My first reaction when the Charlie Adam signing news came out was happiness for Dundee fans.
As everybody knows, Dundee is Charlie’s club. He would have been top of the supporters’ transfer wish list for that reason – and because he’s been a very good player at the highest level.
After a summer of grim news – and all that has happened before with getting relegated and United running away with the Championship – this is just what they needed.
It now falls to James McPake to fit Charlie into his team and make some other big decisions.
Let’s face it, if there was one position that Dundee already had strength in depth it was in central midfield.
If they are all fit and available, he has Shaun Byrne, Graham Dorrans, Finlay Robertson, Jamie Ness and Paul McGowan.
None of them are box to box players and, maybe apart from McGowan, they all like to drop deep to get on the ball.
Charlie will be the first name on the team sheet and his position will be that quarter-back role, taking the ball off his centre-halves and spraying passes across the pitch.
It’s a long time since Ness has shown the fitness that a manager can rely upon so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he moves on.
But what about Byrne and Robertson?
Byrne has dropped down from the Premiership. He was a crucial part of the Livingston team when Dundee signed him and he was starting to show that sort of form when he was getting a run in the side before lockdown.
He’s at the peak of his career and needs to be playing week in, week out.
The same applies to Robertson – albeit for different reasons.
His emergence last season was probably the best bit of news at Dens.
Although Charlie is the ideal player for him to learn from in training, coming off the bench every now and then and making the odd start isn’t what he needs on a Saturday.
You soon stagnate or go backwards if you’re not featuring regularly.
If James doesn’t have a plan to play them both, I think the best thing for him would be to go out on loan for the season.
That’s not me pushing for him to come to Arbroath – we’re well covered in that area. It’s just that I think if he’s going to become the player I hope and think he can be, it’s all about game-time.
* Charlie certainly won’t get things all his own way in the Championship, that’s for sure.
Yes, he’s got the quality to boss matches but other midfielders will raise their game.
We saw that happen with Dorrans last season, who didn’t have the impact a lot of people were expecting.
Opposition managers are going to put energetic players into the middle of the pitch and see if they can out-work Dundee. It will be fascinating to see how that plays out.
* I must have missed the call from Jamie Langfield to help St Mirren out at the weekend!
Joking aside, Jim Goodwin is quite right when he says that if Celtic or Rangers lost all their keepers their game would have been called off.
It didn’t sit well with me.