Gareth Bale has launched a withering attack on Charlie Adam, branding the Liverpool midfielder a "coward" amid accusations he deliberately set out to injure him. Bale was a victim of Adam's late tackle, suffering an injury scare as Tottenham's so-called pre-season friendly against Liverpool in Baltimore on Saturday turned nasty.
The Welshman has alleged that Adam planned a calculated and premediated attack by intentionally targeting him for special treatment. Significantly, there is also a history of ill-feeling between the two players.
Adam escaped a Football Association charge after rupturing Bale's ankle ligaments and ending the Welshman's season early in May 2011 following a stamp at White Hart Lane, when he was playing for Blackpool. He was also sent off, playing for Liverpool at White Hart Lane in September 2011.
With relations strained, the bad blood continued in Baltimore as Bale berated Adam in a feud that has crossed the Atlantic. He said: "He's obviously come for me twice now – and he's got me twice. From what I've seen of him on the pitch, I think he's a bit of a coward.
"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.
"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 mis-timed 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. It's unsportsmanlike and I don't think any player should be like that. That's what kind of person he's like – he's done it before.
"I was surprised to see a challenge like that in a friendly. We're over here to build our fitness and get a good work-out and what he did was over the top, to be honest. I haven't ever done anything to him."
The Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas, was so incensed by the tackle that he is considering reporting the Scottish midfielder to the FA. Villas-Boas exchanged angry words with Adam during the 0-0 draw as the ugly incident raised temperatures.
Bale later claimed he had received no apology from Adam following the 19th-minute challenge, but said he would now turn down any offer of an olive branch: "He didn't say anything to me afterwards. I've had no apology. 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 to be honest. I'm not going to accept his apology."
Bale, who hit the headlines following his early return from a back injury during this tour despite pulling out of Team GB's Olympics plans, fears he could be heading back for another spell on the sidelines.
He faces a scan on his left ankle and departed the M&T Bank Stadium wearing a protective boot. "All I want to do is play my game and play it in the right way," he added.