Arsenal legend Tony Adams: Arsene Wenger should have left in May

PUBLISHED: 06:57 07 September 2017 | UPDATED: 07:17 07 September 2017

Archant's Layth Yousif speaks to former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams (pic Danny Loo)

Archant's Layth Yousif speaks to former Arsenal and England defender Tony Adams (pic Danny Loo)

Danny Loo Photography 2017

Arsenal legend Tony Adams believes long-serving boss Arsene Wenger should have left the club after winning the FA Cup in May.

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

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’

“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.

“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.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Islington Gazette. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the Islington Gazette