Skip to main content

Replacing Charlie Adam

As I've said in my post about the transfer window, I'd be looking to bring in a replacement for Charlie Adam this month. That would allow whoever came in to learn from Adam over the course of the next six months - or longer, if his contract is extended - and give us cover in a position where we're light.

So the most important question: How does Charlie Adam fit into this Reading side?

It's actually a difficult question to answer. His cameo against Birmingham late on set the tone for his first few appearances. A lot of pinpoint long balls, playing almost as a quarter-back. His role slightly changed against Preston and Fulham, presumably where we were expecting to see less of the ball. Then against Forest he was in the ten role, where he was trying to unlock the defence, but not necessarily playing Hollywood balls. The one constant is he is always trying to progress the ball.

Obviously he's also a danger at set pieces, but we have so many in the squad that are decent with the dead ball that I've not prioritised that.

It's surprisingly hard to find teams that play in a similar way to Reading. Most nowadays are focused on playing out from the back, or going via the wings. There's very few that have someone spraying passes all over the pitch, or at least very few that are also viable options.

Anyhow, here's a few that may fit. Huge caveat that judging true potential based on YouTube highlights is quite difficult.

Louis Reed

Peterborough United | 22

He's traditionally sat deeper than Adam, normally shielding the back four, but has a great long ball and always seems composed in possession. Due to that deeper role his defensive stats are pretty high - he sits fourth for successful tackles in League One, and top of tackles attempted. That may make him a better replacement for Pelé, but there's no reason that I've seen why he couldn't adapt.

In his current role when he has time he's looking to put it into the channel for one of Mo Eisa or Ivan Toney. When pressured he attempts to shift the ball quickly, usually to one of the full backs. It's rare that he's caught in possession.

Ryan Wintle

Crewe Alexandra | 22

It may be a significant step-up from League Two, but Wintle has shown himself to be integral at that level. He has the same desire to go forward that Adam shows, when he gets the ball he's looking to start attacks, and has one of the best passing success rates in the league - even if these clips may not show that!

He's not afraid to run with the ball, although seems to save it for when there's no obvious pass, and another that's not losing the ball often. He can deputise at centre back, but even then looks to instigate. He's already made 100 appearances for Crewe, which he joined after being spotted playing non-league.

Scott Fraser

Burton Albion | 24

It's more than likely that Adam's forward role is only temporary (read: just for the Forest game) but if it weren't we could bring in someone like Scott Fraser. Hardly a niche pick, the Burton player leads the league in assists this season; something that could set him up nicely to double as Swift's back-up.

He's not as Skilful as Swift, but his decision making always seems to be second-to-none. He'll often run beyond the striker on the left hand side of the box and pick out a player for them to finish. His contract expires in the summer, and sounds like there's already clubs at our level circling.

And he doesn't even steal goals from his teammates. What a guy.

Liam Kelly

Oxford United (on loan from Feyenoord) | 24

Once upon a time a Reading academy grad broke through with a wand of a right foot. Alongside others he helped lead the team to Wembley, where they fell at the final hurdle. After that he started to fall off the pace. The manager he trusted moved on, and he never reached those heights again. That said he has many of the same attributes that Charlie Adam. Progressive passing, accurate long balls, decent free-kicks.

It's still difficult to understand what happened to see his form decline so sharply, but it was hardly isolated to him. I'm not really suggesting that we should bring him back, more the idea that if he hadn't left to begin with he'd be a great choice in that role.


Popular posts from this blog

Bowen's Brand New Box

The first game of pre-season is done, and wasn't it an interesting one? Mark Bowen previewed a brand new 3-6-1, with more central midfielders than anybody could have dreamt of.  As theorized  we played a back-three and wing-backs. The midfield, however, had that unexpected additional body, meaning that Joao played as a lone striker. The 3-6-1. Swift and Laurent are allowed to go forward but are usually content with being behind the play. Consistency is a much sought after commodity in football, so I suppose it can be classed as a positive that there's only a single new recruit in the squad. Laurent's role as one of the deeper midfielders was slightly surprising, because everything from his stint at Shrewsbury implied that he's a similar, but more offensive player than Rinomhota. Swift takes the majority of the ball, so he's not expected to be the main playmaker, but he was comfortable in possession and picks the right pass when needed. Plus his pressing, and positio

A Potted History of Veljko Paunović

Veljko Paunović is Reading manager. The Serbian is a relative unknown here, but after leading his home nation to the U20 World Cup he put his name on the proverbial map. That lead to taking over at MLS side Chicago Fire in 2015, where he stayed for four years before being fired with one of the worst ever MLS records. For the past year, he's been unemployed. Serbia's victory at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand was a surprise. 2015 remains the only tournament that Serbia has qualified for since the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The tournament opened with a loss to Uruguay, a game in which they played a 3-6-1. For the subsequent group games they switched to a 4-2-3-1 or alternated to a 4-1-4-1; both Mali and Mexico were dispatched 2-0. They kept the same set-up for the knock-out phase, but were never as convincing, needing extra time in every round. An injury-time equaliser against Hungary combined with an own goal in the round of 16, penalties were required to see off The USA in the

Replacing Omar Richards

In the summer team report I wrote: "we  really  don't want to be going into 2021/2022 without any LBs so a new contract for Omar has to be on the agenda early". And yet, that seems to be exactly what's happening with Richards set to depart for pastures new. Whether he goes to Bayern Munich or not, bigger clubs are circling. There's a couple of options internally, and the club are also looking elsewhere. Ethan Bristow The youngster has been the go-to left-back for cup matches and tends to start for the U23s. He's been brought onto the bench since Richards' injury, but has found himself behind Gibson and McIntyre in the pecking order. Bristow's little run inside drags the right-back narrow, and gives Aluko space to attack He has good vision to spot a pass, and often plays them first time to not allow the defence to put him under pressure. That's normally followed by an intelligent run, and not always to get the ball - sometimes he simply pulls a defe