Date: 27th July 2008 at 11:01am
Written by:

Looks like another slow news day for the press concerning Villa!

The News of the World claim that Liverpool are about to abandon the long running Gareth Barry saga and will instead spend the money on Spurs striker Robbie Keane. If those reports are true the only other known interested party could be Arsenal and Arsene Wenger doesn’t usually spend such vast sums of money! Barry was left in no uncertain doubt yesterday by the fans at Villa Park that he would be more than welcome to stay as the Sunday Mercury and other papers picked up on. They report that Martin O’Neill has once again urged Barry to stay where he is wanted and indeed hero worshipped!

They say: Barry appeared to make peace with his manager and the Villa crowd as O’Neill’s men progressed into the UEFA Cup with victory over Odense.

I know the ladies who sit behind me yesterday, along with me and a few others gestured over to him whilst on the bench as he tried to look away from the numerous photographers taking snaps of him. He noticed, smiled and stuck his thumbs up. He must have been expecting the reception from hell yesterday, he got the opposite, even in this money mad world that surely must have meant something to a player who had been at Villa Park for 10 years? It will certainly have been a boost for the rest of the team as well as they have now seen what a class act the claret and blue army is. Hopefully a few prospective new signings will also have taken note!

The Sunday Telegraph also pick up on the Barry story and quote Martin O’Neill ‘We don’t want him to go. The price we are asking for Gareth Barry is a true and realistic price for a player so good, and really cheap for a quality player. Please don’t read into that anything else. I don’t want him to go. Liverpool not answering us for a week on certain things sends out a real message. This player has been great at Villa for 10 years and the crowd came out very strongly in his favour. We need Gareth Barry at the club.’

The Sunday Mercury also report that Steve Sidwell wants to emulate David Platt (and Gareth Barry surely?!) but using the claret and blue as a springboard to wearing The Three Lions.

And that appears to be that. One whisper on our forum is that Curtis Davies might be back in time to play a part in the Reading friendly next Saturday, now that would be a boost, as Reza (a member of Vital Villa and the dude who runs the South African Villa fans association) said ok….Freddie gets injured…unfortunately…and we don’t have left back cover…..now unless we make a hurried and forced left back purchase……which is what we needed anyway…….Gareth is the only recognised left back so to speak.. watch this space mate….Freddie’s misfortune might well lead to MON being quoted from Monday saying ‘we need Barry more than ever’