Mr Arsenal azer new job

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.