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Gripped by the Cobblers: Adams the one we’ve been waiting for

This is the one. You could almost hear the opening riff to the Stone Roses’ classic as Northampton signalled the return of midfield marvel Nicky Adams.  

Impish as Pavel Nedvěd, the signing of Adams has Cobblers fans salivating and for good reason.

Adams was an integral part of Chris Wilder’s “Wonders” League 2 title winning side which swept all before them.

Like John Marquis, Adams never should have left but took in a decent spell at Carlisle under Keith Curle before clinching promotion with Bury last term.

The Shakers are on very unsteady ground financially meaning Adams was freed from his contract at Gigg Lane to sign for Town. The Manchester club’s loss is Northampton’s gain with assist king Adams choosing to reunite with mentor Curle.

Town targetman Harry Smith would have punched the air and inadvertently the ceiling when he heard cute crosser Adams had joined him at Sixfields.

Both will be wanting to make hay with immediate impacts on dry pre-season pitches and the aerial threat of 6ft 5” forward Smith should resemble that of a Wellington bomber.

After Adams, came midfield rottweiler Alan McCormack from Luton Town. Cobblers have lacked experience in central areas and the authoritative 35-year old, who resembles a Bridge Street bouncer, will play the enforcer role for the claret and whites.

McCormack, who just won promotion to the Championship with the Hatters, joins a tidy Town squad chock full of promotion experience. Curle’s recruitment strategy isn’t brain surgery, acquiring talent that been part of buoyant progressive squads.

Far too many Town players last season appeared to be going through the motions and Curle has professed his psychological profiling of personnel to ascertain a winning mentality is as important to new recruits as checking their bank balances.

Northampton’s final signing on a day that had even transfer deadline day hysteric Jim White spitting his coffee out was goalkeeper Steve Arnold from Shrewsbury Town on a 2 year deal.

The move was for an undisclosed fee which is neither here nor there given a walnut whip and £1.50 counts as a fee but the move for Arnold was as significant as the eye-catching Adams capture.

Debate raged all last season about the error prone Dai Cornell’s suitability for a number 1 role in a team targeting top 6. Now the Welshman actually has proper competition for the jersey.

Town’s squad strength was galvanised on a wild Wednesday leaving Curle with interesting tactical options to mull over. Time will tell if the mysterious one utilises Adams as wing-back in a 3-5-2  or unleashes him in a marauding 4-2-3-1.

Much of Northampton’s ongoing strength will depend on the retention of key defender Aaron Pierre. With the Grenadan powerhouse, Cobblers appear worth the shortening odds on promotion.

However, should Pierre leave (for a decent fee) then the Town defence will be significantly weakened and the flurry of signings placed in financial context.

Finances have never been Northampton’s strong point historically and it’ll be interesting to see who the books will look in relation to the losses of the 2017/18 accounts.

Another summer beckons with no building work on the East Stand, not that we can escape the carbuncle that frames every game at Sixfields.

But for now, none of that matters as Nicky Adams is back and we can reminisce to when 99 points were collected and the market square heaved to cheer a side pissed on beer and glory, uniting a town.

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