Mr Arsenal azer new job

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As today’s Independent says: It’s not all a hoax.

Tony Adams, Mr Arsenal, the finest defender and captain in all my years as an Arsenal fan, is the new manager of Azerbaijani minnows FC Gabala (capacity: 1,080).

It might not be a hoax, but I tell you what, you couldn’t make it up.

Second guessing Tony Adams though has been a fine art pretty much since he emerged from his alcoholism a reformed man while still at Arsenal.

I’m probably not the only one who assumed, when he retired, that one day he’d be back taking the helm as Arsenal boss, a la George Graham. Hewn from the same stone, he was committed, driven, a motivator of men. Arsenal Football Club oozed out of every pore.

It never worked out that way. Adams started his managerial career at Wycombe, where he lasted only a year before resigning. He spent some time in Holland before re-emerging as assistant manager at Portsmouth, eventually taking the reins as manager for 16 games before being sacked. It’s hardly been a model managerial career to date.

And now this. To say it’s a bold move is an understatement. But reading the Independent article, it’s clear there is money, and serious ambition, at Gabala. There can be no doubting it’s an enormous challenge.

From being the archetypal English footballer in the 1990s, Tony Adams’ life has since headed in a different direction and I wouldn’t have been at all surprised after the disappointnments of Wycombe and Portsmouth had he decided it was no longer the life for him.

Yet here he is, seemingly as ambitious as ever and trying to forge his managerial career in the most peculiar of footballing outposts.

It goes without saying I wish him well. I’m far from convinced it will work out but who knows, eh?

Always a hero of mine whatever happens. 20 years of blinding service, masterful defence and as I said before, the best Arsenal captain I have ever seen.

And who can forget this?

Good luck Big Tone! I think you might need it.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 17 Comments

  1. Mark

    I can say its not a hoax. I work in Baku and my mate saw Tony Adams and Gary Stevens on the plane from Heathrow… They must be paying him a fortune, thats all I can say…

  2. RotorGoat

    Nice one Mark, cheers. I take it Baku is oil rich?

  3. Rinseout

    Wasn’t Rivaldo playing out there somewhere for ridiculous wages as well? Could be some oligarchs out there…

  4. Farnborough Gunner

    I also hoped that TA would return “home” one day as manager, probably as Wenger’s successor after spending some time on Wenger’s coaching staff in preparation.

    In defense of his managerial record, managing at a club like Wycombe is a different world from managing at a club like Arsenal – they are worlds apart. Also, he isn’t the only manager to come unstuck at Portsmouth, which is not suprising considering all the off the pitch troubles there in recent years. I recall he did quite well in The Netherlands.

    I can’t see how taking over such a small club as FC Gabala is going to help his career – surely the Azerbaijan equivalent of Wycombe Wanderers? He would be better getting a job on the coaching staff of a bigger club, possibly as assistant manager. But if the offers haven’t come, he may have just had to take what was offered. Or maybe has has just decided to go for a big pay day.

    It is a real shame that he couldn’t have joined the staff at Arsenal, maybe coaching the defense. But Wenger wouldn’t want that – he is very touchy about Martin Keown coaching the defense in 2006, when we got to the CL final, apparently getting quite irate if anyone even mentions it.

  5. Daryl B

    I LOVE that goal.

    Good luck Mr Adams

  6. Baz

    True story. Some years ago when Arsenal were playing United at Highbury I was right at the front behind the goal in the North Stand where it was possible to hear what the players were saying to each other. United won a corner and Sheringham flattened Keown with a deliberately placed elbow. As Keown was lying on the ground Tony Adams bent over him and asked “Was it Teddy?” Keown confirmed that it was. I then followed everything Adams did for the next 15 minutes, until he flattened Sheringham and left him in a heap somewhere near the halfway line. He took the expected booking and as he trotted past Keown on his way back to the Arsenal penalty area he patted him on the bum as if to say “Sorted!” Nobody messed with us when we had that sort of spirit in the team. I’m not overly optimistic about Adams’ chances of success at FC Gabala, but I hope I’m wrong. The man was an immense presence for us on the pitch and a true Arsenal legend.

  7. Mark

    Yes, the only reason to come here is to work, . I am lucky, I work 4 weeks then have 4 weeks outta here. I have heard he’s getting £1 million a year tax free. Theres lots of oil here but thats about it! I take my hat off to him if hes gonna live out here.After 4 weeks Im ready to shoot someone!

    I heard the owners of the club have close ties with the top brass which would explain the obscene salary hes probably getting!

  8. Farnborough Gunner

    The things that really make that goal for me are the through ball from Steve Bould and the timing of Tony Adams’ run to beat the offside trap.

    Maybe TA should have played up front with Bould as the playmaker. They were wasted in defense 🙂

  9. La gooner

    It ain`t that bad a place. I am Azeri myself but I don`t live there. Another reason to go back there once in a while though !
    to see my man Tony !
    Also, this could be good for the Gooners there. We really don`t see any of our legends comming by that place u know. Cheers to Mr Arsenal and great post as usual mate.

  10. Sajit

    How we have missed the likes of Adams, Keown and Parlour.

    For all their fancy play , this generation of Arsenal is not a patch on their previous counterparts.

    Long live Mr. Arsenal.

  11. Andy Mack

    I suspect that the old warhorse sees it as a challenge. Although the money would have got his attention, I really doubt he’d go for money alone. Maybe he feels he could do a what Mclarens done (going from the ‘wally with the brolly’ to the manager of a giantkiller dutch team) by erasing the memory of his previous managment results.

  12. goonertank

    Good luck TA. Legend and always will be

  13. San Diego Goon

    Well said, Sajit. Wise words at this particular moment in time, on the heels of the season(s) we’ve just had.

  14. PD

    To be fair to TA he was foolish to take the Pompey job.Once you see that jowelfaced cunt Redknapp walking away from a club you know trouble isn’t far away. Bournemouth,West Ham,Pompey. Fingers crossed he’ll bankrupt the Totts. The man is total scum. God forbid though any of the media would ever stand up to him. Nothing to do with his nationality of course….

    Anyway I digress. Bizarre move but best of luck TA. Hope it works out. Still the only player’s name I’ve ever put on a shirt….

  15. Uncle Mike

    Who knows, maybe he can get them to win their league, and then eliminate Spurs in the qualifying round… wait, Azerbaijan would be in the Asian equivalent. Oh well…

    I guess we’ll have to settle for stuff like this:

  16. Max Wallace

    My favourite ever goal…made me a bit moist.

  17. Tommy

    The whole worlds gone mad. I will give it 3 months tops.

    Still, TA = Legend.

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