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Tony Adams: Arsene Wenger should be FA technical director as Arsenal legend insists England manager Gareth Southgate has ‘easy’ job

PUBLISHED: 19:40 03 October 2017 | UPDATED: 19:40 03 October 2017

Islington Gazette Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif speaks to former England defender Tony Adams (pic Danny Loo)

Islington Gazette Arsenal reporter Layth Yousif speaks to former England defender Tony Adams (pic Danny Loo)

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Tony Adams has called Gareth Southgate’s job as manager of England ‘easy’ before the Three Lions take on Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday evening as they bid to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in Russia.

Tony Adams speaks exclusively to Layth Yousif. Picture: Danny Loo Tony Adams speaks exclusively to Layth Yousif. Picture: Danny Loo

Adams, who won 66 England caps including captaining Terry Venables team to the semi-finals of Euro 1996, has insisted his former international team-mate has a simple job leading the country’s top footballers.

Adams said: ‘Gareth has had a resurgence but you’re only as good a manager as the players you’ve got.

“It’s a pretty easy job being England boss. You’ve got about 50 English players to choose from. You’ve only got a few players to pick from and you put them in.

“I like Gareth, I’m 100 per cent behind him. I think he’s fantastic but he hasn’t got much of a pool to choose from.”

The Arsenal legend is concerned about the lack of talented young English players progressing to the top level of the national game – a state of affairs that he believes makes it difficult for the Three Lions to ever win the World Cup again.

Speaking ahead of their Group F World Cup qualifying match at the national stadium Adams also slammed the loan system as ‘killing’ young English players.

Adams explained: ‘I saw England U18s play Brazil U18s.

“Young English players hit a brick wall in terms of developing. The ages of 18 to 22 are vital in the progress and development of young players but so many in this country can’t progress. Our youngsters are not getting developed like the Brazilians are.

“Of the two youth teams I watched you’ll have five or six young Brazil players coming through – who will play in the Premier League one day – as opposed to maybe one from England.

“Those players need to develop somewhere else – but it’s not happening. And that affects the progress of the national team.

“Our U-18s are fringe players waiting for loans and they’re not getting the development they need.”

Adams also believes Arsene Wenger should be appointed technical director of English football in a bid to push the game forward.

The Romford-born former defender who played 669 matches for Arsenal before retiring in May 2002 after guiding the Gunners to the league and cup double believes Wenger should leave Arsenal to oversee the FA’s technical department.

Adams insists the FA should appoint the under-fire Arsenal boss in place of present incumbent, former Norwich City player, Dan Ashworth.

As Gareth Southgate’s side prepare to take on Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday Adams said: “I like Dan but I think the FA should appoint Arsene Wenger as technical director.”

Adams also has also slammed the loan system in preventing England progressing at international level.

“I would ban the loan system. I would get together with the owners of Premier League clubs and end it. If you do that you won’t have 65 players at Manchester City.

“The young players will then go to other teams and get developed with other teams – and then they’ll get sold to play for Manchester City, or Arsenal when they’re ready.

“Erik Dier is a good example, developing at Sporting Lisbon before being bought by Tottenham when he was ready.

“The loan system is killing English players. If you ban the loan system then overnight you’ll change the face of the game – and improve the national team’s prospects too.”

Tony Adams and Ian Ridley’s second book after Addicted is Sober published by Simon and Schuster.

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