Writer: Eamonn Moore
Date:Monday June 20 2011
Another week has passed and the future of Blackpool captain Charlie Adam is no clearer.
Heavily linked with a move to Liverpool, there are now rumours that Manchester United and Aston Villa have made bids for the Scottish international midfielder.
Last week, with Liverpool fans getting nervous about the deal, Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston was savaged by said fans on Twitter over his conduct regarding Adam - a stance that Vital decided to support (as in we supported KO, not the Liverpool fans!).
Determined to get a Liverpool perspective on the 'saga' in order to balance out our argument somewhat, this weekend Vital spoke to Liverpool fan and writer Andy Hayes.
Andy, you're a big fan of Charlie Adam - why do you rate him so highly?
Mainly because I just love watching him play football. In an age where athletes are so often favoured over stylish footballers, he is a pleasure to watch. Quick brain with the feet to match, he would be a weapon for any team. The way he strikes the ball, be it when passing, crossing or shooting is an asset that few possess. He is a top player that I hope to see in Liverpool colours soon.
In a recent article, you stated that you believed that Charlie would be perfect for Liverpool. Do you still stand by this?
Most definately. When Kenny Dalglish first took over in January, he used a wing back system that looked very promising. That system had two deeper lying central players and I feel Adam would be the perfect choice alongside Lucas if that formation was to be used again. Another realistic option for us is 4-3-3, and you know how well how he can perform in a 3 man midfield. He can play if a team is dominating possession or in a counter attacking side and the options he provides could be so important. Liverpool don't score many from corners either, I think we got the third least for last season, whilst Blackpool scored the most. Having a set piece specialist and Andy Carroll in the same side should reap rewards.
There's speculation that the fee for Charlie will be around the £10 million mark - do you think that's reasonable?
I think if you would have said that at the start of the season people would have thought you were crazy but Liverpool are paying crazy prices at the moment in a market that is seeing an out of sorts Fernando Torres being sold for £50million, a striker with one England cap and a good six months in the Premier League costing £35 million and two under 21 players in Phil Jones and Jordan Henderson priced in the £15-20 million bracket. So although I think £10 million sounds a lot I wouldn't say that it was unreasonable. Charlie Adam was one of the outstanding performers in the Premier League last season and you have to pay big money for those sort of players. Damien Comoli has stated players with Premier League experience will be our priority and that is why we are so keen on Adam. He has proven he is good enough in a tough league and that is valuable to know.
Are you worried that the likes of Manchester United will come and steal Charlie from under your noses, or are you confident that Kenny Dalglish has the financial backing to get exactly who he wants?
Dalglish certainly has the financial backing from the owners but Liverpool don't have the promise of European football that two other teams linked, Manchester United and Spurs can offer, so it may come down to the choice of the player, which is worrying. United no longer have Scholes, Spurs will lose Modric so are both in the market for a creative central midfielder, so they could both be obstacles in our pursuit of Adam. We keep hearing that he only wants to play for Liverpool but we thought that in January and then it looked like Harry Redknapp had got him right on deadline. Hopefully it can be sorted out sooner rather than later.
Our chairman Karl Oyston has been taking a hammering online off your fans for his handling of the deal thus far. We chose to support Karl's stance, but what's your take on the matter?
Well first of all he wants to get as much out of the deal as possible for Blackpool and no one can blame him for that. When a club is set to lose their captain and prize asset they shouldn't give up without a fight and Oyston is certainly fighting, just in a bit of a dislikeable way! He wants to start a bidding war so is leaving Adam on the market for as long as possible, just to see if the likes of United miss out on their first choice target or Spurs lose a player they hadn't planned on losing. If the rumours are true that he was ignoring calls from Liverpool then that must be terribly frustrating for the player as although he is not missing out on any football at the moment, he must surely want it sorted as soon as possible. Although he is well within his rights to get the best deal for his club, treating his players like this could cause a problem in the future for Blackpool though, as players who could see the club as a stepping stone to bigger and better things (with all due respect) and make a tidy profit for the club might put off by a chairman who has made this deal so difficult. Also, it can't be forgotten that David Vaughan, Blackpool's player of the season, will leave for nothing so this will be extra incentive to try and get every penny possible from an in demand player with a high price tag.
There have been rumours at this end that we have been offered the likes of Paul Konchesky and Jonjo Shelvey (on loan) as part of the deal, with Oyston stating that we will consider part-exchange offers... do you think the two names I've mentioned are likely to have been offered as part of the deal?
Certainly if Shelvey goes to Bloomfield Road on loan, I can see that benefitting all parties as the competition for places in Liverpool's midfield is extremely tough and if he were to get a season of first team football in the Championship, in an attacking team, then that would be a great experience for him. How likely that is a different question though as Dalglish rates him very highly. Although he hasn't started too many, he seems to come on in every game he is available for whether we are winning, losing or drawing and really improved as the season went on. With the signing of Henderson and hopefully Adam, his opportunities will be limited so I could see that happening, particularly as you may be short of numbers in the middle. As for Konchesky, I haven't heard about that one but that might be because I try to forget he is still on our books! If Blackpool wanted him then we certainly wouldn't stand in your way. He was on loan at Forest towards the end of last season but I think that might have been due to the fact he had already played for Fulham and Liverpool and wasn't allowed to play for a third Premier League side in the same season. If a Premier League side doesn't come in for him, although I think he can do a job there as he proved for Fulham, then he would be a good addition to your squad.
If indeed the deal (and we're presuming that you get your man here!) goes through and includes players in part-exchange (either permanently or on loan), are there any other players at Anfield that you think we would have a chance of signing, or indeed would suit our style of play?
That's a tough one, it depends on who Dalglish has lined up. Liverpool have a lot of very good young players as we saw towards the end of the season, and the likes of full backs John Flanagan and Jack Robinson will have the taste for first team football and could relish a season at a club like Blackpool. Centre half Danny Wilson is said to be going back to Rangers on loan but I personally think a season in the Championship would be better for him as it is a more competitive league than the SPL. As for suiting your style, forward Nathan Ecclestone was on loan at Charlton last year and would fit on the right of a front three, and could play the role similar to the one Jason Puncheon did in his short time there.
Obviously we did the double over you last season, but ultimately we went down whilst you looked to be rebuilding under Dalglish. What do you think the future holds for our two sides?
I thought you would get the double in here somewhere! The only two games I wanted Blackpool to lose, they won, but that was 2010/2011, a mad season. I think Blackpool's season could depend on any potential loan signing(s) and obviously how much of any Adam money is used for squad strengthening. Keeping Ian Holloway is vitally important and players might want to come to the seaside just to play under him in a team that plays exciting football. Promotion will be a very big ask but hopefully you can sneak into the play offs as Blackpool were a credit to the Premier League as every game (except the Liverpool ones!) was so entertaining. As for Liverpool, we just need to get back into the Champions League places. With no European football we have no excuses but it will be tough and it's hard to see who out of last seasons top four will drop out. We are confident though. Luis Suarez is a sensation, Gerrard is fit again and we will sign a few players. There will be more expectation and pressure then there has been since Dalglish took over in January, so it will be interesting to see how the players cope with that. Hopefully we will get you in a cup, so we can get a tiny bit of revenge!
Andy Hayes is a season ticket holder at Anfield and writes for Liverpool Banter. You can follow him on Twitter @andy_hayes1
Date:Monday June 20 2011
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