Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams has compared England’s Euro 2016 team to the current Gunners side, saying they are good going forward but too vulnerable defensively.
Adams, who captained the Three Lions at Euro ’96, reflected on their chances in France in an interview with The Sun.
While the former centre-back is excited about England’s options in attack, it is down the other end of the pitch that worries him.
“I think defensively we get pulled about a bit too much and we haven’t had the balance right,” Adams said. “The team is a bit like Arsenal these days — you’ve got good talent going forward but we’re a bit open and sometimes they leave the back door open.”
Adams also said England coach Roy Hodgson will have to make a “tough call” over Wayne Rooney, but suggested that the captain should be dropped to the bench.
“It’s easy for us but Roy will get taken to the cleaners if he gets it wrong,” Adams said. “Because he is the captain and there is not a lot of leadership elsewhere in the side, the temptation is to play him. Personally, I wouldn’t. Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy have been popping them in, so let them run.”
Adams helped England reach the semifinals in 1996 before losing on penalties to Germany.
The 49-year-old then famously went on a seven-week drinking binge before acknowledging that he was an alcoholic. He now runs a charity called Sporting Chance which helps athletes battling addictions.
“That period changed my life,” Adams said. “I had hit rock bottom. Yet, on the field, I think people saw me differently after that tournament. I lost the ‘donkey’ tag and people saw I could play.”