Anyone who knows me knows I’m not that type of player.
This little pearl, or a paraphrased version of it, is often used by or about the distributor of a particularly unpalatable challenge. Sometimes it’s true and sometimes it is little more than a rose-tinted manner of viewing a thug in your employment or a way to appease the baying media, whose shallow lust for blood is set on a hair-trigger.
So what to think of Charlie Adam’s latest controversial challenge on Gareth Bale, made when Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur met in Baltimore for a pre-season friendly last weekend.
“Everyone knows Charlie is not that type of player,” says his agent Kenny Moyes, brother of Everton manager David.
Moyes continued to label Gareth Bale’s accusations as being “schoolboyish” after the Spurs midfielder labelled Adam a “coward” for a tackle he believed to be especially nasty for a friendly game.
While playing for Blackpool in May 2011 Adam did put Bale out for three months with a tackle so bad that even Carlos Tevez’s agent would find it difficult to put a positive spin on it. And that guy is the Johnny Cochran of football agents. This certainly helps to explain Bale’s emotive reaction in recent days.
The most recent challenge doesn’t even register on the same scale and the labels attached to it have been sensationalist and inaccurate. But what about the insinuation that Adam is inherently dirty?
In the Premier League last season Adam received five yellow cards and one red card. Which is far from surprising for a defensive midfielder. Especially not one as slow as the Scot.
In comparison, QPR’s Joey Barton picked up 10 yellows and two reds, Sunderland’s Lee Cattermole picked up 10 yellows and one red and the list of dirtier players goes on, including Bale’s Tottenham team-mate Scott Parker who picked up seven yellows and one red.
If he’s not a particularly dirty player then does Charlie Adam just hate Gareth Bale? Is it just a coincidence? Is he jealous of him as Kyle Walker suggests or perhaps Bale is simply a bit of a moaner.
The reason for it is simple – he is jealous as Gareth is such a good player. He did him at our place last year when he was sent off. It just keeps coming up that he doesn’t really like him. Players shouldn’t hate Gareth; they should appreciate playing against a player like him. They could actually learn from him, rather than kick him. He’s a great player. – Kyle Walker
There’s only circumstantial evidence to suggest that Adam has a personal vendetta against Bale, with the most recent tackle looking slow and clumsy rather than vindictive and pre-meditated.
Bale himself has shown a predilection for the dramatic and his reputation for diving and play-acting is keeping pace with his growing reputation as a talented footballer.
Adam’s perceived dirtiness is due more to his inability to get to the ball in time rather than a vicious streak. Nor is he a coward as Bale suggests. An accusation Bale made when safely clear of the Baltimore pitch.
The furore around this incident has been over the top and there is something of the prima-donna in Bale’s actions over the last couple of months. If Adam’s challenge makes him a coward then Bale’s decision to pull out of the Great Britain Olympic squad with an injury then play for Spurs before the games even started, makes him a traitor to the realm.