Portsmouth sack Tony Adams
Late last night, reports emerged that Portsmouth manager Tony Adams had been sacked after only three months in the job.
This time last week, the papers were full of speculation that the Portsmouth board had ‘lost patience’ with him. On Saturday, as he watched his team’s seemingly unlikely victory disappear at the hands of Fernando Torres, he had the look of a man who’d been given one more game to save his job.
As a player for Arsenal he was an easy target for ridicule. The image of the lumbering centre half, arm raised aloft, head turned expectantly towards the linesman with the howls of ‘Ee-yore' ringing in his ears. Latterly, thanks to the arrival of Arsene Wenger at his club Arsenal and Euro 96, his image changed to a classy defender beset by his well-known addiction problems.
From a donkey to a recovering alcoholic, Adams finished his career with his demons subdued if not conquered. The Sporting Chance Clinic which he plays an active role in has helped other sportsmen who have succumbed to the siren calls of drugs booze and casinos. For those of us who mocked him on the terraces as a player, Adams had become a legend of the game and, as a consequence of his off-the-field issues, a well-rounded and sympathetic character.
Inevitably, such a man will command a measure of goodwill even among the game's cynics. When he was given the manager’s job at Portsmouth you hoped that his bad experience at Wycombe was an aberration. If not for Pompey, then for Adams himself, many people wished him well.
For me however, there was a feeling in the back if my mind though that this was the wrong gig. Post-'arry Pompey is a different club. The owner wants to sell up and Adams has seen Defoe and Lass Diarra leave the club. His press conferences seemed laboured and spattered with unconvincing anecdotes.
The appointment just seemed like the wrong fit. There is no doubt that Adams has something to offer, just not there and not then. His appointment was a cheap punt by Peter Storrie which has served to seriously hinder the prospects of a young coach and jeopardised the Premier League status of a proud football club.
No doubt Storrie will do what he should have done in the first place and recruit an experienced coach. As for Adams, perhaps he'll get another chance. In a parallel universe, he probably ended up in a ditch somewhere, a victim of Bacchus and his evil pixies. If he demonstrates the kind of resilience he’s shown in the past, he'll find himself putting his considerable experience in both life and football to good use again. So long as he doesn't go back to Match Of The Day 2
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