"From what I've seen of him on pitch, I think he's a bit of a coward," said an angry Gareth Bale following news the Tottenham winger would have to undergo a scan to determine the damage to his ankle caused by a Charlie Adam tackle on Saturday. "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 as over the top, to be honest. But some people are like that and it's just wrong.
"There are pictures 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 again. I would have understood if 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."
He might be overestimating Charlie Adam's ability to time and coordinate his tackles just a touch. It's unfortunate for Bale and Tottenham fans to see the club's star winger potentially sidelined for a second time, but there's little beyond the repeat nature of his run-in to suggest Adam is a dirty player who targets opponents—just that he's a defensive liability and exceptionally poor tackler.
After all, it was a late, clumsy, and largely unnecessary tackle attempt by Adam that led to the midfielder missing the end of the 2011-12 season with a sprained ACL. At the end of the day, until he injured Bale on Saturday, the most likely player to find himself injured a second time by a poor Charlie Adam tackle always seemed likely to be Charlie Adam. And that's not the sign of a dirty player, just the sign of one who isn't very good at his job.