By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger believes Tony Adams is ready and able to take the managerial reins at a top Premier League club.

On Tuesday lunchtime, it was announced that the former Arsenal captain would succeed Harry Redknapp in charge of Portsmouth. An hour or so later he received hearty backing from his ex-boss.

“It makes me very happy,” said Wenger. “I believe it is a good opportunity for him and we wish him of course well. Tony is 42 and he is at the age now where you have to start in this job.

"I believe he has a good squad at Portsmouth, he has worked a lot now and I think he is ready.”

Adams made his debut for Arsenal in November 1983. He made 669 appearances and scored 48 goals before leaving in 2002 with numerous honours under his belt. He had a brief spell in charge at Wycombe then added to his knowledge in Holland before joining Redknapp’s coaching staff in 2006.

“Tony has much more experience now because he has been abroad and has been at Portsmouth as an assistant,” said Wenger. “I believe he has the qualities and that is why I am very positive.

"He has natural authority which is one important ingredient. The second of course is to convince everybody about your philosophy. And at that level you need a big resistance to stress and a daily commitment.

"You can not tell the career of anybody beforehand but you want to give him the chance.

"The most important thing I believe is he has these qualities and he gets the opportunity. Only time will tell how he will do but I would bet that he will do well."

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28 Oct 2008