ON HIS ALCOHOLISM
• Adams misses his playing days, but there was a time in his career when his daily life was afflicted with alcoholism. That period is thankfully confined to the past.
• He celebrated the 24th anniversary of his sobriety this year. Sporting Chance, the charity he established to help athletes struggling with addiction, is now in its 20th year.
• There was a time in his life when he had hit rock bottom. Drinking, not wanting to give up, prison, intensive care, weeing himself, shitting himself. None of that made him stop drinking. He didn’t want to live anymore because he was in too much pain, but didn’t know how to kill himself.”
• One fine day, sick of everything in life he crawled in to work, and whispered to a colleague about his drinking, and he said, ‘Join the club’. That colleague was 18 months without a drink or a bet or a drug. He took him to his first AA meeting.
• After six weeks sober, Adams walked into Arsenal’s London Colney training ground, stood in front of his team-mates and explained that he was a recovering alcoholic. “And then one of my colleagues phoned the media. I was pretty much outed. But it’s OK: I was ready.”
ON HIS SUCCESSFUL CAREER
• He did undergo something of a reinvention. Played the best football of his career, winning two glorious league and FA Cup doubles under Wenger, and enjoyed every minute of it.
• Comparison between George Graham and Arsene Wenger – Under George, played very offensive, we were on the front foot, defended from the front, very much style to the Liverpool team that’s just won the league. With Arsene, we dropped off and played counter-attacking, more defensive.
• “I pushed up to the halfway line under George, to win the ball back in their half. We won it in the offensive and midfield thirds. But, with Arsene, he went, ‘No, no, no. We have Nicolas Anelka, Marc Overmars, Thierry Henry. We come back and we counter-attack, we need space in behind (the opposition).’ Good idea. So the whole ‘negative’ thing is a bit of a fallacy.”