What was once considered “the safest job in the Premiership” has been considerably compromised after nearly a decade with out silverware. With Arsene Wenger holding to his practice of minimal big name signings, youth development, and selling well established players in order to secure a larger transfer kitty, the past few years have seen the Gunners move from historic Highbury to the state of the art Emirates Stadium.
But not at a price.
Arsenal continue to lead the way in revenue. They have the highest priced ticket in the league and are one of the very few clubs in Europe to turn a profit. However, they have never quite found the form they had during their “Invincibles” period in their 2003-2004 Premier League winning season. As players left, Wenger touted a “rebuilding” process that never quite happened. Star players were developed and sold without being adequately replaced. Now Arsenal find themselves in a panic buying situation.
The seasons prior had found the Gunners in a slow decline. Eventually top talent opted for offers from other clubs instead of making the move to North London. Frustration set in and Gooner support went from patience to suspicion to chagrin to resentment. Finally (in particular regard to the previous two seasons), Arsenal supporters have abandoned their allegiance to the man that brought about a whole new philosophy to English football and have called for Arsene Wenger’s resignation.
With that in mind, former Arsenal captain and England international Tony Adams had tossed his hat into the ring in a bid to become the club’s next manager. He told Zapsortz.com, “One hundred per cent I’d like to be Arsenal manager.”
“Of course my heart says ‘yes, yes, yes’, but my head says ‘can I win with this current team?’ My answer is no, I can’t and I am not sure anyone can.”
“I would want assurances if I walk through the door, those assurances meaning I’m given the go ahead to build a new team. I would get my teeth into building a new team but to achieve that, you would need to spend. To keep hitting the top four and qualifying for the Champions League is great, and Arsene has done such a great job, but there is going to come a day, and that won’t be far away, when Arsene leaves.”
“For a long time he has been a one-man band, but that won’t happen again. The next man appointed will be the head coach and not the manager.”
Adams went on to criticize Arsenal’s style of play under Wenger, advocating a more defensive approach instead.
“Arsene plays too open. I’ve more of a defensive eye. That’s not to say I would be defensive, but the club have bought too many players like Santi Cazorla and Tomas Rosicky and not enough Patrick Vieira types.”
Promoted from the youth academy, Adams spent twenty-two years at Arsenal before hanging up his boots. He made five hundred and four appearances for the senior squad and scored thirty-two goals as a defender. In that time, Adams appeared in England’s back line sixty-six times.
Since retiring from playing, Adams has went on to manage Wycombe Wanderers, Portsmouth, and Gabala.