Tony Adams gave ‘rousing’ first team talk but forgot to name starting XI

Arsenal legend Tony Adams can be filed in the ‘fantastic player, but not so fantastic manager’ category of Premier League heroes.

And Peter Crouch’s recollection of the four-time Premier League and three-time FA Cup winner’s first ever speech as a top flight manager at Portsmouth perfectly encapsulates why it has not quite worked for Adams in the dugout. However, the ex-Liverpool and Tottenham target-man did not refer to Adams’ eccentric and hilarious training ground demonstrations or even his ability to motivate his players.

In fact, he performed the latter brilliantly as Crouch stated Adams’ “rousing” speech hyped up and motivated the players to the point they were ready for battle. Unfortunately, Adams allegedly became lost in his own passion and words as he left out the most crucial part of every team speech – the team itself.

“I can’t remember who we played, but we were all sitting there, and it was a bit of a lottery,” Crouch said on ‘that Peter Crouch podcast’. “He was a coach, but what was his actual opinion of the team?

“He got the whole squad in for his first team talk, and it was an hour and a half before kick off. He came in and gave a really rousing speech like you would expect from Tony Adams.

“He burst back out through the door, and everybody was like ‘yea I am proper up for it’ it was a great first speech. And then we all looked at each other and we were like ‘he hasn’t named the team has he?’

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“We all just looked around, nobody knew who had to get changed, because there was a few who wouldn’t be in the squad because there were too many players there. We just sat there for another 20 seconds, and after he had just slammed the door, there was a sheepish creek, and he came back in and said ‘I haven’t named the team have I?’.”

Things did not get much better for the legendary central defender, as he was sacked after only four months, due to a measly run of two wins in 16 matches. He has also briefly overseen Azerbaijani side FK Qabala as well as La Liga side Granada – the latter was only seven matches long.

“What he should have done, I think, is send the assistant in, as if that is what he does and then stick with it for the rest of the season,” Crouch added. “It would have been like, ‘he does his speech, then bang he’s gone and the assistant comes in and gives the team, as if that’s beneath him.”

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