Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday September 14 2007
The world has gone Gareth Barry mad! We have had over 59 comments in our front page article about his performances (now given to the General to pass on to the Villa skipper), the press have waxed lyrical as have Steve McClaren and El Tel, who took time from his hectic tanning schedule to say: 'Gareth Barry and Steven Gerrard gave us a marvellous balance in central midfield.'
Steve McClaren, who surely cannot leave Barry out of the next game, even if Frank Lampard or Owen Hargreaves are fit, said: 'Gareth was another who contributed when given the chance. It's been about partnerships out there - Gareth with Steven Gerrard, Emile with Michael. This job is about satisfaction. We wanted six points, we said that at the beginning of the 10 days, but I'm greatly satisfied with the performances. I'd said to the players it didn't matter how we got those points - scrappy 1-0s would have done - but the way we got them was so pleasing. For me, that's how England should play.'
Meanwhile the Villa captain says he is fully focused on Villa as he looks to carry on his 'good week'.
'It's been a good week, but those two games are over now and I'm concentrating on getting another victory for my club. As soon as I got home I realised it's back to important business for Villa and my focus has got to be on trying to get three points at Manchester City, which is a tough task.'
And on the Man City boss who overlooked him mystifyingly for England Barry added, showing some real class: 'Sven took a lot of criticism towards the end with England and probably, looking at his record, it was little bit harsh. But he's gone into Man City, bought a lot of players and they've started the season very well, although they lost their last couple. He's bought well and they've got a lot of good individuals.'
Adding on the official site: 'Martin O'Neill has definitely got the best out of me. One of the things he did when he first came to the club was to tell me he believed I would break back into the England fold. He said I was good enough and that my chance would come. He's somebody you listen to and you believe. He doesn't just say things for the sake of it. That put belief in me and last season I got my first call up for a while. This season it's come in two crucial games. So I'm very grateful to the manager for his belief.'
Now we need England to beat the Aussies at 20/20 cricket and England to beat South Africa tonight in the rugby, then it will have been a very very 'good week!'
Date:Friday September 14 2007
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|1.||Pride of Lions||944|
|West Ham||0||-||0||Aston Villa|
|Aston Villa||0||-||2||Man City|
|15. Crystal Palace||12||3||3||6||-4||12|
|16. Aston Villa||12||3||3||6||-11||12|
|17. Hull City||12||2||5||5||-3||11|
|18. Leicester City||12||2||4||6||-7||10|
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