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Former Arsenal captain Adams fears for ‘soft’ Gunners

Ex-defender says team put in ‘Arsene Wenger performances’ during defeats at the start of the season

06 September, 2018 — By Steve Barnett

Tony Adams: ‘As I have been saying for the last 10 years, we need resilience and a strong back four’

FORMER Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams says he was “disappointed” to see his old club put in “Arsene Wenger performances” at the start of the season.

The former tough-tackling defender was just as ruthless with his views on the Gunners’ performances so far as he used to be on the pitch, but he did admit that Wenger’s successor, Unai Emery, “needs time” to make his mark on the team.

Emery has endured a tough start to life in north London, losing his first two Premier League games to ­champ­ions Manchester City and Chelsea. Arsenal have bounced back with wins over West Ham and Cardiff, but have looked far from convincing in any of their games so far.

Adams says that the team still appears to have the same vulnerabilities that plagued Wenger towards the end of his 22-year spell at the club, and called for “patience” with former Sevilla and Paris Saint-Germain coach Emery.

“They need time, the manager needs time as there have been massive changes going on – I think 19 staff got removed from their jobs in the summer,”
he told The Debate on Sky Sports. “It is big changes.

“I was excited after Arsene left and there was change. As I have been saying for the last 10 years, we need resilience and a strong back four.

“I thought, OK, go and get a new coach who will work with your back four so we will not be a soft touch away from home.

“I know we have had a tough start with Manchester City at home and Chelsea away, but I was just a bit disappointed we were not a bit more resilient.”

Looking at how the early issues have impacted Emery’s team, Adams added: “They only play when they have got the ball – they do not know what to do without the ball. It is going to take time, I know that, but I was just a little bit disappointed.

“If I was a new coach coming in, I would say, ‘Let’s get tougher and harder to beat. Let’s go up to Man City and not lose six. Let’s try and be something different’ – I think the crowd would have really gone for it.

“I just saw an Arsene Wenger performance against City and Chelsea and that was the thing that was disappointing. But to think that the squad of players can play teams off the park is unrealistic.”

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