Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday October 4 2009
Ok, so this will pretty much be the end of the Gareth Barry debate and articles as we face his new team Man City on Monday night and once we see him play against us, that will be pretty much that really?!
We asked in our last poll:
Will you boo Gareth Barry?
56% voted that they wouldn't and that they'll clap our former captain.
22% however will boo everytime he touches the ball and 2% when his name is announced.
That left 20% saying they'll not boo but they'll not clap either.
12 years 441 games and 52 goals later...
So Are You Going To Boo Gareth Barry?
Meanwhile Stiliyan Petrov says that Barry does still care about the club:
He told the Express & Star 'He is always texting about the club so he still cares' Adding that there is bound to be plenty of banter before the game, 'We will have some banter with text messages. He gave so much to this club. He played over 400 games for Villa. I have a lot of respect for players who do that. Not many players can do that. Only players who love a club can do that and that was Gareth with Villa.'
Importantly adding - and remember the other players will see how we treat former heroes, good or bad ... (!) ... 'Gareth deserves a good reception. The Villa fans should be very proud. He went on a high. Not many players can achieve what he did for this club and he stayed an extra year as well. They should welcome him to show why he was loved all the years he was here.'
Remember the open letter he did to the Birmingham Mail?
A few extracts:
Firstly, I want to thank them for the incredible support I have received over the last 12 years. This football club has been a huge part of my life. I joined a 16-year-old boy and 12 years later I am moving on as a 28-year-old man with a wife and two children. A lot of things have changed in that time, players, management and a chairman, but every season bar none, whether we have been bottom half, mid-table or challenging for Europe, the support myself and the team have received has been fantastic. My one huge regret is that during my time at this club we have not brought the fans the success they deserve and I obviously have to take my share of responsibility that we have not been good enough to win trophies.
He also said the manager tried everything to keep him but decided after much changing of minds that it was time for him to take on a fresh challenge.
I am glad I never left last summer because I would have left under a huge cloud.This year I feel things are different. I haven't used an agent, I have discussed things with my best friend but ultimately made my own choices and I think the situation has been handled properly by everybody involved and, once again, I have to thank the manager and the club for that.
I genuinely wish the club all the best for the future and want to thank everyone who has helped and supported me during my time here.
For the rest of my life Aston Villa will be the first result I look for. Thanks for everything.
Date:Sunday October 4 2009
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