Adam could easily have stayed and been an edited highlight in the end of
season DVD but wanted to ensure his career remained on the right trajectory
and it was
The Scotland international may still be living in a hotel but already feels at home, establishing himself in a revamped midfield under Tony Pulis, a long-term admirer from Adam's time at Rangers. He will face his former team-mates on Sunday without an axe to grind with Rodgers but insists his decision to move on was far from difficult.
“I could have sat there for the next two or three years and played here and there, played in the Europa League or come off the bench if I was lucky.
For me as a person I’ve got more respect for myself than that. I could have stayed and played maybe 10 or 15 games but I want to play 30 or 40 a season.
“I went to see the manager because he had brought in Joe Allen, Lucas was coming back from injury, Stevie Gerrard is one of the greatest-ever players to play for Liverpool, and Jonjo [Shelvey] was playing as well. The manager was honest with me and said, 'I see you more as a squad player'.
“I didn’t want people saying I was just sat there doing nothing. I’ll probably get more respect not from walking away but from taking the opportunity to play somewhere else.”
Adam’s one season at Anfield was not without its memories. He was signed from Blackpool by his idol Kenny Dalglish and played the full 120 minutes as Liverpool claimed their first trophy in six years with the Carling Cup victory over Cardiff in February. But the dismissal of Dalglish at the end of the season set alarm bells ringing before Rodgers embarked on a substantial reshaping of the squad over the summer.
It was on Liverpool’s pre-season tour of the United States that Adam found
himself in the headlines for the wrong reasons, after a collision with Spurs
and Wales midfielder
They will face each other on Friday in a crucial World Cup qualifier and, for the first time, Adam has given his side of the story and insisted he did address the issue during the game.
He said: “People were maybe frustrated with the way it was but I’m not a dirty player. I make a lot of fouls, people know that, but I wouldn’t intentionally go to hurt somebody because I wouldn’t like that to happen to myself.
“Gareth Bale is one of the best players in the world. I will openly admit that and I don’t want to see players like that on the sidelines.
“I apologised to him during the game after a corner. I said to him I was sorry and thought everything was all right. I also apologised to the manager of Tottenham at half-time and that was it. Then all of a sudden I was being called a coward and things like that. That’s football and it won’t stop me tackling and trying to be the player that I am. That’s the way football is.
“I hope it’s done and dusted now. We play Wales next week and that doesn’t mean I’m going to go out to deliberately hurt somebody. I’m going to be playing for my country and we’re going to need three points to qualify for Brazil and that’s the way it will be.”
Before that titanic clash between the two countries, Adam will attempt to sign off from Stoke duty by delaying Rodgers’ wait for a first home win in the league. With the game being on a Sunday, it means Adam will be deprived of performing what has become a weekly routine - travelling to Blackpool to watch the non-league team he sponsors, Blackhurst Budd in the Blackpool & Fylde Sunday Alliance League, amongst other duties.
“I try and watch them every Sunday and one time I took them some bacon rolls and a cup of tea before the game,” he said. “They were delighted with that. A few had had a few drinks the night before but the majority were alright.
“I wind them up if they get beat and there’s a bit of pressure on the manager. He’s my mate’s dad and I was telling him he’s getting the sack because he’d lost the first two league games! I just love watching football. It doesn’t matter what level it is, whether it’s Fleetwood or Blackpool, I love to go and watch games.
“I was supposed to go to Blackpool the other Tuesday night but it was too cold so I stayed in and watched Real Madrid v Man City. That was a big difference. I’m just a fortunate person to play at the highest level.”