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Dave’s Villa Blog

GARETH A GO GO

08-06-2009

The departure of Gareth Barry has been greeted with monastic silence by the Villa hierarchy. Dave Woodhall says it’s time to speak up to reassure the fans.

The season’s done and dusted, Villa managed to relegate a surprisingly-uninterested Newcastle and we can look forward to what the summer will bring.

One thing it’s already brought is the departure of Gareth Barry. Within hours of the transfer window opening Barry was up the M6 to Manchester City, a surprisingly quick move bearing in mind the drawn out farce of his on-off transfer to Liverpool last summer.

Barry gave the reason for his ultimately failed move to Anfield as a desire to play in the Champions League. That’s fair enough – it would have taken Villa at least three years to be in the position where Liverpool were last summer, and by that time Barry wouldn’t be in much of a position to benefit.

However, he’s now moved with indecent haste to a club who, for all their promises of money to spend and transfer targets being lined up, at the moment have less to offer than Villa do. Expect, of course for the enormous wage increase Barry will collect for joining City. He’s not going for monetary reason, though. Oh no. He’s afraid of “going stale” and “falling into a comfort zone.” That’s what he said in his letter to fans last week and who ever heard of a professional footballer telling fibs?

Barry’s move has been followed by stories that john Carew an Ashley young may also be leaving. It’s only to be expected that talented players will be linked with other clubs, and I hope that Villa will be publicly denying these stories at the earliest opportunity.

The point has been made in several quarters that Villa have kept quiet over the Barry transfer, and it’s time a statement of intent was issued from either Martin O’Neill or Randy Lerner. Neither man is noted for his high media profile, but there are times when things have to be done, however unwillingly.

Randy was undoubtedly wrong-footed when he talked about the possibility of Barry staying in one of his rare interviews last week, only to have events move faster than he anticipated. His reluctance to talk to the media is in refreshing contrast to his predecessor, who would be in the papers every time a player moved house let alone clubs.

But there are the first rumblings of dissent amongst Villa supporters who, until now, have given both manager and chairman almost unanimous backing from the day they arrived.

If only to prove that the Randy Revoluition is still on the right lines, and to help season ticket sales coming along, I’d like to see the chairman reassuring us that all is well, Gareth Barry will be the only major departure from Villa Park this summer and the players arriving will soon make us forget him.

And to finish – we’ve lost better players than Gareth Barry and been better off for it. Andy Gray, David Platt, Dwight Yorke, Gareth Southgate. They came, they played, they left. Aston Villa survived.

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