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Lessons that Gareth Barry Should Learn From


JohnCresswell
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I imagine that you, dear reader, are probably as fed up as the Gareth Barry ‘saga’ as myself. From Liverpool’s dogged far too public approaches to their constant bidding below the value of the player. We’ve set the fee now – it’s up to them to either find the money of go and bother someone else. So I promise this will be the last thing I say on the former Villa captain until he has finally taken up residence in Steven Gerrard’s spare room.

It’s almost like the stereotypical relationship break-up – how you’d see Ross from Friends – first there has been the worry – “Will Barry really go? Surely not” – then came the anger – “He was never any good anyway” – and now I’m over it – he’s as good as gone now.

I must admit that I’m looking at this in a much more positive way than before – to get £18million for a 28 year old who for vast periods of last season was out of form and whose lack of pace makes him stick out a bit in the middle of midfield is actually a rather good deal. Especially if we can replace him with the rumoured signings of Sidwell and Bentley.

I better reign myself in at this point. I’m save the bitterness and jokes until he’s actually signed for the team managed by Peter Kay.

But my mind has been wandering onto other players which have, in the past, made it clear that they wish to join a ‘bigger club’ than Villa. So lets have a look at some of the more recent ones…

Mark Bosnich

Spent seven years at Villa, a figure which Gareth Barry only passed a few years ago despite being at the club since he was 17. Bosnich was loved by Villa fans. He was dominant in the air and had a fantastic shot stopping ability. He, unlike Barry, actually won two trophies with the club and was the hero of the Cup for Villa in 1994 saving three penalties in a shoot out.

Bosnich was having a storming season, due for a new contract and Villa were top of the league. And then the rumours started. Alex Ferguson’s name was being brought up as a potential suitor and Bosnich suddenly had a ‘shoulder injury’ which ruled him out for the rest of the season. With Michael Oakes as his understudy, we started dropping down the places.

He managed one full season at Manchester United. Fair enough, he won the League, but the next season saw him relegated to third choice – with even blunder goalkeeper Massimo Taibi in front of him. He was then moved onto Chelsea, where he managed five more games.

But my biggest (I can’t really say ‘best’) memory of Mark Bosnich after Villa came when he returned to Villa Park and the place really became a cauldron of hate. It was more atmospheric than any small heath derby since. From the start until the end, Bosnich was given the most abuse a player has ever been given at VP. And I’d be lying if I didn’t say anything other than yes – it was a bit funny.

A success? 4/10 – he may have won things the next season, but afterwards his career was a total washout.

Gareth Southgate

Someone that Gareth Barry should be comparing himself to very, very closely. Southgate was Villa captain. The club and fans had stood by the defender after his Euro 96 miss and in fact, had it not been for John Gregory who had been the first manager to play Southgate in defence he may have been stuck playing in the middle for Palace for the rest of his career.

You see, Barry has many parallels with Southgate. It was Villa that got him playing in a position that he hadn’t been before. It was Villa that had got him into the England team regularly. Yet, as soon as the newspapers began mentioning the Skipper’s name with other teams – this time it was Chelsea, his head was turned.

Chelsea couldn’t afford the asking price, and went away. So the ‘captain’ began trying to engineer a move away. He wanted Europe. He wanted to play at the top. And which club came in for him? Middlesbrough.

Southgate lost his England place. He lost the respect of fans who had previously cheered him. Playing at the top, maybe. That’s if by top you actually mean top of England, geographically.

On his return to Villa Park, Gareth went to the center circle and tried to make a big deal of clapping the Villa fans. Only to be given a very different gesture – Villa Park booing the former captain. He later told the press he was upset at this reaction. Perhaps you should have thought about that before whining your way to Middlebrough?

To be fair, he did eventually manage to play in Europe with Middlesbrough. In his final season – five years after his move – where he managed to lose 4-0 in the final.

A success? 5/10 – Didn’t actually do anything that wasn’t possible at Villa.

Ugo Ehiogu

The same story as Southgate, except we made more money from him, and it was probably the biggest waste of £8million Middlebrough have ever spent. Spent most of his time injured and didn’t win anything.

A success? 1/10 Not at all.

Julian Joachim

Joachim spent last season playing for Darlington. Do I need to go further?

Julian was never a prolific striker. However, one hot summer day he went to press to tell them he wasn’t happy with his contract, wanted more money or he’d leave to a bigger and better club. He’d apparently done his bit by performing well in the Premiership – which by ‘performing’ I presume he meant ‘been nothing but average at best’.

Julian managed the difficult challenge of becoming a player whose fans not only booed on touch of the ball, but actually cheered when he missed shots. In the 2001 Intertoto Cup campaign, Villa moved to the Hawthorns whilst the new Trinity was being built and during one particular game after being booed throughout, Joachim managed to get through one-on-one with the goalkeeper, but the man between the sticks made a good save. And the majority of the stadium began laughing and cheering.

It was not the correct reaction to give, but Villa fans – having seen Bosnich, Yorke leave – and hearing Southgate and Ugo both publically make their unhappiness known – had enough of the ‘player power’ beginning to emerge.

Joachim ended up in Coventry, before Leeds and then Boston.

A success? 1/10

Of course, this is all very one sided. We could mention David Platt – but he kept himself relatively quiet and acted the professional. We could also mention Dwight Yorke, too. Another victim of a ‘big club’ acting unprofessionally with regards to another club’s contracted player. Yorke, whatever you may think of him made himself a success at Manchester United.

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Wasn't it Brian Little who first played Gareth Southgate at the back, rather than JG?

One thing that's missing from the article, I feel is the (sorry) oft mentioned at the time "ambition" of the club.

You could make a good case for arguing that when Gareth Southgate left (and most of the others mentioned) the club was limited, to say the least in where it was aiming. That isn't the case now.

It's this factor to me that makes the current saga most irksome. I also feel that though there were many parts of JG's management style that appealed, there was also a side to him that maybe players found easy to fall out with. I feel that with 'Gate, for example, he just wasn't seeing eye to eye with JG. Same with Ugo, for definite.

Again, as the club is now, there isn't tension between players and manager.

This is what saddens me about GB wanting to go, and what I guess the article is saying. GB has seemingly had his head turned by Gerrard and Benitez's public and private attempts to lure him to Anfield with promises of greener grass and a few games in the Euro Telly league.

He doesn't need to go there to improve his career, but if he does so, he will, in my view damage Villa's prospects for a time at least.

I don't have it within me to dislike GB for what he's done, but I have lost respect for him. It's certainly saddened me in terms of the way the league is, with all this top 4 clubs blathering and their behaviour (arsenal, perhaps, excepted) But Man U Chelsea and Liverpool have no class in the way they deal with people, no respect for other clubs.

I'd love to see the biters bit - Ronaldo go off to Madrid, Torres to Chelsea, and Chelsea to fall apart. Normally, I'm not bothered abut other clubs, or other team's players (other than hoping small heath vanish from the face of the earth). Now though, I have a strong distaste for Sky's favourites and their ill mannered manouevrings.

As for GB, yes, he's all but gone now. It won't be right seeing him in a Liverpool shirt. Time will tell whether he gets what he is being sold, there, or whether Villa will do the better from the move. Had he gone abroad, I'd have followed his progress with interest, at Liverpool, I'll ignore him. Wrong club, wrong time, wrong move. Just wrong all round.

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To be fair to southgate, in his biography he states that the reason he went off to middlesborough was that they were willing to try to make that next level. You can laugh at the fact that they've tried to do it with people like bryan robson at the helm, but you have to say, in comparison to the Villa under Doug Ellis, middlesborough were different class in terms of ambition. No only were they a team with a chairman who was willing to put his hand in his pocket, he was willing to give his managers a really good long stint at building a team, rather than dougs '3 years and old out' policy. They didn't make it to the top, but they did try, something which Doug Ellis's Villa never did, and that was his reason for leaving.

Barry's done a similar thing to Southgate in many ways, he's made himself a hero at the Villa, the difference to soutgate is that the Villa are a team on the up, Liverpool are a team in termoil. There's nothing that Liverpool are achaiving that can't be acheived at the Villa given a bit of time. Liverpool are never going to win a title with the current regime in charge and any success they've had in europe has come with a large chunk of good fortune too. He may win things at Liverpool, he may not, but it's not a move for the long term, it's a move for what he can get his mitts on over the next year or two. I'm sure silverware may figure in his equations, but I think he'd be suprised if he didn't get a considerable pay rise that comes along with champions league clubs too.

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I think Barry might prefer the Yorke scenario (he will clearly use the one that suits his position best) as he did go off and collect medals that he would not have with us. But, for every move that proves with hinsight the right one for the player if not the club (Yorke and before that I would suggest Rioch and Blanchflower) there are as you have demonstrated those who with hindsight would have done better staying with us. I hope that Barry will prove to be one of them and will look back when he walks out the door at Anfield as an ex-England regular, a former club captain and as a player who played only when it suited Rafa; at what might have been if he had shown loyalty and stayed where he was so appreciated.

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I think Barry might prefer the Yorke scenario (he will clearly use the one that suits his position best) as he did go off and collect medals that he would not have with us. But, for every move that proves with hinsight the right one for the player if not the club (Yorke and before that I would suggest Rioch and Blanchflower) there are as you have demonstrated those who with hindsight would have done better staying with us. I hope that Barry will prove to be one of them and will look back when he walks out the door at Anfield as an ex-England regular, a former club captain and as a player who played only when it suited Rafa; at what might have been if he had shown loyalty and stayed where he was so appreciated.

had Yorke Bosnich and Southgate stayed, they could all have won those medals with Villa. That was a really, really good team

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I think it is a very good post... and i think if Barry could see that post right now he would be hoping that what happened to Bosnich wont happen to him... i personally hope it wouldnt if he left, he is a model professional and has been committed to villa for a large portion of his life and deserves success... but success that is possible with villa in a few years.

-Bosnich is a sad case, he was at the top of his game with us and became a nobody in a short period of time... no wonder he turned to drugs and ended his career there and then.

-Yorke, yes could have helped villa to achieve but cant complain about how he was seen at man utd... justified his choice- even if i wasnt happy with it.

we will see what the future holds for Barry but hindsight is a beautiful thing and he may look back and regret it if he becomes a nobody and villa becomes a huge force in the premier league.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Im looking at this in a different way.

Weve had the best of Barry.

What would we normally do for a player who had been a loyal servant for as many years as GB has been.

GIVE HIM A TESTIMONIAL!

To try to screw 18 million out of another club is a total and utter lack of respect for an excellent servant for Villa.

Its nothing more than sour grapes.

In a funny way I really hope Liverpool pull out of this ridiculous hostage taking.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Villrevolution, Do you honestly believe that Villa are going to become a force in the future ? More chance of MON winning the mr Jamaica relaxed man of the year award !

Villa are a mid tabl team at best, and any good players they ever have will be bought by the bigger clubs who can win things.

You are a feeder club now, so live with it.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Gareth barry could stay at Villa for another 30 years and he still wouldn't win anything or play in any big games.

When did you really have a big game ??? Birmingham ?? WOW no wonder he wants to leave. :bonk:

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Villrevolution, Do you honestly believe that Villa are going to become a force in the future ? More chance of MON winning the mr Jamaica relaxed man of the year award !

Villa are a mid tabl team at best, and any good players they ever have will be bought by the bigger clubs who can win things.

You are a feeder club now, so live with it.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Gareth barry could stay at Villa for another 30 years and he still wouldn't win anything or play in any big games.

When did you really have a big game ??? Birmingham ?? WOW no wonder he wants to leave. :bonk:

Sign up to another football teams forum, to have a cheap dig. I feel sorry for you, get a more interesting pastime. How sad.

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Villrevolution, Do you honestly believe that Villa are going to become a force in the future ? More chance of MON winning the mr Jamaica relaxed man of the year award !

Villa are a mid tabl team at best, and any good players they ever have will be bought by the bigger clubs who can win things.

You are a feeder club now, so live with it.

Wake up and smell the coffee.

Gareth barry could stay at Villa for another 30 years and he still wouldn't win anything or play in any big games.

When did you really have a big game ??? Birmingham ?? WOW no wonder he wants to leave. :bonk:

Yawn.

One thing we can tell from Barry is that he cleary doesn't have ambitions of winning the Premier League, why else would he go to Liverpool? ay as well have gone to Barnsley to be honest.

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