The Three Lions crashed out of the tournament in the group stages for the first time since 1958 following defeats in their opening two games, with their defending largely criticised for the early exit.
Adams told The Mirror: "I was surprised at the way England were set up in the tournament. So to be honest, it was not a surprise we are out because I was always concerned about the defence.
"Everyone knows by now I think John Terry should have been out there. He is the best English central defender in the country. And I would have also taken Ashley Cole. His experience would have been vital and he could have handled seven games.
"But I looked at the way we lined up with that back four and I knew we would find it so difficult to keep seven clean sheets."
England face Costa Rica in their final World Cup match on Tuesday.