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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Gareth Barry - One Of Villa's Greats

Martin O'Neill has spelt out exactly the player that Gareth Barry has developed into by saying he would fit into any team in the Premiership including the top four.

Barry, who was England under-18 captain in his youth, joined Villa from Brighton and Hove Albion F.C. as a trainee in 1997 and has since built up to the lynch pin of the team and captain.

Barry who has played 19 games and scored 8 Premiership goals (and 1 league cup + 3 FA Cup goals against Manchester United this coming weekend) so far this season, has been the subject of much talk as he is a naturally gifted left side player but was overlooked by Sven Goran Eriksson in the England set up and Steve McClaren thus far has also been blinded by his talent or is blinded by the fact he doesn't play in London or in red?

O'Neill said: 'Gareth Barry comes back in which gives us a big lift. I think he's been absolutely fantastic this year. Way back at the start of the season, I thought he'd be capable of getting into most Premiership sides, but he's capable of playing in any one of them, including the top teams, absolutely. I just think he's capable of playing for any of the big teams. Not just because of his attitude, but his attempts to get forward from left-back.'

'In the Charlton game he became a threat, he was the one who won the penalty, he was in their box - he's been brilliant, really great. You wonder where we might be without him - he's been that good. And now, we want to strengthen the side, just to help people like him.'

I'm convinced without him we would have been relegated last season and as O'Neill says, where would we have been this season without him?

O'Neill added on the official site: 'England will come. I know I've been saying that for a while but his form in that position has been so decent it's hard to ignore him. If he stays clear of injury then there's no reason why he can't be thinking about playing for England in the not too distant future. You could be looking at him becoming one of Villa's great players. He's already played over 300 games and he's only 25.'

One of Villa's greats. Hopefully other teams will hear that. HE IS OURS and he is going NOWHERE!




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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday January 5 2007

Time: 11:56AM

Your Comments

Barry going nowhere, well I hope he is going nowhere not for a few years anyway. He could go on to challenge Charlie Atkin for the record over 300 games and another 300 to go.
col8
Barry is a ledgend, villa through and through.
samtozer
Commitment, passion, skill, drive and leadership ability, Barry has a fair few strings to his bow. Takes a good penalty too, and wins a few. Why isn't he already in the England squad? We need to keep the likes of Barry, he is so very important a player.
The Usual Suspect
He has certainly improved 150% over the past 2 years. A few trophies and playing in a team challenging for Europe and he could well be our first real 'great' since Paul McGrath.
DeanoVilla
Although Bazza is alegend in the making, if we don't win a few trophies while he's here or get into europe and get far, he'll never get the recognition he deserves.
danvilla2
"You could be looking at him becoming one of Villa's great players. He's already played over 300 games and he's only 25" IMHO he is already one of Villa's great players, in the last couple of years he has made himself a lynch pin of the team, and when not playing it is noticed, If he had played against Chelski, it would have been a completely different game, we may have even nicked it.
steff_the_villan
Gareth is intelligent and very level-headed. He won't move from us unless he sees no prospects of troiphies and a regular top 6 Premiership position or better. If not, I would expect him to move on with all Villa fans best wishes.
villacross
he needs to get into the tabloids miss a drugs test get caught drink driving bite someones shin bone and film a really funny programme where he plays 'Pranks' on his team mates then he would get into the England team! Oh and wear bright pink football boots.
sk1nner80
according to the official stats, he's the 2nd best midfielder in this years prem leagure. and the 3rd best player overall, drogba and lamps are 1 and 2
bobbyfett
Agree 100% with Mr O'Neill. Dont like these 'swap' rumours that keep surfacing though, but reading such comments from MON certainly puts the mind at rest somewhat. Gareth for England!!
glensider
bobbyfett no surprise there, he realy is quality, hopefully to remain with us throughout his best years, which will include lifting all of the major silverware available. and still not in the England squad!!!!!!!! McClaren realy is a knob of the highest order.
steff_the_villan
wouldnt swap him for any other player, not bent keane defoe or anyone.
AussieVilla
Making him captain was a master stroke.
glensider
 

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