A bit late to the table with this report, but then the fare on offer was so tepidly uninspiring, it’s been a challenge to think of anything remotely complimentary to say about it. This was as stereotypical a pre-season friendly as you’re likely to see; little goalmouth action, lots of midfield pottering, and very low on moments of inspiration. In fact, there’d be next to nothing to say about it at all were it not for a certain Charlie Adam.
Adam’s ‘tackle’ on Bale (for tackle, read blatant ankle stamp) was especially classless considering it took place in a pre-season friendly. Not that the Scotsman doesn’t have previous with horrendous challenges; the below two pictures show assaults on the legs of Bale (again) and Scott Parker respectively.
The challenge provoked a remarkable response from Bale post-game:
“From what I’ve seen of him on the pitch, 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. One player told me he went out to do the same thing to me again.
I’ve had no apology from him, and I don’t really want an apology from him to be honest. He’s done it before, so I’m not going to accept his apology. It’s unsportsmanlike and I don’t think any player should be like that.”
It’s probably a good thing Bale isn’t willing to accept an apology, as you get the suspicion that Adam won’t be quick to offer one up anyway. Of course it’s unsavoury to wish injury upon a player, but if anyone in the Premier League is deserving of a role reversal, it’s certainly Adam. At the very least, this should make this season’s Premier League fixtures with Liverpool spicy affairs, especially if Adam takes to the pitch.
Back to footballing matters, and the high defensive line, which the commentators seemed intent on reminding viewers of at every given opportunity, was showing signs of gelling into a more solid unit. There certainly seemed to be fewer moments of uncertainty, the kind of which were exhibited against LA Galaxy. What was painfully obvious, however, was the dire need for reinforcements up front. With Jermain Defoe absent following the death of a cousin, Harry Kane was left to lead the line, and whilst he did an admirable job in the circumstances, it’s clear that he can’t be expected to play a large part for the team in the upcoming campaign. With just under three weeks until the start of the new season, let’s hope Levy has something up his sleeve in time for the opening game against Newcastle, or we could wind up looking remarkably frigid in front of goal…
For those who missed the game, here are some ‘highlights’ – Aaron Lennon hitting the foot of the post was about as good as it got in terms of goalscoring chances.
On Twitter: @AEFSpurs.