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Premier League Hall of Famer Alan Shearer has named Arsenal legend Tony Adams as the best central defender he ever came up against in his career.

Shearer, who scored more goals than any other player in the history of the Premier League, came up against multiple defenders. He got the better of almost all of them, but he feels that Adams was a cut above everyone else.

The Newcastle United legend heaped praise on how aggressive Adams was in that era, and labelled him as ‘an unbelievable leader, organiser and tackler’.


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He told BBC Top 10 podcast: “I would come off with cut eyes, a broken nose and cut lip after a game against him, but always shake hands. Not as good as Ferdinand at spraying the ball around but what a competitor.”

“He was the best centre-half I’ve played against I think, in that era in terms of how aggressive you could be as a centre-half. He played in that back four that was unbelievable and had a great goalkeeper behind him.

“He was an unbelievable leader, organiser, tackler, he could play as well, he was tough. The best centre-half I’ve ever played against.”

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Arsenal could do with someone like Adams now

Adams as a player was on another level to most other defenders. His positioning, the way he read the game, his tackling and how he let the striker know that he was there was simply brilliant.

However, Adams’ best trait has to be his leadership. He was given the captain’s armband at a very young age but that didn’t faze him. He led that incredible Arsenal side brilliantly, and in a way, shaped our future.

The Gunners don’t really have a leader like Adams at the moment. That has arguably played a big part in our downfall over the last few years, and sadly, there’s not a lot we can do about it as there aren’t players like Adams in world football anymore.

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