Former Arsenal defender Tony Adams has told the Sun that Tottenham Hotspur players do not know how to win and that he fears England’s chances at the World Cup will be affected by their lack of success.
Five Tottenham players — captain Harry Kane, Dele Alli, Danny Rose, Eric Dier and Kieran Trippier — are in the England squad, and Adams, who captained the side for several years in the 1990s, said their inability to win a trophy at club level means they do not possess a winning mentality.
“You must be able to handle winning emotionally and mentally and if they don’t know how to win it, they aren’t going to win it,” Adams said.
“I’m really worried about these Tottenham players. I don’t think they know how to win. They’re very good players, but at certain points in seasons and tournaments, you have to step up. There’s a psyche [that] players must have.”
Adams also believes that England’s relative inexperience — at 25.74 years, the team is the third-youngest of the 32 competing at the World Cup — will also work against them.
“Teams who win World Cups usually have a real anchor, such as Sergio Ramos or Fabio Cannavaro,” Adams said. “England haven’t got that rock.
“And we’re going into tournament without a [Gianluigi] Buffon, a champion goalkeeper, and that’s let us down before. Great keepers and centre-backs were what the English were brought up on.”
Still, Adams believes that manager Gareth Southgate, a former England teammate, is “perfect for the FA” and will be able to get the most out of the squad.
“England have a kind draw up until the last eight and if they get that far it will be hallelujah,” Adams said. “… I think with Gareth in charge and with the support network England now have, we’ll leave Russia proud of what we’ve done and the players will go back to their clubs as better human beings.”
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