After his new book, Sober, was serialised in the UK press, former Arsenal captain Tony Adams and current Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger are at loggerheads.
Wenger said he was "sad" to hear Adams had criticised him in his autobiography, and Adams has elaborated on the breakdown in their relationship in a fascinating interview with Donald McRae in The Guardian.
It's no secret that Adams' applications for a number of youth roles at Arsenal were rebuffed with very little clarity from Wenger; the former centre back was passed from club official to club official in an ultimately fruitless search for a job at a club which has a statue of him outside their stadium. Speaking to McCrae, Adams explained how he had felt somewhat betrayed by Wenger's rejection in light of what the Frenchman had told him years prior:
I’d been at the club 23 years and they treated me like that? It was a fucking disgrace. I wanted to say: “Arsène, I understand I’ve got no right to go back to Arsenal just because I played here. Tell me if I’m not good enough. But don’t tell me: ‘You’re going to be the next Arsenal manager, I’ve got high hopes for you.’
Adams, however, retains a huge amount of respect for his former boss, and revealed that he and Wenger would regularly exchange texts before the contents of his book came to light.
There remains an underlying bitterness towards Wenger, however, which is evident in Adams' rather pertinent assessment of Wenger's all-encompassing role at Arsenal.
The 50-year-old former Arsenal captain also made the rather cutting suggestion that Wenger doesn't have many friends, and described Wenger's relationship with money as "weird."
That’s why I think he’ll hold on to Arsenal. He said: ‘I’ve turned down every club in the world.’ But he would’ve been sacked after a year at Madrid. He would’ve had to go to from club to club. But, at Arsenal, he’s got total dominance. The board do nothing. Arsène has a free rein. He’s earning them so much money he can do what he wants. And I don’t think Arsène can let go. It’s an addiction.
He’s also got a weird relationship with money. He’s on £8m a year but Arsenal’s junior coaches are on 30 grand. Chelsea’s coaches are on £90,000. Take £7m, Arsène, and give them all a rise. It’s not like he’s using the money to throw lavish parties for his friends because he hasn’t got none. He’s only got a few guys in France. I feel a bit sorry for him.
You can read Adams' full interview with Donald McRae in The Guardian, and we recommend that you do.