Barry Off & Doug A Duck?
Is this where it starts then? The players see the turmoil and start to jostle for the exit door? The Daily Express today claim that Gareth Barry wants to leave and has told the club so. Maybe Tottenham, who look to soon be £14million better off with the sale of Michael Carrick will come knocking? They've certainly been linked to the versatile midfielder before. The report doesn't have any quotes and does call him Aston Villa's captain though, so maybe we take the report with a pinch of salt because Olof Mellberg is the Villa captain, Barry is his second.
Dennis Mortimer, in his article for the Guardian, suggested this would happen saying Doug should leave as soon as possible to end this turmoil.
'He needs to do that as soon as possible because with the season not far off it's vital the uncertainty surrounding the club gets sorted once and for all. There will be players who could be contemplating leaving, and there is no manager to look after that side of things. If the right man comes in, those players who are thinking about getting away might be prepared to stay. But there's nothing to make the players want to stay at the moment - no new faces, no manager, and a lot of unrest. If I was at Villa now, I'd want to leave.'
He also adds to the call to arms for fans to stay united:
'The players could feel very different if new life is breathed into the club. Ellis has been able to survive four or five possible takeovers but, hopefully, if the fans can really stick together as a group and don't get swayed by the chairman as to who he might bring in as manager, then he will realise he's not wanted and go. Villa supporters have to decide what they want for the next 10 years. A lame duck is what they have got at the moment.'