Charlie Adam targets redemption in Wales rematch
CHARLIE Adam has expressed his hurt at being labelled the fall-guy for Scotland’s damaging World Cup qualifying defeat against Wales in Cardiff last October and has pledged to seek redemption in tomorrow night’s return fixture at Hampden.
Stoke City midfielder Adam was castigated for his part in Scotland’s late collapse five months ago when two Gareth Bale goals in the closing 10 minutes saw Wales come from behind to win 2-1.
Adam was unable to effectively close down Welsh talisman Bale’s 88th-minute run which culminated in the winning goal and left Scotland’s hopes of reaching the 2014 finals in tatters.
While the 27-year-old accepts he might have done more to stop the Tottenham star, he was upset by elements of the criticism directed towards him which questioned his commitment to the Scotland cause.
“That was the biggest thing, people were saying I didn’t care,” said Adam. “I was as gutted as anybody after the game. I do care. There is probably no-one more excited about joining up and playing for their country as me. I love playing for Scotland and hopefully on Friday night we can change our fortunes and get a win.
“It was painful for me after Cardiff because I’m as proud as anyone to play for my country. I’m one of a lucky select few who have played for the national team. You don’t just get a cap for the sake of it.
“You need to have something and I’m proud I’ve been able to get an opportunity under a number of managers now. Hopefully that continues for a number of years ahead.
“The criticism was there and I take it on the chin. Maybe it was my fault, maybe it wasn’t. There are not many players in the world who could have done what Gareth Bale did that night.
“He got the ball, dribbled with it and went past me. He stuck it in the top corner and that’s the way it goes.
“The criticism is part of football and I understand that. He got the ball on the halfway line and I let him come to me. I showed him on to his left side – maybe I should have shown him on to his right. But he was 35 yards out and normally they go into the goalie’s hands or go over the bar.
“It went into the top corner and I got the criticism. Maybe I could have got over a bit quicker and shown him down the line. But, when you show him to his left, you’re not expecting him to hit it into the top corner.
“He is a great player and there are only a select few in the world who can do that. It’s done, dusted and gone now. Let’s worry about Friday night.”
Bale has figured prominently in Adam’s recent career path, more often than not painting the Scot in a negative light. Adam was branded a “coward” by Bale following a pre-season friendly in the US last year when the then Liverpool midfielder made what Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas called a “very, very nasty challenge” on the Welshman.
In May 2011, when Adam was playing for Blackpool, he was also widely condemned for a tackle on Bale which caused ligament damage and sidelined the Tottenham man for three months. But Adam insists there is no lingering bad feeling between the pair ahead of tomorrow night’s contest.
“I let him score the last time we played, so things should be okay!” said Adam. “Seriously, there’s no problem. We’ve had a couple of incidents but I never spoke to him about them. We spoke during the game in Cardiff and, like I say, there is no problem. These things happen in football and we’ve moved on from that.
“I would swap jerseys with him after the game on Friday night. He is a top player and I respect him. I don’t have any grudges. He is one of those players you want to play against. He is one of a select few in the world right now who are at the top of their game.
“He is at a great club in Tottenham, but will probably move to one of the top clubs in the world. But he is not a one-man team. Wales have good players in other positions. Gareth helps them tick over and we know he is a dangerous player. But our manager has a game plan and hopefully we can stop him from playing. He is a joy to watch at times but hopefully he is quiet on Friday night and we win the game.”
Adam has not started a match since Scotland’s 1-0 friendly win over Estonia at Pittodrie last month and admits he has something to prove this week after losing his place in the Stoke City side.
“You will always have doubters in your life, no matter what goes on,” said Adam. “In every walk of life, people have doubters. When I left Rangers, I went to Blackpool and had a good time.
“I went to Liverpool and had a good time as well but moved on because the manager couldn’t guarantee me playing every week. I went to Stoke, it started okay, then I’ve had a couple of disappointments. But I’m ready to bounce back and hopefully I can do that before the end of the season.”
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 13 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east