Adams: Gunners have a battle on their hands

2012-11-05 00:00

LONDON — Arsenal great Tony Adams believes the Gunners will struggle to qualify for the Champions League, after seeing Arsene Wenger’s men lose 2-1 in the English Premier League to Manchester United.

French manager Wenger has taken the Londoners into European soccer’s leading club tournament in each of the last 15 seasons, but Saturday’s loss at Old Trafford left Arsenal nine points off top spot in the Premier League, just 10 games into the current campaign.

Although the title looks a long way off for Arsenal, who haven’t won a major trophy since 2005, they are currently a mere two points off the Champions League qualification places.

However, concerned former Arsenal captain Adams told BBC Radio Five’s Sportsweek programme yesterday: “If Wenger gets them into the top four, he’s done brilliantly”.

The ex-England central defender also criticised Arsenal for failing to hold on to their best players, with star striker Robin van Persie, who scored for United against the Gunners on Saturday, the latest to join the exodus from the Emirates in pre-season.

“You need to keep your best players and in recent years, we’ve let them go a bit easy,” said the 46-year-old Adams.

Theo Walcott’s current Arsenal deal expires at the end of this season and the England forward has yet to sign a new deal, with Adams fearing he could join the likes of Van Persie, Alexandre Song, Samir Nasri and Cesc Fabregas in leaving the club.

“I never got anywhere near the last year of my contract,” said Adams, who made 669 appearances for Arsenal from 1984-2002.

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