Aston Villa - The Spin Starts For Barry
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The Spin Starts For Barry

I was wondering when we would see the start of articles like this, but the recent 'defenses' of Barry were never really strong enough to get the fans back onside.

After all the arguments, the failed bids, the stupidly sanctioned article in the NotW, Barry is almost in no mans land.

And has been said plenty of times, what does happen if Liverpool and Tom Jones fail to meet our valuation. Some Scousers suggest we'll simply accept a lower bid rather than have a £40 odd grand a week player rot in the reserves.

Not so - I think it's perfectly likely that O'Neill would take such action against a disruptive player who unfortunately decided to reinvent the phrase 'throwing your toys out the pram'. It is simply now known as 'doing a Barry'.

But it's also equally likely, that if Barry was man enough to say the right things in private, say the right things in public and return to acting like the professional and well mannered player he has always been, that O'Neill would be prepared to forgive and forget.

Afterall, O'Neill forgave Berger before the gobby one before he relapsed into insanity.

So with August drawing nearer, Liverpool's offers still failing to meet our valuation, could it be an interview today by Martin Laursen is the start of a focused - forgive and forget PR campaign.

Laursen has spoken before in similar terms, but this is far more focused on remembering the good times than previously.

Speaking to the Sunday Mercury, potential future captain Laursen said:

'Gareth has played some wonderful football for 10 years for this club, is a great player and a regular for the England squad.

'He has done brilliantly for the last two years. That is why his price is higher now.

'It is sad it is ending the way it is for a player that has done so much for this club.

'I can only say that I am sad the fans are angry with him now because they have to remember how much he has done for the club and he has been a really good player.

'With his quality and the goals he has scored, I don't think the fans should forget that. I hope they will keep that in mind.

'Of course, I understand the fans want to keep their best players.

'But we are talking about a guy who has been here for 10 years, played over 300 games for the club, became the youngest player in the Premier League to play 300 games.

'He has done so many good things for the club and hopefully the fans will remember that.'

Well, yes we will. But we'll also remember his behaviour throughout this episode. I posit a guess that had he not sanctioned the NotW interview the deal may well have been concluded by now.

But after an act of stupidity like that, there is no way Martin O'Neill will compromise.

Players thesedays need to remember, criticising a club or the club's management is an indirect attack on the fans whether they mean it or not - it's how it's taken.

I would imagine the only forgiveness that will come for Barry is if he was to play his heart out for the next two years by way of an apology and gave us an Agent Ridgewell moment on any eventual move.

Fans never need to like a player to support them when they play for your club. Very few players get the chance to be liked when they play against your club.

With more patience and a bit more maturity Barry would have been in that envious position. As it is, forgiveness is unlikely to ever happen - but if it does, it will never be forgotten.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Tuesday July 8 2008

Time: 1:52PM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
we know hes a strong player but he seems to be weak when off the field or at least he has been since MoN got him playing the best football of his career, hes overcome with playing international footy and found himself fighting between champions footy and loyalty unfortunately loyalty went with the dummy out of the pram, however if and a big IF he stays i would forgive him if he could show us integrity by fighting to win us back.
Astonian Villan
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08/07/2008 14:00:00

It really is a crying shame the way this has all panned out. Barry has been the model professional and shown tremendous loyalty to Villa for the past 10 years, and for it to end on such a bad note is gutting. I would love for him to have left and then heard all Villa fans chanting his name when he played against us, but he blew that chance. Ah well, life moves on, as does the famous Villa!!!
Report Abuse
08/07/2008 14:06:00

He's going, so none of this matters and the suggestion that this is the start of a propaganda campaign to allow Barry back into the team is way off the mark. MON has sent a proposal to the Fat Bearded One and after a bit of negotiating the deal will be done. Laursen is just offering a bit of support to his mate.
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08/07/2008 14:06:00

Its not spin or a pr campaign,They know the bloke personally so they are not likely to slag him off in the press are they,Thats all it is.
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08/07/2008 14:12:00

Barry's attitude chane=ged since he got back into the England squad. He used to keep out the limelight but no he's trying to build a name for himself like Gerrard, Terry etc
Report Abuse
08/07/2008 15:37:00

I love all this loyalty c##p.He was playing averagely well in an average team going nowhere under O'Dreary.Then MON turns him into a decent player and gets him back in the England fold and hey presto he becomes just like his pal Gerrard a spoilt little sulk.Go for God's sake go and lets get on with the new season.When Sidwell arrives I think you will find he will do a hell of a job and Barry will be quickly forgotten.
Report Abuse
08/07/2008 17:04:00

Its all hypothetical really, cause Gareth is out of here. There's no turning back now. He wants out, Rafa wants him, and maybe even MON wants him gone now. We've lost key players before over the years, we'll move on. Its not the end of the world. Jeez! When Gray and Gidman hit the door we thought we'd never get back on track, we did, and we came back stronger. Its a shame that there's so much anti-Barry feeling now amongst the rank and file, but there's only one person to blame for that. Speaking out to the NoTW was a no-no, and whoever advised Barry to do just that (presumably his agent, Black), needs shooting. Bad, bad advice.
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08/07/2008 17:44:00

Agree with the comments of happyvillan. MON had played a very big part in turning GB into the player he'd become. Barry's actions were a kick in the teeth for both MON, and the club as a whole. Sidwell or whoever will arrive, and before November arrives, Barry will be a forgotten man at Brummagem B6.
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08/07/2008 17:47:00

Thinking only of the reputation of ourselves as fans and how attractive we are to our own players (who will all leave one day) and to future potential players (who may sign for us) - my view is lay off Barry. He has cocked it up and lost any potential Mellberg-like respect, but he is not worth booing and does not deserve a bad reception. He has done 10 years of god and loused up his departure - but just like Dwight Yorke, the good outweighs the bad and we should reserve our bad receptions for the Steve Hodges (of the ex-players) and Robbie Savages of this world. Endless applause for Mellberg, Taylor and Paul McGrath. Silence for Barry and Yorke, boos for the real baddun's. Barry is not one of those and Laurrson is right.
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08/07/2008 18:04:00

Couldn't be bothered one way or another. Better players have left Villa and we have survived even with deadly doug at the helm. Managers talk about the fickleness of fans that pay their hard earned to support players that desert the team as soon as they have 'made it'. Good luck to Barry but then again who cares! Wish we could desert the club for pastures new but we are the fans and once you pledge your support to a club (any club) you are with that club for life- Up THE VILLA.
Report Abuse
08/07/2008 20:26:00

Got to agree with stennyvilla. He's used to hearing his name ring around Villa Park. Better he hears nothing other towards him. Or maybe "Sidwell For England"... (If he signs) Surely that would hurt more.
Adam Deuce
Report Abuse
08/07/2008 21:37:00

nothing other?!? No need for the other.
Adam Deuce
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08/07/2008 21:38:00

I for one will miss Barry really enjoyed watching him play especially last season think he will be hard to replace. However he is not irreplaceable. I for one will not boo him on his return and cos of his outburst in the press i shall not clap him either.
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08/07/2008 21:48:00

Gareth believes his own hype,he did score a goal for England and everything so he's superstar now.I think his loyalty over the years had more to do with him never recieving a decent offer to leave.I dont think he's a huge loss.I've enjoyed watching him suffer so much.
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08/07/2008 22:21:00

Guys, I've thought long and hard about this. I think it's real shame if we don't give him a good send off. Life really is too short and we must move on. The guy has given his best to Villa and must have thought long and hard about this. He'll be set up for life after this move. He was in tears after the last home game. Like big John has said rently, players move on, even from the biggest clubs. I'm looking forward to the players we can get in to replace him now.
Report Abuse
09/07/2008 11:07:00

Barry could turn it round if the Liverpool move didnt happen, but he certainly couldnt be captain and some fans would never forgive him. What i like about this article is that Laursen urges US to remember all he has achieved for us, er, well maybe someone should have told BARRY to remember before he started acting like a child. Funny that now he is 27 its the first time he has acted like a 17 year old, after he was so professional from that age. Shame, he would have been a legend. We are not Liverpool, no, we are Aston Villa, Proud History. Bright Future.
Report Abuse
09/07/2008 12:06:00

What if GB `has` to remain at AVFC? i.e. Liverpool pull out, or can not sell Alonso, etc. I think he should have apologises to the club and fans and not assumed his move would go through. If this move to Liverpool does not go through what then? May be we should send him out on loan to Hull to show him how tuff football can be! England play Czech Rep. on the 20th Aug. If Barry does not start proper training soons he'll be out the England team.
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09/07/2008 19:03:00

I'm not sure about all this "model professional" stuff. As part of the bluenose muppet Lee Hendrie's drinking crew he had racked up a couple of drink drive bans in pretty quick time, indeed the thing that MON did that saved Barry's career was bombing the toblerone footed one out as soon as he arrived at VP. Barry was given a stark choice shape up without his mate, or leave and for two years he has resurrected a career that had been slowly going the same way as little Lee's! Gareth is hardly a mensa candidate if his best friends in football are Gerrard and Hendrie, the saddst thing for me is that we can all see his career going backwards except him and his agent, get grip and show your a man Gareth, I'd have had more respect if he had put a written request in because " it wasn't about the money". Remember a lifetime ago when he said " there is no decision for m to make until a bid is made and Aston Villa accept it. I have two years on my contract at Villa and I would be happy to stay" BE A MAN FOR GOD'S SAKE thats the only way you'll recover the respect of the average Villan, not by all this posturing and backstabbing.
Report Abuse
09/07/2008 22:15:00

What he said^
Report Abuse
10/07/2008 14:21:00


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