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How can you not be romantic about baseball? Signing
Monday, 5th Oct 2020 17:20 by Clive Whittingham

Queens Park Rangers supporter Albert Adomah will play for the club at alast, signing a two year deal and arriving on a free transfer from Nottingham Forest.

Facts

Albert Adomah is a 32-year-old, Queens Park Rangers-supporting winger from Lambeth. He came into the professional sport through non-league, first with Old Meadonians and then one of QPR’s local non-league clubs Harrow Borough. He has spoken previously of his frustration with Rangers’ failure to spot him as a talented teenager despite supporting the club and playing locally for many years.

Barnet were the first pro club to take a chance on him, picking Adomah up during the 2007/08 and quickly reaping rewards with a goal on his professional debut in a 2-1 away win at Hereford. He scored five League Two goals in 22 appearances as Barnet finished twelfth in his first season, then ten in 49 the following year at which point he was voted the club’s Young Player of the Year. Interest started to build in the 6ft 1in right winger during the 2009/10 season with Blackpool, Norwich and Watford all failing with bids before he moved to Championship side Bristol City in the summer of 2010, with a £150,000 fee set by tribunal following the expiration of his Barnet contract. He scored 20 goals in 111 starts and 19 sub apps for the Underhill outfit.

Adomah played in all 46 games, 45 from the start, in his first season at Championship level, scoring his first goal at the level in a 3-3- home draw with Barnsley and adding four more as the season went on against Scunthorpe, Middlesbrough, Pompey and Norwich. This pattern of presenteeism and goalscoring continued in 2011/12 with five more goals from 47 appearances and 2012/13 when he scored seven in 46 outings. Having quickly rattled up 117 starts and 19 sub apps in three seasons, with 17 goals scored and a Player of the Year award in 2010/11, Adomah got a £1m move to Middlesbrough following City’s relegation to League One.

He had a very successful three season stint on Teeside where, again, he was basically an ever present – making 115 starts and 15 sub appearances in Boro’s 138 league fixtures during that time, and scoring more frequently than he had before with 12 in 13/14, nine in 14/15 and nine again in 15/16. He bagged one in a 5-1 aggregate victory over Brentford in the 2014 Championship play-offs but they were beaten by Norwich in the Wembley final, then won automatic promotion to the Prem the following year. Unfortunately he only managed a couple of Boro appearances in the top flight, against Stoke and Sunderland before dropping back down to the second tier with Aston Villa in a deal which took Adama Traore the other way.

He only scored three goals in his first season at Villa Park but trailed only Conor Hourihane in the Championship assists stakes and really hit his straps in 2016/17 with a career-best total of 15 goals, including two against QPR at Loftus Road, which made him Villa’s top scorer in a year where they reached the play-off final but were beaten at Wembley by Fulham. They succeeded at the second attempt, beating Derby in the final the following year, with Adomah contributing four goals in 42 appearances. After 24 goals in 97 starts and 27 sub apps across three seasons he left to join the legion of footballers at Nottingham Forest on a free transfer ahead of the start of last season.

Adomah was used mainly off the bench at The City Ground, with eight starts and 19 sub apps in the first half of the season, but he scored four goals including one in a 3-0 League Cup win against Derby which will always endear you to the locals round there. However, as Forest embarked on yet another one of their mental transfer windows in January he found himself sliding down the pecking order and spent the second half of the campaign on loan at Cardiff where he made nine starts without scoring. Worth pointing out that having reached the play-off final three times before in his career, his departure from Forest came just before they embarked on a dire run of form that cost them their top six place and continues to this day, while Cardiff pushed on and took their place in the knockouts only to lose in the semi-final to Fulham.

Forest, ridiculously, have added another 13 players this summer and with Adomah now surplus to requirements he was able to reach a settlement on the remainder of his contract allowing him to complete a boyhood dream and sign for QPR on a free transfer and a two year contract.

Reaction

"Imagine being a supporter and playing for the club you love. Words can’t even describe it. It’s just amazing, just a pleasure to be here. They were my local side and going past the stadium when I was a youngster I thought one day I could play for this club. This is just surreal. All I can see right now is Bobby Zamora scoring at Wembley – I should be here talking about myself but that’s all I can think of right now. I was in White City last week and I was thinking about going to the club shop to buy a top – but I thought I would wait and get one for free. It’s a very competitive league. Every team wants to win promotion. I have managed it twice and it is a beautiful feeling. If I could get a third promotion that would be one of my great achievements. That’s my ambition.” -Albert Adomah

“It is fantastic that we have been able to bring Albert in. We only have Geoff Cameron and Lee Wallace above 30 in the dressing room, so I am delighted to add Albert – he will provide a wealth of experience. I spoke with people at Nottingham Forest who spoke glowingly about his professionalism, his character, and what he brings on and off the pitch. He is a proven player at this level, comfortable on both flanks, still a good age, a London lad and a QPR fan, so it is fantastic to have him on board.” -Warbs Warburton

"The biggest benefit is simply having someone who will bust a gut and take it personally if we lose. None of this instagramming shots of your goal when we lose nonsense. If his presence ups the work rate and urgency by 5%, he’ll have had a big impact. Couple that with the fact he is still clearly a good player, probably too good for us, certainly too expensive for us without Forest paying off his contract this season, and we have a good signing here." -HunterHoop

Opinion

Could be the classic QPR modern day signing this one. A player that would have been a good signing for us five years ago, but is now past his best and in decline. A player that we could have had at numerous earlier points in his career, often for a tiny amount of money, and enjoyed in his prime before selling on for a big profit, if only we’d been scouting properly and not so in thrall to big names and their wanker agents. A player we’re now signing more out of romanticism than common sense, because he’s been doing keep ups in QPR shirts on his social media channels over the summer and given our rabid Twitter fanbase a big stiff hard on - #announceAdomah. A player who not only plays a position we don’t need to strengthen, but a position currently filled by our best player – with Chris Willock also due through the door today, are we not simply repeating the Marc Pugh situation here, destined to spend the next six months trying to find vague excuses to give the guy minutes here and there?

Negatives out of the way, here’s why this might be a really good idea. Adomah is only 32, it’s not like we’re bringing a 36 year old in here, and even if we were QPR have had decent results in recent years adding a sprinkling of experienced old heads like Geoff Cameron and Angel Rangel to a very young squad of players. Like Cameron and Rangel, Adomah has a record of fitness and durability – he’s basically been ever present in every season he’s had as a professional for the last ten years, bar last season when he was fit but not selected. He’s also, still, clearly, a very good player at this level, having reached the Championship play-offs in each of the last three seasons. Forest’s results went one way after he left last year while Cardiff’s went the other.

Yes, he plays Bright Osayi-Samuel’s position, but there’s no guarantee Bright will be here this season. His contract situation seemed to be moving back towards QPR’s favour at the end of last week but with the domestic window still open for another fortnight and Bournemouth now said to be circling with extensive transfer fees received burning a hole in their pocket there remains the possibility that Mark Warburton’s “biggest fear” prophecy from our interview with him of a star name being snatched away from us too late in the window for us to do anything about it could come to pass. Adomah is also big enough, good enough, experienced enough and talented enough to play anywhere along our attacking ‘three’ or as a second striker.

While ordinarily Adomah’s salary would make him too expensive for us full stop, never mind too expensive to be bringing in as anything other than first name on the team sheet, the farcical situation at Forest has created an opening for us. They’ve paid his big contract up, so he can move to QPR within our wage structure because he supports the club and fancies finishing his career here. That’s a happy coincidence of circumstances in our favour which means we can get a player we ordinarily wouldn’t be able to afford, and we’re right to take those chances when they come up.

He also, for those reasons, clearly wants to be here. I don’t particularly subscribe to all that “PASHUN” bollocks, but QPR is a tough club to play for at the moment and does have a very young squad. Having an experienced, talented player who wants to get stuck in and play for the club he supports, and can use his experience to help the younger players and hold up standards and behaviour in the dressing room, could be very valuable.

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probbo added 21:06 - Oct 5
Thanks Clive. I don’t see too many negatives here. Totally different era l know but Ray Wilkins was in the twighlight of his career when he arrived in W12 and was brilliant (and he wasn’t a life long fan)! Perhaps Warburton might fashion a similar type role for him in midfield given his age, so allowing him and Bright to play together. Or put him on the other wing. And maybe he can take a decent corner and free kick, something we seem to continually struggle with. I watched the Coventry game where none of our midfield turned up while looking very lightweight so hopefully he can slot in there and impart some experience on the youngsters and give out forward(s) some much needed service. And helping a Club he clearly has a lot of affinity for.
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Myke added 21:15 - Oct 5
It is a bit of a no-brainer really. He is still young enough to be a viable option on the wing, yet experienced enough to assist the younger players. It's also nice in these cynical times to have a heart over head move that still cannot financially damage the club. My own view is that BOS -if he stays - is just as effective on the other wing, which would allow Chair to play behind either Dykes or Bonne. Good signing.
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hamptonhillhoop added 21:46 - Oct 5
I've just watched his interview on the official website. I'm a cynical, 50 year old miserable git, who was asked by his daughter recently "Why do you hate everyone?" That interview had me grinning from ear to ear without even realising it. If he carries that attitude into the dressing room I can't see how he won't be a positive influence on the younger players, and as you point out, a hardened professional at this level who rarely misses a game. A good signing I think.
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kingfisher6404 added 21:51 - Oct 5
OK his best years are probably behind him in terms of pace and speedy recovery from injury, but his desire for the club to win will spur him on and he seems to have been gifted with few injuries. Going to be fun seeing his first QPR goal celebration!
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HastingsRanger added 23:47 - Oct 5
Interesting piece Clive. Started life playing in Barnes, how did we miss that on our doorstep!
This is quite an interesting cover, if and when the BOS situation blows up. Also, the experience of supporters playing for the club has paid off in the past. Plus hoping a bit of a swansong here, given his availability too.

Having missed a trick in the past, it sounds like a low risk option.
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timcocking added 12:37 - Oct 6
Lovely to have one of our own in the team, hope it work's out well for him.
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Letters from Wiltshire #09 by wessex_exile
Letters from Wiltshire #08 by wessex_exile
Lots of discussion this week on football forums, including here, on two subjects – the petition to lobby parliament to allow limited numbers of supporters back into football grounds, and of course the return of that old chestnut from Man City Chief Executive Ferran Soriano, introducing Premier League ‘B’ teams into the EFL. First off, I don’t mind admitting I’ve signed the petition ( https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552036 ), as have 192,779 others at the time of writing, though I don’t actually think it’ll make any difference. I can completely understand why some do not think this is a good idea, as second-wave spikes of coronavirus infection pop up all over the country (mainly because – let’s face it – some people are dicks and can’t be trusted to sit the right way on a toilet). But to me, the two go hand in hand (not dicks and toilets) – whilst football clubs throughout the country struggle financially without spectators, we are always going to be under threat of this sort of ‘B’ team nonsense as a condition of financial support from the Premier League fat cats. They got their way in 2016 with the EFL trophy, who’s to say they won’t again when the financial squeeze really starts to tighten its grip without paying customers through the turnstiles? Robbie has featured prominently in this debate in recent weeks, and looks like he will again on Sky tomorrow if this tweet from Sophy Ridge is anything to go by -
Letters from Wiltshire #07 by wessex_exile

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