I hope that the former Arsenal captain and defensive rock is wrong but I fear that Tony Adams could be right in his assessment of what Arsene Wenger has been getting wrong recently and why our quest for the Premier League title this season could falter once again.
Adams was reported by The Sun talking about the imbalance in the Arsenal team between the attacking and creative side and the defensive side. And he clearly feels that the manager has neglected the side of things that were so strong when Adams was at the club with the likes of Martin Keown and Sol Campbell.
We all know that the Frenchman likes the game to be played a certain way and even though the last year or two has seen the Gunners get better at the less attractive parts of the game, perhaps helped by the appointment of another former defensive stalwart Steve Bould as Wenger’s assistant, Adams feels that the current Arsenal team are still too weak at the back.
Even worse is Adams’ claim that the league is likely to be won by the club with the best defence and at the minute that is our north London rivals Tottenham.
He said, “I’ve felt quite upset about this. I’m not going to go into too much detail because they have a fantastic coach and they’re a fantastic club in a magnificent stadium.
“He has got a great offensive unit, but I think he is neglecting the defensive side and I think that’s where the problem lies.
“If they strengthen that area I think they could go and win the league, but I think that’s the error of the team.
“He sticks to his principles and he wants his team to be offensive.
“When Sol Campbell and Ashley Cole left they were the last of the old guard who understood how to defend and prioritise that department.
“I think that when they left there was no one else that understood that and the club hasn’t been the same defensively since.
“I think if he put the balance right with regard to their defence/offence he would win the league. It certainly seemed in recent years that whoever won the league had been very good defensively.
“Chelsea had the best defence last year, before that there was Vincent Kompany at Manchester City and before that Manchester United won with [Nemanja] Vidic and [Rio] Ferdinand.
“I think it’s an important part of the game which is sometimes neglected – well, I know it’s neglected.”
But how does he know for sure? Has Adams been talking to his old pal Bould and does this mean that Wenger is not taking the advice of his assistant?