“After the departures of Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell in 2006, a lot was lost and never recaptured”. This is what Tony Adams believes, and has written in his latest book, SOBER: Football. My Story. My Life, after explaining why Arsene Wenger was perfect for Arsenal, before, but not anymore.
Arsene was absolutely the best man for Arsenal when he had his English defence and more exotic overseas attacking talent. He was also the perfect manager to keep Arsenal competitive with the big-money clubs during the transition from Highbury to the Emirates. But I do believe, after the departures of Ashley Cole and Sol Campbell in 2006, a lot was lost and never recaptured
the former Arsenal defender wrote. As for what has been going on defensively at the Gunners after 2006;
The replacement defenders have simply not been up to the same standard as what went before, because they have not been taught the art of defending properly. I have seen players like Gael Clichy, Hector Bellerin and Kieran Gibbs coming to Arsenal and not progressing as they might have – and Per Mertesacker exposed because of a lack of protection
Adams mentions in his book, revealing that he has offered himself several times to join the staff of Wenger’s assistants, but having his offer consistently ignored.