Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday April 20 2008
The papers are full of quotes about Gareth Barry looking to be convinced to stay and that he might well be tempted to move on to a side in the Champions League and one goes further and links us to Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell as a replacement.
'Does the squad need massive additions? I think it probably does especially if you look at the players who are probably going to be leaving. The squad is pretty low in numbers at the moment - and you see the likes of Olof Mellberg, a great international player, leaving the club.'
He also mentions that Thomas Sorensen and Patrik Berger will be out of contract making the numbers even less and goes on to say that he would think that O'Neill would be looking to bring in not just numbers but also quality.
The worrying thing is he was very excited last summer in his quotes about incoming players and that influx never happened so he must have been disappointed because at his age he needs to be playing at as high a level as he can as careers are short.
The Villa skipper added slightly worryingly, 'I have to look at myself now and be selfish in what I want to do. I'm 27, and the next two or three years will be the peak of my career. I think I can still improve on my game. It's going to be a selfish situation and those questions need to be asked.'
'You can never guarantee winning medals. If you move to a top four club or stay here, nothing can be guaranteed. But what you want is to hear that the club are doing the right things to try and achieve that.'
He also says his decision will be based on ambition and not money as he openly admits he is already well paid. Hopefully the fact he is due a testimonial and is very popular at Villa will hold some sway.... gulp.
Date:Sunday April 20 2008
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