Writer: J P Fear
Date:Thursday September 13 2007
Gareth puts Villa on the map.
I am unsure if it is possible but can we get messages of congratulations to Gareth Barry via this forum?
In just four days he has completely blown The England midfield debate wide open. For years we have tried various options, with the two most high profile players, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, consistently failing to gel together. Hargreaves came into the equation and the media tried to manipulate him into a midfield three.
But for years we have constantly extolled the virtues of our captain, to no avail. Erickson constantly overlooked him, to Gareth's frustration. More by chance than design, GB has got his opportunity and he has grabbed it with both hands, and then some. This will have many spin offs for us. GB has quite a way to go on his contract, so his value could easily have rocketed to £20m. Especially when you see how much has been paid for Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick.
It is impossible to leave him out of the next squad, but if Nigel Okey Cokey and Ashley Young continue the way they have started the season, then the press will really have to take notice of what is happening at Villa Park. If Gaby Agbonlahor, Luke Moore and Scott Carson can also come up with the goods then for the first time in years Villa can really put themselves on the media map. The value of all the players mentioned would rocket if this happened. Not forgetting Craig Gardner who I personally think can go on to be bigger for the Villa than David Platt.
In just 4 days, Gareth has possibly put a new spring into the Villa revolution. The downside is that he will now be in demand. He is performing better than players who consistently play on a bigger stage and in front of bigger audiences. It will be natural to want this himself. If we can not give him that stage to play in front of full houses, who knows what the future holds. When he runs out at VP in front of several thousand empty seats, who could blame him if he thought about wanting to play in front of a more appreciative audience. This could well be the same for the other players.
I have often said that it will be us, the fans (or lack of them or to many fickle ones) that will hold our club back. This scenario could be just around the corner unless we start to fill VP for every game, starting from now. On a positive note, GB really detests Erickson, and Sunday is a great opportunity to stick one up him for good measure. So how about getting messages to him JF?
Mine would be well done Gareth. The opportunity was long overdue and you did yourself and the Villa proud.
Date:Thursday September 13 2007
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