When Sir Alex Ferguson suggested that Charlie Adam’s corners were worth £10m alone you could sense that he was being somewhat facetious. The Glaswegian manager already knew that Liverpool were interested and so thought he’d give Blackpool a helping hand in the negotiations.
However, it remains to be seen as to whether Adam is worth the £9m Liverpool paid for him. An interesting first season for Adam started reasonably well but his form dipped before receiving a season ending injury whilst playing QPR in March.
Adam knows he has a lot to prove this season; the competition for places in the central midfield has always been tough, but when Lucas returns from injury this season Adam will find that other players have a niche purpose in the team –something that he lacks.
Nevertheless Adam is up for the challenge, especially considering there is a new manager at the club
“We’re one of the best clubs in the world and I feel extremely fortunate to be at Liverpool. I was back working at Liverpool last week. I’ll be all geared up and trying to impress the new manager,” said Adam to the Mail on Sunday a few weeks ago.
Brendan Rodgers could well be the key for Adam too. Blackpool’s style of football in 2010 was far more expansive that that of Liverpool last season and with a new, attacking manager at the helm Adam could feel that there is a place for him in this side.
Under Daglish, Adam often found himself confused about his role in the team, especially when Gerrard returned as the former Blackpool and Rangers man found that many of his fortes were also those of the Liverpool captain.
Rodgers will define the role for Adam, but he must ensure he takes his chance. He will be 27 this year, the peak of his career. If he cannot ensure a starting place under Rodgers then he will need to reassess his position at Anfield.
The Fenway Sports Group announced their intention to appoint a manager who would remain at the club long-term, a manager who was looking to build a project. That means: for Adam, and Liverpool’s other disappointing signings from last summer, there is a chance at redemption in the form of a new style of play, but it may well be the last chance they get at the club. Having spent so much money when they arrived at the club it seems unlikely that Fenway will be willing to spend much more before other players are offloaded.
Adam’s time at Rangers, and his first season at Liverpool tell us one of two things. The first could be that he only performs well as the focal point of a smaller team. He was the heart of Blackpool’s team and as such had the necessary freedom to prove his worth and highlight his abilities. He was not afforded such luxuries at Rangers and the same scenario has occurred at Liverpool where he, due to the presence of Gerrard, is not likely to be able exercise such a role. Just as with Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, Adam must characterize his role in the team – something that many believe he is unable to do.
The alternative explanation to his poorer form at bigger clubs is that he only fits in to a certain style of football. Were this to be the case then Adam has a chance to progress considering the contrasting styles of Rodgers and Daglish. If Adam is to have a future at Anfield, he must prove this is the case.
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