With Charlie Adam’s Stoke City career seemingly coming to an end when his contract expires at the end of the season, we took time out to select his top-10 key Charlie moments (good and not so good) during his seven years and 178 senior appearances at the club. Here’s the second and final part… 5) ONE FINAL HURRAH If he is off, then we will look back fondly on January’s home win over league leaders Leeds as something of a farewell appearance. For Charlie had played 80 minutes just four days earlier against Shrewsbury – after two-and-a-half months without a game – yet here he was starting another game, completing 90 minutes and emerging the undisputed man-of-the-match after what was surely the most memorable match of a most forgettable season. “But it was Adam’s performance which caught the eye for a second time in four days,” said The Sentinel report, “after earlier this month being ushered towards the exit door in this his seventh season at the club. “His movement of the ball and so the game itself was masterful at times as he remained proactive throughout, asking almost as many questions of his team-mates as his opponents. “His very presence seemed to tease out hidden depths of confidence in those around him, while his experience allowed him to manage himself towards the end of the game without incurring a second yellow card or going weak at the knees after so much work following so long out.”
Charlie Adam in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Stoke City and Leeds United at the bet365 Stadium.
4) WHAT A FINISH … to the game and to the season as Charlie bags an 87th minute winner for a 2-1 win at The Hawthorns back in the days when they always found a way to beat West Brom. The final game of the 2013/14 season was stood at 1-1 when Charlie, an 81st minute sub for Jon Walters, ran unopposed on to the ball and fired home a low shot in front of Stoke’s travelling support. The club had finished ninth, their highest position for 40 years, and that winner left them topping 50 points in the Premier League for the first time to prompt manager Mark Hughes into noting: “To get 50 points on the board in the hardest league in world football is a huge achievement for a club such as Stoke.”
Charlie Adam celebrates his late winner at The Hawthorns in May 2014
(Image: Joe Giddens/PA Wir)
3) SIX OF THE BEST AGAINST LIVERPOOL Stoke rounded off their 2014/15 campaign in astounding style by running riot and thrashing Liverpool 6-1. It was 5-0 by half-time, simply ridiculous, and Charlie dipped his toes into the well by grabbing the fourth against his old club. Seizing on a loose ball just outside the Liverpool area, his trusty left foot swept a low shot through Martin Skrtel and to the left of a stranded Simon Mignolet. And so much for a subdued celebration against his old club as he slid on his knees towards Stoke’s disbelieving fans.
Charlie scores Stoke’s fourth against Liverpool
2) A GOAL FROM HIS OWN HALF We were approaching the end of the 2014/15 season when almost anything seemed possible… not least when Charlie took aim from inside his half and scored at Chelsea on April 4. An outrageous liberty, but one stunningly executed, as Charlie took possession around midway inside inside his own half before taking a quick glimpse goalwards and letting fly from the rim of the centre circle (that’s Stoke’s centre circle). He’d spotted Thibault Courtois well off his line and the ball sailed over the bewildered Belgian as he scrambled back and dived in vain to try and prevent a truly remarkable effort. The view from behind the goal actually showed there was plenty of cut on the ball as Courtois just about got a flailing hand to the ball. Adam was predictably mobbed by team-mates and even Glenn Whelan was seen cracking half-a-smile. His goal made it 1-1 just before half-time and thanks to this astonishing effort it almost didn’t matter that the game was eventually lost 2-1.
In she goes… on arguably his best day for Stoke, Charlie Adam scores one of his two goals to beat Manchester United in February 2014
1) DOUBLE v MAN UTD Not any old double either. Stoke hadn’t beaten United in the Premier League, in fact they hadn’t beaten them since a guy called Stein ripped them apart two decades earlier, while a poor transfer window and sinking into the bottom three just before kick off intensified the spotlight on Stoke City this blustery afternoon. But they stepped up to the plate, no-one more than Charlie, as he laid claim to both goals in a momentous victory that kick-started Stoke into an end-of-season revival which would see them rocket from 18th to ninth by the end of the season. Some regarded his first as a Michael Carrick own goal, but few in these parts will deny Charlie after his free-kick struck the United midfielder and looped past David de Gea. No question about his second goal, though, as he let fly from distance and with or without the help of the wind to leave de Gea helpless for a second time to secure a priceless 2-1 win via a simply magnificent finish. For all your latest Stoke City news, opinion, analysis and transfer gossip, click here