The Gareth Barry issue took yet another turn yesterday with the news that Steven Gerrard had “outrageously” said he would like him to play for Liverpool.
“I want Gareth Barry to become a Liverpool player. I am desperate for us to sign him. He’s a good player. I want Liverpool to be as strong as possible and Gareth Barry will certainly make us stronger. Gareth Barry is someone who will improve Liverpool.”
Driving home from the coast having taken the kids out to the seaside I was listening to the radio reporting some of the Email reactions of Villa fans to Gerrard’s statement. Is it just me or is the reaction of the Villa fans actually more outrageous than Gerrard’s statement? Thankfully the kids were asleep as the air was blue on more than one occasion!
I seriously don’t think there is anything wrong in Gerrard, or any other player or manager saying “gosh, I’d love player X to be playing at my club”. They are only articulating what many others are probably thinking. However the reaction from Villa Park has been oversensitive in the extreme seemingly surpassing Martin O’Neil’s hissy fit over Rafa’s behaviour in this affair. We got accusations that Gerrard was trying to tap up Barry. That he was showing no respect to Villa by speaking in these terms and, that if he really wanted to play with Barry, he should move to Villa!
Gerrard and Barry are good friends so it’s hardly a revelation him to say that that he’d like to see his mucker playing along side him. That is not tapping up in anyone’s books. If anything it’s an insult to Barry’s intelligence by the Villa fans to assume that the thought of playing alongside Gerrard had not occurred to him until the story broke?
Gerrard might have been out of order in his comments in one instance. Villa now know that Liverpool’s star man wants Barry at the club and that they might increase the asking price! As for lack of respect to Villa, Gerrard was also mindful of the affect his comments might have.
“We can’t be disrespectful to Villa. He is still their player and we will see what happens. Naturally, they are going to try and keep hold of him, and rightly so because he is one of their star men. He has been a fantastic servant for them over many years.”
Where is the lack of respect in that statement? Furthermore it is clearly nonsense that Gerrard should move to Villa if he wants to play with Barry. Silly, unrealistic statements which show just how much the Villa fans are annoyed by the prospect that their star man might leave. They have my sympathy over this, not that they’d ever want it, but these things happen. Who knows in few years we might have to face up the reality of losing Torres or Gerrard himself?
Villa fans can make all the noises they like but ultimately all the cards in this over exaggerated situation are held by Barry himself and no matter what everyone’s opinion is over the matter, there is only one that counts… Barry’s. Whatever he decides let’s hope Villa or Liverpool understand as the longer this goes on, the more Barry’s opinion seems to becoming secondary and where is the respect in that?