Tuesday 17 October 2017

Furious Gareth Bale hits out at 'coward' Charlie Adam

Gareth Bale
Gareth Bale

Mark Hughes in Baltimore

Tottenham's Gareth Bale has labelled Charlie Adam a "coward" and has claimed that the Liverpool midfielder deliberately set out to injure him during Saturday's supposed friendly match in the United States.

Bale had to be substituted at half-time and left the stadium wearing a protective boot on his left ankle after a crude lunge by the Scot in the 18th minute of the goalless draw here.

It is the second time Bale has been injured in a tackle by Adam. In May 2011 the Welsh winger was left with ruptured ankle ligaments and was out for three months after a horrific tackle by Adam, then playing for Blackpool.

In a rare instance of a player publicly criticising a fellow professional, Bale has suggested that the latest incident, when Adam lunged wildly at the 23-year-old from behind with little chance of winning the ball, was no accident.

The Welshman said: "There are pictures on the internet of what he did before when he snapped all my ankle ligaments. I was out for three months that time and one player told me he went out to do the same thing to me again.

"I was surprised to see a challenge like that in a friendly. We're all over here to build our fitness and get a good workout and what he did was over the top. But some people are like that and it's just wrong."

After the game a clearly angry Andre Villas-Boas insisted that Adam should apologise to Bale. The Spurs manager said that his player was lucky to escape hospital. He said: "I can never doubt Charlie's integrity but it is a very, very nasty challenge.

"The player is gone and he comes in from behind on Gareth's ankle. I did not know the previous history between the two. I know now."

Scan

Bale now faces a scan to determine the extent of his injured ankle. The player did not hold back when asked after the game what he thought of Adam.

He added: "From what I've seen of him on the pitch, I think he's a bit of a coward. He's done it before. He's obviously come for me twice now -- and he's got me twice.

"All I want to do is play my game and play it in the right way. It's flattering when players try to take you out in a game but when it threatens your career, it becomes more serious than that.

"I would have understood it had it been a slightly mistimed tackle, even though it was just a friendly. But the ball was 10 yards past him already and was nowhere near him when he came through my ankle."

Adam refused to comment when asked about the incident and Bale said he received no apology from the 26-year-old, who was spoken to by Villas-Boas about the challenge as he left the pitch at half-time. Bale said he would not accept an apology from Adam.

"He didn't say anything to me afterwards. I've had no apology," Bale said.

"When someone makes a very bad tackle on you in a game you expect him to come up and apologise. But I've had no apology from him and I don't really want one from him. I'm not going to accept his apology."

Bale's comments are sure to intensify the feud between the two players. But the winger says he is at a loss to understand the apparent animosity from Adam towards him.

"I haven't ever done anything to him," Bale said, adding that his ankle was "sore -- very, very sore". "We'll have to wait and see how it goes. I'll probably have to have a scan."

But Kyle Walker, Bale's team-mate, offered a possible explanation: "It's simple. He (Adam) is jealous as Gareth is such a good player. It just keeps coming up that he doesn't really like him."

Meanwhile, Liverpool are hoping to finally offload Alberto Aquilani back to Serie A after telling the Italian he is not wanted by Brendan Rodgers.

Aquilani did not return to Merseyside with the rest of the Liverpool squad when they flew home from their North America tour on Saturday night.

Instead, he headed to Rome to see if a deal could be struck with one of a number Serie A sides, including, it is thought, Fiorentina.

The 28-year-old, who cost Liverpool £20m in 2009, now realises there is little chance of him reviving his career at Anfield, but selling him will not be easy because of his huge wages.

The Italian's contract equates to around £6.5m a year, an expense which has been reduced in recent seasons thanks to loan deals.

He spent last year at AC Milan and has also been loaned to Juventus. To put the figures into perspective, the £125,000 a week he currently costs Liverpool is double what Anfield stalwart Jamie Carragher earns.

Rodgers hopes that the desire to revive his career will motivate Aquilani to seek pastures new and reduce Liverpool's massive wage bill.

Aquilani still has two years of a five-year contract remaining. Rodgers left Aquilani out of the 0-0 draw with Tottenham before giving him permission to fly to Italy. But Liverpool are unlikely to raise more than a nominal fee for Aquilani's services.

While Rodgers hopes Aquilani will move on, Liverpool managing director Ian Ayre is finalising a deal for Swansea's Joe Allen.

Ayre cancelled his trip to America to join the club tour in order to continue talks with the Welsh club.

Liverpool can seal a deal with a £15m bid, but have been trying to negotiate a smaller fee. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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