Aston Villa - Were Villa Fans Right To Boo Gareth Barry?
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Were Villa Fans Right To Boo Gareth Barry?

The Gareth Barry saga continues with the press picking up on the booing of the England international during a pre-season friendly v Walsall. Villa fans who were there however say that there were boos but also fans supporting him and when he came off he did his usual clap to the crowd, some cheered, some clapped and others booed. So it isn't quite as cut and dried as the press are saying.

The Mirror say he was 'booed relentlessly' adding that he 'pulled on their colours for the last time'. Again, why? Has the offer been upped? Have we lowered our price? Not that I can see yet!

BBC Sport reported that 'Aston Villa supporters turned on unsettled Gareth Barry during the friendly victory at Walsall.'

The Birmingham Post: 'Gareth Barry's surprise appearance for Villa hijacked the high-profile friendly with Walsall. Wantaway Barry was subjected to an hour's worth of derision from Villa's travelling army of fans before being put out of his misery. The England midfield man was rounded on every time he touched the ball as derogatory chants chimed out around the Banks' Stadium.' But they also give the other side of the story adding, 'By the time Barry departed the pitch, relationships had improved to the point of mixed applause, while manager Martin O'Neill watched impassively from the stands.'

The Guardian called the boos predictable 'as the hostile chants as Aston Villa fans turned on Gareth Barry for a period last night when the England midfielder was subjected to a chastening run-out in a reserve XI at Walsall.'

Meanwhile the Telegraph quote Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as confirming they need 'one more body' as he looks for a defensive midfielder and the paper say he has refused to rule out Barry.

So, our latest poll asks, were fans right to boo Gareth Barry? For me, I'd not want to boo him, if he goes he has given 10 good years (we've also given him 10 good years) and will make us a packet of money. Not that bad, although it does hurt us that he wants out and especially as he is such a key player, however life will go on as long as we do bring in more quality this summer and sometimes a change is as good as a rest. Still can't stand the thought of seeing him in another teams colours mind you, he has been my favourite player for years!

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The Journalist

Writer: J P Fear Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 23 2008

Time: 10:05AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
He probably deserved to be booed by some fans, but I wouldnt have booed him, he's given too much to Villa for me to turn so totally against him. From all accounts he had a decent game last night and behaved impeccably. I hope to see him in the line-up on Saturday, and for him to show us all that he will continue to give us 100% until such time that he leaves our club.
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23/07/2008 10:12:00

People were just venting their anger and frustration at him. I'm sure he went home afterwards, checked his bank balance online and went to bed with a smile on his face.
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23/07/2008 10:15:00

its nice to see he clapped at the fans, i wasnt there but whether it was genuine or to wind the boys in the stands up, only he knows.
i still want him to rethink it all and stay
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23/07/2008 10:24:00

I like that Jonah, quite funny. I mainly agree with the first part of what you're saying though - the fans were just venting their frustration and, probably to a higher extent, disappointment. I personally wouldn't have booed, I harbour hopes that a move won't go through and he'll still be in Claret and Blue next season. And for those who say he won't play the same for us if he stays, I disagree. I think any player that plays for a side for 10 years is going to have a place in his heart for that club, and I think he'll give us his awesome best until such a time as he leaves. If I'm wrong and he doesn't give a **** about the Villa, worst case scenario is that he'll play awesome for us anyway - qualifiers for the World Cup are on the doorstep as soon as the season starts.
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23/07/2008 10:26:00

Its a shame, he's given us alot and much more than most. I think if Gabby was gareths age and he'd been through the same situations he'd have been off a long time ago. Barry does love Villa but he obviously feels its time to go. I think it would have been quite a special moment if all the Villa fans had shown him some respect and let him get on with it. May have even been enough to pull him back over to our side, there is a good chance he's that much of a sorft pussy for that kind of thing to move him. I for one would never boo him, class player, he's just been misled.
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23/07/2008 10:30:00

I wouldn`t have booed him had i been there but i don`t blame others for doing it,Its their opinion and they are entiltled to it,right or wrong doesn`t come into it.Barry hasn`t "given" the club 10 years service we have paid for it so i don`t want to hear that crap,I wish him all the best he is a nice guy but he brought it on himself.
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23/07/2008 10:37:00

I'd boo him to vent my frustsration, he can say whatever he wants once he has left the club but to start burning bridges while you're still a villa player is very stupid as we all know. Its gonna take a good few months of very high quality performances & a very profressional approach to start winning the fans back if he does stay. The Liverpool game at VP will be very interesting whatever the outcome, will MON play him?
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23/07/2008 10:40:00

For what it is worth, my ten cents is this... If Barry really does go to Liverpool then he will be playing in front of what many believe to be "the best fans in the world." Wouldn't it be nice if when Barry retires, his fondest memories are of us Villa fans and he helps re-address the balance on the "best fans" front?
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23/07/2008 10:52:00

I would have booed him but since the match I have learned that he did not put in a transfer request as he ether is to cheap to give up his 3mill loyalty payoff or does not really see playing you Villa this season as a bad option.I think it is option 1 but with the chance that it could be option 2 I would not boo just in case. I hope he does stay and is left in the reserve untill he has made it up to MON and then he can play in the first team again and prove make it up to us fans.
Tallaght Villan
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23/07/2008 10:59:00

Maybe it will boo some sense into him, turning his back on adoring fans for the sake of moving to a team two places higher in the league? represents everything that is wrong with the modern day player.
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23/07/2008 11:05:00

yes - all fans accepted he was off to L'pool and although they'd have preferred him to stay i have no doubt he would have received a standing ovation even if he was in a red shirt on his return to VP. Views changed with his N.O.W interview and rightly so.. that was totally unneccesary and obviously scripted by Rafa/Barry's agent... Barry should have known better he is an intelligent bloke and now has to accept the consequences of some heckling. We only want players who WANT to play for AVFC
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23/07/2008 11:13:00

its bad form lads, he has been a servent to Villa and definitely should not have been booed - fans forget very very easily what players do for their clubs. Maybe if he was looking for a move to Birmingham then its understandable that SOME fans would be upset and boo but you can't fault the guy for wanting to move on and play in the champions league - he gave a lot to villa, you boys should be good to him and thank him not tarnish what has been a great spell during some tough years at your club
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23/07/2008 11:23:00

I wouldn't have booed him in our colours - although I might when he turns up in a pool shirt next season :( It's liverpool I'm angry with more than Barry. Which is a shame because I've always quite admired them.
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23/07/2008 11:30:00

I was fortunate enough to be at Hillsborough the day Gareth made his debut coming off the bench to replace another villa legend Ian Taylor. It was obvious from the very first time he was involved in the game that here was a very special player who had the talent to go on and be a big name in the game. History tells us that for the past ten years Gareth has been our most talented, best and consistent player each season, why Sven ignored him for the England team we will never know. The ten years Gareth has been with villa we as a club have generally played mediocre football and under achieved, ( Thank you Doug) but since Sir Randy and Mon have been steering the good ship villa,the clubs future looks to be bright, and exciting times seem to lie ahead of us. Therefore i cannot see Gareths logic of wanting to leave VP when we appear to be on the verge of something big. He obviously knows the reasons but we as fans will never know unless he goes puplic and reveals all in the tabloids. While he is still a villa player we should get behind him and the team and not give him the same abuse he received last night at Walsall. It is difficult i know but let us remember what he has given to the club the past ten years irrespective of how much he has earned. I for one will be very sorry the day he leaves villa park.
50 years a villan
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23/07/2008 11:35:00

Bad form Gleeson_23? In case you hadn't noticed, he brought all of this on himself. He's disrespected the manager, the supporters, his team mates and the club. We pay his wages, if we choose to boo him off the pitch we are merely exercising our right to do so. I am sick to the pit of my stomach with people talking about this '10 years of loyalty' rubbish and 'he's been a good servant'. SO? What's your point? Does that make him untouchable or something? And can I remind you that he hasn't even apologised? Get real people, he doesn't give two sh its about Villa, he's playing because he HAS to. Get over it and move on.
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23/07/2008 11:53:00

No. I'll never boo a player while he wears the claret and blue, no matter how p!ssy I am with them. Had he returned in red that would be a different matter entirely.
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23/07/2008 11:54:00

I think some fan's enjoy booing i remember De hammer getting booed and darius both player's never deserved that , But i still want Barry to go.
chris the villan
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23/07/2008 11:55:00

When did the hammer get booed??!
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23/07/2008 12:02:00

It was no surprise he was boo'd. MON is sending out the message that he's the boss, and players must respect that. I think this is good thinking on MON's part.
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23/07/2008 12:04:00

Villian-in-Cyprus, your points are valid but as a few other people have said after my comment, Barry should not be booed when wearing your colours - if/when he turns out in red then you can boo guilt free, i'll be booing too don't you worry, until then he is a Villa player, even if you are p!ssed with him there should be no booing. We all understand that no player is bigger than the club but you still must recognise what the player has done for you
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23/07/2008 12:12:00

I agree, ThirtyOne. Remember Barry tried to shift public opinion by claiming the club had offered him nothing and couldn't be bothered to speak to him. It was an important message to Barry, his agent and other players; the fan's loyalty lies with the manager. MON knew exactly what he was doing by playing him.
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23/07/2008 12:12:00

deserved to be booed, didnt deserve other abuse he recieved. i think it is a real shame his career has ended with us like this, but ultimately it is his own doing. more importantly, where was oneill last night??????
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23/07/2008 12:14:00

Some fan's not many booed him at one of the home games i attended the season he left, it disgusted me at the time.
chris the villan
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23/07/2008 12:14:00

Of course I recognise what he has done for us, it's just a shame that he didn't recognise it as well, before flushing it all down the toilet.
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23/07/2008 12:15:00

MOn was sat in the stand apparantly
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23/07/2008 12:21:00

I was there last night and certainly did NOT boo. It was really quite strange to hear our own supporters booing one of our own players in such a way. However the boos did seem to subside once he'd played a few killer balls. It was also quite amusing to hear the Walsall fans sing "Theres only one Gareth Barry". I'd love him to stay. We all know L'Pool can't afford him. Only time will tell I guess.
Adam Deuce
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23/07/2008 12:28:00

As for not booing a player who's wearing our colours, it might be worth remembering he doesn't even want to wear them.
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23/07/2008 12:35:00

Not everyone was booing him, lots of people clapped him off when substituted, but that won't be put in print, it isn't very sensational in press terms is it? He's just a victim of a very clueless agent, and a lot of Villa fans are the victims of believing tabloid crap, after 10 years he is entitled to try something different. Its just a game, he will be missed, but life goes on. Plus the way Salifou is shaping up, I recon Barry will soon be just a memory.
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23/07/2008 12:36:00

So Barry publicly slagging off Martin O'Neill was all tabloid crap was it and he didn't realise a scathing attack on the club to NOTW? Well that's a relief then because I thought he did.
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23/07/2008 12:39:00

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23/07/2008 12:44:00

Is Salifou actually good though? did he play well yeasterday?
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23/07/2008 12:57:00

He would never have been booed if he'd have just come out and said "yes I want to join liverpool and play in the champions league, I feel it's time for a new challenge." Instead of attacking the club. Remember we are supporters of Aston Villa, regardless of if he's a player for us, he still attacked our club, depending on what you believe the basis of the attack was unfounded. Either way I think it should like Bentley for England, got booed the first time he played so people could show how *****ed off at him they are, then they just let him play.
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23/07/2008 13:11:00

If Barry handed in a transfer request , and therefore didn't collect his "loyalty" bonus , i think the reaction would have been different. As it stands he has put himself in this position , and begs the question if he is that determined to go to the scousers , was hasn't he done so ! I agree with villian in cyprus (that makes two of us anyway) , that he doesn't want to wear the shirt , and has publicly stated this and that in itself is justification to boo him.
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23/07/2008 14:31:00

I wouldn't have booed him, but I wouldn't critiise others for doing so. I'd think everyone is disappointed with the way things have turned out and people need to voice their opinion. We do it on this site but for most a game is their only public outlet to make their disappointment opinions known. Barry would have expected the boos. And he would have appreciated those that clapped at the end. Probably made him think what he's thrown away. And maybe made him regret the fiasco this transfer has become.
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23/07/2008 15:49:00

Yes he did deserve to be booed. What he said, trying to be clever only antogonised the fans and didn't change his leaving price. It was a stupid footballer mistake. Hopefully this has smartened him up a bit and i hope he wins back us villans with his ability. He is a quality player, and one we need if we want to come close to the big boys. If you read this Barry (finger crossed) win back the villa faithfull with performances like last season and we will be singing your name again. I would love him to stay, he is our best player and yes i think he is more influencial than Young and adds more to the team. He will be greatly missed
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23/07/2008 16:16:00

Ive gone past caring about him.
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23/07/2008 16:17:00

Quality player proved that again last night, we are all gutted he is leaving cos he is top drawer. We need to ask ourselves this if you are a pro say playing for Everton spurs man city etc and Liverpool came in and offered more money and champs league football what would you do. I bet most would leave not all but most. Still think he has let us down by doing interview in the news of the world.
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23/07/2008 16:18:00

I was sure he was one of the ones that would turn it down though, especially after we've shown such potential to break the top 4. Thats where the dissapointment is I suppose, if Barry leaves this season, and Ashley leaves next. We're Fkuc ked basically.
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23/07/2008 16:47:00

Barry has quite simply brought this all upon himself.......did he expect Villa fans to sit back quietly while he drags the club through the sh it! If i was there i would have booed him for disrespecting the fans, manager and the club. Thanks for your service Barry but ask for a Transfer request and have done with it.......we can all move on from this. We do not need this preseason bo ll ocks to upset the team spirit etc etc etc.
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23/07/2008 16:48:00

If another player or manager from another team had slagged off MON then we would have booed them so Gareth got what he deserved. An excellent move from MON to make him play through it, a sort of public stoning!!
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23/07/2008 18:14:00

Yes. To be honest he is not that great anyway, 18Million is a joke price tag. It's amazing how these England internationals get touted for these inflated prices, Bentley another example who is apparently worth 20 odd million. Self-hype, is it any wonder the English national team is in the state it's in. These players actually think they are better than they are. Barry is no more than a good solid midfielder, but nothing sensational.
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23/07/2008 18:21:00

Does anybody know what the songs were that the villa fans have sang to Barry at Odense and Walsall? There is meant to be a song about barry gerard and rafa which i've not heard yet:-(
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23/07/2008 18:33:00

You paid your money, you takes your choice. I didn't boo him myself, but I understand fully those that did. They had anger, frustrations, and emotions they needed to get out, and as I say, they'd paid to be there, its not up to me or others to say they were wrong. About 75% of traveling Villans booed and jeered him at the start, but as the first half progressed, their feelings clearly mellowed. By the time he was substituted on the hour mark, only about 25% or so choose to give him more stick. He acted in a professional manner, and if his applause to the crowd upon being taken off truly was his farewell gesture, then so be it.
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23/07/2008 18:49:00

Must say though that his replacement, young Barry Bannan, certainly took the opportunity to shine. A fine thirty minutes from him.
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23/07/2008 18:50:00

I'm split 50-50. Yes he has made his feelings about The club, Randy and MON known in public which was uncalled for, but whether he wants to wear the shirt or not he is wearing it and we should support him whilst he is playing for our club, but then he has bad mouthed our manager and club which is not on and the guys that booed him were protecting our club and they were showing there way of supporting the manager from money grabbing slaves like him. I would like to see an apology from him before he leaves and in 12 months realise the grass is not greener is scouse land, he is better off staring the Green Green grass on BBC 1 he mite get more apperances.
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23/07/2008 21:30:00

Yep absolutely
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24/07/2008 16:43:00


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