Vital Football

Latest Aston Villa News

Who is the Clever Strategist Over Barry Saga?

Who is the Clever Strategist Over Barry Saga?

Who is the Clever Strategist then?

Have you noticed how quiet the Barry to Liverpool saga has gone in the last few days? It is beginning to make me wonder if the fat Spaniard really does want Barry at anything other than a knock down price.

I now seriously have my doubts. Yes, if MON had rolled over, and accepted a ridiculously low bid then Benitez would have been delighted and snatched our captain away amid triumphant fanfares. But MON and Randy are made of sterner stuff than previous Villa administrations and are not looking for the quick buck. They have, quite rightly, demanded a fair price for a player who has captained England and was outstanding for most of last season. So the deal has stalled.

We all know that, thanks to their new owners, Liverpool are in hock up to their neck. In addition they are losing touch with the three teams above them in the league and are in serious danger of being replaced in the top four by none other than Aston Villa. So what do you do?

As a senior manager of many years standing I know what I would do in that situation. I would seek to disable my competitors. How? You do it by setting out to cause legitimate and legal disruptions to your
competitor's efficiency and competence and by trying to poach the key performers from the other team. Big business is cut-throat and so is premiere league football.

That is precisely what Benitez has done. Regardless of the fact that Barry may eventually move to Liverpool Benitez has done his job. He has caused unrest and distress among what was becoming a superb footballing unit. MON has now had to undertake a full rebuilding of the side, because whether he is still a Villa player come the 1st September or not, it is questionable whether Barry will ever perform as well for them again, even if he is let back into the team.

Plus, the rebuilding that is now taking place will mean, realistically, that it will set the team cohesion back at least some months. It will take that time for the new players to gel with the others and make a
really functioning unit.

Nett result? Villa will no longer be the threat that they were becoming towards the end of last season and Liverpool will cling on to fourth place by the skin of their teeth. Fitting two or three new players into an established playing pattern is one thing, changing the way a team operates and settling them down is another problem entirely. That is the problem that MON now has to cope with.

One other thought on this subject, the fact that Barry wants away from Villa has, whether we like it or not, reduced our credibility in the transfer market. Again, who is the winner? Why Benitez and Liverpool of course.

Who is a clever little fat manager then? It stinks, but sadly it's legitimate business practice!


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

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Tuesday July 22 2008
Time: 12:31PM


Very good read.
22/07/2008 12:52:00
Intersting slant. I think as far as Liverpool are concerned the only option they have now is to hold out until the very last minute and hope then that we will cut our losses and take 16m rather than leave an unsettled player in the squad. An "impending event" it's known as in industry! I really hope that Randy and MON stick to their guns and keep Barry not least to show Agents that they can't just move on their players when they need a share of a signing on fee.
Silver Fox
22/07/2008 12:52:00
What is this rebuilding of which you speak oh FEARful one? Don't you have to sign someone to rebuild?
22/07/2008 12:53:00
This is interesting as Liverpool are now trying to unsettle Robbie Keane at Tottenham, who most would say are another threat on their 4th place spot. If this theory is correct we can expect Liverpool to announce their interest in Everton's Tim Cahill before the end of August.
22/07/2008 12:56:00
I'm not so sure Liverpool are being that clever about this. I just think that Gerard has pulled some strings in an attempt to get his bum chum at Anfield. Has this supposed clever ploy helped stop Everton or Portsmouth in their assualt on top 4? No - LFC even sold Portsmouth Crouch, who IMO will make them regret getting rid of him. Also the world can see they are broke, and so all of their speak about David Villa and Keane and Barry is shown to be empty. They simply don't have the funds for those three, and they appear to be struggling to buy even one. Truth is they now appear to be a smaller club than 3 years ago, struggling to afford the players they want. I admit they've done a number on unsettling Barry - but truth be told, Gerard and he are friends and conversations were probably had all last season at the England camps. I don't deny that rebuilding the team must occur, but that would have had to happen even if the deal had been done 8 weeks ago and amicably.
The Usual Suspect
22/07/2008 12:58:00
I think we've done this one to death. The way I see it is that Barry won't put in a transfer request, because he'll stand to lose reward for 10 years service. They have offered 15m over 3 years. I think their plans got messed up because we backed out of an option to buy Carson in exchange for Barry on the cheap, coupled with the fact that Alonso isn't leaving.
22/07/2008 13:20:00
its a good read but everton are their nearest threat, and no-one has tried those tactics with them.
22/07/2008 13:26:00
To be absolutely honest, I think Liverpool are looking up, not down. They finished closer to United than Villa did to Liverpool I think (I may be wrong). I've said before that MON was the first one to come to the press with this story, I think three days in a row he went to the papers and made Liverpool's bid public knowledge. He knew he was losing Barry and wanted to drive the price up, which he has every right to do. However, he may have over extended his hand because nobody wants him at that price. Wenger won't come in for Barry for that sort of money, basically, the way the market is, nobody other than Chelsea has that kind of money to spend on Barry.
Little Dutch
22/07/2008 13:28:00
I am not even certain that Benitez has the management skills and know how to actually plan the strategy that has occurred. But regardless, planned or not, the effect is the same. Remember, he had to let Crouch go to raise some funds to try to strenghten an ailing side.
22/07/2008 13:29:00
Thank you Little Dutch for giving us the Liverpool POV, the biased POV of course in which we really aren't interested.
22/07/2008 13:45:00
Page 1/5
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. 4
  5. 5

Login to post a comment

Recent Aston Villa Articles

Neilson Not A Willing Souttar

Heart of Midlothian boss Robbie Neilson has issued a hands off warning to Aston Villa following speculation that we are preparing an offer for defender John Souttar.

Fans Held Back This Sunday

West Midlands Police have released a statement ahead of this Sunday's derby clash against Birmingham City and confirmed that travelling Villans will be held in...

Gardner Relishing Blues Clash

Midfielder Gary Gardner has also been wheeled out ahead of this weekend's derby against Birmingham City given his long association with the club.

Bruce - You Live For Games Like This

Manager Steve Bruce has continued his preview of this weekend's derby against Birmingham City and admitted people are in football for matches of this magnitude.

Archived Vital Villa Articles

Vital Villa articles from

Site Journalists

J P Fear
Editor email
Mike Field
Editor email
Steve Wade
no email
no email
Turkish Penguin
no email
no email
Chris Heath
no email
M Calucar
no email
JuanPablo Angel
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Will Villa get promoted?
Suggested By: J P Fear
Yes, automatically25%
Yes, through play offs42%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Newcastle 14 10 1 3 31 19
2 Brighton 14 8 4 2 28 9
3 Huddersfield 14 9 1 4 28 4
4 Norwich 14 8 3 3 27 7
5 Sheff Wed 14 7 3 4 24 1
6 Bristol City 14 7 2 5 23 6
7 Birmingham 14 6 5 3 23 3
8 Reading 14 6 4 4 22 -3
9 Preston 14 6 2 6 20 1
10 Leeds Utd 14 6 2 6 20 -1
11 Brentford 14 5 4 5 19 5
12 Barnsley 14 6 1 7 19 3
13 Q.P.R. 14 5 4 5 19 -3
14 Fulham 14 4 6 4 18 -2
15 Burton 14 4 5 5 17 0
16 Aston Villa 14 3 8 3 17 0
17 Ipswich 14 4 5 5 17 -2
18 Wolves 14 4 4 6 16 -1
19 Forest 14 4 3 7 15 -3
20 Cardiff 14 4 3 7 15 -9
21 Derby County 14 3 5 6 14 -4
22 Blackburn 14 3 3 8 12 -8
23 Wigan 14 2 5 7 11 -3
24 Rotherham 14 1 3 10 6 -19
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
F1 introduces the Verstappen rule
Latest Vital Boxing News
Eggington Stops Gavin in Eight Rounds
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Aston Villa Results (view all)

Aston Villa Fixtures (view all)

Oct 30 2016 12:00PM : Birmingham City (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 5 2016 3:00PM : Blackburn Rovers (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 18 2016 7:45PM : Brighton & Hove Albion (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Nov 26 2016 3:00PM : Cardiff City (H)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 3 2016 5:30PM : Leeds United (a)
Sky Bet Championship
Dec 10 2016 3:00PM : Wigan Athletic (H)
Sky Bet Championship

Vital Members League Table

1.The Fear567
9.Stephen Jay Hawkings150
Vital Football Comment