Bad Management

On paper, Tony Adams seems like the kind of former player that could quite easily become a manager. Not only was he a great defender but he had leadership skills too. Despite all these attributes Adams was a woeful manager, as his time at Portsmouth demonstrated. Pompey has not exactly been a haven for quality managers in recent years, given their rapid descent down the Football League, but they were actually still quite good when Adams took over, so its all the more baffling that it went as badly as it did. Adams time at Portsmouth is not remembered fondly at all.

The south coast side were just coming off an FA Cup Win  and a top half finish under Harry Redknapp, so these were very much the glory days for Portsmouth. Adams had played his part too, as he was Arry’s assistant manager despite coming off a pretty disastrous spell at Wycombe Wanderers, which culminated in relegation. Everything changed in October 2008 though as Redknapp left to take charge of struggling Tottenham Hotspur, leaving Adams in temporary charge of the team. Initially he shared the role with long time Redknapp ally Joe Jordan, although this partnership would not last very long.

Results were not exactly stellar for big Tony. A point from his first three games was hardly awe-inspiring although seven points from the next three games secured Adams the job on a permanent basis, so things were looking up again for Pompey although they would quickly unravel for the very simple reason that Adams wasn’t a very good football manager. A point from five games over the Christmas period was embarrassingly bad and all of a sudden Pompey had become serious candidates for the drop, despite Adams’ best efforts, which usually consisted of him waving his arms around a bit. Eventually the inevitable happened and Adams was sacked in February, and he was succeeded by the equally underwhelming Paul Hart, who somehow managed to keep Pompey up.

Tony Adams is the classic example of a manager out of their depth in the top flight. The Arsenal man had the tactical knowledge of a large spade and just could not hack it at the top level. The Portsmouth story of course only gets more depressing from here as their financial woes took hold but under Adams they had a good squad, its just their manager was not good enough at all.