Charlie Adam: Is this a tearful farewell for box-office Dundee midfielder?

You always get the sense that something might happen when Charlie Adam is on the pitch.

During his successful stint in England with Blackpool, Liverpool and Stoke City, the Scotland international developed a knack for attempting – and executing – ridiculous shots from the halfway line and indulging in some entertaining niggle.

So when he returned to Scotland and boyhood club Dundee, there were high hopes that he could prove a key protagonist in the daftness of the Scottish game. And the 36-year-old has certainly delivered of late.

There have been no halfway efforts, but there has been an attempt on goal from a corner, a ferocious derby leveller and a stunning strike against Hibernian on Tuesday to give Dundee fans hope that they could just escape relegation.

Factor in one of the most hilarious dives you are ever likely see and and an equally unbelievable assist at the wrong end against St Mirren on Saturday, we have certainly had our money’s worth.

But after Adam’s tearful reaction to his goal against Hibs was followed by an emotional admission that it could be time to hang up the boots, BBC Scotland looks at what might happen next.

‘I’ve got a decision to make’

When Adam – a bit-part player at Rangers – left Ibrox, not many would have expected the former St Mirren and Ross County loanee to go on make over 200 appearances in England’s Premier League.

But he enjoyed a fantastic career south of the border, achieving play-off promotion with Blackpool before signing for Kenny Dalglish at Liverpool. A season at Anfield ended in 2012 before seven years at Stoke.

A stint at Reading lasted just one campaign, but the opportunity to live a childhood dream was handed to Adam in September 2020 when he was offered a two-year-deal at Dens Park.

The Scotland international was integral to James McPake’s promotion-winning side last season, and the midfielder has managed four goals and six assists this term. But could his most recent strike of him be his last of him?

“[I had a tear in my eye] because it possibly could be my last game in this stadium, “Adam told Sportsound.” I’ve got a decision to make in the next few weeks.

“I’ll speak to the club to see where they want to go. If that’s to play football then so be it, if not I’ll get my teeth stuck into coaching and management.

“I’ve had a wonderful two years; it’s been great. This is my boyhood club, I’ve sat on those terraces and I know what it means to be a supporter of this club.”

Coaching role or to continue playing?

Whether Adam chooses to retire, sign on again at Dundee, or move to another club seems to depend on who will be in charge at Dens next term.

Mark McGhee currently holds that role, but with the Tayside club still likely to face the drop despite Tuesday’s 3-1 win over Hibs, his future is in doubt.

McGhee says he would be open to Adam taking up a coaching role at the club. But the impact he made from the bench against Hibs showcased the difference he can make. Is that too valuable to waste, or is it time to call time on a 19-year career?

“Charlie didn’t disappoint,” McGhee told BBC Sportsound. “He went on and affected the players around him and the opposition. His goal di lui was an unbelievable strike, but it’s not untypical of Charlie.

“He’s a Dundee boy, he loves playing here and he’s a football fanatic. He’s at all the youth games, he’s getting a bit of a hand in there, and that would be his first port of call. So if we can involve him, that would be something we’d be looking at. ”

‘Someone like Charlie is invaluable’ – analysis

Former Dundee manager Jim Duffy on BBC Sportsound

In terms of how to understand the game – with and without the ball – someone like Charlie is invaluable. That’s the reason why he doesn’t need to run all over the place, he can patrol that central area or just a bit advanced.

There’s probably a financial aspect there – it would maybe be difficult for them to keep him in the Championship. But I’m sure there are clubs who are looking for managers who might think: ‘There’s a player-manager there’.

I’m sure there will be opportunities for Charlie, I don’t think he’ll be retiring.

Former Hibernian & Dundee United midfielder John Rankin on BBC Sportsound

I think Charlie could be the biggest influence Dundee’s had in years, not as a manager but as a player.

Just leading those players and showing them how you can be a good pro, how you can get to the top level, sharing his experience of what he’s done and what he’s done wrong.

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