Martin Keown: Tony Adams is building a legacy in Azerbaijan

10 December 2010 11:06
I I was determined to go to Gabala to find out why Tony was there.

There's a bond between us because we have known each other since our days in youth football.

I knew his parents well and even when I left Arsenal at 19, his dad sent me a letter to wish me well. That sort of history means I feel close to him.

Building a legacy: I listen to my old friend Tony Adams explain his vision for the future in Azerbaijan

When I arrived at the training ground, it was like he had seen a ghost. He looked shocked and kept asking me what I was doing out there. But I was thinking: 'No, what are you doing out here?'

After spending some time with him I realised he has more love than ever for the game and that he just wants to manage. And he can do that out there without any real pressure or timescale on what he is doing.

He is trying to create a legacy with the training facilities and the stadium they are building and he is even helping to design them. All that takes a tremendous amount of imagination and trust from him because there isn't much there at the moment. You can see the green shoots but time will tell if the club deliver.

Standing tall: Adams is giving it a real go at Gabala FC

Tony and I have always been very competitive, but after visiting him I realised I couldn't match his commitment to something like this - I couldn't be that far away from home and my family.

I enjoyed catching up with him and, listening to him talking, it does make sense what he is doing.

He seems a lot more comfortable in himself and that is having a positive effect on the team.

Positive thinking: Adams' next step in management on the Continent will be crucial

The next job he takes in Europe will be very important. It will bring about a different set of challenges and pressures and tell us about whether he has acquired the skills in Azerbaijan to make it at the very highest level in management.

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Source: Daily_Mail