Date: 13th August 2008 at 8:24pm
Written by:

I know some will disagree and think things have gone too far this summer, but I hope the majority view this as nothing but good news !

What?

Gareth Barry has said he is happy to play in the Uefa Cup game against Icelandic team Ican’tspelltheirname tomorrow night.

In fact, much like Whitesnake many years ago (one for the old rockers) he is ‘ready and willing’.

Barry travelled with the squad this morning.

Martin O’Neill later explained on the official site:

‘I was at a League Managers’ Association meeting down in London, so I had to go down quite early. Therefore I didn’t get a chance to speak to Gareth, which I would have done. But John Robertson and Steve Walford spoke to him just after training. He was ready, willing and able to play, which is great.’

‘Last week I think he felt that the Liverpool move was going to take place. Now we don’t know what’s happening, so don’t think anybody’s in any sort of triumphalist mood. But he wants to play and that’s exceptionally good news. Our particular stance has never changed. He’s a class player and they’re hard to come by. We would prefer him to be playing for Aston Villa than playing against us.’

So if Barry is willing to play – and lets face it he is a well paid professional so he should play for his employers, then he obviously knows the Liverpool move is off or will be off as he would be cup tied and unable to play in the Champions League.

He isn’t a dummy, he knows Liverpool have embarrassed themselves and more importantly embarrassed our former skipper, not only that but have cost him some of the very high respect he was held in by Villa fans and any chance of a testimonial.

Still think, despite the saga through the summer, it is superb news that he now looks set to stay. Who knows, with a few more arrivals still to come, we might well match his ambitions and any talk of a move will be nothing other than a distant memory.