CHARLIE ADAM insists Liverpool don’t need to embark on a big spending spree this summer because they already boast the talent required to drastically improve their Premier League form.
The Scottish midfielder is the first to admit the Reds glaringly under-achieved in the top flight last term as they slumped to eighth place – the club’s lowest finish for 18 years.
That failure ultimately cost Kenny Dalglish his job but Adam, who was one of seven players signed last summer at a total outlay of £56million, remains convinced that only fine-tuning is required to the squad Brendan Rodgers inherited.
“We have a lot of top players in this squad,” said Adam following training at Harvard University.
“We were not a million miles away last year. We won the Carling Cup and got to the FA Cup final – we showed we have got the ability to win trophies which is what it’s all about.
“A bit of luck on our side in the league would have helped us. We were so close at one stage, but the defeat at home to Arsenal really killed our hopes of the Champions League.
“We will learn from all those experiences and we know we need to be more ruthless in front of goal.
“It’s just a case of tinkering and I believe we’ll do better this year. We’re a year down the line and we know each other’s games better.”
It was a tough first year for Adam at Anfield following his dream £8million switch from Blackpool.
After a bright start, he struggled for form and scored just twice in 35 appearances. His season was cut short by knee ligament damage in March and he was forced to sit and watch the campaign reach its unhappy conclusion.
“No disrespect to Blackpool because if it wasn’t for them I wouldn’t be a Liverpool player, but you can’t compare the two clubs,” he said.
“There is pressure on the lads here because of the success the club has had before. It was more relaxed and easier to play for Blackpool in the Premier League because no-one expected us to win a game. At Liverpool you’re expected to win ever game.
“Picking up the injury and missing the FA Cup final was difficult, but my loss was someone else’s gain.
“When you’re injured you have time to reflect on what you’ve done and analyse the situation so there can be positives. I watched how we were playing from the side and tried to learn from the mistakes we made.”
In the aftermath of Dalglish’s sacking, the finger was pointed in some quarters at the lack of contribution from the players the Scot signed but Adam insists the likes of himself, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing didn’t deserve to be made scapegoats.
“You win or lose as a group,” he added.
“Criticism is part of the game but for us as a group of players it was not about the seven or eight who Kenny Dalglish signed but the 25 players who were there at the time.
“It was difficult when Kenny went. When the manager who brings you in leaves the club it is tough but that’s the way it goes.
“Kenny is a living legend at this club who can walk back through the door to watch any game at any time. Although it was disappointing the way it finished, he was the right man at the right time to take the club forward.”
Now fully fit, Adam is looking to the future with optimism and keen to establish himself in Rodgers’ plans.
The 26-year-old, who is set to line up against MLS side Toronto in tomorrow’s opening friendly in Canada, is confident he can adapt to the new model the manager is putting in place.
“I don’t see my future away from Liverpool,” Adam added.
“For me it’s about getting fit and being available for Brendan and giving him the options to choose from. Brendan will make the decisions and if he thinks I’m best for that position I’ll be delighted, and if not I’ll work even harder to get into the side and show why Kenny brought me here.
“We have a very good new manager in charge with different ideas of how to play and we want to go forward in a good direction. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world so for him to come here and get us playing in the style he wants is something to look forward to.
“When you bring in different ideas there is a freshness and a buzz. It does take time and miracles don’t happen overnight, but we’ll look to put his ideas into practice. Hopefully the warm-up games will show we’ve taken on board what he has said in the first few weeks he has been here.”