Arsenal legend Tony Adams: Arsene Wenger should have left in May
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Arsenal legend Tony Adams believes long-serving boss Arsene Wenger should have left the club after winning the FA Cup in May.
The teak-tough centre-back, who many believe was the club’s greatest defender in its long and illustrious history, respects the Frenchman and believes there should be a statue built to honour Wenger.
However, Adams insists Wenger should have left instead of signing for a further two years.
Speaking exclusively to the Gazette’s Layth Yousif he said: “Arsene should have gone in May.
“He’s such a great guy. He’s said ‘retirement is death’
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“But you don’t have to retire do you? He’ll have a place at Arsenal forever – he’s the greatest Arsenal manager – and deserves respect.
“You could say if he wants another two years give him another two years – but my personal opinion is that he should have gone after beating Chelsea.
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“He should have said ‘thanks very much I’ve done unbelievably for this football club’ – and they would have put a statue up and everyone would have said what a great man, ‘now move onto the board and do an ‘Alex’ [Sir Alex Ferguson] and come back when you want.
“But it’s not for him – and it’s going to end in tears.‘
Adams reflected on his experience under Wenger after the Frenchman was appointed as manager in the autumn of 1996.
It was a move that changed the club and brought an unprecedented level of success during his first 10 years, including three Premier League titles, two of which Adams captained.
He added:”‘My experience when I worked with him for six years was he’s a very approachable, very warm, lovely human being. A really nice guy.
“Very intelligent, very educated.
“If I had to analyse him as a manager and coach in that period he was physiologically-speaking a fitness coach – the best I’ve ever come across, better than everyone. For preparation and recovery he was better than anyone.
“As a psychologist – regarding his interaction with his group of players – he was fantastic, second to none.
“But did he teach me anything? No.
“Did he teach me how to defend? No.
“He didn’t teach Nigel [Winterburn], Dicko [Lee Dixon], He didn’t teach Bouldy [Steve Bould] or Dave Seaman.”
Tony Adams and Ian Ridley’s second book after Addicted is Sober published by Simon and Schuster.