Interview

‘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.”