It is now well documented that Arsene Wenger’s side has not won a trophy in 8 years but this summer the manager has a reported £70 million ‘kitty’ to spend on a potential squad overhaul.
Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams believes that Wenger must choose to bring in players of experience who have already won trophies in order that they can foster belief and a winning mentality on the younger players they will join at the Emirates.
‘The best players and the best teams win championships,” Adams told Sky Sports.
”The fans are desperate for a trophy of some sort. I would like the players to get used to winning; if you have never had that experience of crossing the line as a winner you don’t know what it is like to be a winner.”
Adams undoubtedly has a strong point – winning is a habit that, in any industry, breeds further glories. The way that Manchester United won the title this term demonstrates aptly what experience and desire to sustain success delivers.
However, Adams himself may want to take a trip down memory lane – the English centre-back entered the senior first-team setup in North London as a 17-year-old brought through the club’s youth system in 1983 by Don Howe, George Graham’s predecessor.
Adams worked his way into the new manager’s favour over the following three seasons before Graham took over the reigns at Highbury in 1986 and from that point on the defender played between 30 and 50 games a season for the Gunners every year for more than a decade to follow.
However, Adams didn’t win a title with Arsenal until 1989 when the North Londoners won the 1988/89 First Division title. Adams spent 6 seasons winning nothing with Arsenal which, in a way, completely undermines his assertion about the winners’ mentality.
Conversely, it must also be taken into account that following their title win in 1989, Arsenal (and Adams) went on to win the 1990/91 league title, the 1992/93 FA Cup, and the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup under Graham.
Following the appointment of Arsene Wenger in 1996, Adams then went on to lead his team to a further two Premier League title wins, both times Arsenal won the double, taking home FA Cup winners’ medals as well.
Perhaps he’s right – success certainly builds confidence in the players as individuals and as a unit it creates camaraderie and belief. Perhaps all it takes is one trophy to set Arsenal on their way.
Arsenal fans will certainly be hoping so after 8 years without silverware. Perhaps trophies are like buses – you wait an age for one and then three come along at once. At least that seems to have been the case in Tony Adams’ Arsenal career.
image: © wonker