Looks like it’s make or break time with the Gareth Barry deal. This sorry, shabby little saga has been dragging on all summer as both sides have engaged in a stand off testing each others financial resolve. However, with friendlies in full swing and Villa and Liverpool wanting to finalise their other transfer plans before 16th August, I guess a decision has to be made? And soon.
Up until now it’s been one way traffic us making the running. However, Villa’s attitude has proved less than accommodating in terms of meeting us half, or even part, way over the gap in our respective valuations and also in their criticism of us. Now, all of sudden they are making the overtures and basically asking us to make our decision clear. Says Martin O’Neill
“They’ve not officially come back to us in any form of writing. It’s a really awkward position, I wouldn’t mind it ending one way or another. We’ve our own plans to make- and we shouldn’t be at the behest of Liverpool Football Club.…When people say people are in limbo, I don’t think that applies to anybody more than ourselves. We don’t know whether to move forward or not with it.”
My, my what goes around does indeed come around? I don’t see why we should be under any obligation to play ball over this one now that Villa suddenly want to get things moving because of their own agenda. They certainly showed scant regard for ours and Garth Barry’s when it suited them to do so earlier in the summer. Had O’Neill and Villa not been so belligerent over our initial offer, and those subsequently, by greedily holding out for small extras, even when the price we were prepared to pay was already over inflated, they wouldn’t have found themselves in this situation. Their conduct has never been such that they can ever say that they are at our “behest”.
I have some sympathy for Barry but I don’t see why should embarrass ourselves any further over this. We’ve persevered with it for too long. Time to leave Villa at the alter high, dry, and preferably confused and p*ssed off, whilst we run off into the sunset with Mr Keane!
Which brings me to the Spurs striker. It’s been suggested that Keane’s omission from the Spurs line up for their recent friendly means a deal is close. May be but none of our top players have played in our recent friendly and they’re not moving so I’m not especially hopeful. Basically I’ll believe it when I see it and that will be when Keane appears alongside Rafa in a red shirt.
On the subject of shirts it seems we are parading yet another to add the club’s ever expanding wardrobe. A rather tawdry green effort for the European campaign, you can see it on the website. So, in the space of a year, we’ve bought out two new away shirts white to be replaced by silver, two Euro kits black to be replaced by green and we now have a new home kit. So, that’s three new kits, home, away and Europe to start the new season with! I’ll leave it up to you to decide if this is pandering to high demand and choice or simply a case, in these hard times, of trying it on a tad too much.
The phrase that accompanies the recent merchandising campaign is something along the lines of “It’s not a badge it’s a family crest” Really? Well may be it is appropriate to our current situation? Families have been known to undergo infighting and the odd “black sheep” does bring shame on the lineage! And, like the kits, families are also expensive especially if you’ve kids who want the latest shirt, sorry that should be shirts!
Enjoy your weekend.