Former Arsenal, England Capt. Explains Why Three Lions Won’t Win



The World Cup kicks off this week and that means we’re going to have to wall to wall coverage of the globe’s biggest sporting event for the next month or so. That means we’re going to have an endless supply of takes, opinions, predictions and prognostications from every angle.

One of the World Cup games we’re most looking forward to is the battle for the Iberian peninsula on June 16, and here’s a Portugal vs Spain Prediction that is worth checking out and evaluating. Spain is considered one of the leading favorites this tournament, while Portugal boast the best player in alive in Cristiano Ronaldo.

crisitano ronaldo

While that is a match to keep an eye on, another team to watch is England, the side that will likely receive more international media coverage than any other. Three Lions will be scrutinized from numerous angles, so most of the predictions and takes won’t exactly stand out. Here comes one you won’t forget though.

Tony Adams, an Arsenal man for all 22 years of his career, and former captain of both the Gunners and the England National Team has posited his theory on why Three Lions will not win the World Cup.

In his mind, Three Lions have too many Tottenham Hotspur players, and Spurs footballers just don’t know how to win.

“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 is quoted The Sun (fitting we’re talking about sensationalist hot takes and the Sun is the platform being used to deliver them.

Tottenham transfer rumors

“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.”

Of the 23 players on the England squad, five come from Tottenham, the most of any single club. While it’s true that Tottenham are yet to win a trophy under manager Mauricio Pochettino, and have not claimed silverware of any sort in a decade (2008 League Cup), Adams is still making an apples to oranges level analogy.

Spurs haven’t won a league title since 1961, a drought strikingly close to England’s last World Cup title in 1966 streak, and perhaps Adams went with a lazy-minded heuristic here, at least in part, to generate this attention-seeking bit of punditry.

england world cup

Obviously, Adams is also, at least partially, grounding his take on the desire to appeal to tribal rivalry between London clubs.

Never mind the fact that most people don’t expect England to win the tournament anyway. Almost universally, you’ll see six teams  (Germany, Brazil, Spain, France, Argentina and Belgium) with better odds than England. According to Odds Checker, the nation where the game was created is being given 16-1 odds of winning it all by most sports books.

To his credit though, Adams did offer more than just proverbial red meat to the base of people who hate Spurs. He later added some cogent points.

“Teams who win World Cups usually have a real anchor, such as Sergio Ramos or Fabio Cannavaro,” the 51-year-Romford native later said, comveying a salient argument.

world cup soccer

“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.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports and TheBank.News, which is partnered with News Now. Banks, a former writer for NBC and Chicago, currently contributes regularly to WGN CLTV and Chicago Now.

Follow him on TwitterInstagramSound Cloud and YouTube.

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