Slowly the Gareth Barry saga is coming to its inevitable conclusion. One which most, except Martin O’Neil and Villa it seems, would have surely seen coming? The shift in circumstances is illustrated by two quotes below from O’Neill. The first earlier in the week
“During talks in the past few days, a final deadline to conclude this episode was set that all parties were aware of and agreed to. This deadline has now passed and so Gareth will remain with Villa.”
The second after talks with Barry and his agent
“There will be no deadline and Liverpool will have all the time in the world to sign him. They’ve got to the end of the transfer window at the end of the month.”
So, there you have it. Proof, if ever it were needed that player power rules? It would seem so. For all Villa’s deadlines and ultimatums, Barry wants to leave them. When a player feels this way is there anything you can really do about it? Perhaps there should be? Yes, Villa can hold out for money, put Barry in the reserves or on gardening leave but where will it get them? Rightly or wrongly, that is the way it is at present.
Martin O’Neill is an intelligent man but for his attempts to fend us off and keep us at bay, surely he must have realised that the game was up once Barry reiterated his desire to leave? Deep down I suspect he knew this long before this weekend.
More if the deal actually goes through but at the moment I am suffering from serious “Barry burn out” and need a rest!
Saturday’s match against Rangers gave us another good work out. This was a step up from the Villarreal and Berlin games as we fielded a much stronger side. I guess this was inevitable with Standard Liege looming and of course the start of the season only two weeks away?
Torres started with Keane, who was predictably booed by the home crowd every time he touched the ball, in the hole and Gerrard back in midfield. A sign of the way Rafa intends to play it when it gets serious in two weeks time? Rangers no doubt had half an eye on their European game on Wednesday which they need to win. Nonetheless there was plenty to be satisfied about particularly from the younger players who were encouragingly involved in all four goals.
Plessis was involved in the first his long range shot being knocked in by Torres after McGregor’s spill. Ngog beat Keane to breaking his scoring duck after picking up the ball from Gerrard and running and running. Just as you thought he was going to pass or you were about to berate him for taking it too far he threaded shot past the keeper’s near post! Insua, Nemeth and Ngog combined well in move that saw Benayoun make it three and Nemeth was upended by the unfortunately named, given the circumstances, Broadfoot. Alonso made no mistake from the spot.
By the way, do we not wear red anymore? Or does this clash with Rangers blue and white?