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By ESPN Staff

Wenger backs Adams appointment

Arsene Wenger feels Portsmouth have made the right choice in appointing former Arsenal captain Tony Adams as their new manager.

Pompey moved quickly to confirm the ex-England defender as replacement for Harry Redknapp, who quit the FA Cup holders to join Tottenham Hotspur.

Adams steps up from his assistant role at Fratton Park and his former boss feels the 42-year-old is ready for the challenge.

Wenger said: "It makes me very happy. I believe it is a good opportunity for him and we wish him of course well.

"He is at the age now where you have to start in this job. For the rest I believe he has a good squad and he has worked a lot now in this job and I think he is ready.

"Tony has now much more experience because he has been abroad and has been at Portsmouth as an assistant.

"I believe he has the qualities and that is why I am very positive about it."

Wenger feels Adams, who was his double winning captain in 1998, has now come full circle following his well-documented off-field problems.

"I believe in life when you go wrong you can always, with intelligence and character, turn things right and that is what he did," the Arsenal manager reflected.

"He came out and said he had a drinking problem when he was a player and he showed enough strength and character to change that.

"I believed in him because everybody deserves a chance when he wants really to change life. That basically didn't come from me, it came from him."

Wenger firmly believes Adams has the leadership qualities needed to take Pompey forwards.

"I believe that he has natural authority which is one important ingredient, the second one is of course to convince everybody about your philosophy and the way you see things," he said.

"At that level you need a big resistance to stress and daily commitment.

"You want to give him the chance. What is most important is that I believe he has the qualities.

"He gets the opportunity and only time will tell how he would do and I would bet that he will do well."

Wenger accepts Redknapp is a hard act to follow, but the Arsenal boss noted: "The most important thing you want to have is good players when you arrive somewhere - and I believe Portsmouth has good players and that's where you can show your qualities."

Adams' former England team-mate Paul Ince, himself a rookie Premier League manager with Blackburn, said: "Hopefully he'll do well. It's good, another English manager in the Premier League, and I wish him all the best."

Ince is also positive about the increasing number of English managers in the top flight.

"It's got to be a good thing," he said. "The bottom line is we want to have an English international (England) manager, we don't want to have to keep looking overseas. If you've got four or five in the Premier League, you've got more choice next time when Capello goes."

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