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Charlie Adam: The next big thing

Vishal Menda
Editor's Pick
852   //    21 Mar 2011, 21:46 IST

Ian Holloway, a man known for his quirks and rather blunt outlook on life, has always had his audacious claims laughed at. Like always, several chuckled at the Blackpool manager’s argument that his inspirational and influential skipper, Charlie Adam was good enough to play for any one of the ‘big four’.

That argument was made at the start of the season, and now as the season gradually draws to a close, Holloway is the one with the last laugh. Snickering away, not in the confines of his office but out in the open as Adam leads the Seasiders’ charge towards safety from the dogfight i.e. the relegation stifle. So much so that the smirks of the others have now turned to nods of conformity, not only in his ability but also his leadership skills, both on and off the pitch.

Blackpool's captain marvelous: Charlie Adam

Holloway has never hidden his admiration of his captain and this was vividly visible when Liverpool came calling with a £4m bid in the Winter Transfer Window. However, the Premier League newcomers rebuffed the cheap offer to sell their captain and talisman. That matter left Blackpool manager, Ian Holloway, frustrated and disgruntled. But surely he never envisaged what would soon follow – believing that he should have been allowed to join Liverpool as a show of gratitude from Blackpool for the part he has played in their rapid rise to top-flight prominence, Adam surprised the whole of Bloomfield Road by sending in a written transfer request.

Adam remains a favourite on the Lancashire coast despite his unrest. Before kick-off against Manchester United, a young fan brandished a “Don’t Go Charlie” placard. That was the landmark day of the 25th of January when he set up both goals for his team in a 2-3 defeat. United boss, Sir Alex declared after his side’s three-goal fight-back at Bloomfield Road, “We couldn’t handle Charlie Adam. His corners alone are worth £10m.”

As was expected, Liverpool increased their offer to £10m on a frantic deadline day. Tottenham also knocked on the door later, but sadly for them and Adam (who was left seemingly distraught), Blackpool snubbed those offers too, claiming Adam isn’t worth a penny less than £14m.

Currently as his valuation soars with every appearance, it’s no surprise that the 25-year old who was acquired from Scottish side Rangers for a meager £500,000 in 2009 is touted even as a long-term replacement for Paul Scholes in the Manchester United engine-room.

Blackpool’s system is clearly built around Adam and he has risen to the challenge at the highest level. He took his Premier League tally for the season to 10 with his brace in the 2-2 draw at Ewood Park against Blackburn Rovers this weekend. He was the best player in the park and followed up a goal from the penalty spot with a beautiful free-kick.

Blackpool has made it extremely clear that Adam is an integral part of their plans for their future. And holding on to the Scot, who has only 15 months remaining on his contract, has paid dividends. Even though it is going to be hard on Seasiders, it is only a matter of time before Adam will soon be in the middle of a tug-of-war between bigger, more powerful clubs.