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Move Over Liverpool


blandy
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By PB

If I were a neutral looking in on the current transfer wrangle between Aston Villa and Liverpool over the Villa skipper Gareth Barry, then I would be very interested in the outcome. Liverpool, one of the established "big four", chasing the captain of a club very much on the up, one of the next tier.

Some might argue with justification that the result of this very public transfer might well indicate whether or not the change that has been hinted at in recent years is finally about to happen - Might there really be a change in the fabled "top four"?

Liverpool, despite their successes on the European stage, have been, in all honesty, rather clinging onto that fourth spot in the Premiership by their fingernails. Everton, Spurs and most recently Villa have been there, not too close yet not too far, breathing down their necks, reminding them that its not a given, that every single season they must go out and earn that fourth place. And now, as if in a deliberate attempt to put down one of these potential usurpers, they have come to Villa and said "We'll take your skipper, ta very much, now behave yourselves and scrabble about for Intertoto places like the little club you are".

And do you know what? There was a time when Paddy Berger would have been right. There was a time when there would have been no question marks over this deal at all There was a time when Barry would have said, as Dwight Yorke once did, "Seeya lads, I'm off to the Big Telly Leagues".

But Paddy Berger is living in the past. Tom Gilette is NOT Randy Lerner. According to Doug Ellis, Gillette was very interested in Villa, but when he walked into Doug's office and saw a Browns helmet on Doug's desk he knew he had no chance of competing with Randy. And lets be brutally honest, thank God for that. Where Lerner has been beyond the dreams of Villa fans in the superb way in which he has administered the club, Gillette and his partner Hicks have brought nothing to Liverpool but very public strife. Maybe, just maybe this is Gillette and Liverpool's last throw, their last action as a "big" club. And, every day that Villa stand up to their advances, and every day that Gareth Barry refuses to say "I want to move", maybe, just maybe, its another nail in Liverpool's time in the top four.

Maybe, just maybe, it is now our turn. Move over Liverpool, Villa are back. Not only are we back, but you, my Northern friends, simply cannot afford our captain.

Move over Liverpool, no room for you at the top any more.

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....I think PB may have a point albeit you under estimate Liverpool at your peril.

Equally i think Gedfas is too quick to dismiss an Aston Villa side that is clearly in the ascendency which is equally as foolish to under estimate.

Martin O'Neill's approach to strengthening the team both physically and spiritually is commendable and does have a cloughie slant to it.

However like Brian, you do have to splash out now and a gain and perhaps go for that obvious quality, that will make PB's case all the more credible and Gedfas's claim all the more foolish.

.... we have it all to do guys..... but the signs are good.

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tell you what I think Liverplop and their fans on here have shown they are scared of us. The top 4 HAVE to protect themsleves because of their huge debts and any team who is seen as a likely candidate to get in will be either dismissed or the best players taken away from us. It has happened with Rooney, and no with the likely moves of Berbatov and Barry

we should see this a compliment

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PB is a spot on in my opinion. Two years ago, Barry's choice would have been simple, now it clearly isn't. Sure loyalty plays a part in any decision but more so does the feel of each club,the direction each club is moving in. One settled and driving forward on and off the pitch, one in dispute and argument behind the scenes and struggling desperately to maintain their position. You choose which club fits which description, but for me the roles have been reversed over the last couple of years and they know it and are worried, very worried.

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Guys, I’m a Liverpool fan and I come in peace.

There are a lot of points which PB makes that I don’t agree with.

First of all, the point that we are ‘clinging on to 4th’. In 05/06 we finished 3rd with 82 points, 17 points ahead of 5th. Last year we ended the year in 3rd as well, 8 points clear of 5th even though we stopped competing with 5 games left to concentrate on the champions league. And this season we ended the year with 76 points, a record tally for a team that finishes 4th, 11 points clear of 5th and 16 points clear of Aston Villa. Hardly clinging on to 4th is it? We were closer to 3rd and 2nd then 5th and as close to Man Utd as Everton. Would you say United are cling to 1st with us breathing down their necks??

Also you discount too easily the effect a good champions league run has on players. We’ve been able to attract world class players to our our side especially because of our performances in Europe (torres, Mascherano...). To a player who has never played in that competition, it is very important to see as side doing well in Europe (Babel, Torres now Barry).

Guys. We’re not after Barry because we see you as a threat. We are after him as Rafa thinks (wrongly INMHO) that he would improve the side. If anyone is going to break into the top 4 this year, it won’t be you, it will be a side who spends a shitload of money (Spurs most likely). You don’t seem able to keep your best players, let alone attract top class European talent.

Gareth Barry will leave this summer, get used to it. All players outside the top 4 would if they get an offer Case in point recently we’ve seen SWP, Carrick, Crouch, Pennant, VDS, Rooney, Sidwell, Anelka all leave lower table or uefa cup level teams to move forward in their careers. The lure of playing in the Champions League and for some of the biggest and most famous clubs in the world is just too big.

Anyways. I hope for both Liverpool and Villa you get to keep hi. A lot of us feel he is not needed at Anfield and would be a waste of money. He is an average left back and left midfielder but a good centre mid. However, centre mid is our strongest position and we don’t feel he is anywhere near a good a player as Xabi Alonso. Our problems are on the wings not in centre mid (Ashley Young would be the only Villa player who would make a real difference to this Liverpool side), so it would be a waste of money and time to go after an overpriced player who isn’t better than the player he would replace.

And finally, we have two owners. Tom Hicks and George Gillet. No Tom Gillett. Though they can **** off , whatever they’re called

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so it would be a waste of money and time to go after an overpriced player who isn’t better than the player he would replace.

this seems to be the majority view from your fans

and I hope Barry has taken note of this

I personally would never swap Barry for Alonso

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All players outside the top 4 would if they get an offer Case in point recently we’ve seen SWP, Carrick, Crouch, Pennant, VDS, Rooney, Sidwell, Anelka all leave lower table or uefa cup level teams to move forward in their careers. The lure of playing in the Champions League and for some of the biggest and most famous clubs in the world is just too big.

What's happened to SWP? Crouch? Sidwell? Pennant (never a top player to start with, him)....they've ended up well paid bit part players, bench warmers and seen international hopes fade.

Sure some do well - Carrick, perhaps and Van Der Saar (at 37 odd), but truth is far from advancing their careers, many players who move to Liverpool in particular end up going backwards. To me Rafa seems like a poilt kid in a sweetshop, or that wheelchair bloke off the Fast Show

"Want that one"

"Are you sure you want Pennant?"

"Yep."..."Don't want him"

And then he moans at whoever is in chartge this week that despite spending a chuffing fortune he hasn't got enough players, or any money and it's not his fault and it's all so unfair.

The bloke's an absolute cock in terms of how he deals with people, it seems to me. very much the spoilt kid.

Barry would be mad to go to Liverpool. No money, new ground on hold, no hope of winning the league, unlikely to play as much as he'd like, risk of losing England place due to infrequent starts, Owners in dispute, possible take-over, possible manager change....

All that for the possibility of a few games on the Telly in midweek.

PB's point that Villa is catching up is a valid one. Direction and intent seem firmer and clearer at Villa. I'm not anti-Liverpool, but you don't look in the best order right now.

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this seems to be the majority view from your fans

and I hope Barry has taken note of this

I personally would never swap Barry for Alonso

Me either. He's better than Alonso and Mascherano by a distance.

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All players outside the top 4 would if they get an offer Case in point recently we’ve seen SWP, Carrick, Crouch, Pennant, VDS, Rooney, Sidwell, Anelka all leave lower table or uefa cup level teams to move forward in their careers. The lure of playing in the Champions League and for some of the biggest and most famous clubs in the world is just too big.

What's happened to SWP? Crouch? Sidwell? Pennant (never a top player to start with, him)....they've ended up well paid bit part players, bench warmers and seen international hopes fade.

Sure some do well - Carrick, perhaps and Van Der Saar (at 37 odd), but truth is far from advancing their careers, many players who move to Liverpool in particular end up going backwards. To me Rafa seems like a poilt kid in a sweetshop, or that wheelchair bloke off the Fast Show

"Want that one"

"Are you sure you want Pennant?"

"Yep."..."Don't want him"

.

Mate my point wasn't how the moves panned out for the players. My point was that the any player outside the top 4 would join one of those clubs if he had an offer. I can't think of anyone who turned down a move apart from Lucas Neil and from what we've all heard it was about money.

I hope to God Barry stays at Villa Park I really do. Like I mentionned before he is not needed at Anfield nor would he bring anything to the table we don't have now.

As for Rafa and player progression...Garcia, Carragher,Reina,Alonso,Mascherano,Torres,Agger,Skrtel,Arbeloa and Babel are all players that have progressed at the club since he joined. Crouch became a mainstay in the England set up only when he moved to Anfield. As for Pennant, he wasnt Rafa's first choice, but as we had budget restraints he was the only affordable option.

I also feel this would be the wrong move for Barry. He'll be joining a club where there is a real pressure to succeed, where reaching the Uefa Cup is failure. He'll be joining a club with a lot of competition for places. He'll be playing against teams who put 10 men behind the ball. He'll be joining a club who play in the top level competition of European football. Can he make the step up? I don't think so. I've seen nothing from him to suggest he can.

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this seems to be the majority view from your fans

and I hope Barry has taken note of this

I personally would never swap Barry for Alonso

Me either. He's better than Alonso and Mascherano by a distance.

U can't compare him to Mascherano as they play in two different positions. Masch is a defensive midfielder (one of the best in the world IMO and an untouchable in the best international side in the world) and Barry is a central midfielder with creative responsabiltites. Masch can't do what Barry does and Barry can't do what Masch does.

As for Xabi. I guess we won't agree on this but in my opinion he's got a hundred times more pure talent than Barry.

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To be fair, I reserve the right to write partisan articles :D I think the intent of the article is to both big up Villa, which as a Villa fan is my job, and have a little taunt at Liverpool, and the rather amusing way they are desperately emptying one pocket after another in search of that elusive £5m that seemed to be there just yesterday .... barry would be great for Liverpool, he is the kind of player that plays best in higher profile games, thats why his value is so high, thats why he has usurped Lampard from the england team, despite Lampard being the better club player, and thats why Benitez wants him and Oneill wants him. he has improved beyond recognition these last two years and finally grown into hte player he always threatened to become.

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Yep you're right Brentie, and if you could pass that on to Rafa that'd be super, thanks :thumb::)

Trust me mate we're all going crazy over on our forums!! If only we could get ahold of the boss we could spare all of you and us this struggle!

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Yep you're right Brentie, and if you could pass that on to Rafa that'd be super, thanks :thumb::)

Trust me mate we're all going crazy over on our forums!! If only we could get ahold of the boss we could spare all of you and us this struggle!

Interesting, another set of fans who don't trust the manager's judgement!!

Sound familiar to some of the posters on VT.

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Yep you're right Brentie, and if you could pass that on to Rafa that'd be super, thanks :thumb::)

Trust me mate we're all going crazy over on our forums!! If only we could get ahold of the boss we could spare all of you and us this struggle!

Interesting, another set of fans who don't trust the manager's judgement!!

Sound familiar to some of the posters on VT.

Why, you guys have issues with Oneil?Really?

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Most issues are with the (lack of) speed in which he deals in the transfer window. Which ironically would increase our chances of holding on to Barry if we could sew up a few high profilers and show him we mean business.

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Lets face it, my near neighbour "Stevie G" (copyright some tossy tabloid) just put Barry's price up again. Yep, Liverpool who keep offering derisory prices for the man that will make their misfiring midfield tick purely because they are skinter than a skint thing, they really don't understand the way MON works. He really does hold grudges over things like this and "Stevie G" and Beneathuz just keep putting the price up with all these constant media barrages. MON does not do his transfer dealings in public and he also won't bow to the crap coming out of Anfield. What it does show however is how desperate their captain and manager are to sign Barry because they know he is the key to improving your midfield and making your team a more constant threat, trouble is, you can't afford to buy Barry. In the old days, this would all have been done behnd closed doors and Liverpool would have paid a higher price to keep the potential deal under wraps, that in itself says how skint they are. Add that to the fact that Liverpool seem to be valuing their own fringe players (that they actually NEED to get rid of to finance team improvements) at ludicrously high levels also shows the lack of financial muscle they have.

Now most of the level headed Liverpool fans that I know (they do exist), the ones that live in the city and have been season ticket holders for 20 year or more, agree with that and are quite frankly embarrased by the way Liverpool appear to be conducting themselves. They know the club is in turmoil internally, they know there is no money available as the ownership of the club is in doubt and they know this is most un-Liverpool like behaviour. liverpool are facing stiff competitipn next season from a host of clubs for the coveted and financially beneficial 4th spot, they are desperate to hang on to it (and who wouldn't be) but the cracks were appearing last season. Now the transfer window is open the cracks are becoming wider, its becoming more obvious by the day that the money isnt quite there like it should be.

If they want Barry, they will pay top dollar, of that there is no doubt now. thing is, in order to pay for him, how many players will they have to jetison to get him, how many players that they also need to strengthen the squad will they have to miss out on? Will the purchase of Barry (if it happens) actually weaken the team at Liverpool because of the lengths they will need to go to to sign im. Is he a bridge too far?

Interesting times ahead at Anfield I think. Selling Barry to them might just be the right thing to do at the right price, it will weaken them overall, they will either be forced to sell some of their squad to finance the deal or they won't be able to afford further improvements.

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Liverpool have been clinging on to that 4th spot have they ?. Despite finishing an overwhelming 11 points clear of Everton and 16 points clear of Villa you mean ?.

Recent league finishes indicate that Arsenal in fact are the lesser of the two teams. Liverpool established 3rd place as their own for 2 seasons running prior to this season, with Arsenal languishing in 4th in those years.

Arsenal losing Flamini and Hleb means they are in desperate need of re-strengthening, as well as Arsene Wengers "team" emphasis looking very shaky toward the end of last season, surely they are the more susceptible of the top four.

2 seasons ago Liverpool finished 21 points behind eventual winners Man United, this season they finished 11 points behind the leaders. This combined with the red-hot form of Fernando Torres and Steven Gerrard could see Liverpool as genuine contenders next season, with the right investment.

Barry would certainly be a right investment. This is a career move that he would not regret. Champions League Football season in season out, a starting berth that he deserves in the national team, and challenging for major honours each season. Under Martin O'Neill's tutolage Villa have progressed, there is no doubting that, but under Benitez, Liverpool have also progressed.

Make no mistake, he would be leaving a club on the up to join a club on the up. The fall-outs behind the scenes at Anfield have calmed considerably since the turn of the year and now things are beginning to look up for Liverpool.

Yesterday they unveiled the largest club shop in Europe in Liverpool city centre. Work on the new stadium starts in September. And Rafael Benitez is realistically targeting players of the quality of Gareth Barry, all over the pitch. I disagree that Steven Gerrards comments will hike the price of Barry further.

Once Barry makes his decision when he returns from International duty in a few weeks time. All is required is for him to say to MON that he wants to leave. Villa can then either have a player who doesn't want to be there, who resents his boss for not giving him his big move, or £12 million in their back pocket and Scott Carson.

Barry knows deep down what every Villa fan does. He is going to leave.

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