A decade or so after they dedicated a film title to David Beckham's unique ability to get some action on a football with his Predator boots, perhaps they should consider a revamp for forthcoming times. 'Bend it like Beckham' could easily be rebooted as 'Angle it like Adam' for the 2011/2012 Premier League season.
There appears to be three certainties in life, or at least in the versatile ranges of football these days: death, taxes and Charlie Adam snaffling a lush transfer to a leading Premier League concern in the close season. Adam is a figure who is unlikely to be skulking around the Championship when August comes into view.
After a few seasons in which Adam has sprinkled gold dust over Bloomfield Road and several other shapely venues in the English game, Adam does not need anybody to tell him he is in good nick. This is a man in prime condition.
How do we know this? The good grace of gnarled opponents such as Stephen Hunt of Wolves hint at Adam's considerable gifts. Hunt, the Republic of Ireland's shaggy-haired midfielder, apparently suggested the Scotsman should not think he is Pele after last week's international bounce game, otherwise known as the first, and perhaps last, Carling Nations Cup. Adam should take little notice of such bluster.
As a maturing force, he has as much talent in his left toe as Hunt possesses in his creative crop of hair. If Hunt is worth £3 million, what price an Adam these days?
Adam must find himself in a good place during the summer recess. Blackpool may have lost their struggle to remain in the Premier League, but their captain won with a landslide majority in proving he belongs in the very best of company.
Adam is potentially the best planner of a free-kick in the Premier League since Real Madrid unleashed £25 million to land Beckam some eight years ago. He is also a wonderful architect of what is repeatedly the irritating corner kick, seemingly mastering the art of instinctively floating the ball beyond the man at the front post. He can do this with some pace, cutting the ball at various angles to shape its trajectory.
In many respects, he has a similar game to Beckham. He is never going to bound beyond opponents, but who needs trickery when his left foot can find its target with as much precision as a Stealth Bomber. The free-kick he bent around a wall in Blackpool's glorious loss at Old Trafford (pictured, above) on the final day of the season was symbolic of Adam's first season among England's elite: it should be the first of many more to come.
Adam toiled to get a game with Rangers in his formative years in Scotland, but Blackpool's manager Ian Holloway believed in him. Call it cockiness, but Adam believes in himself, which is usually required to excel at such a level.
Blackpool should earn their rewards with a whopping profit over the next few weeks. Liverpool will need to find considerably larger sums to sign Adam than the £4.5m they apparently put up in January, but whoever unloads £10m or more for Adam will be getting an inspirational figure.
He would not be the main man at a Liverpool or Manchester United, but a touch of mollycoddling from the right manager will be rewarded with a player who has vision and genuine class. He has a languid style that marks him out as something a bit different on those hectic days in the Premier League.
For someone who has been accused of thinking he is Pele, Adam is a patriot. He probably tried too hard in a friendly against Brazil. He played with back pain against the Irish.
A maverick? A big time Charlie? Arrogant? Perhaps he is some or all of these, but this is what makes Charlie Adam a wonderfully, wanted man.
- Charlie Adam
- David Beckham