Arsenal signed Adams as a schoolboy in 1980 where he spent 3 years developing his trade in the youth academy. The Englishman made his first senior debut for the Gunners four weeks short of his 17th birthday in 1983 against Sunderland in the First Division.
At the tender age of 18, Adams became a regular starter for the Gunners from the 1985/86 season onwards. Along with Nigel Winterburn, Lee Dixon and Steve Bould, Tony Adams was part of the ‘famous four’ that lined up in the Arsenal defence during the 90’s. George Graham implemented a very disciplined defensive unit, which was famous for its offside trap strategy. Adams made his name through this, and was part of possibly the most famous defensive forces in the English game to date.
As the years went by, Adams mastered his trade, and as a result was given the captains armband in 1988. The centre-back remained the clubs captain up until his retirement which came in 2001. During his time, the resolute defender captained his beloved Arsenal to 4 Premier League titles (2 First Division titles), 3 F.A. Cups, 3 League Cups and a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in the 1993/94 season.
The famous Arsenal no.6 spent his entire 22 year (3 of them in youth level) career at the North London club where he made an outstanding 672 appearances for the Gunners and netted 48 goals as well. The 6’ 3’’ defender was also capped 66 times (within 13 years) at international level, and managed to bag 5 goals for his country along the way.
In May 2008, Arsenal.com conducted a survey to find out Arsenal’s 50 greatest players of all-time. Tens of thousands of Arsenal fans voted, and results showed that the Englishman was in fact placed as the 3rd greatest ever player in their history, behind Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry.
Tony Adams was nicknamed Mr. Arsenal by the clubs fans, due to his commitment and dedication to the North London outfit. Adams epitomized what a traditional centre-back was all about, strong, dedicated and above all a leader among men. The Englishman was arguably one of, if not, Arsenal’s best ever defenders to wear the famous red and white kit.
The Arsenal legend is currently managing Azerbaijan side Gabala FC, after having spells with Wycombe Wanderers and Portsmouth in the past.
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