There is a reason why Tony Adams earned the mantle Mr Arsenal and it is very evident that coaching several thousand miles away from N5 will never dilute his timeless relationship with the club.
The club’s most successful captain, honoured today with his own statue outside the Emirates, may not be a day-to-day presence in and around the dressing-room, but that doesn’t mean he’s not still working his inspirational magic.
While fans have called on the old guard to be more involved in Arsene Wenger’s coaching set-up Adams has made clear he’s not as far removed from events at London Colney as people might have thought.
Speaking in The Telegraph to former teammate Alan Smith, the club’s legendary number 6 revealed he is in regular contact with current captain Robin van Persie and has passed on a few ideas on how to bolster his position as the team’s leader.
“I’ve been texting RVP,” said Adams. “I think he’s a nice guy and was always captaincy material but, before, he just didn’t have enough support. It was much easier for me in my time. I had six or seven lieutenants around me, people who could also take charge.
“So that was something I said to him – get some players around you to back you up. You can’t do it alone. And to be fair, I think Per [Mertesacker] has been a big help. He’s been a good ally in the dressing room from what I hear. Before, there was conflict but now there seems to be a lot more togetherness.”
Adams isn’t the only statue-honoured legend to praise the free-scoring Dutchman. Training alongside Robin during the week and watching him bang the goals in at the weekend, Thierry Henry also spoke warmly about his former teammate and successor.
“What can I say about Robin?,” said Henry to the Arsenal website. “I saw him come in here and at the very beginning he wasn’t the easiest guy to deal with, like I wasn’t I guess.
“But it’s amazing to see how he has improved. That tells you how intelligent a player he is.
“I’m just in admiration. What he is doing right now, thank God he is playing for us and doing well. It’s nice to see a player improve.
“I’m just saying that what Van Persie is doing now, in terms of not just goals but ratio of goals, apart from [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Lionel] Messi it is ridiculous.
Idolised by the fans and with the club’s greatest captain, manager and goal scorer directing praise in his direction, there can be no doubt in the Dutchman’s mind that he is loved by everyone associated with The Arsenal. Surely that’s worth something when it comes to negotiating a new contract. Arseblog News dearly hopes so.
Happy 125th birthday everybody.