Liverpool tried to buy 25-year-old Charlie Adam from Blackpool in the January 2011 transfer-window. Blackpool manager Ian Holloway’s opinion at the time was that the offer from the buying club was “disgraceful” and well below his own valuation of the player. But after Blackpool’s slide down the table into one of the relegation places, a finishing position that was confirmed on the final day of the season, Adam’s employers suddenly found themselves in a much weaker position than they had been at the start of the calendar year. Undeterred by their offer being rejected in January, Liverpool came back with a higher offer in July and this time their offer was quickly accepted, leaving the Scot free to travel to Merseyside to undergo a medical and discuss his own personal terms. Once he passed his medical, he was unveiled as a new Liverpool player on the 7th of July.
Charlie’s path to Anfield was somewhat circuitous. Born in Dundee a fortnight before Christmas in 1985, he did not represent either of his local professional clubs but instead joined Glasgow giants Rangers shortly after his 17th birthday. George Adams, who was head of Celtic's youth programme told Daily Mail that Charlie was quite a prospect back then. "Even at primary school Charlie stood out," Adams said. "Naturally
gifted left-footed boys do. At 13 or 14, everyone thought he would go
right to the very top. He had a good work ethic, he never missed
training and he had no airs or graces, unlike some of the boys now. A
lot forget where they come from - Charlie will never do that. Even then he worked on dead balls, free-kicks, corners. He was already
sought after. Every club in Scotland wanted him, and a few in England. Two of those clubs were Manchester United and Liverpool. But it came down to a choice between Rangers and Celtic."
After playing only three first-team matches for the Gers, he was loaned out to First Division club Ross County for much of the 2004-05 season. He appeared in a Scottish Challenge Cup final for Ross against Falkirk (Falkirk won 2-1) before returning to Glasgow. Only one more Scottish Premier League appearance for Rangers followed before he was loaned out to another First Division club, St. Mirren. His time with The Saints gave Adam a second Scottish Challenge Cup final opportunity and this time he was on the victorious team after a 2-1 victory over Hamilton at Airdrie’s stadium. Adam also played in 29 First Division matches while wearing St. Mirren’s colours, scoring 5 times.
Adam did not become a regular in the Rangers team until the 2006-07 season but he was an immediate success, scoring 18 times from 74 competitive matches over two seasons. This success earned him a new five-year deal with Rangers in June 2007 but he failed to add to his goal tally in 9 Scottish Premier League matches at the start of the 2008-09 season.
LFChistory.net asked Rangers regular Marc Boal, who is a good friend of the editor of this site, for his honest opinion on Adam whose progress he followed when he was at Ibrox:
"He had mixed times at Rangers, great 1 week, really bad the next. The fans didn't really take to him and his father had to stop coming to Ibrox because of the abuse he started to get from the fans. He also had off the field problems. He did have one note of pure class scoring from the half way line against Hibs at Easter Road. We thought we had a superstar on the books but he didnt materialise into anything special. He even admitted himself that could have done better with Rangers but he still comes to Rangers' games when he gets the chance and I reckon he will come back towards the end of his career. He does have potential but it is where Kenny plays him in midfield that will decide if he makes it at Liverpool. It is a big gamble Liverpool are taking buying him."
Stuck on the left-wing and a bit overweight Adam was subsequently loaned out to English Championship club Blackpool, for whom he was sent off during his debut! This lapse in discipline did not deter the Seasiders from signing him permanently the following summer.
Adam quickly became a firm fans’ favourite at Blackpool and a very influential part of the team that was promoted to the Premier League at the end of the 2009-10 season. He was a regular scorer throughout the season and then scored a crucial penalty against Nottingham Forest in the first leg of the Play-off semi-final before curling a wonderful free-kick into the Cardiff City goal in the final at Wembley, Blackpool prevailing 3-2 in a most entertaining match.
Blackpool started their first Premier League season well, winning two of their first three away games. At the turn of the year they looked to be in a comfortable position in the table, especially as they had played less League matches than many of the clubs around them. After beating Liverpool at Bloomfield Road in the middle of January, they lost their next three matches at that stadium and struggled in away matches too. After beating Tottenham at the end of February, they would only pick up maximum points in one more League fixture and relegation back to the Championship was confirmed at Old Trafford on the last day of the season.
As soon as the season was over, speculation was rife that Charlie Adam would be moving on again. The rumours did not stop even when Blackpool activated an option to extend his contract by another year. Six weeks after that activation, he was no longer a Blackpool player and declared after signing his first Liverpool contract “I am absolutely delighted to be here. It has been a long process but now I can't wait to get started and hopefully this will be a successful period in my career and in the club's history.”
Adam won’t be 26 until halfway through his first Liverpool season. He has represented his country eleven times in full internationals and has gained a reputation as a dead-ball specialist from free-kicks and penalty-kicks. He even scored direct from a corner in February 2011! His new club colleagues are aware of his talents because many of them saw him play well and score in Blackpool’s victory at Anfield in early-October, a victory that sent Liverpool temporarily into a relegation place that Blackpool themselves would occupy at the end of the season.
Adam is usually described as a central midfielder. He knows that there is stiff competition for that position in Liverpool’s first team. He has been given the same shirt-number that he had at Blackpool, 26. But he knows that the number on the back of his shirt is unimportant. With the best years of his career still in front of him, Charles Graham Adam knows that he has a fantastic opportunity to write his name into Liverpool’s history books in the same way that so many of his compatriots have already done.
Copyright - LFChistory.net - Chris Wood ([email protected]
Image owned by LFC.