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Tony Adams declares he would love to manage Arsenal

By Tony Attwood

Recently I published a couple of pieces about two prospective future managers of Arsenal: Remi Garde and Dennis Bergkamp.  The reason for these stories was not the fact that these ex-players had declared their interest in the job, but rather because both were highly regarded by Arsene Wenger, as players, and both are now in the senior levels of management.

A third ex-player who was highly regarded by Mr Wenger (and whom he called “a professor of defending”) is also in management, and has actually declared he would love to manage Arsenal: Tony Adams.

As reported in the earlier articles which have gathered together a list of all the ex-Arsenal players who are now involved in football management, Tony manages in the Azerbaijani league at Gabala FC.

After a typical flutter of interest from the English press Tony was left alone to do his thing through the season, and it was not until the article about Tony’s first season at the club that anyone much has picked up on his work.

Tony is now in the second season of a three year contract at Gabala FC, one of 12 teams in a league which is played over the same period as the EPL.  The average gate across the league is around 2,200 and last season Tony’s team came 7th in the league.

The club however can on occasion get bigger crowds – 4,000 on occasion, although the official capacity of the stadium is less than this.  And there is a 13,000-capacity stadium is under construction, financed by the owner.  Training ground facilities are being improved as well as an academy is being developed to nurture the best talent in the country.

For Tony Adams the big benefit is having time, and no pressure.  Instead of hundreds of journalists all asking the same questions and then making up utterly different answers from the ones he has given, Tony has only a couple of journalists to deal with.  Instead of a bunch of inane trouble-makers calling for the board to sack the manager, and then sending out emails from multiple addresses, there is just support.

Of course not everything is plain sailing.  7th in a league of 12 is not wonderful, and nor was the 1-0 defeat to Barnet in a pre-season game.  But the club did go for a ten game unbeaten run in the latter half of last season, which bodes better for the future.

Gabala city has a population of 13,000 and is in the north of the country.  Five of the 12 clubs in the league are in the capital Baku, with a population of two million.   The country as a whole is about one third of the size of the UK and has a population of about 9 million, about one seventh of the UK’s population.  In a recent interview Tony Adams described the league as being similar to Scotland “without Rangers and Celtic or maybe the Spanish and Italian second divisions”.

In the season about to begin the league is made up of…

The league for the coming season

Team↓ Location↓ Venue↓ Capacity↓
AZAL Baku AZAL Stadium 3,000
FK Baku Baku Tofig Bahramov Stadium 30,000
Kəpəz Ganja Ganja City Stadium 25,000
Inter Baku Shafa Stadium 8,150
Khazar Lankaran Lankaran City Stadium 15,000
Neftchi Baku Ismat Gayibov Stadium 5,000
Qarabağ Agdam Guzanli Olympic Stadium 2,000
Gabala FC Gabala Gabala City Stadium 2,000
Sumgayit Sumqayit Mehdi Huseynzade Stadium 26,000
Ravan Baku Baku TBA TBA
Simurq Zaqatala Zaqatala City Stadium 3,500
Turan Tovuz Tovuz City Stadium 10,000

9 comments to Tony Adams declares he would love to manage Arsenal

  • chris

    Tony would be great as defensive coach – which we desperately need. But Wenger would never let go of those reins … nor any other reins.

  • realistic tony

    i wish he would start managing arsenal tomorrow. For all wenger’s past success, the fact is that he is stuck in some rut whereby he cant or wont spend the necessary money to re-build the team, particularly the defense. The team looks woefully short in many areas. Adams at least would be determined to address those deficiences and not risk a whole season on cheap, useless or freebie defenders

  • ScottyRSA

    Imagine Tony as our Defensive coach and Dennis as our Offensive coach!

  • PLJ

    Goodluick Tony at all u undertake, glad to see a Gooner vet in management and not another ex arsenal pundit who undermines the good work done by Wenger.
    and would love him to be our defensive coach once he has completed his work overseas.

  • Malboy

    Tony Adams’ ability and record as a player is one thing but what has he got to offer as a manager? His time with Wycombe Wanderers and Portsmouth was hardly crowned with success and now he manages Gabala FC, 7th out of 12 in the Azerbaijani League. Sounds like a great resume.
    There’s nothing wrong with Wenger but today’s game seems to be, who’s billionaire is the biggest (or foolish)? And while some clubs are throwing such huge sums around they will attract the mercenaries.

  • Tony Attwood

    Malboy, all you say is true, but with Tony Adams you have to appreciate that he is taking a club with nothing (well almost, the ground only holds about 2000) and trying to get them up the league. The 10 game unbeaten run in the second half of the season suggests he might be making it happen. If not, then ok, but give the guy the chance to do it.

  • Stuart

    I’m with Malboy and ScottyRSA in that Adams could make a great Head Defensive coach and Bergkamp a Head Offensive Coach. The both of them coming with the obvious advantage that they have won it with Arsenal and are famous for playing in those type roles. Our young team needs some role models to provide them with the necessary knowledge and lead them in the right direction.

    I’m not so sure about Manager of Arsenal (not yet anyway) but going back to one of my previous posts in discussion of a replacement for Wenger if I may where I mentioned creating an Offensive, Defensive, Goalkeeping & Set Plays Head Coach (or what ever departments you care to furnish) this will lead to a natural successor to Wenger when he decides enough is enough who is Arsenal through and through and has excellent rapport with the youngsters coming through too!

  • They are on the up. They beat St Albans 3-2 at the weekend!

  • toto

    I quite agree with Malboy. Great players do not necessarily make great coaches or managers. I have seen nothing about Tony Adams to suggest he is or will be a better coach or manager than Arsene Wenger. A 10-game unbeaten run in some obscure league doesn’t merit favourable comparison with Wenger’s achievements at Arsenal. In recent comments about Arsene and Arsenal, it was evident to me that the said 10-game unbeaten run had got to Tony Adams’ head to the point of suggesting that Arsenal will be struggling to get 6th place while he and his Gabala will be in he champions league. He clearly does not rate or respect Arsene as a coach/manager and thinks he would do a better job as shown by the fact that he thinks Arsene is a better physiologist than football coach! I respect Tony Adams for his loyal, committed and distinguished service to the Arsenal over 20 years or so, and he will forever be an Arsenal great. He doesn’t need to engage in this public Wenger-bashing to prove his love for Arsenal and his frustration at Arsene’s inability to rectify what to him are blindingly obvious deficiencies in the team. I am sure his chance will come to restore the Arsenal to the glory of his playing days.

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