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I'LL WIN; IT FOR; ENGL AND!; We did it in '66 We'll do it in '96;.

England captain Tony Adams last night threw out his chest and proudly announced: "I want to follow Bobby Moore into the soccer history books."

Adams spoke of his determination to fulfil an extraordinary prophecy when Bobby Robson first capped the Arsenal centre-half and told him: "You'll be the new Mooro."

Adams opened his heart to the Mirror and gave an insight into the nationalist fervour that he will instill in his team as they go out today against Switzerland at Wembley.

Adams takes over as captain from David Platt, who is left out - as I revealed yesterday that he would be.

Adams won't contemplate anything other than England lifting the European Championship trophy on June 30.

It was 30 years ago that Moore became the only Englishman to raise a trophy for his country.

Adams says: ""Bobby Moore won the ultimate for this country. I hold him in the highest esteem. And he was a gentleman as well.

"Every Englishman alive would want to lift the European Championship - it's everyone's dream. I am very patriotic and I see the same sort of emotions within my own club.

"Sometimes we don't give ourselves enough credit and it gives me the hump when I see the so-called Irish players at World Cups when they are born in Blackstock Road!

"It's our turn to stand up and show everyone we've got a good side. It's time to deliver."

Venables has picked his team and nominated his skipper, but the names are still filed under `Top Secret'' so as not to tip off the opposition.

But Adams sounded every inch the England captain as he gave an insight into how he will handle a variety of personalities facing the daunting prospect of trying to fulfil the high expectations of a nation.

He said: ""I'll be motivating the players who need it and calming those down who need calming down. In addition, I have my own motivation.

"I am convinced that every player in our team will be mentally and physically prepared. Whatever needs to be done in the dressing-room I will do it. If a player looks a bit edgy then it is time for me to try to relax him.

"If the players look to me then that's great. I don't mind that at all."

Adams and another England captain, Stuart Pearce, will line up in a defence with novices as their partners - Gary Neville (Manchester United) and Gareth Southgate (Aston Villa).

Says Adams: ""It is my responsibility to educate them. The senior players owe it to the youngsters to ensure that they play with their heads and not just their hearts.

""We must make sure we don't get carried away with distractions.

"Terry Venables is very relaxed and gives us all confidence.

"The most important thing is to ensure that the players are in the right frame of mind, and anything that will give us an extra edge is worth doing.""

In opting for a traditional, English-style back four, Venables has dropped one captain, Platt, to give another one, Adams, the protection of a second centre-back in Southgate.

It meant sacrificing a midfield player, but Platt will still play his part in the tournament.

Said Venables: ""I might even change players around if it goes well. It all depends on getting the right results.""

Venables' injection of versatility has taken English football out of its normal rigidity, and Adams says: ""We've got tremendous talent in this country which doesn't get enough credit.

"We're second to none for heading ability, we're strong, good tacklers and now Terry Venables has put a bit of intelligence into our strategy. A few years ago the foreign journalists' impression of English football was that we were a bit stupid. But Terry knows the game inside out and has educated players. That can only be good for English football.""

Adams has never been the quickest, particularly on the turn, but then again neither was Bobby Moore.

And Bobby Robson saw in the young Adams similarities with Moore in terms of character and leadership.

Adams has gone through his wild days - imprisonment for a drink- driving offence included in his misdemeanours, but he has matured to become a formidable stopper in the old English style.

He says: ""I'm a bit older and wiser. I have a different approach from the old Tony Adams. I think a lot more and observe.

"And I can see a good English side with the potential to win this competition.

"It will be absolutely fantastic to be playing in front of a full house at Wembley.

"The boys need to get out there with the right attitude to ensure the crowd are right behind us. I can guarantee that we will go out and give 100 per cent. Every Englishman loves playing at Wembley - it's the best.

"I want to win this championship. There's no point entering unless you think you can win."

It is quite remarkable that Adams has such a vital role within the England team after proving his fitness only in a seemingly meaningless match in China after nearly four months out through injury.

He admitted: "If I hadn't come through that game in China it would have been all over for me. Now I'm absolutely delighted I can help my country to win Euro '96."

The Far East tour has been criticised in all quarters, but Adams insisted: "It has brought us closer together. I am delighted the boys have stuck up for each other."

If they can show the same sort of unflinching loyalty and commitment on the field, then England must have a chance.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:England, Tony Adams Captain Of
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 8, 1996
Words:936
Previous Article:Do the Mexican wave with us!
Next Article:GIVE 'EM TEL!; WE DID IT IN 66 WE'LL DO IT IN 96.


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