As you may be aware, Tony Adams has been quite talkative recently and he’s been in and out of the papers, news, Sky Sports News and web sites all day yesterday and today. In an article yesterday, we talked and listen to Tony talking about his ambition of one day being the Arsenal manager; we also heard that he’d been touted for the Celtic role. Something I’ve since seen him say publicly on TV. However, it a strange twist, Wim Jansen denies saying anything of the sort and it’s put a little seed of doubt in my head regarding Tony Adams and what he says. Today, there have been more quotes from Tony – so I’m a little confused to whether they’re entirely accurate.
Tony says he’s been been scouting for Arsenal since he was relieved of his duties at Portsmouth. Surprisingly that we didn’t know about this until yesterday – having scoured the internet, I can’t see any reference to this appointment. And furthermore, if Tony did join us in any capacity, you’d expect this to be common knowledge to the Arsenal fans – we love him (kind of) – and wouldn’t he join as a defensive coach rather than a scout… all very interesting.
“I’ve been down to Italy mainly. The Italians don’t usually travel well, but I think this lad that I’m looking at may if we can come up with the money and there is a money issue at the Arsenal at the moment. I don’t know whether he [Wenger] will end up going for a bigger player. We’ll see how much money we’ve got first.
The points which can be taken from here is that we’ve obviously looking for a defender and an Italian defender at that – the question will inevitably be “who?” Chellini from Juventus was mentioned, but I don’t think he’s the player in question. And potentially, he isn’t a “big name” player either as suggested so, which other player – who is is Italian by nationality, can be in Arsene’s mind.
“I have been looking at the Dutch league. But to be honest with you it’s been decimated. It’s a poor league at the moment, there’s one or two players but they’re leaving too early as well. I think Arsenal need something in both boxes. Defensively, certainly, Arsene’s said it himself. But Sagna lost his brother and I think for six or seven months it really affected him, and Clichy’s been injured so you’ve taken the full-backs out. Williams Gallas has not been there either so that’s three big players who have not been in contention. It’s the balance that’s lacking. I like Alex Song, I think he’s improved but I think they need maybe even two holding players.”
Some of this quote relates to what he’s been asked to do, and some of it relates to his opinion. Hopefully, we’ll be more solid next season, but if we do suffer injuries, unless we strengthen, we will be suspect again.
Former “Mr Arsenal” carries on to talk about various other things, but does get a chance to talk about the board and the goings on upstairs. Apparently, there is someone on the board who doesn’t like him – I initially thought Usmanov – but is he actually on the board?
“I don’t know who it is, but I have been told there is someone on the board who is not pro-Arsene. People on the board – and the fans – want more. But they cannot actually back it up with financial weight to do it.
A theme of Tony’s rant circulates about not knowing how much money there is and / or there not being any money available. But in reality, we must have money – we made more money than Liverpool this season and based on my calculations – at the very minimum there is about £14 million available, after contract negotiations and before player sales.
“He had a real problem with the fans when they started having a go at his players. He’s a very loyal man who takes that as an insult personally. They can have a go at him but not at his players. The only thing I can question him on, from a football point of view, was why he did not play Andrey Arshavin in the FA Cup semi-final. Arshavin has come in, opened up doors, taken the Premier League by storm and I felt sure he would play in that game and do well. But that’s one thing over 13 years!”
And there is an air of truth in what Tony has stated there – I’d agree in terms of the fans and in terms of Andrei Arshavin. Yes, it was clearly a mistake in hindsight, but I’ve also heard Arsene’s reasons behind it and I can see why he did it.
And finally, I’ve leave you with another old boy in Lee Dixon, who’s backing Arsene 110%:
“Everyone has got their opinion and some have been critical but Arsène Wenger is still Mr Arsenal, as far as I’m concerned. He can do little wrong for me, I still rate him hugely as a manager and what he’s done for this football club has been phenomenal.
More later… including why Eboue may be leaving…