Aston Villa - Gareth Barry Saga Nearly Over?
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Gareth Barry Saga Nearly Over?

The Sun say that Liverpool's much loved American owners won't stump up £18 million for Gareth Barry as they don't agree with the valuation. Apparently Rafa 'Tom-Jones-mini-me' Benitez is 'fuming and severely embarrassed'. I would be to with that goatee beard.

The Guardian say 'Liverpool's owners, George Gillett and Tom Hicks, have risked sparking another internal feud at Anfield by refusing to back Rafael Benítez's judgment on the £18m transfer of Gareth Barry. The farcical transfer saga was close to collapse last night, with the England international considering re-committing his future to Aston Villa..' The paper goes on to say that Barry wants his future clear before the start of the season and as Liverpool appear to have left him in limbo, he might re-commit to Villa.

The Times go one further saying 'Rafael Benitez`s relationship with Liverpool`s owners reached crisis point' and that 'Tom Hicks and George Gillett Jr vetoed the manager`s bid to buy Gareth Barry but that the American duo had turned down an offer of a £12 million interest-free loan to help to buy the Aston Villa midfield player.' They also claim that the owners won't match the price because of Barry's age and say he would have no sell on value, this comes following spending £20million on 28-year-old Robbie Keane from Spurs.

And whilst we are talking about Gareth Barry, Peter Cross has sent in this asking us to put the Barry saga into perspective. Must admit, I still hope he stays!


Guys, can we please get this Barry saga into perspective? No one can possibly disagree that GB has been an exceptional servant and role model at Aston Villa for last ten years. He has been the regular first choice selection for no less than five Villa managers since his signing from Brighton, at the tender age of seventeen. Successive England managers (Keegan was the first) have always acclaimed his quality despite infrequent 'call-ups' to the national squad, principally because of the midfield dominance from the Top4 Clubs (particularly Chelsea and Liverpool). Three years ago, Manchester United fans voted him the player they would most like to see recruited into their squad.

Martin O'Neill arrived two years ago at the beginning of the much-publicised 'revolution' and soon recognised his potential and the influence he could have on team performance. He made him first team captain after his first year in charge, endorsed with a new three year contract worth £7mill (approx) over 3 years. Personally, I felt and subsequently argued on this site that the captain of a Club seeking to attract top players should have been paid at least twice this amount. General Krulak disagreed and venomously and publicly criticised me for saying this.

Martin O'Neill's second season has just passed, seeing us again improve our league position. GB was, without doubt our 'Captain Marvel' resulting in him being paired regularly with SG in England's midfield.

So far, so good - almost the stuff of 'Boys Own' but then, before even the new transfer window opens, it starts to go 'pear-shaped'. No one knows for sure, precisely what precipitated GB's outburst against Martin O'Neill. Clearly Liverpool acted improperly, possibly illegally by acting as they did; but with hindsight, I am sure that GB regrets what was said to the media. Was this bad advice or in fact, was it no advice from his agent? Whichever, he has been severely penalised. Both he and O`Neill are professionals, so that should be the end of it.

Clearly, we now know that the sole reason to leave VP is to play in the Champions League whilst at the peak of his career; and who can blame him for that. The lure of the extra wages that Liverpool are alleged to be offering is not an issue. Villa have offered a similar competitive package, albeit over 4 years and this does not appear to have dampened his desire to go.

Daily, it appears that Liverpool have "shot their bolt". Perhaps Randy Lerner has been quietly and effectively working behind the scenes with his fellow Americans and all will now be quiet on that front. Other clubs may of course enter the arena and we all know who they might be.

There is no doubt in my humble opinion that Villa will be considerably weakened by his departure. He is a 'class-act" and will be difficult to replace on the short term and Martin O'Neill knows this. I sincerely hope he stays and reaps the satisfaction of leading out the Villa team in the Champions League before he is much older. He will then be the legend we all want him to become.

Peter Cross

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The Journalist

Writer: JF & Peter Cross Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Saturday August 9 2008

Time: 9:43AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

Change to most recent first
Nicely put. There are many of us who would still love for Barry to stay, and to be honest, the longer this goes on the more likely he looks to do so. We can only hope that if he does, he plays with that same drive he's had in other recent seasons.
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09/08/2008 09:55:00

Great article! It is so refreshing to read this whole saga put into perspective - something I particularly like this site for.
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 09:59:00

I've felt from day one that Gareth would still be a Villa player come 08-09 season kick off. The whole saga has dragged like a dead dog chained to a car bumper (see National Lampoons). A week ago when MON made his "all the time inthe world" comments I finally conceded defeat in my head. Feeling dejected and frustrated but also adamant that we would be fine without him. Now I'm actually laughing at the total absurdity of the whole situation. I'm convinced now that GB will stay AND that we will give them a spanking Aug 31st. LFC are a joke. A club in meltdown and I think GB can finally see the same thing. Come on Gareth. Sort your head out. Tell the spanish scousers where to go and lead the Mighty Aston Villa Football Club to UEFA Cup glory.
Adam Deuce
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 10:07:00

Adam, they might be a club in meltdown, but I don't think Barry can see it - if they came in with the money tomorrow he'd still go, regardless of their ridiculous financial position. Hope we do give them a spanking on Aug 31st though, I'd have an irremovable grin for weeks.
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 10:10:00

As usual Vital Villa is head and shoulders above all other commentators about this issue. A good and reasoned article. I too hope GB stays and re-commits to us for the future.
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09/08/2008 10:12:00

Would Gareth prefer to play for England or Champions league football? If he goes to Liverpool he'll hardly ever play for England again as Rafa wont play him in centre midfield. Barry will be back up to Mascherano and Babel.
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 10:12:00

bugger off barry...
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09/08/2008 10:13:00

No matter what water has passed under the bridge, he is still a quality player and we need them at Villa. Not over keen on how he seemingly went back on the agreement to stay, but hey ho, still hope he does. The fans are the loyal ones, players are the staff. We need staff like him!
The Fear
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09/08/2008 10:24:00

I've always wanted to keep him, no matter whats been going on, and I sincerely hope that the scouse scum HAVE shot their retarded bolt!!!
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 10:28:00

Not over keen on how he seemingly went back on the agreement to stayThe fans are the loyal ones If he goes to Liverpool he'll hardly ever play for England again as Rafa wont play him in centre midfield.Liverpool have "shot their bolt".
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 10:29:00

Benitez is claiming they will sign him again today over at the beeb. bugger off benitez
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09/08/2008 10:31:00

Nice article, but for me I want to see the back of him. He has bitten the hand that feeds him one to many times. If he stays at Villa it will not be at his choice.
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09/08/2008 10:33:00

I can understand everybody being thoroughly *****ed off with Barry BUT if this farce of a move falls through we will need him at Villa. He's got a lot of apologies to make and a lot of humble pie to eat first though.
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09/08/2008 10:47:00

David felt himself slipping further and further into a dream. Each step he took along the path was symbolic for how he was being encapsulated by the images more and more. Talking to the trees was a sure sign that he was into something he could not escape easily.
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09/08/2008 11:03:00

Nice article but you're missing one important thing..... the prat wants to go!!.He has had one too many chances to grow up and realise that the scouse scum and fat boy manuel don't really want him.Even now he is still sitting there with no consideration for this club begging for benitez to cash the giro.No for me he has burnt all his bridges and possibly a few more besides,I want him gone asap and hopefully replaced by a player who does care about this great club.
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09/08/2008 11:37:00

We can't move on properly until he's gone to sit on the bench at anfield...
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09/08/2008 11:43:00

fed up of hearing about GB the muppett wants to go to scouseland and im sure by the end of the transfer window he will be there, if it dont go through then we should send him out on loan till the fat waiter can afford him next jan, cuz he dont want to wear the shirt so there is no point him being in the squad.
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09/08/2008 11:47:00

And it also states in the Benitez interview he'll be playing out on the left. Or that he'll sign someone to play there. Not sure Barry is as effective on the left due to the lack of pace.
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09/08/2008 11:48:00

So answer me this Peter, why has he STILL not handed in a transfer request if it's not about money? And correct me if i'm wrong, but Liverpool don't actually have guaranteed European football yet? For god's sake don't be so naive. I will welcome Barry back into the fold (IF) he apologises for treating us all like mugs and disrespecting the manager AND plays his heart out for the Villa that made him. If he doesn't do that, he and you can shove the '10 year loyal servant' b*llocks where there's no sun. I was at the Reading game last week, there were a few (probably about 10) people who were singing There's only 1 GB. I wasn't one of them, generally because he doesn't deserve it. Gareth Barry or no Gareth Barry, we don't need him to be successful again.
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 13:15:00

well said Villan-in-Cyprus and that goes out to all those who gave him an over the top applause(me not being one of them) at VP last week and a day later he turns round and sticks his 2 fingers up at them all and says he still wants to go the prat !!
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 13:30:00

I'm not bothered either way. If he goes he goes. If he stays he stays. But Please don't kiss the badge if you do stay. Because you will be berrated for that hollow gesture Mr Barry.
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 16:36:00

Villan-in-Cyprus - I suspect that he will benefit more financially if he agrees to a move away from Villa rather than asking for a move. Otherwise, I am mystified too, unless perhaps if he requests a transfer he may not be able to pick and choose clubs. We really need to see his contract to know for sure. I cannot agree with you on whether or not we need him but I respect your feelings.
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 18:19:00

Good luck Garreth Barry
Report Abuse
09/08/2008 20:35:00

Rick Parry has released a statement on the Liverpool OS that price is too high, Mirror reporting they are gonna offer 12m. I know scousers aren`t used to paying for stuff but this is ridiculous.
Report Abuse
10/08/2008 07:09:00

For me too ever forgive him now he would have to see his career out at Villa. Before the "DEADLINE" i thought he might stay & forgave him but wanting to still go after the deadline was like finding out for sure your partner has had an affair. Hurt feelings is not the words to describe how i feel
Report Abuse
10/08/2008 11:20:00

Hopefully Barry will move on. Take the cash and have done with it. Barry doesn't have the heart for Villa now and thats only gonna be detremental to the squad.
Report Abuse
10/08/2008 14:32:00

Glensider has always got something to say. He is always top of our league!!!!!!!!!!!
Report Abuse
10/08/2008 14:33:00

bellywipes - so what has glensider said?
Report Abuse
11/08/2008 00:06:00

glensider says he's happy to be alive, and is looking forward immensely to the new campaign, something he wasn't doing just a couple of weeks or so back, before the new arrivals started rolling in.
Report Abuse
12/08/2008 20:30:00

As for Barry, I could write a book on the subject, but I wont bore you with that. My views re Barry remains unchanged. I hope he stays, he's a quality footballer, an integral part of the team, we're a better team with him in the mix. But, I still think he'll leave.
Report Abuse
12/08/2008 20:33:00


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