Tony Adams believes someone like Sol Campbell could add a lot to the England coaching team with Gareth Southgate needing a “serial winner” next to him in the dugout.
England crashed out of the World Cup on Saturday after a 2-1 quarter-final defeat to France.
A lot has been said about Southgate’s future as England manager, with some calling for him to be sacked, and others firmly believing he is still the right man for the job.
Writing for The Sun, Adams began by saying the team cannot be faulted after giving “absolutely everything” in Qatar.
“If I’d been one of those England players I’d be in ‘don’t talk to me’ mode for about two years. I wouldn’t want anyone telling me that I’d done well,” Adams said.
“We’ve missed another fantastic opportunity and it’s not a question of effort. We gave absolutely everything.
“But our ‘good effort lads, better luck next time’ attitude bloody annoys me. I’m such a bad loser, I can’t take it.
“This is the mentality we have to change.”
Adams is clearly a fan of Southgate and his right-hand men, but thinks a “serial winner” being “around the place” could elevate England to the next level after reaching the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018, the European Championships final last year, and the quarters of this year’s World Cup.
“They’re all nice people in the England camp,” he continued. “Gareth Southgate’s lovely, Stevie Holland is wonderful, Chris Powell is a beautiful man.
“But they need an experienced, serial winner around the place.
“Gareth doesn’t lack courage, he has tremendous courage. But he’s a good loser. It’s hard to say that but it’s the truth.
“They need another voice, an experienced head who’s won stuff at the highest level for their clubs who can have a word in some ears about what you need to do to get over that line which we don’t seem able to cross.
“We could have done it in Qatar. We fight, we don’t run away. But losing becomes a habit and it’s hard to shake that, even with all the will and all the skill in the world.
“You go on the field fearing what might happen and the more you lose the worse that gets.”
Adams does note that he isn’t hoping to see Southgate resign, mainly because he isn’t sure who the hell could replace him.
He continued: “I don’t want Southgate and his coaching staff to quit. They are great guys and they’re doing great work.
“Gareth’s probably thinking: ‘Have I taken it as far as I can go. I’ve had three shots at it.’
“But is there someone else to replace him?
“I don’t think Eddie Howe is ready yet, for instance.
“He’s early in his development and probably wouldn’t leave Newcastle anyway. We have the best man at the moment but we have to find a way of getting to the next level.”
Who is the man who can come in and get serial bottlers England to the next level? (That was a joke by the way, before you get all upset).
Someone like Bryan Robson, but not Bryan Robson, is who Adams thinks can help.
Sol Campbell may ‘fit the bill’ as someone who made 73 appearances for England and won multiple Premier League titles and FA Cups with Arsenal.
He didn’t win anything with England, but only one group of players did, and I can’t imagine Southgate calling on Sir Geoff Hurst.
“Which is why we need that Bryan Robson type of character, a winner who has a word for the manager or players at the crucial times,” Adams added.
“Someone the coaching team can call on for advice. Sol Campbell, too, might be someone who fits the bill.
“France have that in their manager Didier Deschamps who has done it all and we are missing that ingredient among the backroom team.
“When we were kids in the Arsenal youth team we were winning everything, so when we progressed to stepping out at Anfield for the first team it didn’t bother us, we expected to win. It was the same for the Class of 92 at Manchester United.
“With experience, you get to know what you need to do, when to drop off, when to go forward. You learn what it takes.
“Emotionally and mentally we need a significant shift here. We’re doing the same things. We get what we think we’ll get.”
Adams added: “Find the right man for that job and we just might crack it.”
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