The Championship has witnessed numerous free-scoring midfielders this year, so many in fact that the strikers are almost playing second fiddle. Peter Whittingham tops the scoring chart with a brilliant total of 18 league goals but others such as Darren Ambrose, Kevin Nolan and Graham Dorrans have been unable to keep themselves off the score sheet aswell. One of the most impressive campaigns though, has come from Blackpool’s man of the moment, Charlie Adam.
The Scottish international has been a revelation this year for The Tangerines, bagging 15 goals in all competitions, which has led to him being linked to a host of clubs from the Championship and Premier League. His manager, Ian Holloway, was worried about losing his star man, who can operate on the left or in central midfield, in January.
Holloway said: “Charlie is a fantastic player. I normally lose them after 18 months, I have only had him for seven and I might lose him quicker. I need to find some sort of replacement first.”
But Blackpool managed to keep hold of Adam and that has helped as they have continued to make an unlikely push for the playoffs. The 24-year-old playmaker has been a key to this success and this has been recognised with call-ups to the Scotland squad this year. Holloway said in his usual tongue-in-cheek fashion:
“If Craig Levein doesn’t think he is good enough to play for Scotland I will eat my hat. Charlie has been absolutely outstanding.”
He has certainly been excellent since his summer move from Rangers last year, which saw Blackpool pay £500,000 and break their transfer record in the process. This was after he had joined the club on loan in February 2009 after falling out of favour north of the border. It did not go according to plan straight away for Adam who was sent off on his debut for the club against Doncaster. But an impressive end to the season with two goals in 13 games saw him earn the permanent move to England, and he has not looked back. After an electric start to this season at Bloomfield Road, in which Adam scored four goals in five games, he spoke of his eagerness to show The Seasiders he was thankful for showing faith in him.
“I’m proud that Blackpool paid out the sort of money that they did for me because they’ve never done it before. I want to repay them for that – and goals like the one against Forest can help me do it.”
His excellent passing ability, accurate set pieces and clinical finishing is accompanied by a real desire to get stuck into tackles and drive his team forward and the coaching staff at Blackpool know that he can finish this year strongly.
Assistant manager Steve Thompson said: “Charlie is in a rich vein of form at the moment and that is great news for us. We set him a target of double figures and we were hoping he’d perhaps get to that in the latter stages of the season. But now he’s already there by January we’re hoping he’ll get to the latter stages of double figures and get 18 or 19 goals.”
In four seasons at Ibrox, which saw Adam pick up the young player-of-the-year award in 2007 after netting 14 goals, he showed plenty of potential which was honed while on loan at St Mirren and Ross County. But now the Dundee-born creator is really starting to show his worth and it would not be a surprise to see him make the big step up to the Premier League in the near future.