Does Tony Adams have a point about winning ugly?

By Avenell Dave

Twitter is awash with comments about Tony Adams today and rightly so.

A forthright interview in yesterday's Evening Standard highlighted his frustrations with Arsenal and his ambitions to become Arsenal manager one day.

Adams is a curious figure.

A superb player, by his own admission he spent years in an alcoholic blur before quitting drink and finding poetry and music. I met him once and he asked me about Ben Okri, bemused that not everyone shared his literature loves now that he had discovered them at almost 30.

Adams was a leader, a winner and there is no doubt that he had a great part to play in our success over the years.

I love how loyal he was and wish some other players showed the same commitment, especially as he was brought up a West Ham fan, so no family loyalties.

But he didn't even have the decency to turn up for the unveiling of his own statue at the ground last season, such is his beef with some aspects of the club who had supported him through illness and incarceration.

He's right, of course, that Arsene Wenger should spend a bit more time drilling the defence, a bit more time urging the midfield to shield the back four and that full backs should defend first and attack later.

He talks of strong defences winning titles, citing Ch*vski as a prime example, when there are plenty of sides who use flair to win titles (Barca anyone?)

Now we all know that we don't quite have the personnel to emulate either of the afore-mentioned sides and we have to get more of a balance.

But you only have to look at how close M*nure came last season to winning the title to see that a balanced side is not a bad way to go.

How would a George Graham side do today, after all?

His first teams with the likes of Thomas, Rocastle, Marwood, Richardson, Davis, Anderson and Quinn won trophies and then he lost his bottle and focused on Ian Wright as the focal point with everyone else mere workhorses. No wonder he's out of work.

We saw last night against Montpellier that we are starting to gel, that players are finding themselves with intricate balls that carve open defences.

We faded badly in the second half, which begs the question why so few fresh faces were introduced at the start and when the need for subs became apparent.

But we survived. We won. And we won ugly.

The longer Steve Bould has with the team, the stronger we will become in that respect, I am sure.

And didn't Wenger employ Patrick Vieira and Manu Petit to shield the defence which became the cornerstone of our 1998 Double-winning team?

Nothing is perfect in football, and there's huge room for improvement both within Arsenal's team and squad.

But after his ignominious stints at Wycombe and Portsmouth, I do hope Tony Adams sticks to columns rather than sniffing around the hot seat in N5.