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Pompey's Start Down To Team Effort

The arrival of Tony Adams could be seen as coincidental with Pompey's astonishing improvement with our defence; however Adams is refusing to take all the credit.

Having struggled for many years to merely keep back to back clean sheets, basically clean sheets at all the fact that we have managed to keep four successive clean sheets in our unbeaten start to the season is surely beyond our wildest dreams, and although not all down to Adams he surely has to take a lot of the credit. He would have this to say on the mater.

"I know I am going to be labelled a defensive coach because of playing in a tight defence at Arsenal for all those years, but that is not the case."

"If anything I am keener on improving our offensive strengths in the team. First-team coach Joe Jordan and I share the training equally with Harry Redknapp."

"Of course, I love it when my team is not conceding goals and we have done well so far this season but in the modern game the whole team defends and the whole team attacks. That is what we demand."

After being part of one of the best defensive set-ups in English footballing history with Arsenal for so long, often lining up as part of the famous four alongside Steve Bould (eventually replaced by Martin Keown) in the heart of the defence with Lee Dixon and Nigel Winterburn either side it is no wonder that he is being seen as a defensive coach, but he is far more than that, he has a great footballing brain. He would also say.

"I remember, when I played, being so impressed by the defensive work a great striker like Ian Rush did for Liverpool. He chased across the opposition's back four, not giving them a minute's peace when they were in possession."

'"George Graham used to talk about resilience at Arsenal, being tough to beat, and now top managers like Jose Mourinho demand that every player puts in his stint. There are no free rides - unless you want to go down."

His time with Wycombe Wanderers as Manager didn't work out as he would have planned, but it would be a beginning. His brief stints in European football with Feyenoord, with whom he worked with the reserve and youth sides followed by a spell with Utrecht as a first team coach, working as a trainee with both sides, would have only helped broaden his already wide knowledge of the game.

As I say he is far more than just a defensive coach but you focus in on the strengths you have, and defensively you can't get much better than Adams, who after being not only one of Arsenal's, but also England's greatest ever central defenders you can't help but automatically assume this is his top level of expertise.

Adams, along with the rest of us will be hoping we can continue our fine form, and hopefully even keep another clean sheet against Charlton as we return to the place many felt would turn out to be the "Valley of death" following our undeserving defeat at the tail end of last season, which left many worried that a great escape might not have come off after all.

Just a note, which ties in slightly with this article with Tony Adams being an Arsenal legend, Chelsea, one of the clubs fiercest rivals are making the news through John Terry with his claims the Championship "will be down to a two horse race" by the end of the weekend, with Manchester United and Chelsea the contenders...

Although on the grander scale of things the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal will realistically be challenging for the title come April and May I'd think several other teams, maybe not quite Pompey, but possibly the likes of Everton may well think differently. Should Everton and Pompey, although I'm not expecting this, be there or thereabouts at Christmas, Easter for sure you couldn't count them out.

I'm not for one minute even contemplating that we will be challenging for the title as this, although should this one day happen will see one of my biggest dreams for my lifetime come true, for the time being I think Terry is forgetting that there are other teams involved with it possible that the weekend will end with Pompey and Everton the top two, a two horse race then...

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday September 15 2006

Time: 11:06AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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great article which i enjoyed reading. as an arsenal fan it goes without saying TA was one of my all time favs. a captain of pure inspiration and some will acknolwedge that under Wenger he had more in his locker and wenger let him express himself, just watch the goal against Everton that won us the league in 1998, he then stood infront of the north bank and held his arms aloft, i still get goosebumps ! TA is a very intelligent man, quite spoken mostly but has the vocal chords if needed, and his footballing brain will work wonders.. But it also is no surpise that Pompey are using the old england, arsenal connection to get results. Campbell, Cole, James all played with TA either with Arsenal or England, and they all know each other which is obviously paying off for Harry. i really hope Pompey do well and that will only mean that TA is having an effect, that man is a legend and if he can do in coaching what he did on the pitch that what put him up there with many many greats ! who knows one day a arsenal manager or dare i say England manager in the waiting !
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15/09/2006 12:51:00

I'd say that the arrival of Sol Campbell was a bigger boost to our defence this season than the arrival of Tony Adams. I'm sure Adams is playing a positive role along with Avraham Grant, but Pompey's success at the moment is down to the players.
The Rabbi
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15/09/2006 13:28:00

The arrival of tony adams was a major boost to our defense, then we got campbell who adds many things to the defense that we were desperate for!
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15/09/2006 15:05:00

Rabbi - I don't think we'd have got Sol if Tony Adams wasn't already here. Saying that, i'm glad we've gpt both and i can see TA going on to be Pompey manager and then maybe England too.
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15/09/2006 16:34:00

FEn, Im not sure about TA being manager, he was criticised in Holland for being a bit too withdrawn. But otherwise your right , no Tony, no Sol. And who in an OKI or TY shirt had ever heard of defend from the opposition box? In fact most of us hadn't seen too much defending of our own areas. :-)LoL i didnt think it prudent to put "defending our own box", who knows where the thread would have gone.
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15/09/2006 19:18:00

Great, solid English foundations for the club to build on. With a touch of Arfican power & European flair we ain't doin' to bad. Oh yes and all that other foreign money stuff.
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15/09/2006 20:33:00

With TA there Pompey's defence could be referred to as 'THE ADAMS FAMILY'...mean, alot of SOL but weird and wonderful...
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15/09/2006 23:00:00

No doubt about it, no Adams would have equalled no Sol Campbell no matter how much he got, no Sol Campbell would maybe have meant no David James and no David James possibly no Andy Cole, so the knock on effect from Adams has influenced not only performance on the pitch but players arriving off it...
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15/09/2006 23:15:00

Unless someone else, and by someone else I mean Arsenal come in in the meantime Adams will be the next Pompey manager. he was probably reserved in Holland as it was an unfamiliar country with unfamiliar people, he had little experience so it couldn't have been easy...
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15/09/2006 23:17:00


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