I was quite surprised to read some incredibly harsh words in the ‘Metro’ coming from former Arsenal captain, Tony Adams, about his ex-boss, Arsene Wenger.
Obviously, Adams has an autobiography to sell, so in some ways it makes sense to be sensational. Nevertheless, to say that Wenger ‘coach his way out of a paper bag’ seems uncalled for. I once met a top former England player who told me confidentially that his relatively successful boss couldn’t coach, but could pick a good player. That coach would then let the players that he picked do their thing. It resulted it success, but, like Wenger perhaps, he couldn’t coach as such. To be honest, I’ve always suspected that. Why else would the team be crammed with attacking midfielders, when most of the time it makes no tactical sense to play that way? Why else would the defending resemble slapstick comedy, such is the lack of organisation?
Adams goes on to state that Wenger would have been ‘sacked at [Real] Madrid’ if he’d accepted one of the many jobs he’d been offered. I was thinking the same thing when I heard Wenger boast that he’s turned down ‘every club in the world’. I can forgive his exaggeration because once again he’s delivered a trophy. I know it’s only the FA Cup, but it’s better than a fourth-placed trophy-less season, in my opinion.
Going back to Adams’ comments, I think we should take them with a huge pinch of salt, especially when he says Wenger can’t ‘throw lavish parties for his friends because he hasn’t got none’. I can forgive the poor grammar in that sentence, but if I were Wenger I would not forgive Adams’ bitterness. In a way, I can understand that Adams thinks he should have got a job at Arsenal, but he hasn’t been hugely successful as a manager, has he? As a person, I’d probably like Adams far more than Wenger if I chatted to each of them, but I’m not keen on the level of bitterness coming out in this autobiography. However, I suppose it’s good for book sales.
Finally, I must say it’s pretty sensationalist, especially given Adams’ previous problems with alcoholism, to call Wenger’s hold on Arsenal an ‘addiction’. Adams adds: ‘I hope he calls it a day’. One thing I’d like to be is a fly on the wall if ever the two meet up again. Now that would be an interesting conversation!
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