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Adams - The most pivotal moment in my career

Tony Adams

Twenty two years, 669 appearances and 10 major trophies. Tony Adams is an undisputed Arsenal legend.

Our former captain’s glittering career stretched three decades in north London, but which was the moment that he remembers most?
“It was [for my debut on] November 5, 1983,” he told Arsenal Player. “I was a bag of nerves and in the first minutes someone threw me the ball and I fell over. They put the ball in the back of the net and we were 1-0 down.
“There are moments in my career looking back which are really critical in you becoming a player or not. I think you have choices along that road and what I did, I went around and started kicking people. The crowd liked that so I did it more and I did it more. They started cheering me and I thought, ‘Oh, I can do this, I can run around and make a few tackles, this is easy’.
“Unfortunately we didn’t win the game but something went into my head that day and my reaction proved that, as long as you do your best, as long as you go out there and give your heart for Arsenal, then that crowd are going to be 100 per cent behind you.
“I learned a valuable lesson there in my very first game. I didn’t know that I would still be there 20-odd years later, that was impossible to tell, but it was certainly a pivotal moment in my career.”


Tony Adams montage


‘I had my own colonels and police in the squad’

Tony Adams and Martin Keown

When you think of Arsenal captains, you think of Tony Adams.

The legendary defender led us to trophies across three different decades, including four league titles and three FA Cups, but what was the secret to his success?
“I was a different captain in my early days compared to when I sobered up in 96,” he told Arsenal Player. “I was a different man. In the early days it was about leading by example, getting out there and thumping it.
“Then I got to know myself a little bit and my six years under Arsène helped me do that more than ever. I learned that some people needed to be treated differently. Not everybody wants to be hit over the head with a stick, some need a carrot.
“I used to be a leader but I also wanted my captains around me. I remember a story which illustrated that where I kind of fell out with Lauren when he came to the club. For some reason he took a dislike to me and David Seaman came in and told him to show me some respect.
“It was nice to police it anyway. At that point I had so much respect from everybody, and my own colonels and police to look after the squad and the environment on a daily basis. It was about passing those values of the club to the next generation.”