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Villa Fan's View on the Gareth Barry Saga

Villa Fan's View on the Gareth Barry Saga

Vital Villa Member BarosBarryBouma responds to the reported comments from Villa Captain Gareth Barry, and admits he may well have been wrong about him.

It hurts to be wrong.

And as painful as it is to admit it, over the last two months or so I've been wrong. Terribly wrong.

Not wrong about the bold statement in my signature, that is. I'm still of the belief that unless Liverpool stop thinking they can push us around and actually start treating our club with a bit of respect, and unless they put in an offer that is worthy of our attention, Barry will be going nowhere.

No, if today`s reports are to be believed, I made a bit of a more fundamental error. I gave Barry too much respect. I believed he would maintain the softly-spoken, quiet model professional attitude that he has shown for the vast majority of his 10 year tenure at Villa Park. I didn't think we'd see a dummy spat out, a public tantrum, an airing of dirty laundry. I believed Barry to be above that kind of behaviour.

Oh, how wrong can you be?

That said, I have to wonder whether the bridges Barry has burned today are a simply a result of his foolishness, or whether it is a combination of his own frustration and some remarkably poor advice.

You see, on the surface, this looks to be quite a clever statement - Barry playing the wronged party, the one who has been let down, the one who has been disrespected. He talks about lack of contact with the club, about how he has been kept waiting and strung along. He attempts to shift the blame for his own decision to leave onto the shoulders of our manager and board. But the pieces of the puzzle don't quite fit. His sentiments don't quite ring true. And the evidence doesn't add up.

We know Barry had a meeting with MO'N after Liverpool's interest first became public, we know that he had a meeting with Lerner and MO'N after the end of the season, and we know that the end result of that meeting was to leave Barry for a few weeks so he could mull over his future. Unfortunately Barry is now attacking our owners and management for respecting his wishes and giving him the time to think.

Barry says it is about ambition, not money; he states a desire to play in the Champions League as being the reason for his decision. Yet in the same breath he talks about not being offered a new contract or improved terms, and ignores completely the fact that he is contracted to our club for a further two years. Despite the bluster, he also has still refused to hand in a transfer request - something to do with the fact that both he and his agent would be entitled to a sizable cut of any fee we received from his sale, unless he did so? One can only wonder.

And then of course, we have the timing of his statement, publically criticising your club and manager the very day that they are due to appear on worldwide television at the final of the year's most important footballing competition. Timing designed to do nothing less than infuriate the man with the final say on whether he stays or goes. Timing, as they say, is everything.

Barry's whole statement appears to be an attempt to push and goad our management and board into cutting our losses and letting him go. He makes sure there is no way back for him at our club, without going so far as to lose what could be a very lucrative pay off.

I'm sorry Gareth, but not for one second do I buy the hard-done-by image you are trying to portray. Not for one second do I believe that you only want to move to fulfil your ambitions, and that money isn't an issue. And not for one second do I believe you could have been so manipulative on your own. Whether you've bought into the promises of your agent, or by the attempts of Benitez and Gerrard to turn your head, it makes no difference. You've attempted to be clever and instead have made a very foolish mistake. And if you think your comments will anger our manager into parting with you on the cheap, then you obviously don't know him as well as you (or your agent) think you do. You've let your club down, your fans down and yourself down.

'There's no going back, it's time for me to move on', you said. That may very well be true, Gareth. But if so, then the blame is all yours.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Date:Sunday June 29 2008
Time: 7:14PM


I agree with you BBB, 100%. If Barry (see, he doesn't even rate a 'Gareth' now :-() was really interested in Champions League football above all else, he would have put in his transfer request - which would have been the honest thing to do. It's the thing a man of principle would do. But he thinks we fans are as foolish as we are (comparatively) poor. He thinks we will believe his claptrap. We won't and we don't. Put in your transfer request, Barry, and get off up the motorway like a man.
29/06/2008 19:44:00
All Hail BBB, All Hail The Fairy Glenn, All Hail MON and All Hail AVFC.
29/06/2008 19:51:00
BBB well said sir !!! I too was in the belief that GB would not be going anywhere soon ...... but life throws us these curve balls and we get over them. Lets just hope that what was said in the bog roll that is the NoTW is just a case of misreporting ..... well i'll still live in hope.
29/06/2008 19:54:00
At least Barry has finally had the balls to admit publicly, the sentiments that he expressed to our clubs hierarchy pre-Wigan, post West Ham, and again following England's end of season friendlies. Wasn't so difficult was it Gareth? Now do exactly what you should have done all those weeks ago, when you attempted to convince supporters that you were undecided about moving on, that you still considered yourself a Villan, and that Liverpool's interest hadn't turned your head. Slap in that transfer request. Liverpool still wont land you on the cheap, but at least you wont be pulling the wool over supporters eyes, something you have attempted to do for quite a while now.
29/06/2008 19:54:00
Well said BBB, its bad enough abandoning your club but to try and drag their name/s through the mud whilst jumping ship is shameful.
29/06/2008 19:59:00
I'm glad MON is sticking to his guns and has come out and said that even after this article Liverpool will have still have to meet his valuation to land the player. Well done MON.
29/06/2008 19:59:00
I must say I'm shocked at Barry's outburst. He admits that he met with MON and Randy Lerner and they both urged him to stay at the club. Respected by players, idolised by the fans, first name on the team sheet - what more does he want ? Personally, I've always thought our Barry-inspired midfield has been a bit one-dimensional. Put in your transfer request, Gareth, and get thee to Anfield where you will surely spend more time on the bench than you will on the field of play. Oh, and tell mini-Tom Jones to send no less than 18m quid to VP in exchange for your services.
29/06/2008 20:03:00
On the 30th August `when` Barry returns to VP we should all go to Aston park and burn our GB shirts on 1 big bonfire! I hope he pi$$es off up the M6, sits on Liverpools bench for 24months and miss out on a world cup squad place. In the mean time Villa march on and take 4th place! Also the tw*t that is Rafa Benitez will be out once DIC takeover. Will the new manager fancy GB? Could Rafa get the Spain job if their 70year old manager packs in?
29/06/2008 21:59:00
Just playing devil's advocate for a second - and believe me I'm as disappointed by today's comments as any other Villa fan - but I still think he means what he says when he states that it's the opportunity to play in the Champions League that is the key factor here. I hear what you're saying about him criticising the club for supposedly not offering improved terms (money) to stay and his refusal to hand in a transfer request because that would cost him personally but it's too easy for us to say he's greedy. Even though these guys earn phenomenal amounts of money, you can't tell me you'd be willing to simply write off £3million just like that. I don't like the way this has ended up in the press any more than anyone else - this is a thinly veiled attempt to hand in a transfer request without technically doing so and I believe that is treating the club, the fans and MO'N with a lot of disrespect and if those comments are accurate, take him to task for a lack of class. But, like I said, I don't think many people would be able to take the purely high route when faced with a choice of £3million or good manners. Plus, can you imagine the conversation he'd have to have with the missus when he got home that night? 'So babe, today I waived our right to pocket £3million in cash AND we have to move to Liverpool.' 'What???' 'It's ok though - it's the city of culture. Honestly.'
29/06/2008 22:46:00
You're right, Alec - we would be hypocritical in expecting Barry to forego a LOT of money if he can help it. But leaving Villa is what HE wants - not us. If he is going to further his career, that's fine - other players have done so and been well received on their return. The problem is that Barry wants it both ways. He still wants his 'loyalty bonus' - more than any of us will see in a lifetime of hard work - but he also wants to leave. He wants to keep the adulation and adoration of the Villa fans, but instead of being honest, he runs to the gutter press and trots off weasel words in an attempt to manipulate public opinion. That is what is unacceptable. That is what hurts - because the guy had us all fooled. We thought he was special - different from some. He isn't. He's just another money grabbing ego on legs.
30/06/2008 00:13:00
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