Ex-Arsenal captain Tony Adams says he wants a shot at managing his former club but insists nobody could win trophies with the present squad. The 46-year-old former defender, who won four Premier League titles, three FA Cups and the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup with the Gunners, during his 22 years in north London, believes he can build a new generation of winners at the Emirates.
"One hundred per cent I'd like to be Arsenal manager. Of course my heart says 'yes, yes, yes', but my head says 'can I win with this current team?' My answer is no, I can't, and I am not sure anyone can. I would want assurances if I walk through the door, those assurances meaning I'm given the go ahead to build a new team," Adams explained.
"I would get my teeth into building a new team but to achieve that, you would need to spend. To keep hitting the top four and qualifying for the Champions League is great, and Arsene [Wenger] has done such a great job, but there is going to come a day, and that won't be far away, when Arsene leaves. For a long time he has been a one-man band, but that won't happen again. The next man appointed will be the head coach, not the manager," he added.
The Gunners have gone eight years without a trophy and are unlikely to win this season either, given the poor start to the league campaign; they were comprehensively beaten by Aston Villa in the first game) and have done little to reinforce the first team this summer, despite strong calls to do so from fans and players.
The players now travel to Fenerbahce for the first leg of a massively important Champions League qualifier. Were they to lose the tie and be eliminated from Europe so early in the season, the pressure on Wenger would be catastrophic.
Adams believes his former club's inability to land big targets is due to their skewed wage structure.
"I know Arsene [Wenger] would not spend £25m on buying Bayern's goalkeeper Manuel Neuer for example, no matter how much he might need a new keeper. I think that is a great policy, but the club needs to restructure its wages spend, and that is a vastly different matter," Adams explained.
"The club are paying in excess of £150m on players' wages but there have been a lot of average players on £50,000 a week when the big teams now need four or five players on a lot of money. Arsenal do not attract those big players because of their wages structure," he concluded.
Adams made similar comments earlier this summer, when the club was linked with former Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuain.
"Arsenal have around £150m to play with on the wage bill and can work it differently to make some strong, difficult decisions. Instead of picking three and one might come through, pick one and say: 'That's our man, give him everything'. And if you keep selling your best players you don't win anything," he said at the time.