Wenger backs Adams to prosper
Arsene Wenger has said top-flight rivals Portsmouth have made the right decision in appointing his former Arsenal captain Tony Adams as their new manager. Pompey wasted little time in promoting the 42-year-old from his post as assistant manager following the shock departure of Harry Redknapp to Tottenham Hotspur at the weekend.
"It makes me very happy. I believe it is a good opportunity for him and we wish him of course well," Wenger said. "He is at the age now where you have to start in this job. For the rest I believe he has a good squad and he has worked a lot now in this job and I think he is ready.
"Tony has now much more experience because he has been abroad (coaching in the Netherlands) and has been at Portsmouth as an assistant. I believe he has the qualities and that is why I am very positive about it."
Adams was Wenger's skipper when Arsenal won the Premier League and FA Cup double in 1998. And the Frenchman is certain he has what it takes to succeed as a manager.
"I believe that he has natural authority which is one important ingredient, the second one is of course to convince everybody about your philosophy and the way you see things," he said. "."
Redknapp will be a hard act to follow but, with Portsmouth seventh in the Premier League, Wenger said Adams had a good base from which to start his managerial career at Fratton Park. "The most important thing you want to have is good players when you arrive somewhere, and I believe Portsmouth has good players and that's where you can show your qualities," he added.
Meanwhile, Redknapp said his long-term plan had always been for Adams to become Portsmouth manager. "When I bought Tony Adams in a couple of years ago and Tony wanted to be the manager one day, I said to him, 'come with me for a year or two and then you'll take over'."
Adams's former England team-mate Paul Ince, himself a fledgling top-flight manager with Blackburn Rovers, said he welcomed Portsmouth's move and said it was good for the future of the England national side too. "I wish him all the best," remarked the former midfielder enforcer.
"It's got to be a good thing. The bottom line is we want to have an English international (England) manager, we don't want to have to keep looking overseas. If you've got four or five in the Premier League, you've got more choice next time when (Fabio) Capello goes."