Adams Looking For Arsenal Scalp + Video
Portsmouth appointed Tony Adams as manager on Tuesday, giving the former England and Arsenal captain his first chance to lead a Premier League club.
Adams was often touted as a likely topflight manager during a playing career in which he became the only man to captain a team to the English league title in three different decades.
He had been assistant to Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth since June 2006 but was promoted to the top job on a 2 1/2-year contract following his former boss’s switch to Tottenham at the weekend.
Arsene Wenger, who managed Adams for the last six years of his career at Arsenal, thinks his former captain has the attributes to succeed.
“He is at the age now where you have to start in this job,” Wenger said. “I believe he has a good squad and he has worked a lot now in this job and I think he is ready. Tony has now much more experience because he has been abroad and has been at Portsmouth as an assistant.
“I believe he has the qualities and that is why I am very positive about it.”
Adams has won admiration for his character as well as his playing and coaching abilities.
In September 1996, following a lengthy drinking binge that followed England’s elimination from the European Championship semifinals, Adams publicly acknowledged that he was an alcoholic. He successfully fought an addiction that caused a four-month jail sentence for drunk driving.
His rehabilitation continued under Wenger, who built his first sides on Graham’s defence and whose introduction of a new dietary regime and training methods was credited with extending Adams’ career.
Such was his longevity that in 1998 and 2002 Adams added the double of Premier League and FA Cup to the league titles he won in 1989 and 1991.
“I spoke to Arsene last night to ask advice and he said, ‘Welcome to hell,”‘ Adams said. “I said, ‘Are you scared? Because I’m coming for you.”‘