be aggravating as you are and come 1st.

not so fed up

What does the C stand for John?

nimble foot

Cunt

Martin

Great winning mentality at Granada. Do one John C.

Ivan Drago

The game has changed a huge amount defensively in the last 15-25 years, I don’t think Adams knows how to coach a modern team, at least his record seems to show that

Surrey Gooner

Wow, 20 years of top 4 not being able to coach his way out of a paper bag. Prem titles, FA Cups, Euro finals not being able to coach his way out of a paper bag. He’s made mistakes yes, he should step aside – possibly, but please spare me the bullshit. Adams is bitter like Stuart Robson. Didn’t get their way so would rather snipe from the sidelines.
He’s lost my respect

Kevin

Good god. I’d almost forgotten what a cunt Stuart Robson is…

John C

20 years of top 4 and no improvement in our Champions League performances would back up the claim of poor coaching and also a staggering inability to learn.

Famoosh

I largely agree with John C. Fair point, well-made; would appreciate a bit more thoughtful contention than the assailing which seems to be carrying on. Dissent is healthy, IMO.

Mark

John c, that is so stupid it makes piers Morgan look sane. Wait I think you both need to be put in a room. Idiots. If I could vote that comment down a thousand times I would.

John C

I look forward to your counter points and argument, and will ignore your personal insults.

Stringer Bell

What you mean personal insults like “your a idiot” 😂

John C

Reading and comprehension isn’t your strong point is it? I never called anyone an idiot.

Binda

“And if you don’t think a ‘winning mentality’ exists then you’re a idiot.”

I guess reading and comprehension aren’t your strong point is it? 🙂

John C

Thank you Binda, as you have shown i didn’t call anyone an idiot, i merely implied it, a small but important difference.

yaya san\'golo kante

you’ve got cognitive dissonance so far up your ass you don’t even know what you’re talking about anymore.

Sachin

Ouch. John C, cat videos help lower blood pressure. Switching off the wifi for a day helps salvage some self esteem

Martin

You did though. 🛎🔚

A P

Now I KNOW the C stands for Cunt.

Sachin

There is also a Matt P

Martin

John C you are an absolute muppet, grow up you dino

uncle D

Adams is the typical example of the entitled English man. Adams has shown he can’t coach his own way out of a paper bag. We all should try and respect the success of Arsenal fans and staff, former and present. Not abuse it.

Mizog

I wonder what the C stands for!!

Godfrey Twatsloch

Complainer?

Godfrey Twatsloch

Cantankerous?

ClockEndRider

I applaud Adams as he continues his journey of self discovery. However, like most footballers, every time he speaks he. Betrays an utter lack of self awareness. I guess just because yo e been a great player doesn’t mean you have any other great insight.
Thanks for the memories Tone. Now go away and do your growing up in private.

roastimbou27

Anyone else think, despite being a great player for us, Tony Adams is just a bit of a bellend?

Ivan Drago

Unfortunately so, hes serialising a book in The Sun so that says it all really. I try to ignore most stuff he comes out with these days and remember the good times he had in the shirt.

Daniel

It just feels like he’s tarnishing his legacy making comments about wenger, it seems unprofessional more than anything, and it just draws more attention to his unsuccessful career as a manager

a different George

I do think this is an important point. Obviously, it’s great to get paid to have your book serialised and, all else being equal, whichever paper pays the most is the choice. But all else is not equal. The Sun is a special case for anyone who cares about football. Adams has chosen to appear in a paper that viciously slandered every football supporter in the most harmful way possible. Yes, “that says it all really.”

GYWE

I prefer ‘fruit loop’ rather than bellend

George

Sadly, yes. I often prefer it when I don’t get to ‘know’ players. Too many disappointments, which, admittedly, is my own fault.

On the flip side, I really like listening, for example, to Alan Smith.

ClockEndRider

Personally, given Smith’s adherence to the Sky line, whatever that might be about any given incident- e.g. the Bellerin assault , or if you’re Sky, his “not wanting it enough” – I would rather stick needles in my eyes than listen to anything Smith says. I have very nearly perfected the art of watching a game on tv with volume on while not hearing a single word any of the agenda -ed rubbish spoken by whichever no-mark du jour is on.

ClockEndRider

Agenda-led…..

Magneto

I find it much easier just to watch games with no commentary on at all, whilst listening to music of my choice.

It works for me!

Cornelius P. Snuffington III
Cornelius P. Snuffington III

But then you don’t get the crowd noise or the sounds from the pitch, both of which I, for one, always want to hear. The eternal compromise of televised football.

And not all commentary is bad of course. I’d just love the option to turn it and only it off when it is bad. Anything with Tony Gale, for instance.

Sachin

Give us tips: what kind of music?

George

Smith’s alright.

Martin

Only pundits that talk any sense are Keane and Souness

David C

he’s probably broke or hurting a bit financially, thus the need to sell out to the Sun and make exaggerated statements/assessments of Wenger. He’s probably isolating himself from the club, former players, and other coaches…all a bit sad.

Sachin

He would sell just as much by peddling happy anecdotes. These are after all desperate times for all Arsenal fans.

Arse head

Jumping on the Wenger out bandwagon to sell a few books, fuck off Tony and have a drink.

No neck

Fair

Dan Hunter

Cruel and disgusting comment

North Bank Gooner

Alcoholism is a disease, and one that left my brother and sister and I without a Father.
Think before you click 😉

cazorla\'s smile

disease? It’s an addiction. Disease and addiction are two very different things.. choice and lack of, you know

Stringer Bell

Addiction is classified as a disease by most medical associations.

Sachin

We don’t all have to be like Tony. No need to go below the belt. Calling him a prick is just as fine, no?

Ali

Class response from Wenger, as always. What saddens me is that I want Wenger to leave, the most honorable and respectful person in the premier league.

Mondy

Sadly, I agree with you.

Arsensei

Wanting Wenger to leave is fine if you just let the board do what they do and hope that a manager with such love for the club will do the right things for its future. Many people hold that opinion. It’s a well argued stand as well, couldn’t find a flaw in the logic of those who say they want somebody else given a chance at winning Arsenal the Prem.

However there is a certain section of our fanbase who explicitly act as if they are entitled to a certain level of success just because they’re paying money. I would hazard a guess that these are the very people who can’t enjoy a sunny day because it’s too hot and a cold day because there’s no sun. These people have now gotten off the “Get a trophy” bandwagon and started lampooning the FA Cup as being a ‘minor’ trophy. “Arsenal aren’t a cup team” they say as if there’s anyone at all suggesting that we are one. These are the very people who, if we win the
PL will say that it’s a minor trophy and that our revenue means we should be competing against Real Madrid and Barcelona for the CL.Life has given these people lemons and they’ve taken them and squeezed the juice right into their eyeballs . That is what these attention seekers are. Walking talking negativity engines, never satisfied and pretending that it’s some sort of winner mentality. If you really have a winner mentality fam you would have a life other than watching the Football and you wouldn’t need to slag off honest, respectful and genuinely decent people at all times of day. Hold this L,

Trez

I think this George Graham’s back 5 is starting to get overrated. I heard Souness say it was the best back 5 in the world and I think it’s bullshit.
Wenger built a better backline when they left. Tony Adams isn’t a good coach. Period. The only guy I’d want in the coaching staff is Martin Keown. Not Adams, Not Ian Wright, Not Lee Dixon, Not Emmanuel Petit, heck not even Viera. These guys are not as good as they think they are in coaching.
Tony Adams is very wrong for this. He has a right to an opinion, but this just screams out bitterness. Trying to undermine Wenger is plain disgusting. Regardless of how things have been in the last few years, he is still our greatest manager of all time. He is a better coach than George Graham whether the English boys like it or not

GYWE

‘Inheriting’ the famous back five is a stick people try and beat Wenger with, ignoring the defence that brought us a gold Premier League trophy and a CL clean sheet record on the way to the final (which was makeshift at times I know)

John C

What is ignored is that the defence that won us the gold trophy served their apprenticeship under the previous back 4, that’s what’s been overlooked

Determined Culture

Appreticeship is no doubt important, n i feel we made a mistake when we let too many senior players go n went with the kids (though it was more for financial issues back then)- gilberto, pires, freddie, etc. , but if the gold trophy defence had appreticeship tt was so crucial in their development n achievement, then y hasn’t bouldy passed on any ooze since then?

Thawani Amit

Very disappointed in Bould have to say. Would welcome some changes in the backroom if Wenger does end up staying.

Tron

Sorry but this is ‘Fake News’…. The gold trophy back four DID NOT serve their apprenticeship under the previous back four. Lehmann wasn’t at the club, Lauren was a midfielder for Real Mallorca, Ashley Cole was a forward in his youth before going on loan to Crystal Palace, Kolo Toure was a midfielder and Sol Campbell was up the road. Why do people insist in saying this rubbish without backing it up with facts. I get that fans have had enough of Arsene, i love and respect the man, but know his time is up… Doesn’t mean you have to make up stories to fit an agenda…

JJs Bender

Cashley is the only player you could possibly say served as an apprentice to the previous back four, and well, we all know what a hole he turned out to be.

Please take a second rethink your agenda

John C

No, they all can, Lauren joined when Dixon was still at the club, Toure and Campbell learned from Keown and Adams, so you’re talking crap.

Tron

Hang on, I’m not saying Toure didn’t learn from partnering Keown of course he did, same with Lauren morphing into a right back probably with some guidance from Dixon, yes of course. But all this is done with the Coaches overview and input, maybe Pat Rice was a bigger influence than we’ve been lead to believe but I think you may be stretching things a tad to say one of the best defenders in England learnt from Tony Adams. Sol Campbell was one of the most sort after CB’s in World Football when his contract was up at S*urs, Juventus, Inter, Real, Man U all after him so yes of course he would take on some knowledge from players around him but holy smoke he was all ready the Best CB in the country at the time. Again I think it’s too easy to dismiss the “Gold Trophy’ back four, the previous back four was coached to within an inch of their lives, almost bored to tears – but the game they were playing was different, it wasn’t possession based, it wasn’t fast break full backs/wing backs, it was pure offside hell – and also the majority of them played when the back pass rule hadn’t been brought in yet. I’m in no way dismissing what they achieved or their influence on individuals but saying those players served an apprenticeship under the GG back 4/5 isn’t right. How do we know that Grimandli wasn’t the biggest influence on those players, after all he was at the club – he’s a scout who obviously can ‘spot’ certain traits.
Just one more thing John… what did the back four that made the European Champions League final learn from the players you’ve mentioned, you know that shit back four that only conceded three goals in the whole tournament , that featured at times – Almunia, Cygan, Clichy, Flamini and Senderos ?

John C

Keown was brought in to coach the defence on that Champions league run wasn’t he, which kind of proves my point.

Tron

So why is he not coaching a Champions League team ?

John C

I don’t know, you’d have to ask him

John C

And i haven’t dismissed anything, the back 4 that went undefeated was very good, i haven’t denied it.

Stringer Bell

John c your not related to Dianne Abott by any chance

Ol\' Granny Xhaka

Yeah, the back 5 thing is incredibly overdone. Where did they finish in Graham’s final season? Wenger improved those players and, arguably, the invincibles defence was a far better back line with not one Graham era player in it

John C

Keown played in it

No neck

Preach brother

John C

Why’s it over rated?

Adams won 4 league titles including conceding only 18 goals in an entire season in 91, let’s put that into context, our current back line let in 17 in 5 away games in little over a month only a few weeks ago!!

Trez

Wenger has signed better defenders since they retired i.e Campbell, Ashley Cole, Sagna, Lauren, etc. Epl is much tougher than before. Those guys are not as good as they’re made to be.

Deano

Those guys really were that good!

It’s like saying if Pele was a young player around today’s game he’d be bang average because the game is so much quicker and stronger. He would still be one of the greatest players ever as he would have adapted to the modern game.

John C

If Wenger signed better defenders and had worse results that would indicate inferior coaching wouldn’t it?

Trez

Inferior results like going unbeaten for a season? Getting to the ucl final?? I’m sorry Wenger is a better coach than George Graham. I want him gone by the end of the season, but Wenger is great in his first 10 years on here…heck during the project youth we played beautiful football. He started losing it after 2011/2012 season.

John C

One season of success with his superior defenders (an assessment i don’t agree with), Champions League final isn’t success.

I would agree that Wenger was a better manager, up to a couple of years after the invincibles but considering Wenger’s first 2 titles were won on the foundations of Graham’s excellently coached defence there’s little you can do to convince me he’s better at coaching.

Wenger brought incredibly talented players, certainly more talented than Grahams, but Graham got more out of more modest means through superior coaching and tactics.

There is no Wenger equivalent to Anfield 89 or Copenhagen 93 in terms of coaching and tactics but at the same time there is no Graham equivalent of the style, power and skill of the early Wenger teams.

My preference today would be to be managed by Wenger circa 2002 but still in a one off match i’d take George Graham for tactics.

anon

Graham’s team only lost 1 game in 91 season to Chelsea if i remember correctly and Mr Graham has forgotten more about tactics then Wenger will ever know…

Andy Mack

I’d like God back as a coach.

Javis

Tony Adams has been a dick for quite some time now. He was an incredible player for us but he’s a prized ass wipe full of his own self importance now. This is a cheap dig, Arsene has beem classy as ever in these types of circumstances.

SuperAndersLimpar

I loved Tony Adams. An absolute warrior, the likes of whom have not been seen at our place for a very long time.
But started to fall out of love with him when he was a no show on the final day at Highbury, & nothing he has done since has really changed my opinion.
Regardless of what you think of AW nowadays, to say that he can’t coach isn’t sad, it’s just plain stupid. And incredibly cheap.

Kevinm8128

Wenger isn’t paid to coach his way out of paper bags, he’s paid to coach a team to success. Putting aside that even I believe it’s time for change, three league titles, six FA Cups and twenty years of Champions League qualification holds up pretty well. Other coaches out there are unable to coach their way out of Azerbaijan..

Arsenal Pakistan!

It really angers me that whenever the fans are against Arsene, ex players use it as an opportunity to ridicule him further. I feel sad even thinking of how Arsene feels in times like these and you have to respect him on how he maintains his class even in the most difficult of times he faces. And his point of ex players not having a divine right to be chosen for management is spot on. Many of the players like Viera left when they felt like it and now want to be brought in management without proving themselves? We are in the top 10 clubs in the world so how can you expect us to give out management positions just because they used to play for us?

Sig

“Coach his way out of a paper bag” doesn’t make any sense. The saying is “punch his way out of a paper bag”. I hope Adams had a good ghost writer for his book or he might feel “sickened as a parakeet” when trying to explain his metaphors.

Runzac

He just threw his nickname Mr. Arsenal out the window. Classy Wenger as always. If everyone would choose their words as carefully as Wenger we could get rid of
social media

Wright on the money

Adams was a legend at the club no better defender for me than him. But why don’t old players keep quite we know Arsenal are shit at the moment.

I think Wenger has done great for the club but the time is up now and time for some fresh legs on the pitch and the sidelines.

John C

On the contrary, I find it refreshing that there are some ex-players who are prepared to tell the truth. Nothing winds me up more than hearing the likes of Pires spin the PR bullshit support for a manger that’s been failing the club for years.

Sean

So ‘the truth’ is how you refer to comments which support your own personal viewpoints, and things you don’t like to hear are ‘pr bullshit’? Thanks for the balance John!

Gunnerinsearchoftruth
Gunnerinsearchoftruth

On the flipside, you are getting upset about someone that says something that disagrees with your viewpoint. Isn’t that a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black?

John C

Exactly balance, there is no balance, it’s generally all fawning praise without any acknowledgment of Wengers many failings

Thawani Amit

Pires has been very fair in his observations. And positive. I personally am indebted to him being a ‘catalyst for change’ rather than a ‘catalyst for chaos’.

Alexstratz

It seems all ex famous players think they have a divine right to coach at a big club, without having proved anything beforehand.

Wade wilson

Rodders, man, you used to be beautiful 😔
It’s a shame when your heroes become fallen. As a player I can never repay him for all he did for our club. We all owe him a debt of gratitude. It hurts to see him struggle like this. Lashing out at other legends Pat Rice, Stevie Bould & the boss. At this point it can’t be for dough. And I don’t doubt for a second his love for the club. His pride might be hurt, but this ain’t the way. Washing laundry in public. Not good.

Sal

Arsene Wenger: 21 years of relentless class. 100% behind him over the opinion of any player, supporter, or board member. The shit he takes is utterly appalling.

Thawani Amit

It’s like GoT. The Starks who suffer so horribly will one day fuck the rest of the world up – is what we hope tbh.

Alexis , Atom & Humber
Alexis , Atom & Humber

Damn I’m not even in the WengerIn camp. A man that is unable to win a football match as a Manager, is criticising Wenger who brought us the invicibles? Tony Adams, common don’t be stupid.

Lord Bendtner

We may want Wenger out, but one thing you cant take away from him is his class. Class is permanent

Arun M

The man oozes class.

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject

A common health condition among men of intellect, unfortunately. It’s entirely benign, but does tend to ruin one’s suit if medication is not kept up with.

AusGunner

You wonder if there’s an element of jealousy from ex-players sometimes, especially those who predate Wenger, given that they understand that in the fullness of time Wenger will be considered the club’s most legendary figure – no one having done more or worked harder for the club, and achieved as much as he has.

Determined Culture

As we can see, Arsene is a true blue old school sentimental n loyal person. An absolute gem in today’s society with a quality that’s fast going extinct.
One word that can sum him up has to be LOYALTY.
In a world where many of us have worked for shitty companies and shitty bosses, n who have been stabbed in the back way too many times, we can sit quietly, have a cup of coffee, n truly appreciate Arsene Wenger’s qualities as a human being n just learn, n strive to b like him in life.
Thank you for the life lessons Mr Wenger.

Robert Pyres

Adams is my Football hero. He is the reason I started supporting The Arsenal back in 1988 when I first saw Adams as a young England player.

I have also been very fortunate to have met him and chatted to him on a couple of occasions and I’m pleased to say it was not one of those “you should never meet your hero” scenarios!

The first time I met him we got chatting about coaching and management and he was very enthusiastic when I asked him if he had any aspirations to manage the Arsenal or England one day.
Bearing in mind this was about 11 years ago now, it seems his management dreams are still a long way off so comments like the ones he made just don’t seem to make any sense, given his own failings so far.

I’d of course have loved to have seen my football hero managing my club but we all know too well that often the best players don’t make the best coaches or managers and despite many fan’s feelings about Wenger in past few seasons, I for one, still have the utmost respect for the man and will never lower myself to vitriolic, abusive language about him.

Hearing Adams spout off the way he has is a little bit heart-breaking in a way given their history together, and it tarnishes that history but everyone is entitled to an opinion, I don’t agree with what Adams has said but it wasn’t vicious, and certainly didn’t warrant the tirade of abuse he got from some fans on social media! It was more of a stupid, self harming comment really, and that is, as Wenger and blogs have said, very SAD.

Thawani Amit

Maybe he is poorly advised or being shoehorned to be a fall guy. I hope he comes out of this better and expresses regret for his stupidity.

Only one Dennis Bergkamp
Only one Dennis Bergkamp

Tony, you were, are, and will always remain Mr Arsenal for many of us Gunners. But I just hope you realise what it means to be called that. Of course you can criticise, but the words and the timing smack of opportunism. Like Arsene said, ‘Sad’.

Gloryhunter

I’m always perplexed by the negativity on this site when explayers criticise Arsene, all the comments that back what Adams said are down voted. Wenger clearly still has a lot of fans.
the tone might be harsh but there’s some reality to what Adams said, and we have all criticised Arsene for the same thing. But I guess we have earned the right to criticise?!?

John C

You only have to look at when the comments are posted. All posted by people who haven’t been within 100 miles of Highbury and don’t know their arse from their elbow as far as Arsenal goes

Andrew

Or possibly people who live next door to Highbury and don’t know their are from their elbow who like to stay up late.

Does it matter which?

Sachin

I don’t live near Highbury and I know both my arse and elbow and also fucking xenophobes like you who love the prestige and money that flows into the club from fans like us but we are some different species to be talked down to.

You are Grade A asshole man.

John C

Nothing xenophobic about it, you just have no idea of what the feelings are at ground level.

Gillespie

Maybe because he wasn’t trying to coach his way out of a paper bag and instead he was trying to coach a team to win titles. Maybe Tony is focussing too much on paper bags over at Granada.

Thawani Amit

Air Sickness bags

AlwaysArsenal

Even though I think it’s time for a change in manager this is so sad and heartbreaking to read.

But what infuriates me the most is Wenger’s reply. The man is classy to a fault and I believe is the problem we’v had. Always trying to be “classy” even when you have teams manhandling us on the pitch or ex players in their upcoming books.

Sometimes you need to let people know you’re ready to give back as much shit as you get. Fuck being classy all the time. I mean how does Tony Adam’s get to spew such shit with his record as a manager? Cos he sees how Wenger has been responding to such slander over the years.

That’s also why for many years teams always set out to bully and injure us on the pitch cos they know we will lose out while trying to be “classy” in the way we play.

Come on, where is your edge Wenger?!!

ClockEndRider

Wenger is a mature adult who realises that there is no point in wasting energy in anything which you can’t control. Adams is, intellectually and developmentally, a man-boy who is belatedly addressing his lack of education and self awareness. This is to be commended. As Socrates said, the unexamined life is not worth living. At the same time, someone in his family, social group or support group needs to explain to him that he isn’t the finished article yet and should reserve his thoughts for getting to that point before unleashing his lack of wisdom on the rest of the world. I wonder if the groups I have mentioned have a somewhat sycophantic element with nobody acting as a control mechanism to put a brake in Adams lack of self control. He’s more to be pitied than blamed. Sad.

Magneto

I think that’s the first time that I’ve seen one of the great philosophers’ quoted on a football blog. Great stuff!

Benriz

100% this. It really is sad isn’t it. With the Sun as well! Ghastly business really. You have to wonder, is the money running out?

Be careful stepanovs the train
Be careful stepanovs the train

The way I see it is simple….the approach to producing a book that players like donkey and Roy Keane use where they just slate everyone is flat out wrong IMO
However the ray parlour approach was spot on anyone who hasn’t read it yet should definitely do it.

Thawani Amit

Was a funny read that one too

ClockEndRider

There is something to be said in this case for the adage that if you have nothing good to say, best say nothing.

A P

Talking about Keane, I am still amazed how this guy wasn’t arrested for his admission on planned assault.

Jammy

Tony Adams was obviously a great defender and our greatest ever captain. I will always love him for his playing days. And I don’t think he’s a bad person. He’s just a bit… odd. I don’t think he’s the brightest spark, and his record certainly suggests he’s not a good coach/manager.

Personally I think Wenger’s time to go has come, but I don’t think he deserves so much disrespect. Wasn’t it Tony Adams who said at the time that Wenger had extended his career by 2/3 years.

And yes Wenger inherited that back 4/5 and obviously that was a massive part of that first double win, but so were Petit, Vieira, Overmars, Anelka…. players Wenger brought in and most of whom were unknown. Yes the defence was great but we’d been well out of the title race in previous seasons with that defence.

Yes it’s time for Wenger to go. Yes he may not be the best coach. But he doesn’t deserve to the constant hounding.

If the choice was two more years of Wenger, or get Tony Adams in, I know what I’d prefer…

Gloryhunter

You can guarantee you won’t win the title with either one

red

Adams comments honestly make me think I wish wenger would sign a 1 year extention and win everything karma alone he deserves to leave head held high and on top to many people are disrespecting the man

bazza_wicks

you just know some one has stooped to his lowest life form when your in cahoots with the sun and to mention things for personnel gain is sad great player & captain Adams thats it nothing else

Adi

If you take the sensationalized headlines off, Tony Adams basically says two things we’ve heard from other ex-players before:

1. Wenger is not a great tactician and coaching is hardly his greatest ability (I first came to this conclusion when we played Fiorentina in 1999 and Trapattoni tactically mastered him, but that’s just me). You may not like it but a lot of other ex-players said in the past that Wenger rarely does tactics, it’s not his style. Look at what Lee Dixon said about Ashley Cole’s development for example. Is he also “bitter” or “disrespectful”? Is he anti-Arsene?

2. He doesn’t like to surround himself with strong characters and sticks with “yes men” who don’t challenge his views. Can anyone argue with it after all these years? Looking at the amount of changes he made over the years, I’d say he’s spot on – and he’s not the first one to point it out.

Most of our fans are so caught up in Wenger’s mythology they’ll only wake up when we’re in real deep sh*t… They’ll probably blame Tony Adams again. Or Alexis Sanchez.

Sachin

Wenger is a competent tactician. He has built teams that slaughtered the opposition with movement and positioning. You may have forgotten those times I haven’t.

But yes, he has been also out thought many times. Can’t argue that. One wishes he had players who could adapt over the course of the game and play to the situation. Or that he found it in him to be as cynical as a Benitez or Allardyce once in a while.

Van Persie, Sanchez, Toure, Cole, Lehmann, Henry, Vieira, Fabregas, even Flamini all have been very vocal and belligerent. Wenger has wanted all of them to stay on with the team, gone out on a limb.

I’m not sure about the mental makeup of his current backroom so can’t really comment on this theory that he only wants yes man. Everything about him says that he wants fighters and intelligent people around him.

Neil

Can’t help but think all TA is doing bit by bit, piece by piece is tarnish his good feeling and memories for me.

Funny how it seems itvwasnt so necessary to give Arsene a good kick whilst he’s at his lowest ebb. Should he go? Yes I think he should. But should we be respectful to Arsene right up until the end? Absolutely!

ramgooner

Tony Adams recently in an interview said he would like it if Wenger stays at the club and that he is the right man to lead us forward. Same with Viera who blamed the players and not Wenger.
I think Tony is entitled to his opinion considering he had written it in his book. I’m sure he’d have praised Wenger in the same book.
It’s just a case of media behaving like wankers as they always do.
Anyways, class response from Wenger.

SpamB0t

Let’s focus on Wenger’s replies. A lot of people have talked about how “classy” they were.

I would argue they are, to varying degrees, patronizing, hypocritical, or just flat out clueless.

First he says he’s here “to do the job” – what job was that again? About half the squad has unclear contract situations, we’ve been out of the title race for six months now, and if the job is to get Arsenal into to Champions league, well, then he should be managing Middlesbrough. Oh, yeah, the FA Cup final, all is forgiven, keep up the good work.

“…you have to employ people who can help you to be successful,” I don’t need to explain the massive lack of self-awareness behind this comment.

Jeez, and when he talks about there being no “divine right” to return to the club once you’ve left – surely a completely different principle than becoming Manager-for-Life because of the Invincibles.

I read comments like this, I don’t see class. I see a stubborn man deflecting criticism by putting on a “Why would you hurt this nice old man?” defense.

Tony Adams was a top, top defender. Surely he would recognize what went into organizing a well-drilled defensive unit, his ability to impart it to a different team notwithstanding.

Is the phrase “well-drilled defensive unit” one that could be identified with any Arsenal team in the last decade?

I rest my case.

John C

This is absolutely spot on and his response shows a complete lack of class and self awareness.

Stringer Bell

John you probably would do yourself a favour by avoiding any debate on self awareness. Hope your not offended, just pointing out the obvious

John C

Stringer Bell why’s that?

Sachin

John C agrees with Spambot. Even Jesus shakes his head.

Benriz

Fair points but I think when people refer to “class” in Wengers response, it’s more to do with the kind of language used and lack of explicit criticism whilst still making counter points to T.A’s comments. Don’t forget that many here probably agree with you about AW’s failings continuing to admire his class. The’re not mutually exclusive.

Benriz

*Whilst continuing

SpamB0t

Points taken, although I would argue it’s part of Wenger’s “act”.

It’s much easier to hate a Mourino type than “nice old Arsene”.

It’s much easier to dismiss criticism in a “classy” way when you’re in a position of unchallenged authority come hell or high water.
And it’s not hard to see the facade fall off when somebody touches his sore spots.

Is it “classy” to pretend to not notice the empty seats in the last game? Is it classy to feign ignorance of what a Director of Football does?

Is it classy to leave us all hanging with regard of whether he’s staying or leaving?

Yes, he didn’t call Tony Adams a donkey-looking cunt. I suppose that’s enough for some people.

Sachin

Yes to all your questions.

It’s not just enough for ‘some people’. Many people actually look up to his sense of honour, restraint and even wit.

Try harder to demonise him. Then fail harder.

karl

Adams was a great player and one of favourites, but he is a very odd man these days. Must have been deliberate comments to try and create publicity.

Thaigoon

Just read parts of my P.Lahm autobiography from 2011 (you should read it too the boy was genius) as hes retiring. And as lovely and calm as Lahm is he absolutely bashes a good share of his bosses. And rightly so. At the time the book was written ppl was furious with his comments but now that i look at it again after 6 years. He was absolutely true.Every boss he disrespected in his book was a failure in recent years v.Gaal is good example as a BPL follower.he made the exact mistakes here as Lahm said he had used to do in Germany…
As for Tony Adams he too is absolutely right. After his David Dien generation and moving to new Stadium he has failed to win any big trophy or even compete for one. Something we wouldnt imagine happen in 1980s or as far as my Arsenal history says 1920s. The football has evolved and our dull progression has been far from enough. Spu*s Chelsea City Liverpool. Older fans know in Highbury years never did we faced one thing less than thrashing them apart… And lets forget about Bayern or Barcas…

Surrey Gooner

I think the most ardent Wenger supporter would have to admit he hasn’t been able to take us up to challenge properly for the prem or Europe in the last 5 years (for me it was a fallacy thinking we would immediately challenge after the move). The evidence is there for all to see. But to say what Adams has said shows a staggering lack of insight and disrespect. The comment is more fitting for his own coaching career. I expected more from him.

MikeSA

“I am respectful to everybody”
Really?
You sure about that?

santori

Only the facile media will put much credence to the opinions of ex footballers.

Most of them aren’t too bright. All respect to their careers of course.

Ditto Tony Adams who should be one to comment about management having failed in his career thus far.

Ditto Ian Wright who never fails to pop up and have a go when things go wrong but offers precious little.

What makes him think Usamov is better than Korenke.

Leeds United, Newcastle, cautionary tales in owners who thought they knew more and decided to meddle.

Kroeke doesn’t know much about footy. He is first and foremost a business man so it is wise for him to stay silent and leave the footy to those who know more.

On the business front, we’ve been doing very well.

Wenger has navigated through a stadium transition. We are competitive with bidding on top end players in recent seasons with Ozil, Alexis, Mustafi and Granit, all of whom have been excellent buys. Whether Wenger is still shy of buying one added at this top end level is another issue.

It is a bit rich however…to extrapolate the failings on the pitch to an overall failing of the club as a whole.

This is where the media like to get themselves confused and in a mental muddle.

This is a club (and a manager) who have successfully secured as minimum finish Top 4 for 2 decades!

The club continues to buy well at marquee level as mentioned but also is developing gems like Iwobi and Bellerin and scouting lower end leagues for the likes of Holding (I don’t see David Dein involved here or a Director of Football)

So why is the club under performing in this respect.

The issue is on the pitch and should not be confused with the overall picture.

4 seasons ago, the same simpletons were moaning about how they would prefer Wenger to not get the Top four pot and instead win trophies.

Now the same crowd (IRONICALLY) are baying blue murder because we are not likely to reach top 4. It has suddenly become a perogative to this media crowd when United, Liverpool and Spurs suddenly make qualifying for CL their priority.

Then there is this whole idea that spending alone witll solve things so anyone richer than Kroenke will do. Queue Usamov…dodgy businessman who likes to pop his head out and chime in only when the team are doing poorly so he can gain control. He’ll tell you what you want to hear.

Spend spend spend. United? Carling cup and (if they are lucky) maybe Europa for all the money ploughed into Pogba and Zlatan and the likes?

Some say but Barca and Real spend to good effect. Its a two team league which they have a leg up with the TV money there.

I think a lot of people need to pull their heads out of their arse a little.

Are we underperforming?

Yes.

Should Wenger buy more players?

He’s closed the gap in recent seasons (bar the infuriating missed opportunity when he only bought Cech) BUT by and large, he is only one player shy of competitive now where he used to be 3 or 4 quality players off.

Can Wenger still attract decent players if we don’t compete in CL?

Our selection is more limited but there are excellent players out there who can reinforce our weaknesses. I mentioned Konoplyanka at Schalke on loan from Sevilla, maybe a Babayoko from Monaco.

Is the club poorly managed?

No. We are a self financed and independent entity beholden to no one including Korenke. We make our own decisions footballing-wise. The club has been steadily making gains on the likes of United, Chelsea and City in terms of spending power.

And have secured some top signings ahead of 7 or 8 clubs who can spend more than us in Europe. Just ask yourself if other clubs would not have signed Ozil or Alexis if they had a chance to get ahead of us.

Its not an easy market and fans tend to get confused as if a Director of Football can make things better. Remember Liverpool buying a certain pony tailed English player for 35m, the same price we spend on Alexis Sanchez.

Don’t listen to ex-players. By and large and for most parts, they have either failed in management(Tony) or have never operated in the market let alone managed a club (Ian)

Wenger didn’t care. He brushed it off in the press conference. Surprise its made such a meal out of.

santori

Besides…I would think the one that can’t coach his way out of the paper bag is Adams.

Monrealist

Fair enough you don’t win any trophies for making champions league places for 20 years in a row but it probably means you can manage your way out of said paper bag

I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject
I\'m Professor Ignorance, on that subject

On the American NBC broadcast today (for Arsenal-Everton), when the announcer brought up the Tony Adams comments (2nd half, not too long after they discussed socks I think), Lee Dixon crushed the idea that Adams was actually saying what the reports are saying he said.

Dixon asserted that Wenger isn’t a coach in a traditional sense of lining players up and drilling them, but that he coaches by creating situations where the players use their ability to create their own ideas and practice with each other. Or something to that effect – I can’t recall the exact words at this point and can’t find a convenient replay online at the moment. Dixon explained that this was what he thought Adams was saying, and that the bookwriter/Sun was deliberately releasing only the select bits that would turn it from commentary into something provocative in order to sell more and garner more attention. He flat out stated that he’s never done a book of his own because he thinks this is always how publishers end up selling them, with lies of omission and word-twisting in favor of creating controversy out of nothing.

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