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Barry saga leaving a sour taste

Phil McNulty | 12:34 GMT, Friday, 4 July 2008

It would not be summer without a transfer saga - and with Cristiano Ronaldo taking a few days off from telling people what they want to hear depending whether they are Spanish or English - Gareth Barry has kindly stepped into the breach.

Barry will leave Villa and end up at Liverpool. Liverpool know that. Aston Villa know that.

But what is taking place in between is an undignified mess that has done no favours for Liverpool, their manager Rafael Benitez and Barry.

Benitez is not flavour of the month at Villa Park, and to understand why we might go back to words that came from his own mouth in early May when one of his players was attracting a little attention.

He said: "A £15m price tag for Crouch would not be unreasonable."

A price of £15m is apparently not unreasonable for a player he studiously ignored for much of last season and who is not a regular in the England side - according to Benitez logic.

The logic, however, looks twisted when set against his opening offer for a player who is now a fixture in Fabio Capello's England side and who was a regular for Villa last season, delivering a string of outstanding performances.

O'Neill said Benitez can "come up and talk about a £10m offer which includes some money and some unnamed players which would make Gareth worth about £2m."

Villa's manager was not only furious that the bid became public. He was furious with the bid itself.

And since then relations between the clubs have gone downhill fast. Offers increased and rejected. Barry criticising O'Neill in print. O'Neill responding by banning Barry from Villa's premises. Villa firing off invective in Liverpool's direction.

I reckon Villa's price tag is ridiculous, but so was Benitez's arithmetic - especially when he reportedly wants £16m for Xabi Alonso, the man he intends to replace with Barry.

O'Neill has seen Manchester United pay around £17m and £18m for Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick - an England duo ousted by Barry at international level - and wants a piece of that action himself.

Throw in the acrimony between the clubs and you can see why O'Neill is digging his heels in the face of Benitez's original tactics.

Liverpool will simply edge closer to the £18m price tag and hope Villa blink first - but pride is involved now and when that comes through the door common sense goes out of the window.

The Anfield hierarchy has hurdles to negotiate before Barry is standing underneath the "This Is Anfield" sign - and O'Neill's hostility towards Benitez has made the obstacles even more difficult to negotiate.

Liverpool's board, perfectly understandably, do not want to end up with both Alonso and Barry, especially as plenty of their fans do not actually regard one as massively better than the other.

They will be within their rights to tell Benitez he can have one but not both. And will want to use money from Alonso's sale to buy Barry.

I must confess I have never shared in the adoration of Alonso, indeed I've even been heard to whisper the words "vastly over-rated" when I thought no-one was listening.

Gareth Barry

And in Villa owner Randy Lerner, Liverpool are dealing with a man who would like an extra £18m in his club's bank account but is not actually desperate for it - making it much easier to back his manager's stance and make a very public point of principle.

Barry will make a point, with some justification, that he has given Villa 10 years of very solid service and should be allowed to leave and fulfil his wish to play Champions League football.

Sadly, even he will know that sentiment is an out of date currency in football.

Liverpool will get Barry, but they may have to end up a lot closer to Villa's asking price than they would like thanks to a few bold words from their manager and his unusual grasp of how players might be valued.

Benitez will then hope Barry is worth the trouble he has put his board through to get his main summer transfer target - he certainly needs him to forge a partnership with Steven Gerrard and push Liverpool a lot closer to the title than they were last season.

And once that is done, we will move on to the next saga. Maybe even back to Ronaldo.

Still, where would we be without a spot of handbags between clubs and managers before a deal reaches its inevitable conclusion?

We may shake our heads and question the sanity of football - but let's be honest we love it really.

I'm keen to get your views on this so get in touch.

Do you think Benitez has used the right tactics in doing this deal? Is Barry over-priced? Are Villa being too hard-nosed?

Comments

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  • 1. At 3:08pm on 04 Jul 2008, Slabber wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 2. At 3:08pm on 04 Jul 2008, Redthemadsheep2001 - LUHG wrote:

    villa arent being hard nosed. yes the 18m price tag is steep. but barry is a key player for villa, who dont acually need money. so liverpool should really either stump up or shut up

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  • 3. At 3:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, jammin89 wrote:

    I agree totally with your post. How can Benitez think crouch is worth 15 million, and barry also worth the same? Ever since his assistant left he hasn't been the same. Or was it when he got that silly beard moustache thingy..

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  • 4. At 3:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, heinzeforking wrote:

    The first person to confirm that a bid had been made was Martin O Neill so I think that may have been worth a mention Phil.

    On the Crouch comparison, I'm not sure if you're aware of this but strikers do tend to fetch a much heftier fee than midfielders so it really isn't as straight forward a comparison as you make out.

    Lastly, why should Benitez do anything other than try to get players in on the cheap and out for as much as possible? Surely that's part of his and Rick Parry's job and for an experienced journo, a tactic you'd expect to see in any negotiation?

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  • 5. At 3:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

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  • 6. At 3:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, MrT wrote:

    Totally agree with you on this one Phil, in fact I made the point on another subject recently.

    The only thing to add is that you forgot the other bit of Benitez's delusion - apparently Liverpool's reserve keeper (Scott Carson) who Benitez has hardly ever picked is also worth £10 million.

    I just hope that someone else comes in with a bid of £18million for Barry and gazumps Liverpool.

    Oh I'm not an Aston Villa fan.

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  • 7. At 3:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, Were Ngoging to Ibiza wrote:

    Why rafa wants to sell Pete for 15 mil i dont know, we should let him go to fratton park for 10. If Harry Redknapp doesnt know the real value of a player then i dont know who does. I'll be sad to see Xabi go as despite what Phil says, he has the potential to be a boss of the midfield in the same vein as xavi, pirlo etc but i think a spanish or italian club would suit him more so it would be worth selling him to pay Villa's asking price which when compared to hargreaves and carrick is completely reasonable. Barry is proven both in the english league and also with Steven Gerrard so come on Rafa lets just get this over with and let Villa get on with their summer. Oh and we need to get rid of Carson too the price tag on him is obscene.

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  • 8. At 3:15pm on 04 Jul 2008, Joe_Singh wrote:

    We do not know if Barry is a fixture in the England team until England play a competitive fixture. To say Barry is a regular is only speculation at this point.

    The saga was made public by someone at Villa and MoN esculated it which didn't help. I don't blame MoN for holding out for more money just like he is with Crouch. Even Rafa knows he was never gonna get 15m for Crouch but tried to get as much as possible. Bear in mind that Crouch is the most prolific England striker in the England side over the last 3 or so years.

    Alonso is younger than Barry and yet to hit his peak and will be better than Barry(In my eyes he is a better player than Barry) At the same time I can see where Barry could offer Liverpool a bit more and the idea was to make a profit on the deal.

    I think Rafa should pull out of the deal at 15m and just keep Alonso.

    As for the article itself, a load of one sided drivel

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  • 9. At 3:15pm on 04 Jul 2008, Imagine Reason wrote:

    How can anyone take Benitez's public valuation of his own players and use it against him in a genuine transfer bid? I'm no fan of Liverpool or of their manager, but this is comparing apples to oranges.

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  • 10. At 3:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, Derek Fallon wrote:

    I think Liverpool should break the bank for Barry. I think he is miles better than Alonso who is too slow in my opinion. We have got the most out of him and if someone is prepared to pay £16m then take the omney and run. Barry is faster and scores more goals. Plus he has an understanding with Gerrard.

    Rafa clearly believes in this 4-4-1-1 formation with Gerrard playing just off Torres. But I would be worried about our lack of firepower if Torres and or Gerrard got injured

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  • 11. At 3:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, Born Bred and will die A Blue wrote:

    Can someone please explain why Rafa beneathus wants to sell a player he values at 16 mill and replace him with a player he values at10/12 mill?.

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  • 12. At 3:17pm on 04 Jul 2008, jaypcoop wrote:

    Yeah.....£18mill? No. Not for a minute. Crouch? £15 Mill? No. But it was a flippant comment by Benitez and one that has bit him in the derriere.

    DO we need Barry? Probably not, but I think he would work well. Better than Alonso? Maybe, but only just.

    And O'neill was the one who let the bid go public so he should stop sucking lemons and dissing LFC. Plank.

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  • 13. At 3:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, NorthfieldVillain wrote:

    I back MON and Villa 100%. If Barry were to actually put in a transfer request, and thus kiss goodbye to reported cool £3m, he might get his move to Liverpool on their terms.

    But the way that Liverpool have gone about their business from day one, including the repeated silly low bids, just makes a once great club look like a laughing stock.

    Thankfully Villa, with the ever classy Randy Lerner and O'Neill in charge, continue to grow in reputation.

    Barry's once golden reputation, though, is gone for good in the blink of a red top headline. Silly man, thanks for the good memories but shame you had to sour them in such an unseemly way.

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  • 14. At 3:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, DaveWalnut wrote:

    The valuation of Barry is of what value he is to O'Neill, as the captain of the club and Villa's best player he means a lot. If that's 18 mil to O'Neill fair enough, I'd not want to let him go!

    As a Liverpool fan my concern, given the fact we have so little to spend on transfers, is that Benitez is spending his money on a position that can be filled by Mascherano, Alonso, Lucas and Plessis. Whereas on the right of midfield we have Pennant or Kuyt.

    I know on which position I'd be spending my money.

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  • 15. At 3:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, boringname wrote:

    Having read your views on Alonso, I would say your knowledge of football is 'vastly over-rated'.

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  • 16. At 3:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, lonemanger wrote:

    £18 million for an 'engine-room' midfielder does seem excessive to me but then again I'm an Arsenal fan and we just seem to spread our transfer funds across a far greater number of young and relatively unknown players.

    If you compare Barry's value with Benitez's valuation of his own players £18 million is not only totally consistant but actually begins to look quite reasonable.

    I mean come on, £15 million for Crouch? If that's a fair valuation then maybe Adebayor really is worth more than £30 million.

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  • 17. At 3:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, secondLiverpool-FC wrote:

    I think that AV are being a bit unrealistic in their valution of Barry, but they know, sadly, that eventually, Liverpool will be forced to stump up the cash and pay their fee. Gerrard wants Barry at Liverpool so Liverpool buy Barry. That is the main reason I believe why LFC are still chasing him. For any other players we might have dropped our interest and gone somewhere else.

    TBH, I feel as well that both clubs have a part to blame in this. Benitez is admittedly a bit far-fetched shall we say in his valutions but O'Neill sat at Euro 2009 commentating while his skipper was in indecision. O'Neill has also been very sensitive and emotional about the whole thing. This was not needed.

    If we eventually get Barry, I'll be pleased but only if we sign other players such as Bentley/Downing in this transfer window, otherwise I feel that the money has been wasted on a player we didn't really need when we already have Mascherano/Gerrard/Lucas all in the middle and that is without Alonso being included. Bentley and Downing are much better prospects for the future.

    And, if handled right, I suspect at least one of them would be cheaper than Barry too.

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  • 18. At 3:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, jamesiedick wrote:

    As a Villa fan I think Barry has been a loyal servant and a solid player for us, but a Champions League and Premier League star he is not. £18 million is about 5 or 6 million over valued and if we can get anything around that figure then I'm quite happy to see him leave for pastures new. He is a solid midfield player, and if we can snap up Sidwell for 5/6 million then thats plenty of cash to go towards a David Bentley or a Scott Carson.

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  • 19. At 3:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    I do not blame Benitez for trying to get a competitive price for Barry, but he cannot have it both ways.

    He cannot claim a player he does not even play regularly is worth £15m and then cobble together a £10m bid for Barry.

    Another point to make about Crouch is that he only has one year left on his current deal, which also makes Benitez's claim that he is worth £15m questionable.

    I reckon Liverpool will be lucky to get anything above £10m for Crouch - and I would regard that as a fair return on their initial £7m investment.

    Put it this way, as the clock ticks towards the new season, Crouch's value will go down not up.

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  • 20. At 3:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, heinzeforking wrote:

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  • 21. At 3:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, LFCSnumber8 wrote:

    "But what is taking place in between is an undignified mess that has done no favours for Liverpool, their manager Rafael Benitez and Barry."

    You say this, yet when actually talking of the details you talk of:

    "Villa firing off invective in Liverpool's direction." and "O'Neill's hostility towards Benitez"

    So WHERE exactly does this portray Benitez in a bad light. He's said little or nothing on the matter. O'Neill is the one shooting his mouth off constantly in the papers. It was HIM who came out and mentioned Barry in connection with Liverpool, LONG before Benitez mentioned him. Liverpool may have offered a low amount for him, and may overvalue Crouch and particularly Carson, but what club doesn't?

    Your constant sniping towards Benitez has grown increasingly tiresome over the last two seasons, any chance you could change the record or hand over these blogs to someone without such a blatant agenda?

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  • 22. At 3:20pm on 04 Jul 2008, george smith wrote:

    What is everybody getting excited about. The transfer system is a market place. No science is involved only barter. Benitez is entitled to play it the way he wants. £65 million for Ronaldo, £36 million for Adebayor, £10 million for Carson. You get what you can when you can. O'Neil has never got over the fact that Barry wants to leave and he just wants to be awkward - but he is entitled to do that. It will all be forgotten in 2 weeks time when Big Phil gets sacked

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  • 23. At 3:21pm on 04 Jul 2008, joebloggins wrote:

    There seems to always be something a little unpleasant when Benitez is involved in the transfer market. He puts an absolutely ridiculous figure on Crouch when Portsmouth made a pretty generous offer. He knows what Villa want for Barry but seems reluctant to talk business with them. Yes I suppose he is in a situation where he has to generate money in order to get the expensive player/s he wants. Other managers like Moyes don't have a heap of money either but they don't seem to generate the bad feeling all around the transfer market that Rafa does.

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  • 24. At 3:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To boringname....Ask Liverpool fans what they think of Alonso's displays in the last two seasons and I bet plenty will say he has not fulfilled his initial promise.

    Alonso has, in my opinion, stood still and been over-shadowed by Javier Mascherano and, of course, Steven Gerrard.

    He did not make the firstpchoice starting line-up for Spain in Euro 2008 and, unlike Cesc Fabregas, did not force his way in through sheer weight of performances.

    The more interesting question is - will the replacement of Alonso with Barry make the crucial difference to Liverpool's title ambitions this season?

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  • 25. At 3:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, AndiBilalKrasniqi wrote:

    Benitez is the joker he thinks he can slap a 15 million price tag on crouch who hardly plays for Liverpool and hasent been much involved in the England Squad over the last year or so, where Barry has and he wont pay the simple 18 million Asked which i think is fair
    Benitez is a fool no one will pay that sort of money for crouch but someone will for Barry
    Benitez over prices his players and thinks he can get money out of it the other day i must of heard him say 15 million for vornin (Sorry about the spelling).

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  • 26. At 3:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, matthew_dawson wrote:

    Yeah, I'm no Liverpool fan (I support Arsenal), and I do agree with you there is some unreasonable behaviour from both camps.

    However, if it was the beloved Sir Alex Ferguson, we wouldn't get articles saying how unreasonable he is. He has done far worse things in the transfer market than Benitez. You journalists target Benitez easily, yet you chicken out and try to be so polite towards Ferguson. It's ridiculous.

    Why don't you write an article accusing Man Utd over double standards over the Ronaldo saga? Nobody's allowed to pursue Ronaldo, but Man Utd are allowed to pursue anyone they want.

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  • 27. At 3:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, jc_villa789 wrote:

    Excellent article, but I think that the most alarming point of this whole "saga" is that Liverpool FC are remarkably underfunded this summer. How can they be expected to compete in the so-called "big 4" if they haven't got the money.

    Benitez is using bully-boy tactics to try and unsettle the clubs around him. Look at the apparent situation with Spurs and Robbie Keane.

    In the past, we would have folded had such an offer come in for one of our star players. Now, we are in a healthy position, no reason to sell, and Liverpool/Benitez do not like the fact that we will not be pushed around.

    Martin O'Neill had my complete and utter respect before this whole soap opera unfolded. It has increased tenfold with his handling of this transfer.

    If I was a Liverpool fan I would be embarrassed the way my club is being run.

    JC, AVFC

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  • 28. At 3:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To LFCSnumber8...I have no agenda against Liverpool or Benitez and it is ridiculous to suggest that.

    Then again, I've been accused of having agendas against Everton, Manchester United and Newcastle in the past so at least I'm even-handed.

    What I will say is that Benitez is under pressure to deliver a serious title challenge this year after two season without a trophy.

    Liverpool fans will, rightly, expect more than a cup run this season and so will the club's board - a fair demand in my view.

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  • 29. At 3:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, Azy.Ninja wrote:

    This is a shambles. A mess that both clubs can do without, but not entirely Benitez's fault. Why MON is getting irate about something being done publicly is beyond me. He made it public, NOT RAFA. The first blow struck in the media was when asked about something that was merely speculation at the time MON starting slating Liverpool's alleged first offer as derisory. By this point LFC had in no way stated that they were bidding for Barry. Get a grip MON and AVFC and straighten up. I for one think we should simply say fine, our valuation is £x if you want £y then tough. Sell him or sit him in the stand. They will soon let him come for a compromise price. MON needs to stop being so stubborn and childish and LFC need to move closer to the valuation if we are that desperate for him. Only person suffering here is Barry, simply for wanting to ply his trade against the best in the world in the UCL, and who can blame him?

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  • 30. At 3:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, Olearyforengland wrote:

    This is an excellent post although you do seem to gloss over Barry's bizarre outburst. I can appreciate that he is frustrated by not being able to achieve his 'dream' - which, lets be honest, could well be sitting on Liverpool's bench next season rather than playing. Has everyone forgotten Mascherano? - but his personal attack on O'Neill is so out of keeping with a person I had taken to be a mild-mannered, sensible, model profession. Yes, as a Villa fan, I can admit to being frustrated that Barry does not see his ambitions matched by Villa's but his attack on MON - a man, lets not forget who has made Barry the regular international he is - seemed both completely unnecessary and genuinely shocking. I just hope at his press interview for Liverpool he does the decent thing and apologises unreservedly for his behaviour. MON is a decent individual who will no doubt forgive Barry his excesses. But I sincerely doubt the Villa faithful will forgive this undeserved attack on the man we call God. Given Barry's loyal service (I say loyal, no big club has come in for him before) that seems a real shame but it is entirely of his own making and for what?

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  • 31. At 3:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, pool_man_paul wrote:

    You can't really blame Benitez - Liverpool want to challenge for the premiership but he doesn't have the funds that the likes of Chelsea have. He needs to sell players.

    he may have talked the talk about Crouch (£15m) but everyone knows he'll only get £9m from Pompey.

    I'm not sure if Barry is worth the £18m that Villa are asking but in todays ridiculous transfer climate it may be worth a bargain.

    Both O'Neill and Benitez are to blame for the undignified public squabbling but these guys are under sever pressure.

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  • 32. At 3:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, crimlis wrote:

    I read the first bit about Crouchy, and was furious im not to botherd what the rest was about, but you said its stupid crouch be valued at £15 ill tell you where your wrong, hes second fiddle to Kuyt who started each game for Holland so must be worth a litte cash not only that but second fiddle to TORRES who is always going to be first pick!! just becuse he played 3rd choice after the worlds best striker and Kuyt a worker who copes with Torres better is utter ribbish in my opinion!!

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  • 33. At 3:28pm on 04 Jul 2008, Joe_Singh wrote:

    Phil I think you may have overlooked Alonso's injury problems over the last season. As far as the season before goes I think its fair to say that our whole team were poor including the likes of Carra and Gerrard.

    Last season whenever Alonso looked to be coming into form he would get injured. The ARsenal game at Anfield comes to mind.

    His better years are ahead of him.

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  • 34. At 3:28pm on 04 Jul 2008, Pacmanjunior wrote:

    How big is Oneill's ego??? Barry was 100% correct in his unauthorised interview last week look at how Fergie is moving heaven and earth to keep Ronaldo, in the end it was O'neill crying in the papers and on TV this is just another transfer to Rafa, if Liverpool leave it alone, will anyone match 15m I don't think so will Villa just let him rot, I don't think so either.

    Even Mark Delaney who played for Villa and works for Villa did another unauthorised interview where he said O'neill would have jumped to play for Liverpool.

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  • 35. At 3:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, jamesiedick wrote:

    I don't think Barry for Alonso will make the slightest bit of difference. I think Alonso is a quality player. But for those who don't think so, including the Liverpool management, Mascherano is their chosen man in that position. They paid £20 million I believe for him so what says Barry will even start? Knowing Benitez's ridiculous rotation policy the pair of them will get half the games and Liverpool will once again just scrape 4th place.

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  • 36. At 3:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To matthew_dawson...not that one is it?

    I take your point about Sir Alex Ferguson. I suspect there was chuckling up and down the land at his comments regarding Real Madrid's aggressive behaviour in the transfer market.

    Poor little United getting bullied by nasty Real Madrid.

    Let's just say I suspect sympathy has been in short supply.

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  • 37. At 3:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, nialliv_diva wrote:

    True, Gareth Barry has been a faithful servant to the Villa for some 10 years but one must question his decision to go to a particular Sunday tabloid and state the things that he did. To say that MON has not shown Barry enough desire to keep him at the club is ridiculous. Barry knows as well as the next person that the last person MON would have wanted to loose this summer would have been himself. By doing this Barry has left himself in an awkard position not only in respect of his own personal carrer but at the same time with that of the Villa fans that had grown to greatly appreciate and respect the captain of their club. I can completely understand his desire to play CL football but at the same time he has done himself no favours by his actions over the last few weeks. It is obvious to see his position at Villa is now untenable, it is just a matter of time.

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  • 38. At 3:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    To the people who suggest MON made the bid public....i seem to recall the whole reason Villa got so angry about this in the first place was the bid was leaked to a local newspaper in Liverpool the day before a vital Villa match....

    Also, a point on valuations. To Aston Villa Garath Barry is worth £18m+. Realisticly, they are not going to be able to replace him with a player of similar quality. They don't need the money, and don't particulary want to sell him either. Therefore if Aston Villa suggest the fee is £18m then its up to Liverpool to pay up or admit they can't afford the price and let everybody get on with their lives.

    As for Gareth Barry, he has been ill advised with his News Of The World interview. The fact he won't put in an official transfer request to try and therefore secure himself a £3m parting gift from villa also stinks. You'd have to draw the conclusion that this will be eventually resolved by Barry HAVING to put in an official transfer request and liverpool getting him for the £15m they are prepared to pay. Effetively Villa then get the £18m they want.

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  • 39. At 3:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, jamesiedick wrote:

    to pacmanjunior:

    "How big is Oneill's ego??? Barry was 100% correct in his unauthorised interview last week look at how Fergie is moving heaven and earth to keep Ronaldo"

    How big is Barry's ego! He's no Ronaldo! He's Gareth Barry, a guy who's just forced his way into the England team. Ronaldo scored 40 goals + last season and is United's best player by far, and thanks to Ashley Young's performance's last season Gareth Barry can't even claim to be Villa's best player.

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  • 40. At 3:33pm on 04 Jul 2008, Vali74 wrote:

    Neither club is short of money, so each manager is simply trying to get on over the other.

    O'Neill is right is in valuation, as he is comparing Barry to fees paid for Hargreaves and Carrick. He doesn't need to, or want to sell his captain and best player, so why shouldn't he get the best deal he can.

    Benitez is simply trying to get Barry on the cheap, but if he really wants him, he will pay what Villa want eventually.

    The question is will Barry make the difference at Liverpool? Is Barry any better than Alonso? If they are are looking to sell Crouch, who will they buy if they want a partner for Torres? If Torres is to play up front on his own, who should they buy as the attacking wide support? Kuyt has scored important goals from wide right, but is he good enough to turn Liverpool into title challengers?

    My thought is that Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal will again battle it out for the title, and anything Liverpool are doing is just to fend off Everton, Spurs and Villa to stay in 4th.

    That's the top 7 for you aiming for Europe, the rest are pretty much happy to stay in the Premier League.

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  • 41. At 3:34pm on 04 Jul 2008, BigLRed wrote:

    This is one of the most one sided pieces I've read in a while. Firstly, all of us know that Rafa has placed the £15m tag on Crouchie because he wants to get the best value out of him. Wouldn't you do the same?? We all know he will be sold for about £10m. However, with Barry Villa want £18m and won't accept anything less than that!! For a player that has been largely anonymous, apart from last season, that is a stupid amount of money to demand. If I was Rafa I would not offer a penny more than LFC have already offered. Lets see how stubborn they really are if they are a player and £15m out of pocket.
    Similarly, £10m asked for Carson is never going to be met, but surely he is a £6m goalie isn't he?? Ask high and see what you get, thats the aim of the game.
    Also, I don't think Benitez has done anything bad. He declared that he wants a player (which most of the clubs do anyway), the player says he wants to come, so lets stop farting about and seal the deal.

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  • 42. At 3:34pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To0 AzyLFC...we all know how this is going to end.

    Barry will be a Liverpool player, possibly very soon - but Martin O'Neill does not look like a man who is in the mood to compromise to me.

    He will know Liverpool will want Barry registered in time for the Champions League - although Benitez will bank on Villa not wanting the disaffected player lurking in the background.

    This could just be the place where middle ground can be found.

    It is also sad for Barry that a player who has given such good service to a club sees his career at Villa Park end with him receiving such savage criticism from fans.

    Sadly, this is just par for the course. As football fans we've all felt betrayed by players we idolised at one time or another.

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  • 43. At 3:35pm on 04 Jul 2008, Vox Populi wrote:

    Xabi Alonso is 'vastly overrated'?

    For the record, Xabi Alonso is a better player than Gareth Barry.

    If anyone is vastly overrated, then it is Gareth Barry.

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  • 44. At 3:36pm on 04 Jul 2008, BertieBru wrote:

    I agree with NorthfieldVillain that Barry's golden reputation has gone for good. Ashley Cole destroyed his in something of the same way and he has never been seen in the same light since.

    The biggest joke is that with Barry Villa were rising inexorably and with the steady improvement of a young side could well have expected to be in the top four at the end of the coming season. They might still do that and push Liverpool down a place or two.

    It would be the laugh of the 2009 if Barry missed Liverpool's Champions League fixtures through injury and saw Villa grab Liverpool's Champions League place.

    Bring it on.

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  • 45. At 3:37pm on 04 Jul 2008, grandRedLad wrote:

    I think this is one of the most shoddy, one sided pieces of writing I have ever seen.

    So far as I can see all the public comments have so far come from MON and not Rafa. Barry has served AVFC for 10 years without giving them any grief so far as I am aware and perhaps foolishly has given an interview to NOTW expressing his disappointment with MON and AVFC. Gareth, please note this paper is not well read on Merseyside!

    Anyway, back to the point, how on earth does our amateur journalist consider Rafa and LFC have acted so badly as he claims???? Surely any club should be trying to get players in for as little as possible and out for as much as possible??? No actually I tell you what we'll give Villa whatever they want for GB and Pompey can have Crouchy on a free to keep everyone happy.

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  • 46. At 3:37pm on 04 Jul 2008, djmacca1 wrote:

    Phil - and everyone else who keeps comparing the barry situation with crouch

    - Rafa did come out and say crouch is value at £15 million. true. - but he's not gonna say he's worth £9million is he? - cause then the bids will come in at 7-8 mililion

    - He has rejected a bid of £9million from portsmouth but I'd bet my house that if a £10million bid came in he'd accept it.

    ---

    this is not comparable to the barry situation at all. O'neill says £18m and rejects £15mil.

    --

    Inmy opinion players are worth whatever they're worth to they're club. If Liverpool dont think Barry is worth the amount stipulated by MON - then go and look elsewhere.

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  • 47. At 3:37pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mind the windows Timo wrote:

    Little one sided this view. MoN made it public note Benitez. Perhaps an underhand tactic to look like the good guy / victim.

    Barry is a good player, and I believe that having English stars in the team can only be a good thing.

    Carson is an England international Keeper. So £8 - £10 million is the going rate

    As for the ridiculous comparisons with Crouch ... get a grip people. He'll go for £10Million.

    However if we are in the world of the ridiculous. Crouch's international record stands up much better than a certain Wayne Rooney's. So Wayne not worth £15 million?

    Well actually I doubt he is but you won't here many other people saying that

    As for all this acrimony over Benetiz in the transfer market, please please please name me another incident? Just one.


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  • 48. At 3:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, Derek Johnson wrote:

    I am just astonished you have a job McNumpty, your constant whines about all things Benitez bore me to tears.

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  • 49. At 3:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, BillyWhizz100 wrote:

    It's all about good business! Start by asking for a high price; the customer comes in with an offer vastly below that; ask for a little bit less; the customer ups their offer; etc. etc.

    I don't think Benitez really expects to get £15 million for Crouch. And I don't think O'Neill should really expect £18 million for Barry. There's being sensible and then there's being stubborn. I think both managers are a little bit guilty of the latter.

    I'm a Liverpool fan, but I won't criticize O'Neill for simply trying to do a bit of good business. And I'm not going to criticize Benitez for trying it on either.

    And while I think Mr McNulty's views lean slightly in favour of the BBC's very own pundit supreme, I can't disagree with his sentiment that yes, we all do love "a spot of handbags" in the close season.

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  • 50. At 3:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, SvennGoranEriksson wrote:

    In what way has Bareth Garry 'ousted' Owen Hargreaves. Bareth has been on Villa his whole career. Surely if he had any talent whatsoever, he would have moved to a big club long ago. It just shows, one decent game for a poor English national team can go a long way. Bareth belongs on a mid-table Coka-Cola championship team. I've heard Wolves have put in an offer. A drunk, injured Hargreaves over a fit Bareth Garry anyday

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  • 51. At 3:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, jtstriker9 wrote:

    Who cares?? Another ridiculous transfer saga created by the press. If the media guys left this alone rather than make everything up (as usual) then Barry would be at Liverpool and Villa would have some money in the bank.

    Leave this 'spin' alone and concentrate on something important, like our severe lack of English talent in both players and managers.....

    Something for another time......

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  • 52. At 3:40pm on 04 Jul 2008, crimlis wrote:

    thehappybrain - If thats all McNulty does then get a new hobby stop whinging about Benitez hes a great manager!!

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  • 53. At 3:41pm on 04 Jul 2008, sconned wrote:

    Phil, I tend to agree with your comment about Alonso's overvaluation. But, comparing Barry to Hargreaves, give me Hargreaves any day. Younger and fitter. Barry is a single paced, single footed player, but, he will add much needed balance to the side. People as why ask so much for Crouch. I'll tell them why. Study his statististics in goal returns for minutes on the pitch for both Liverpool and England. He is the most prolific English forward. Due to his unusual appearance he doesn't get the same adulation from the media as the rumble tumble Rooney, but he scores more goals, fact. I'd like to see them keep Crouch. What is more worrying to me as a fan is the fact that Voronin hasn't been paid off. I do not believe that man is a footballer of any standard above that I ever participated in at Grays Athletic. I take that back, he'd even struggle there. He just cannot play football

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  • 54. At 3:42pm on 04 Jul 2008, Leachy_left_peg wrote:

    The truth of the matter is that English players are overpriced, we all know it and you need to wonder where it will end. In my opinion Crouch needs to get the hell out of liverpool as he is a good player and, despite often he comes up with the goods is still questioned by those with no football brain (including the media). He is far from a donkey target man and is also an England international, But I feel for him because Benitez is asking silly money for a player he rarely uses and quite obviously is not in his plans. Barry needs to be carefull because for England he has been our more attacking Macalele enabling Gerrard to push forward, He needs to start every week and needs to play in the middle but is that gonna happen with Mashcerano who does exactly the same job but attacks less? Benitez isnt know for his attacking football so the likelyhood is Barry will play a couple in the middle and Barry will be chucked out on the left unless he plays 5 across the middle and Torres up top,which I guess is possible (in which case why buy Keane)?? . Im an Arsenal fan and would love to have Barry in our side alongside Cesc but we have built a quality team within a budget that wont allow us to bid for any established and quality English players, Anyone remember Curtis Davis being tagged at £10m two years ago?? that was with NO premiership experience!!

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  • 55. At 3:42pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Olearyforengland...I suspect Barry's interview was borne out of frustration that the deal was dragging on.

    I am sure he was hoping for a quicker resolution. In fairness he has never been a person to rock the boat or make outburst before.

    You make a fair point, however, that O'Neill has played a major part in rejuvenating Barry's career.

    I am sure Barry will, at some point, acknowledge that but feelings are running very high at the moment.

    Is my memory playing tricks, or was he on the verge of moving to Portsmouth before O'Neill arrived?

    Maybe Villa (or Portsmouth) fans can let me know.

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  • 56. At 3:42pm on 04 Jul 2008, LFC518 wrote:

    Why do people think Liverpool should give there players away? Benitez is perfectly within his rights with his valuation of Peter Crouch, England's #1 scorer over the last 2 years. It's Liverpool's perogative whether they choose to play him or not, Martin O'Neill doesn't pick the Liverpool team, if he focussed more on Villa they might at least get in the Intertoto Cup.
    The bottom line is Barry wants a chance at a "big" club before his career ends. That doesn't entitle Villa to 'a ridicilious" transfer fee. Villa are the ones who keep going to the press, yet you choose to ridicule Benitez.The reality is Liverpool would like Barry, but don't need him. Just like Barry, there are plenty of top players who would love to be at a club like Liverpool.
    Martin O'Neill has made a mess of the situation and is now trying to dig out by blaming Benitez, this is the same guy who had no problem 'raping' the smaller clubs in Scotland while at Celtic.
    Rafa is doing business the way it should be done, looking for top value for his assets while trying to purchase at fair market value.
    Shut up Villa!!!

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  • 57. At 3:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    To Phil about Barry being criticised by fans:

    I honestly don't think Barry would of been given such a hard time if he had handled himself differently. He's done himself absolutely no favours with his comments and digs at MON, and his inability to put in an official transfer request.

    For a player who left with his head held high was Olaf Mellberg. He played a blinder in leaving on a FREE to Juventus, with fans dressing up as Vikings on the day he left to wish him well. He shows that players can leave clubs for new challenges and to better their careers with dignity.

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  • 58. At 3:44pm on 04 Jul 2008, AndiBilalKrasniqi wrote:

    IMO Gareth Barry is a Better player then Xavi Alonso, he is a proven player in the league and if he joined Liverpool him and Steven Gerrard would link up well together strengthening there midfield

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  • 59. At 3:45pm on 04 Jul 2008, NeverWalkAlone wrote:

    Obviously a Liverpool fan with my username. I am in two minds. There is no right or wrong in this. I do admit that Benitez has maybe underestimated O'Neills stance and Villa's. He maybe thought he would get his man easier than it has turned out.

    For me, Rafa has played too much games with this and pushed Villa too far. He should have thrown in a £15 million bid straight away instead of trying to save money with the silly bids he has made. But you cannot criticise Rafa, he is only trying to get a player with the limited funds on the table. Unhited, who have just done the double appear to have more cash than us, so I think Rafa should have been given a little extra cash for this transfer but thats not the case.

    Your correct, the transfer just needs to take placxe now and if you ask me, Villa have played the best game and hats of too them. Rafa should just fork up the money and stop playing his games as he is clearly not good at mind games with a trained Lawyer in O'Neill.

    £18 million for Barry? I would pay no more than £16.5, but you would really need to pay the full amount now as it would be embarrising is we missed this transfer now.

    What annoys me is we just can't pay the asking price, United and Chelsea will never have this problem, which is why they are title challengers every season!

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  • 60. At 3:45pm on 04 Jul 2008, hankshanklin wrote:

    I think Barry is a great player, and as a Villa fan, I will be sad to see him go - I have been resigned to this since prior Euro 2008. £18 million is a lot to ask, but why not when you compare his vluations with Carrick and Hargreaves. Couple that fact with Gerrard and Barry's performances together and it really doesn't seem that bad.

    I still have a gut feeling that Crouch, rather than a comparison, could still yet be part of this deal!

    Bad form on Barry's NOTW comments, but I agree with him on one thing - I'd have been happier having MON doing his day job over the summer rather than a month of BBC punditry

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  • 61. At 3:46pm on 04 Jul 2008, The_Guvnor wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 62. At 3:46pm on 04 Jul 2008, Pad wrote:

    For me it proves that Benitez was the instigator when he was having problems with Mourinho.

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  • 63. At 3:46pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To LFC518...as I said earlier, no problem with Benitez demanding big bucks for his players - but he cannot apply wildly differing criteria when he is a buyer in the market.

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  • 64. At 3:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, stevensr123 wrote:

    Couple of points

    1.We put in a formal offer (LIKE ANY OTHER TEAM DOES) = FACT

    2.Normal clubs and managers, if an offer does not meet there standards, they will just reject the bid, they do not go to the press and whinge like a child.


    3.If what Barry said is true, the MON did not try to persuade him much, higher wages, new contract etc.

    4.MON is expecting us to roll over to his demands and pay 18 mil, he has urged us, it does not work like that, MON as created some bad blood between himself and Barry, meaning he is urgent to get rid now, if he wants to get rid, he can lower the price SIMPLE. Or we can just walk away.

    5.From day one, the 1st bid MON should have said BARRY IS NOT FOR SAIL, REGARDLESS OF THE PRICE!, but he never, a few days later he was saying he is worth the same amount as Mascherano, that is saying he is for sale, Liverpool didn’t want to pay that much, so they are trying to negotiate.

    The fact is we are just bidding like any other team does, however MON made a bid deadl out of in, cried to the press.

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  • 65. At 3:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, AVFCDolph - It made me angry Jerry, angry and tired wrote:

    Finally a member of the media who see it as it is!! There are a few comments above that suggest that the 'story' was leaked by someone at Villa when that is NOT the case. The leak came from the Liverpool Echo (echo echo) and MO'N was responding to it.

    If the Echo (and ultimately whoever gave them the story) had kept it shut then Barry would probably already be a liverpool player and it wouldn't have cost them £18m!

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  • 66. At 3:48pm on 04 Jul 2008, beto1960 wrote:

    I cant see what the fuss is all about !!!
    If Liverpool didnt haggle about the price they would not be doing their job properly. They are not chelsea who use blank cheques to pay over the odds for the players they want.

    I can see that Benetiz is taking a lot of heat for this situation but the "media darling" Martin O´neill is just as much to blame in my opinion.

    I would have thought the best solution was to pay £15 million and throw in Scott Carson in exchange for Gareth Barry

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  • 67. At 3:48pm on 04 Jul 2008, bornandbredvilla wrote:

    This is a stupid saga that shouldn't have happened in the first place.

    We were 2 games away from automatic entry into the Uefa cup when Benitez went and made his interest in Barry public.......Barry's head went ga ga at the thought of playing in Europe with Liverpool that he consequently played like a Sunday league player against Wigan, and all hopes of Europe dissapeared for us.

    If we had got into Europe automatically we wouldn't have this saga now, as Barry would still be a Villa player relishing the thought of European football with Villa.

    What Benitez probably doesn't understand about MON is that his Mentor was as stuburn as him...and that was of course, Cloughie......So Raffa, if you want Barry, then pay the money, because MON is not gonna budge.

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  • 68. At 3:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, Black Francis wrote:

    As Sindia pointed out earlier, this is business. Each party is entitled to seek the best deal for themselves whether buying or selling. There is a forum elsewhere on the same subject which was approaching 2000 posts the last time I looked. Why is everyone getting their knickers in a twist? Because, it is largely a media fed frenzy as is the Robbie Keane saga. Phil, whilst I feel that sometimes you come in for some unjust criticism for your articles, I think you are just fanning the flames with this one.

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  • 69. At 3:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, john_else wrote:

    I totally agree with MON holding out for the £18m, whether Barry is worth it or not he is under contract and until that expires MON can charge what he likes. It's interesting, if not quite hypocritical, that when Gerrard was rumoured to be attracting interest earlier on in the summer Bennitez quickly came out and reminded everyone that he is a Liverpool player and not for sale.

    Finally, I wanted to pick up on J_singh's earlier comment that "the saga was made public by someone at Villa" I think you'll find the reason there is such a bad taste in Villa's mouth is because Benitez allegedly leaked the story to the press on the eve of our game against Everton, when we were still fighting to qualify for Europe. Barry was anonymous all afternoon and we lost the game. This resulted in no European qualification, and quite coincidentally a very disillusioned Gareth Barry, who it just so happened, could get Euro games elsewhere. Mmmmh???

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  • 70. At 3:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, djmacca1 wrote:

    Phil says:


    To LFC518...as I said earlier, no problem with Benitez demanding big bucks for his players - but he cannot apply wildly differing criteria when he is a buyer in the market.


    I say:

    Phil you dont understand - he doesn't do it. In the media he says 15mil for crouch - but in reality he'll accept 10million, or 12mil if liverpool are lucky.

    The point is that O'neill is not coming down by 3,4,5 million like rafa would do with crouch

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  • 71. At 3:52pm on 04 Jul 2008, stefstoneman wrote:

    You're an idiot.

    I don't normally respond to this blog garbage, but your comments incensed me. Like so many journalists, you have clearly failed to research the facts and have ridiculous opinions and views that change as often as I change my pants.

    Barry is an excellent player, but then so is Alonso. Contrary to the nonsense you write, Alonso is adored at Anfield and many are surprised at his sale. We can only assume that Barry may be perceived as better suited to the Premiership, whilst Alonso's best games often come in Europe. But take nothing away from Alonso, he has the passing ability that exceeds that of anyone in the Premiership and the likes of Carrick and Essien could a learn a thing or two from him. He is tenacious, hard-working, with an excellent first touch and plunders in with a few goals too.

    Secondly, regarding the transfer saga, O'Neill is as much to blame for this farce as anyone. A man who acknowledged the possibility of a sale to Liverpool earlier in the season to Benitez, O'Neill has fast back-tracked since and is quick to splash his comments all over the media in an effort to drive the price up. He also has a lot to answer for having failed to contact Barry since the England-Trinidad game, despite knocking back Liverpool's original bid, and instead indulging us with his Euro 2008 punditry. I know where my priorities would have lied, considering Barry is the captain and talisman of Villa.

    So, I repeat my initial point - you are an idiot. And I can only hope that a reasonable fee can be organised for Barry and this whole saga can be laid to rest.

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  • 72. At 3:52pm on 04 Jul 2008, gwmjbm wrote:

    Anything that McNulty posts about Liverpool always has a clear anti Liverpool feel.

    I remember his Liverpool Echo days. Never a good word to say about LFC.

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  • 73. At 3:53pm on 04 Jul 2008, The Rock wrote:

    yes. it is a one sided article. but this is because benitez has been bang out of order.

    villa have done nothnig wrong here, whilst benitez has publicly tried to unsettle a player and then made derisory bids.

    benitez is a fool and i am looking forward to next season when he will be managing a mid table spanish team and all the english managers he has wound up will poach his players

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  • 74. At 3:54pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

    MON retorted to comments contained in the Liverpool press.

    It unsurprisingly was required as the situation was unsettling Gareth Barry. He subsequently had an attrocious performance and we ended behing Everton in the league.

    Benitez acted inappropriately and at an inconsiderate time.

    Kuyt is an atrocious footballer and should not be considered an asset.

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  • 75. At 3:54pm on 04 Jul 2008, jaymcm wrote:

    I'm sure Barry was up for a move to Portsmouth before MoN arrived for a fee of around £5m and although Barry may have improved I think the Villa asking price of £18 is a joke. The man wants to leave and Villa don't need the money so why is MoN being so stubborn.

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  • 76. At 3:54pm on 04 Jul 2008, heinzeforking wrote:

    @ Phil McNulty in response to this:

    "To LFC518...as I said earlier, no problem with Benitez demanding big bucks for his players - but he cannot apply wildly differing criteria when he is a buyer in the market."


    Of course he can, what are you talking about?!

    Name a manager that doesn't want to get more than market value for his players and pay as little as possible for new ones.

    Benitez has barely spoken about the matter other than to point out that he had said nothing until MON publicly lambasted him for 'going public.'

    As previously stated what about an article on Fergusons double standards with regard to player persuits? Oh yeah, he doesn't manage Liverpool so you're not interested.

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  • 77. At 3:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    To beto1960:

    I think the fuss is that villa value him at £18m and despite telling this to Livepool 3 times they keep coming back with bids of £12m, £13m and the last bid £15m.

    A similar situation would of been Carrick going to Man Utd. YOu didn't hear Man Utd in the papers every week offering £10, then £12, then £13 , then whatever else in an attempt to disrupt the club and player so much they got their way. Spurs obvioulsy said £18m and he's yours otherwise go and look elsewhere.

    I think Villa have made their stance very clear, they don't want to sell the player and therefore don't need to enter into a haggle with liverpool on this.

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  • 78. At 3:56pm on 04 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    It is all Benitez, he made unreasonable demands for both Carson and Crouch and then is getting annoyed at Villa doing the same.

    If he had sold Carson to Villa for £5-6m I imagine that this deal would be done and dusted.

    Having said that Carson is probably only worth £4m, it will be interesting to see what Spurs get for Robinson because despite the age difference I would suggest that they should be valued at a similar amount.

    Benitez knows he has a small budget so has had to attempt to inflate the value of his players, yet the problem is that neither Chelsea or Manchester United are interested therefore he will never get the inflated fees.

    Carrick, SWP etc went for more than they should simply because it was United and Chelsea. Not for any other reason, Benitez must understand this.

    And clearly MON is holding out on Liverpool because he knows they think of themselves as a club in the same bracket as United and Chelsea so will eventually pay for pride's sake. Because if they don't get Barry now I think they will look very foolish indeed. But alas no money so it will be arguing over clauses etc for the next week or so, whilst Barry sits at home.

    Although why he wants to leave Villa, despite loads of Liverpoo fans saying for the CL, is beyond me. He is captain of a young, mainly British side, with the supposed best young manager in the league. A team on the up, which has a settled ownership system, by all account it seems MON and Lerner get on well, and to top it all Lerner seems to be very sensible, willing to invest, and an asset to the club. Whereas Liverpool the squabbles go on, there is no money, and whilst yes they play in CL, will the addition of Barry and the departure of Alonso take them any closer to the PL - I for one think not. Although you can bet those ex-Liverpool pundits will talk about it being their year.

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  • 79. At 3:56pm on 04 Jul 2008, jwill2127 wrote:

    Oh look having ANOTHER go a liverpool. Granted Xabi had a poor season. But 16m for a CL and Euro 2008 winner? Maybe you should rate him. Oh and bit younger than Barry... And the you say so he can be paired with SG, Cant see them be a pairing as SG will play off Torres !

    Then you compare crouch and Barry. Different players and different positions.
    Barry is being built up by the media.

    Rafa must win something? Have you any idea what he is building at liverpool? Probably not. Have you seen the youth and reserve teams?

    He is competing with teams with greater resources and playing catch up with UTD. Having to catch up by spending less. Thats why he is also following arsenal approach with the youngers.

    Please talk about something that you are informed about!

    PS. I guess this wont get replied to!!

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  • 80. At 3:56pm on 04 Jul 2008, SyKop wrote:

    Every time I hear this I have to check the bottom of my show to make sure the smell isn't coming from something I stepped in!

    Barry is not, I repeat, not worth £18M; and for the record Crouchy isn't worth £15M either. But the idea of a valuation is to get offers there or there abouts - so why MON is so convinced that Barry, being near the peak of his football career, should be worth that is preposterous.

    It's understandable to put that price tag on him, to dissaude offers (like Man U putting £75M on Ronaldo. But no player is bigger than their club, and AVFC has an investor with deeper pockets than ourselves.

    Conclusion is, they should let Barry go for £15M and thank him for his decade of hard work.

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  • 81. At 3:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, kingdomoffear wrote:

    If you think about it O'neil is totally right. If Hargreaves and and Carrick are worth £17-18M a peice, so is Barry. Basically Benitez wants to do a deal on the cheap, if he wanted that he shoudl have got in their with Flamini before Milan did. He doesn't want to pay the going rate for an English Central midfeilder, because he hasn't got the cash. Barry may not be "worth" £18M, but was either Carrick or Hargreaves, maybe maybe not. At the end of the day the whole market is overpriced, if you don't like it don't buy, can anyone tell I'm an Arsenal fan?

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  • 82. At 3:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, devrev wrote:

    Phil,
    Barry is worth at least £18 million....not in comparison to other players, but because of his significance in the Villa squad.
    Liverpool should pay up or shut up...but clearly they won't do either.
    Liverpool have arrogantly played the bully throughout all of this....as if they have some divine right to obtain the best players at rival clubs simply because they see themselves as "a top 4 club". More power to Martin O'Neill elbow for standing up to Benitez, Parry etc.

    Villa have had 10+ good years from Gareth Barry. He could have gone 2 years ago, just before Martin O'Neill arrived, when the club was in a real mess.....but he stayed and both he and the club have thrived since then....I wish him well, but I can't help thinking he would have a better opportunity of continued development and success in Arsenal's midfield, rather than in Liverpool's rotation system.

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  • 83. At 3:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    djmacca1...I take your point, but I also feel Villa might have been a little more flexible had the bad feeling not existed between Benitez and O'Neill.

    O'Neill is such a strong character that he was clearly going to take the position he has once he felt his club had been undermined.

    He is now making his point, backed by a chairman in Randy Lerner wealthy enough and with enough faith in his manager to give him full support.

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  • 84. At 3:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, singvillasing wrote:

    Barry may not be better than some of the players discussed here, but he fits very well in the AVFC formation. You can even say that he is a good Villa player and may not necessarily be a good Liverpool player, but the fact is that Barry has a contract that is still in effect; that AVFC did not take him to the market place; and he is an integral part of Villa.

    Therefore, MON has every reason to price him such that if LFC really want to take this crucial piece of jigsaw from AV, then compensate AV. For Villa to effectively replace Barry, it may take more than the amount the club will get from Liverpool.

    I personally fear the worst, and that is for Liverpool to decide they don't have the money or Barry is not worth the money, therefore call off the bid. Barry is stuck in Villa, making it awkward for everyone.

    Despite what he did (I am willing to entertain the possibility that he said a lot more to NOTW, and not everything he said was nasty to Villa or MON), Barry should not be penalized beyond what he already gotten.

    For the sake of everyone, I hope the transfer goes through asap.

    But in the meantime, Barry should be patient. 18mil is not a small figure, the deal may take longer than he hopes. Take a holiday, take a chill pill, go play some golf, go drive around the countryside, just let the adults sort it out.

    Afterall, the whole world already know you want to play Champions League for Liverpool, but don't mind if MON shows you some real love.

    Think of MON's public reaction to your remarks as a sign that he loves you, so don't blame him if he feels a little betrayed, like a father being told that his cooking is really bad.

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  • 85. At 3:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, GunnerHenrique wrote:

    I feel Gareth is worth the 18 million pounds demanded. He is an important player for Villa and has made some outstanding performances for England too. Carrick was worth 18million and Hargreaves was worth 17 million. Gareth has got the nod ahead of this two in the England squad. If Benitez wants 16 million pounds for Xabi Alonso, then i think he should bring 18million pounds if he wants Gareth Barry; a worthy replacer of Alonso.

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  • 86. At 3:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, timlloyd wrote:

    A great servant to the club for Villa, but eveyone seems to forget he signed a new contract last year, until 2010. If Barry didnt want to stay and make his contribution to Villas continued improvement he shouldnt have put pen to paper.

    Then we read about him whining about not being made an offer to convince him to stay.....? didnt he accept an offer by signing his new contract?

    Great player for us, but its time to move on and spend the cash on people who want to be a part of the next push upwards.

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  • 87. At 3:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, fgpaul wrote:

    i'm normally a fan of benitez, but he simply got this all wrong from the start. barry is a good choice to go for and I'm glad benitez has made an english player that has a very high consistent level of play his top priroty, because we really need more like that. i'll be sad to lose alonso, because he's the best passer at anfield, but barry will deliver more in the premiership, and we need that.

    however, bentiez should have done all this business behind closed doors. if he had, barry would proabably be a liverpool player by now and for £2-3m less. he's also managed to p*ss of the manager of a team he was hoping to flog carson to (and potentially crouch), which has mean't we won't get anywhere near the amount we might have got.

    i think in the end, we'll get barry and sell both crouch and carson. but it could have been done better and actually saved liverpool alot of money (i reckon £5-7m) on the cost of barry and the sales of players.

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  • 88. At 4:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, LFC518 wrote:

    To Phil

    I disagree that he'a applying different criteria to his valuation of players. The main argument people are making in the Barry vs Crouch valuation is how much he plays Crouch, once again, that's his perogative. From an achievements point of view, both are fringe England Internationals, with Crouch being a regular goal scorer - which in any other scenario would make him more valuable. The playing time scenario is Benitez's right, remember Mascherano wasn't getting in a West Ham team that nearly got relegated but he had no problem paying 17mil for him.
    As for Alonso's valuation, although he's had a couple of so-so years, he's a class above Crouch or Barry and still young.
    I think that Benitez is an easy target because of the situation at Liverpool right now, as a previous comment pointed ouyt, the press are chickens when it comes to confronting Ferguson.
    Benitez is doing a great job and long may he give the middle finger to want-to be's like O'Neill.

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  • 89. At 4:01pm on 04 Jul 2008, ManUtdLeon wrote:

    Same old same old, English player = over priced. Villa fans may argue hes a good player and a good servant to the club so they deserve a nice hefty bit of money. But like usual English football players when they're realisticly only worth 10 million get sold for 20 million. I mean Carrick to Man Utd is an example, totally overpriced.

    No wonder the premier leagues top teams dont buy English, they can pay 5 to 10 million for a decent foreign player rather than 15 to 20 million for a Englishman.

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  • 90. At 4:01pm on 04 Jul 2008, heinzeforking wrote:

    @ fgpaul

    Benitex has done things behind closed doors. O Neill is the one who can't stay out of the papers. The story was picked up in the rags and O'Neill confirmed them.

    How is that Benitez's fault?

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  • 91. At 4:01pm on 04 Jul 2008, Olearyforengland wrote:

    To Phil, thanks for the response.

    I think Portsmouth did make a bid but I was making the point that a 'big' club had not come in for him. I mean no disrespect to Portsmouth or their fans but they're not quite the 'big team' I had in mind.

    I agree with the general sentiment, from both sides, that Barry is not worth £18m. Its interesting - I don't think anyone has really mentioned it - but Villa seemed to have lined up a decent enough replacement in Sidwell and he's only costing £5m if the speculation can be believed. Even if Barry goes for £10m I think we're getting the better deal (though maybe I'm just bitter).

    I don't wish Barry a bad season though. Good luck to him. Like I said, it's just a shame he won't be welcome back to Villa Park.

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  • 92. At 4:02pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mrs_Wenger wrote:

    Benitez needs to adjust his medication. Barry is a donkey. Crouch is useless. Alonso is a mule. Benitez does not have a clue what to next. How much has he spent so far? More than Houllier? More than Murinho (not possible)?

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  • 93. At 4:03pm on 04 Jul 2008, seveneightnine wrote:

    Deadly Ledley,
    get a clue please.. mid table? liverpool will finnish 2nd you heard it here first

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  • 94. At 4:03pm on 04 Jul 2008, lfc2606 wrote:

    I find Phil's comments about Rafa having a dual standard in his prices as grossly unfair. We are comparing a Striker and a Midfielder and never, in any team have these two positions had the same valuations. The fact is Strikers are always likely to cost more - just look at Adebayor - than other players so it is ridiculous to compare the valuations of Crouch and Barry. Barry and Alonso are very similar players and Rafa values both at the same price give or take a couple of mil for Xabi's age.

    Secondly, I have to agree with many of the posts. O'Neill is coming out of this smelling like roses and Rafa quite the opposite and that just doesn't sit right with me. O'Neill is constantly in the press sobbing and Rafa has kept very quiet. Personally I'd just pull out of the Barry deal and leave O'Neill with a thoroughly demotivated player and no money in the bank - it's the least he deserves!

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  • 95. At 4:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, norfolknscouse wrote:

    Phil, your article has certainly riased a number of issues, some of which I agree with, others not so sure.

    Firstly, this saga has been an unmitigated disaster from start to finish by everyone - Benitez, O'Neill and Barry.

    Is Barry worth 18mill? - no definitely not. Is crouch worth 15mill? - again no? but then again if Darren Bent is worth 16mill, you could argue crouch is actually worth more. The difference is that Liverpool will negotiate on Crouch, it was an opening gambit and I'm sure if Pompey or someone else puts say 12mill on the table it will be accepted.

    Villa aren''t budging from their price, which is their perogative - but if ultimately Liverpool were to pull out MON has hardly done anything to appease barry by his comments, fining him and banning him from pre-season.

    As for alonso, you are quite correct that he hasn't lived up to standards, but he head and shoulders above anyone else when he captained Spain reserves against Greece. He has undoubted talent, and I think Italy will suit him a lot more than the prem.

    With regards to replacing players - where does the price tag come into it. Replacing a player with another one who cost less doesnt mean the team will be worse. I seem to recall Alex Ferguson sold Beckham then replaced him with Ronaldo for half the price, but have United been a poorer team?? Its about what a manager feels a player can add to the overall team dynamic that matters. It's impossible to purely go on valuations, and in any case I think Benitez is about right in assuming he wont get more than 13mill for alonso, and he wont pay more than 15 mill for Barry.

    I do beleive that if Benitez wants to continue playing as he did last year then Barry will be a good addition, and will bring more to the table in this style of football than alonso can.

    But overall, yes what a disaster by all involved.

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  • 96. At 4:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    seveneightnine

    who finishes 1st?

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  • 97. At 4:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    good point

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  • 98. At 4:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, pattlfc wrote:

    it's blogs like this that make me realise thatpundits aren't that good anyore.

    if we wanted to hear a rant on how rafas this and that, i would have spoken to a man u fan, not read something from a proper pundit who's meant to attempt to be unbiased/even.

    but back to the point
    Barry's mediocre to the last degree, lets nip this in the bud, he isnt the missing piece of liverpool, he isnt great, hes a slightly better player in an average team, it's like going to buy nolan from Bolton, it's just not worth doing

    and 18 mil? come on, mascherano cost 18 mil, and he's a million times better than barry.
    stop kidding ourselves yeah?
    ok Rafa overpriced some of his players in public, but from the 15 mil quote, he's now gone down to 10 mil, showing he's actually more reasonable than o'neill tbh.

    fact. alonso's better than barry, and 18 mil could be used someone much better, like buying bentley, or a decent wide player which we've been lacking for years.

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  • 99. At 4:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    The theme of player valuations is very interesting. Shouldn't one consider it as a "Club Compensation" fee as opposed to a "Player Transfer Fee". People who can't understand this will then realise that Barry is worth £18m to villa because of his significance, whilst trying to claim £10m for a keeper who has hardly ever played for you is madness!

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  • 100. At 4:05pm on 04 Jul 2008, ljwynne wrote:

    He's our captain, an England regular ahead of Carrick and Hargreaves who were both over 15 million, and is at the peak of his footballing ability. Plus, we don't need the money.

    Why shouldn't we play hard ball?

    The fact is, we don't want to sell him. It's his choice to leave, not ours, so it makes perfectly good business sense to hold out for the best possible deal.

    And if Liverpool don't meet the valuation, then he won't be leaving. It's as simple as. No-one wants an unhappy player, but if we genuinely aspire to break in to the top four then we can't allow them to poach all of our players.

    I'm disappointed with Liverpool's under hand tactics, especially Gerrard, as it's massively unprofessional to make comments to the press about how you want your mate to join your team. I'm also disappointed with the way Barry has conducted himself recently. He's always been a decent guy, but now he's going to the press to whine about MO'N not talking to him? This is the same player that 2-3 years ago was seriously struggling to kick a ball straight. He looked to be over weight and lazy. We stuck by him then, even when Spurs came knocking and we could have got rid of him. He has been a good servant to the club, agreed. But we have been more than good to him and he should be reminded of that.

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  • 101. At 4:05pm on 04 Jul 2008, PhilSandifer wrote:

    I don't see how an extremely young England national goalkeeper who was first choice for Villa all season is overpriced at 10, but a 27 year old England national midfielder is fair at 18. Carrick and Hargreaves got those prices a year and two years younger than Barry is.

    I also don't think you can really say that Barry is a regular under Capello yet. I don't think Capello has hit regularity yet - I still don't know, for instance, whether Lampard holds down a regular midfield spot, or who Rooney's strike partner is.

    I'm also not sure exactly where Barry is supposed to be playing for Liverpool - surely Mascherano has the CDM position locked. Unless Benitez is planning on running 4-2-3-1 more than he has been.

    But I'd be loathe to get rid of Crouch unless there's an actual plan to give Torres a proper strike partner. Though if I were getting rid of Crouch, I'd rate him about par with Barry. So apparently he's a steal at 15?

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  • 102. At 4:06pm on 04 Jul 2008, philmcnultybbcsport wrote:

    To Olearyforengland...no worries. I was not making a point about Portsmouth and their size as a club, simply that he was on his way out of Villa until O'Neill came in and persuaded him the club was moving forward.

    He has since been rejuvenated at club level and returned to the England team.

    As for Portsmouth, we should never under-estimate them after the job Harry Redknapp has done and the players he has brought there.

    Portsmouth's fans must be in dreamland.

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  • 103. At 4:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, giantjohn65 wrote:

    What makes laugh about the barry situation
    is that Villa fans and the club are quick to forget that the where prepared to SELL BARRY to Portsmouth 2 years ago for wait for it £5 MILLION that is all. SO the question to you Villa fans where was the out
    cry then when your club was prepared to let
    him go for £5 Million to Portsmouth 2 years ago. I didn't here a word, but as soon as Liverpool come in for him the price rockets how come? That is ok to let him go to a club
    who is not a threat to your club, and yet again this is ok. I would as Villa fans look at your club and why they where prepared to let him go 2 years ago for £5 million. So you at the BBC better look the facts on this and then post them to Villa fans. Villa are behaving like spoilit kids. BARRY Is a great sigining for Liverpool.
    I am a life long Liverpool fan.

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  • 104. At 4:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, sportsfan30 wrote:

    I think that Benitez could do with some negotiation skills training. talk about putting your foot in it. What a fool, everyone knows if you want to deal with MON then you do just that and you keep it out of the papers. Might work with clubs that need the cash but Villa are not that desperate for the money.

    But lets be honest, a player is worth whatever someone will pay for him and when Benitez is asking for £16m and £15m repectively for Crouch and Alonso, Barry is probably about right to be the same or higher, lets face it , he will go to Liverpool and MON is just waiting to see just how far Liverpool will go.

    I am just sad as a Villa fan that Barry will be leaving in such a way and quite frankly has lowered himself to go public about his feelings, however much he feels he is right, it seems straight out of the Benitez school of putting your foot in it and

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  • 105. At 4:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    Just a thought Villa should beware, Barry is quite within his rights to buy out his £42,000 p.w wages at a cost of £4.5m, Then L.F.C Reimburse that money, pay him a £5m signing on bonus plus wages of £80,000 p.w. Everyone is a winner except Nelly and A.V.F.C.

    £15m Sounds a lot more atrractive when put like that eh......?

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  • 106. At 4:08pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    I seem to remember Villa taking Carson on a year's loan with a view to paying £10M for him this season - who ducked out of that deal? Is he no longer worth that? Possibly not but was he last year? Who is really taking the P over player values? Methinks MO'N has a lot to answer for here. He was first to offer a lower price than that agreed. Or is he the only one allowed to do a valation, change his mind, blame everyone else but hmself? Personally I hope Liverpool keep Alonso and forget about Barry. Then what will O'Neal do with the player who he has so publicly insulted? I can't see anybody else paying what Liverpool have offered. Bit of egg on your face then, Martin, with a player who doesn't want to play for you and no extra money in the bank. Bring it on!!!

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  • 107. At 4:08pm on 04 Jul 2008, lordmoo_moo wrote:

    The big 4 clubs think they can bully who they like. Bullies don't like it when the boot is on the other foot do they. I admire Martin O'Neil and Randy Lerner for holding firm. We have the best Chairman in the League by a country mile. I as a Villa fan hope Barry goes now, he has shown no respect to the fans and to his Chairman and manager and i can't see a way back where he can wear our sacred shirt again. I'll never forget his contribution to the club, one of the best players of the last 15 years we've had, but when you speak out like he has its time for him to go, BUT ITS 18M RAFA

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  • 108. At 4:08pm on 04 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    Gerrard0008

    He can only buy it out if he moves abroad

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  • 109. At 4:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, birdseyeview wrote:

    Completely agree, Benitez did himself no favours by trying to get Barry for next to nothing earlier on. I think what is really driving O'Neill though is the hope he will stay and allow Villa to continue on the progress last year. There are a lot of teams trying to break the big four, and the teams that can keep their player base together are going to be the ones with a better chance of breaking through. You don't see the top four selling their player base (well, not yet with Ronaldo!)

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  • 110. At 4:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, Zidanepirouette wrote:

    'But what is taking place in between is an undignified mess that has done no favours for Liverpool, their manager Rafael Benitez'

    - Phil, tell me what exactly has Rafa done wrong? Is it a crime to make public that you have bid for a player? Just cos O'Neill doesn't like it doesn't mean Rafa's done anything wrong. In fact by going public so early you eliminate any mumblings of 'tapping up'.

    Liverpool have bid in the region of Villa's valuation - and usually in these cases the selling club are willing compromise but Villa haven't - fair enough, it's their perogative, but i haven't heard Benitez make any complaints about the price, have you??

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  • 111. At 4:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, StonyK wrote:

    Sorry Phil Mc I completely disagree with you. To say Alonso is over rated is shocking. To say that Barry is worth £18m but Alonso is worth £16 is shocking.
    If you compare their two respective careers - Alsono has a lot more experience at the top level (Euro winners medal with Spain, FA Cup winners medal, Champions League winners medal) with Barry's (has had a few recent games in the England squad and a decent last season).
    Without doubt Alonso is a far more technically gifted player than Barry.
    I really find is difficult to understand how you can believe otherwise.

    A lot of people actually agree with the valuation of Barry based on Michael Carrick and Owen Hargreaves. I believe Carrick was quite a bit younger (and over priced) and Owen Hargreaves was an england regular for years AND had plenty of Champions League experience.
    To just ignore that part of the valuation plus other parts is ignorant.
    Otherwise you could argue that Ballack (one of the best midfielders in Europe) was free. We'll just all ignore the fact he was out of contract and any other such factors!

    I am not suggesting each manager is correct in their valuation - Just that I do feel you are siding with Martin O'Neil without good reason and can only suggest it's because Benitez is a foreign manager and you have a dislike to that. A more detailed explanation would possibly make this article read like it was written by someone who actually thought about it and not by a ten year old.

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  • 112. At 4:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, Hitcho wrote:

    18m for Barry is ridiculous, especially since he's a left back converted into a holding midfield player cum all rounder. Having said that, it seems fair currency when you look at the price tags on Hargreaves and Carrick (and Crouch's valuation with only a year left on his contract for that matter), so the problem lies with the over inflated prices of British players, rather than Villa's stance.

    I'd keep Alonso, and strongly disagree with McNulty on his lack of pedigree. The man can do Barry's job with his eyes closed and still control a game with sublime passing. To find a player who does both is a rare thing, and it's only Alonso's lack of consistency which is seeing him through the door.

    I think Rafa would be better served working with Xabi and signing Schweinsteiger instead of Barry. With Babel developing on the left of Gerrard and Schweinsteiger on the right, Torres would be given a continuous supply of quality balls to feed off, and all of a sudden you've got a goal threat from each of the front four players in the 4-2-3-1 system. Xabi and Masch work well as a unit. Barry seems a waste of money to me based in the players LFC already have in midfield.

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  • 113. At 4:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, snj3374 wrote:

    I really cant see what RF or LFC have done wrong. They put abid in for a player without making it public and obviously their first bid was low - surely that is common sense. You always try to buy low and sell high - thus the valuation of Crouch.
    Everyone is so pro MoN it astounds me - he's whiter than white in everything he does and there does seem to be an anti Rafa and LFC thing in the media. Yet again here there is a dig at LFC's league position. True - they are still 4th but when the teams above them start from a higher position nad then most of them spend more money and buy players for >£20m year on year than what do people expect ?

    Also - strikers do go for more cash than midfielders as a rule so the comparison is stupid.

    AV / MoN made it all public and are making out that they are the victims of the bigger club v smaller club scenario. It happens - get on with it and live with it.

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  • 114. At 4:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    the point is still the same Oli his contract is worth 4.5m pounds sterling, so is he worth 18m, i suggest not

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  • 115. At 4:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, grumpy wrote:

    Frankly I'm sick of this. Benitez asks O'Neill if Barry is for sale and O'Neill's response is something like `don't think so, but I'll have to check with the chairman'. Not exactly a definite `No' is it? So Benitez then does what I undestand to be the normal procedure when trying to buy a player and makes an offer.

    Let's get a few things straight here.

    1. Peter Crouch. Given that Darren Bent was worth 16 million, that Dimitar Berbatov is apparently worth 25 million or so and Adebayor is apparently worth 30 million, 15 million seems quite a reasonable figure.

    2. Scott Carson. The 10 million figure was agreed between the clubs when the loan deal was first arranged. Villa no longer think he's worth that (and I'd agree with that given the season he had) so he's gone back to Liverpool.

    3. Benitez. He made a bid for a player he wants and in return offered players he din't want as part of the deal - it's up to Villa to say yes or no and they said no. Fair enough, if they want to hold out for a cash-only deal, then good luck to them.

    4. Gareth Barry. He's been at Villa for ten years and in those ten years, how many European campaigns have Villa been in? Granted they might be moving in the right direction, but he's 27 now and might just be running out of chances to play in the Champions League.

    5. Martin O'Neill. Can somebody please tell me how a) telling a player that they really want him to stay and then not speaking to them for a month and b) fining them two weeks wages for talking to the press about the situation (when O'Neill's done nothing else) and then banning them from the club (while telling his club's website that he considers that player to be the top player at the club) is giving anyone the impression that Barry was EVER going to stay once Benitez showed an interest.

    I honestly think that all O'Neill was ever interested in was being able to sell Barry without alienating the Villa fans and all he had to do to acheive that was keep his mouth shut. He just couldn't though could he?

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  • 116. At 4:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, Neilly wrote:

    Better get used to that sour taste, because if they introduce that idiotic "protect english football by requiring a certain amount of englishmen playing" rule, then the already pathetic amounts of cash required to obtain mediocre english players will only increase, as will the hard-ball negotiating between clubs.

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  • 117. At 4:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, secondLiverpool-FC wrote:

    Fact is that AV have not come down at all from their initial asking price of £18million for Barry. So obviously, that is what they want. But LFC will not pay that, quite rightly in my view because he's simply not worth it. AV fans can go on and on about how he's worth however much they value him at - but then where does it stop? O'Neil - "The asking price is £30M because we value Gareth Barry at that". Or maybe you might want to reconsider. He is your captain after all. £40M? £50M? Where does it end? Sorry, but just like AV are sticking to their guns on the valution, we have to stick to ours on what we value him at. Then, just like all transfers, we should usually be able to come to agree somewhere in the middle. Except Villa don't some to understand that is what respectful clubs do when a player really wants to leave. Barry's given them so many years of service that he deserves a at the big time - even if he's not my dream signing for our club.

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  • 118. At 4:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, JAMESY1982 wrote:

    Yet another i know everthing article from phil! Who are you anyway?

    Alonso over rated?? That's why Juve at prepared to pay £15+m??

    What a fool you are.

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  • 119. At 4:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, edmaclen wrote:

    As an Everton fan I honestly think that Barry going to Liverpool is bad news for us. Not only is he a great player but he seem to work well with Gerrard for England so why not for Liverpool? I'm therefore quite happy that O'Neill is justifiably holding out for more money. Why on earth should he hand over his prized asset just because Liverpool are a "bigger" club?

    As for the saga, both managers could have handled it better - in my experience public sagas always end up badly while negotiations behind closed doors are more beneficial for both clubs regardless of the controversy that the transfer might bring up. Barmby to Liverpool anyone?

    18million is more than acceptable for Berry in the current market, especially if they get 14million for Alonso. As for Couch, don't bring him into it - strikers are always more expensive than midfielders. The thing that annoys me most about this whole thing is the recurring trend of Benitez needing more and more money. If the likes of Blackburn, Portsmouth, Everton etc had that 18million to spend (or the 50+million from last year) they'd be laughing. Quit with your whining Benitez and make do with what you have, it's still much more than most other clubs, Arsenal included.

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  • 120. At 4:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, OP wrote:

    Top 4 clubs will always have to pay more for players.

    And in many ways I think there is nothing wrong with that. It is just a fact of life, and Liverpool should be aware of that.

    You can't be taking in all the CL revenue etc and then getting bolshy when other teams up their prices when you come along and unsettle their players.

    This seems especially true for English players.

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  • 121. At 4:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, alphapaddyboy wrote:

    The writer makes the comment that Man Utd paid more than £15m for Owen Hargreaves and Michael Carrick a player Barry has ousted at international level. This may be so, but (without checking the figures), Barry is older than either of those players and only has a couple of years left on his contract, which should make his value a lot less.
    However, my concern is that i don't believe Barry is that good a player. He's certainly no better than Xavi Alonso, the player he is supposedly replacing. It's not as if Liverpool are short in that position - having Alonso (who doesn't want to leave), Mascherano and Gerrard. As well as a young prospect such as Leiva.

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  • 122. At 4:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, SuperZOB wrote:

    Sorry but I have to disagree here. For too long Liverpool have had to play over the odds for British players e.g Carson, Crouch, Pennant etc. Yet when other clubs enquire about these players and we quote a price its is suddenly too expensive and unreasonable. We all know Crouch is not worth £15 million he is worth about £10 million. But if we quoted this people would sudeenly want him for 7 or 6 million. Good on you Rafa it is about time we started getting decent prices for our players and play hard ball over Barry.

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  • 123. At 4:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, Olearyforengland wrote:

    All this discussion about worth is interesting. Surely a player is only worth what a team will pay. If a club doesn't want to sell they can name whatever figure they want - if the buying club is silly enough to pay, that is up to them. The problem here is that Villa now have no bargaining power. Barry wants to leave, its no secret and his relationship with O'Neill is untenable. This talk of Barry being worth £18m is just a bluff. Since I can't see a way back for Barry at Villa he must be sold and so, now, he is only worth what Liverpool will pay. If they want a quick deal, it will be nearer £15m than £18m. If they don't mind waiting - and why wouldn't they? What's the rush? - then they can probably get him for £12m on transfer deadline day and £8m come January... Yes by then he'll be demotivated and unfit but its not like they haven't got enough players to play in that position while they wait for him to return to form - which returns us to the real question here - why is Rafa so interested in Barry?

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  • 124. At 4:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    To all intents and purposes you are only worth as much as is left on your contract look at the guy who just signed for the barcodes.

    Crouch may only be worth 4m but that also is about the same for Barry, transfer fees will be gone within the next 2 years and it will be the buy out of a contract. So is Barry worth 18m, you have to be kidding not even realistically worth half that!

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  • 125. At 4:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, justice_4_96YNWA wrote:

    As a Liverpool season ticket holder for over 10 years now i must admit that Benitez has certainly shown tactics in the pursuit of Barry that i dont believe follow "the liverpool way". Publicly targeting Barry beofre the season had even finished was definately out of order.

    In terms of O'Neil, who i consider the best British manager around (apart from David Moyes of course ha!) i dont blame him at all for dragging his heels and trying to get the most for his top player.

    The main problem with this saga as a Liverpool fan is the fact that in truth we would be better advised spending £18m on a top class winger or striker to partner torres rather than a centre midfielder.

    Finally i would just like to comment on the criticism for Benitez which inevitably has followed this saga. The true die hard fans who live for the club are behind him and in terms of his rotation? He is never criticsed when we win, only when we get beat

    Champions Leauge 2009... When in Rome do as the scousers do, Here We Go Gathering Cups In May

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  • 126. At 4:17pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

    Gerrard0008

    He can only buy out his contact and move to a club not in the same country.

    This is not his intention as he will not be able to commute to sleep at the end of Steven Gerrards bed.

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  • 127. At 4:20pm on 04 Jul 2008, norfolknscouse wrote:

    Aty least one thing we can be sure of now, AV will have to pay inflated prices for whoever they want to buy - MON was the one who made prices public, and now everyone knows roughly how much they will get for barry - its lovely to know that 5mill players will suddenly become 8mill players - serves them right.

    Making comparisons is futile - as others have said it depends on position, age, nationality etc. A players true worth is ultimately decided on one thing and one thing alone - what someone else is prepared to pay. You can talk for hours about this and that, but at the end of the day Barry will only go if and when Villa accept what Liverpool are prepared to pay. If that's 18million then fair enough.

    Depending on which side of the fence you sit you can always argue one way or another about valuation. For example you could say that if Deco is only worth 8mill, then Barry is only worth 5. On the other hand is Shaun Wright-Phillips is worth 21mill and he cant even get a regular game, then barry is actually worth in excess of 25mill, which in turn is ridiculous because torres only cost 20mill, yet daniel alves, a right back, went for 23.5mill, and Buffon, a goalkeeper, is supposedly worth over 30mill.

    See wot I mean - bloody futile!!!!

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  • 128. At 4:21pm on 04 Jul 2008, PJH_90 wrote:

    looking at it from and england perspective, Barry is certainly worth the 18 million, and rafa should be prepared to pay that for a player of his quality, and if he and gerrard hit it off, its money well spent.
    however the 15 million valuation of crouch is a little steep considering hes hardly played, but, if he had of played, that price tag would certainly be alot more realistic if we look at how he has done when he has been on the pitch. (hope that makes sense)
    remember he did pay around the 14 million mark when he bought alonso, maybe hes trying to recoup that and help fund for a new strike partner for fernando, something we really do need if were going to be in the top 2 come the end of next season.
    and i would of liked to have seen a little more of paul anderson next season, he looks like hes going to be a top player for us, english too!

    PJH

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  • 129. At 4:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, LFCDaf wrote:

    Totally agree with the comment about gazumping, I hope someone does gazump us, cos 1. Hes not worth £18Mill, and 2. Do we need another Gerrard style midfielder? O'Neill should shut it and acceot the offer, its the best one he will get, oh, and the best line I've heard, Villa will use the money to buy a keeper, but think that Carsons price is too high! The man that kept you in the top 10! Larf, I do!

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  • 130. At 4:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, jc_villa789 wrote:

    simple as this:

    Liverpool pay us 18 million:
    We get 15 million, we give GB 3million "loyalty" bonus.

    or

    GB hands in transfer request. Liverpool pay us 15milllion.

    Everybody happy?

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  • 131. At 4:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, liverbird59 wrote:

    This is a ridiculous arguement. All benitez did was look for as much as possible for crouch leaving plenty of room for negotiation - all clubs do it. He enquired about barry and put in an offer to test villa. Again he obviously put in a low offer to leave plenty of room for negotaitions - nothing wrong with that either. It was O'Neill who went to the press complaining about the offer, he's the one thats blown this into a media field day.

    As for keane, Ramos enquired about crouch and was told yeah he's for sale and we'd be interested in keane and thats it. Spurs havnt bid for crouch, liverpool havent bid for keane. Its all just speculation.

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  • 132. At 4:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    or Barry sits tight and goes fro free!!!

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  • 133. At 4:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Just read a comment about Rafa leaking the story to the press - Don't really think he would have leaked it to the Birmingham Post do you?

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  • 134. At 4:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, whoseyerdaddy wrote:

    Martin O'Neill is spot on with his stance. Benitez's has embarrassed himself with his Crouch valuatioin and has now come a cropper because he has come up against a man not prepared to pander to the Anfield Juggernaut.

    Barry himself has obviously wanted to go since this kicked off months ago - otherwise he would have stated Villa is his priority. So to come out now and blame the manager is ridiculous.

    Get £18m and let him go. O'Neill has the prowess to replace, improve and kick Villa further up the table. Gareth who??

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  • 135. At 4:26pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    Makes me laugh AVFC value him at the smae price as Hargreaves and Carrick, just a thought Does anyone here think he gets paid the same salary as those 2?

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  • 136. At 4:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, bobbieflowers wrote:

    Personally I have found the comments on this blog alot more entertaining than the story itself which is getting quite tiring now. I do enjoy the offseason transfer circus but its hard to get enthusiatic about what is essentially a straight swap - barry for alonzo.

    I can't really understand the logic of the swap really (especially given the resulting saga this transfer has developed into) but if u are going to lose alonzo then barry is a good replacement. One thing that is for sure though is that this transfer isn't going to turn liverpool title challengers. A couple of decent wingers and a new striker is a much more pressing concern, lets just hope the yanks can stop arguing long enough to put the required funds! - doubtful.

    Finally, speaking as a leicester city fan i can say that I have nothing but respect for martin o'neil. People may say he is naive for not recognising that this is the way the transfer market works these days. I would say that he is someone with the utmost intergrity and who doesn't employ those sort of tactics himself, so its no wonder that he gets upset when other act in a manner that he would deem uncouth.

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  • 137. At 4:28pm on 04 Jul 2008, dm8364 wrote:

    As a West Brom fan, where Barry and Ronaldo play their football is of little concern except it would be comforting to face Man U without the Portages prima donna! But what these stories show is the damaging effect agents are having on the integrity of the game. What's the point of having contracts? Unless, like Kevin Phillips, when he wants it in his favour!

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  • 138. At 4:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, charliewebb wrote:

    All the debate about how much Barry is truly worth, or whether he is worth more than Crouch/Alonso/Carrick is both inane and irrelevant.

    If Villa don't want to sell Barry they don't have to. If they are prepared to sell then they are perfectly entitled to set whatever price they like. If the price Villa set is considered excessive by Liverpool, then they can decline. The suggestion that Villa should only be able to ask for a price in line with the fees paid for other comparable players is bizarre.

    Moreover, putting a price of £18 million on Barry does not mean that Villa "expect" others to be willing to pay that much. It simply means that this is the sum which Villa considers sufficient to offset the loss to them of being deprived of one of their leading players whom will not easily be replaced. That sounds about right to me.

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  • 139. At 4:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, godsdrinkingpartner wrote:

    When people say alonso is younger he is only 8 months younger some people seem to think alonso is 5 years younger and an upcoming talent alonso should be at his peak now barry is a far better player than alonso.

    I think barry is worth about £15M but as villa will have to pay him £3M They will have in effect sold him for £12M so the £18M is fair.

    Villa really dont need the money so i can only see this ending if liverpool pay the £18M.

    Whats the betting when the transfer happens it will be an undisclosed fee so none of us really no how much they paid for him.

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  • 140. At 4:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    A question:

    If Villa tell Liverpool the price is £18m take it or leave it as we will not accept anything less as we really don't want to sell him, is it good form for Liverpool to continue in their attempts to sign him for less? This isn't a usual transfer where one club wants to sell and therefore the price could be negotiated.

    The fact the player wants to leave doesn't come into it until he has fulfilled his contract (which has over 2 years to run) in my opinion.

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  • 141. At 4:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, romaVillan wrote:

    "Barry is faster"

    hmmm, having seen Barry at villa park a fair bit these are words i thought i would never ever hear in my life.

    not seen Alonso in the flesh but the thought of him being slower than Barry is frightnening.

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  • 142. At 4:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, Thespian wrote:

    I honestly don't understand why Benitez is getting it in the neck over the Barry saga.

    Because he hasn't said a word publicly about the Barry situation at all.

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  • 143. At 4:32pm on 04 Jul 2008, seveneightnine wrote:

    arsenal imo.

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  • 144. At 4:33pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    So in this day and age with agents and underhand tactics whats to stop Barry signing for say Udinese paying 4.5m to buy out his contract. L.F.C. immediately buying him back for 7m. 2.5m profit for Udinese, with signing on fee a 5m saving for L.F.C and 5m to Barry and his agent.

    Deals like this will happen and I for 1 would laugh if this happened to AVFC

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  • 145. At 4:34pm on 04 Jul 2008, lvtals wrote:

    Good article.

    A few things are getting me frustrated. MON did NOT make this public, he responded to a question that was asked on the back of an article published in the Liverpool Echo that had a statement 'leaked' by Liverpool FC, claiming a bid had been made. This is when the 'Saga' went public. MON merely made the joke of a bid public, and showed his anger at such drastic under-valuation. Why Barry would even think of going to a club that valued him at less the £5 million is beyond me.

    Barry has sadly spoilt a golden reputation. He should had stayed one more year, regular football and captain of a young bright squad, full of potential, and helped try and push Villa to that 4th spot. If they hadn't made it, fair enough, he could have left with dignity and pride.

    Now he will join a club, who undervalue him, a board not prepared to back the (all be it, rather farcical) manager, and join another team who is in a battle for the 4th spot, with the like of Everton and Villa, certainly not guaranteed it. He may only get one season of champs league out of this move.

    Villa grow in respect and stature, whilst Liverpool continue to stoop to new lows, from what was once a great club.

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  • 146. At 4:35pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 147. At 4:36pm on 04 Jul 2008, rgargon1 wrote:

    If anything Xabi Alonso is completely under rated. When he plays for Liverpool he is often among the best players on the park and is a shame he is being sold. To call him "over rated" is ignorant and probably biased.

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  • 148. At 4:36pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    Duffenbrau lol

    That is why BARRY IS NOT WORTH 18M

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  • 149. At 4:36pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Nobody at Liverpool has said anything - O'Neil has said it all - who's really to blame for all this mess? The only one moving his big fat gob!

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  • 150. At 4:37pm on 04 Jul 2008, saintinformed wrote:

    People forget about O'Neill and his valuations etc. The Steve Davis situation with Rangers for example. The valuations are just business and not football. If you could pick up Barry for less than £18m you would.

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  • 151. At 4:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, SpiderSamboNUFC wrote:

    Villa don't want to sell Barry for anything less than 18m, mainly because he's on a long contract. He's in his peak years and Liverpool would rather have him now and let him ajust than get him next year when he's a shadow of his former self.

    As for Crouch, he's on the last year of his contract, if he bought his own contract out it'd be far less than 15m, Crouch wants to leave and I wouldn't be surprised if he just waited out his contract and agreed a deal in January after Portsmouth's loan deal in Sahar runs out.

    I don't see how the two deals are in anyway similar, sure Crouch has a Champions League medal under his belt but so has Wes Brown: the oxford dictionary definition of 'Suck'

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  • 152. At 4:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

    The value of Barry is in relation to the club and in no way is associate to my comments.

    He will leave for 15 million as soon as he relinquishes his loyalty payments.

    The value for Liverpool players is ridiculous.

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  • 153. At 4:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, Hoof and move thats the Liverpool groove wrote:

    This how issue is starting to get really boring and I think all parties can share some blame in this. (And i'm a L'pool fan)

    Barry is a good enough player but probably not a player we are in desperate need of. Xavi hasn't actually been very good for the past 2 seasons (although he was injured for most of the last). He seems to have lost some pace around the pitch, his tackling has become non existent and his passing although still good isn't as good as it used to be. Barry is a more consistent option but WAY overpriced.

    Why is Benitez getting so much stick for this? He has'nt actually said much at all on this situation. Plus is it actually him that decideds on the fee L'pool pay for Barry or does that decision not come from the guys above him?

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  • 154. At 4:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, electrifyingSwipe wrote:

    What a load of one-sided nonsense this article is.

    What an earth has Rafa's comments about his value of Peter Crouch got to do with his bid for Gareth Barry??

    Absolutely nothing. Is Crouch worth £15m? Of course not, but Rafa is quite right to want as much for him as possible. Just like O'Neill is when it comes to Barry.
    Whether the players in question are worth it is another thing.

    Is Adebayor worth anywhere near £30m?? I don't think so. Will Phil have a go at Wenger for demanding such a ludicrous price? Of course he won't. Rafa's fair game though.

    I'd like to know what Rafa has done wrong exactly??

    Perhaps if he'd have acted more like Fergie and quietly tapped the player up that wouldn't have left such a "sour taste"???

    The lack of respect shown towards Benitez by the media is staggering. I can't fathom it.

    O'Neill has acted poorly throughout all this. I totally respect him trying to do the best for his club - at the expense of ensuring Barry looks like the villain of the peace - but I just can't fathom his bitterness shown towards Rafa and LFC. He blew his top when a story appeared in the Liverpool echo - completely ignoring the fact that the 'Barry to Liverpool' stories had been in the tabloids for weeks previous to that. O'Neill came out and confirmed the stories were genuine - not LFC.

    O'Neill has turned this into a grudge, and all the noises are coming from him.

    I hope we sign Barry as he's an excellent player. He's not worth £18m, but Carrick and Hargreaves aren't worth that either. But that's what they went for and that's obviously what has influenced the valuation.

    Why doesn't O'Neill shut up about it all and just get on with getting the best deal he can for his club?



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  • 155. At 4:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, powertiipe wrote:

    This I prime example of picking a truth and twisting the facts around it!

    1. Villa started this. Carson is a young goalkeeper who made his England debut this year and was a regular at Villa for the whole season. To say this player is worth pennies is ridiculous.

    2. If Benitez says Crouch is worth 15m and ends up selling him for 10m does this mean that Villa should sell for 13?

    3. No way is Barry worth 18. Or do you think that a guy who has made it public that he wants to leave makes a good captain? Villa have to sell him now, he wont perform for them as well anymore.


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  • 156. At 4:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    spider Barry has only 2 years remaining not a long term deal at all so similar to Crouch

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  • 157. At 4:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, Parish87 wrote:

    At 3:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, Phil McNulty - BBC Sport wrote:

    To LFCSnumber8...I have no agenda against Liverpool or Benitez and it is ridiculous to suggest that.

    Then again, I've been accused of having agendas against Everton, Manchester United and Newcastle in the past so at least I'm even-handed.

    What I will say is that Benitez is under pressure to deliver a serious title challenge this year after two season without a trophy.

    Liverpool fans will, rightly, expect more than a cup run this season and so will the club's board - a fair demand in my view.

    ---

    Fair enough - you don't have an agenda, but you didn't answer his points, which were very good ones.

    How does this put Liverpool or Benitez in a bad light? Have you seen anyone from Liverpool go to the papers? I've seen Barry, and O'Neill at least twice.

    O'Neill was the one to let slip about Benitez's approach, O'Neill was the one who complained about the situation on BBC Coverage of Euro 2008 live. O'Neill is the one who let everyone know they have rejected not one, not two but three bids. O'Neill is the one who has publicly made everyone aware he has banned Barry from pre season training because of Barry's public comments about not hearing anything from his manager.

    Where have Liverpool acted unprofessionally apart from undervaluing Barry and overvaluing Crouch? Why is there bad light shed on Benitez, because, as the evidence proves, he is the only person acting professionally during this saga.

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  • 158. At 4:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Well said,Will

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  • 159. At 4:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, Paul the Greatest wrote:

    I think we need to settle this Barry vs Alonso situation first.

    Well, for me at least, Alonso has much more quality to his game than Barry does, but unlike Barry, he hasn't hit consistency since 2006. So while Alonso can be brilliant at times, totally outshining Barry, it's far more likely of him to have an indifferent day, while Barry will in general have a good game.

    However, I'd like to put into perspective the fact that at least last season, Barry wasn't all that impressive either and I see people have omitted that.

    Can Barry replace Alonso? Yes, he can, however, Liverpool might regret this move. Alonso is a player who hasn't found his feet yet, once he does, if he does of course, no matter where he plays, he will perform to standards Barry could never reach. Plus, Barry is only proven at a mid table club, there is every chance he'd look out of place in a CL side.

    And I'd like to disagree with whoever dents Alonso for his Euro 2008. Whenever he came off the bench he performed well. And Fabregas didn't exactly break the first team, he only replaced David Villa. Do you see Alonso (a DM) replacing Villa? I thought not, and anyway, Fabregas is a better footballer than Alonso, but he's also much better than Barry.

    So, to put it simply, Barry can fit in Liverpool's squad. And maybe he'll suit Liverpool better, as he's a much more offensive minded player than Alonso, though his goalscoring record is overrated (count the penalties). And Barry may prove to be a much more constant performer.
    However, Alonso's passing will be missed. I think that still is an underrated side of the game. He's the best passer in the Premiership easily( sadly for him, in the world, the 2 passers most probably above him are also Spanish), putting the likes of Fabregas and Carrick to shame. Juventus are no fools for monitoring him. Sissoko and Alonso in midfield can work out grand, I'm sure of it.

    And if Barry was so good, Juventus would surely be considering him and I'm certain Villa would accept a 16 million pound deal from Juve just to diss Liverpool. But they are not simply because Alonso has more quality. It's not showing on a consistent bassis, but it is there.

    So Liverpool will do no wrong getting Barry, but it might not yield the right results. Benitez should have been more quiet with his first bid, otherwise, all I see is a bigger club trying to get a player from a smaller club. The player wants a new challenge which comes as an advantage to the bigger club. The smaller club however, own the player and they make the terms.
    In this battle of two, I think Villa may likely be the one losing. Of course, by refusing to accept ever improving bids, they impose themselves as not a selling club, but look at it from Barry's view. How will this player perform for Villa after the club denying his best chance for a CL side? Villa should hope Liverpool meet their valuation, otherwise, they might end with rotten goods or they will be forced to sell at a much lower price.

    What will be the outcome, I think Liverpool will in the end, get Barry and sell Alonso. I also think Barry won't be a hit for Liverpool and Villa might actually realise that there likes of Young and Laursen were/are easily more important players than Barry.

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  • 160. At 4:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

    LFC should not have bid for Barry until the end of the season. The timing of the bid undermined Villa. As a consequence the act was entirely unprofessional.

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  • 161. At 4:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    So in this day and age with agents and underhand tactics whats to stop Barry signing for say Udinese paying 4.5m to buy out his contract. L.F.C. immediately buying him back for 7m. 2.5m profit for Udinese, with signing on fee a 5m saving for L.F.C and 5m to Barry and his agent.

    Deals like this will happen and I for 1 would laugh if this happened to AVFC

    Due to this scenario being very plausible especially in the future. Basically players are worth their contract plus their signing on fee no more. Wenger ha already eluded to this in the last 2 weeks that Transfer fees between clubs will be gone and all that will be paid is the buyout of the players contract.

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  • 162. At 4:44pm on 04 Jul 2008, matti76 wrote:

    They're simply thrashing out a price, everyone's being pretty honest, and everyone seems to know where they stand.

    Much better that than the scheming, evasive Ronaldo and Co.

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  • 163. At 4:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, GrayandRed wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan the whole sticky situation has made me a little uncomfortable and I wish we hadn't heard anything about the Barry transfer until it was completed. But I'm afraid that's the way things go nowadays with the press trying their best to stir the ...pot at every opportunity to make a quite boring story sound a little bit more interesting.
    Barry is a top player and at 27 is at his peak, but I don't believe he is worth £18mill. Carrick and Hargreaves cost that much because it was Man Utd the biggest club in the world so clubs know they can ask them for ridiculous fees for players and get away with it e.g. Veron. Also, the reason Crouch would be valued in a different way from Barry is that Crouch is a striker and strikers always comand bigger transfer fees. He's obviously not worth £15mill but Adebayour isn't worth £32mill is he!!? and I'm sure realistically Wenger would be quite happy to take anything over £12mill for his one season wonder.
    People are saying that Barry is valued so highly because he is an England International, but surely if that's the way it works then Scott Carson SHOULD be valued at £10mill by Rafa as he has an international cap at a relatively young age for a goalkeeper?
    Barry and Alonso are quite similar, but Barry is better at keeping the ball as he tries less Hollywood passes and he doesn't struggle getting back in to position in the same way Xabi does. Don't get me wrong I'm a big fan of Alonso's but sometimes squads just need to be freshened up so the hunger is still there.

    duffenbrau aka BitterToffee

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  • 164. At 4:48pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mufc032 wrote:

    Liverpool and Rafa in fourth spot no matter who they sign

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  • 165. At 4:49pm on 04 Jul 2008, hassinator wrote:

    since when was running a football club a popularity concert? there is no reason why liverpool should be playing mr nice guy in the transfer market - villa our opponents and one of two serious rivals for a top four slot.

    the other is tottenham and we want to buy their captain too. i don't think either transfer would be as catastrophic as mo johnston to rangers but still its shrewd business on many levels.

    man utd have traditionally pillaged whatever club they like and have the cash to do it. we don't therefore we're going after what we need with a ruthless professionalism that i'm rather pleased with after years of fuzzy love and mediocre results under the houllier/coco axis.

    more power to rafa's elbow and dont' doubt that both players will be coming to liverpool.

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  • 166. At 4:50pm on 04 Jul 2008, bfoandc wrote:

    I really find this article somewhat muddled. Villa are justified in maximising their cash input even if they 'don't need it' by actually demanding 18million, but if Liverpool attempt to maximise their cash just by 'talking up' a valuation they are somehow acting badly.

    What is abnormal about a seller attempting to maximise the price they get and a buyer trying to get an item for as little as possible?

    OK, Chelsea may be able to splash out the cash asked to get a player just to stop other clubs getting them (Duff, Wright-Philips) but that is abnormal.

    Who is better Barry or Alonso? It could be interesting to find out, but may remain a matter of opinion.

    Who will fetch more money: a fairly recent recruit to the England midfield setup or almost the only English striker in the last few years to score regularly? It is an interesting question but the bottom line is that any player is only 'worth' whatever anybody will pay and all Managers know this.

    Of course if Benitez were sure that Barry truly only wanted to play for Liverpool he could let Villa stew until January. However, if Alonso goes and with Mascherano playing in the Olympics, waiting may not be an option.

    For me what this whole saga underlines is the unfortunate reality that Liverpool have had relatively small (by comparison with other leading clubs) amounts of extra cash to spend on players. Effectively last year there was 'only' a nett amount (after taking off money earned by selling players) of around £20m spent.

    An interesting topic to explore could be how much extra Liverpool might need to spend to close the gap at the top.

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  • 167. At 4:50pm on 04 Jul 2008, Capital(RED) wrote:

    Phil, your argument is ridiculous. You casually left out the fact Crouch has an impeccable scoring record for both club and country and has always caused a problem for defenders. Unfortunately he does not work with Fernando therefore was dropped. Also, strikers who can score in the Premier league are a lot scarce than midfielders, and Barry is not worth the same as Carrick and Hargreaves because he is not as young.

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  • 168. At 4:50pm on 04 Jul 2008, mohawesh wrote:

    Alonso is over-rated???? have you been watching a different liverpool side than the one i have been following. He is a Europen champion and Juve are willing to pay almost 17 m for his services and you think he is not woth it.please revise this non-sense.
    I would rather keep him and spend the 18 million on another quality striker.If we have it

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  • 169. At 4:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, GreenTeaBags wrote:

    Pathetic.

    These arguments are simplistic and skewed as usual.

    What little Benitez has said on the matter is completely and utterly irrelevant.

    Barry has publicly fallen out with his manager and wants to join Liverpool. This never happened with Carrick or Hargreaves. Responsibility for this lies squarely with MON.

    Alonso is, like Fabregas, a member of the champions of Europe 2008 squad. A tournament that England didn't even qualify for. To use your simplistic logic then he must be worth more than the English equivalents Carrick and Hargreaves who are supposedly worth £18 million.

    Phil Mc Nulty = WUM

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  • 170. At 4:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, gedhoney wrote:

    Can someone explanito me what exactly rafa is supposed to have done wrong? he's made bids for Barry, a player he would like to buy and put a value on his own players. That is his job.

    I think MON behaviour throughout has been childish and unprofessional. There has been a stream of invective directed at Benitez, which has led to Villa fans jumping on the bandwagon and bad mouthing him. Gareth Barry has been a loyal servant to Aston Villa and should not have been treated with the contempt that MON has shown him. If you're captain, longest serving and most loyal player says he wants to leave to move to a bigger club, that are playing at a higher level then I would think you sould first do everything you can to make him stay and then thank him for is service and negotiate in a grown up professional way with potential buyers.

    I have no problem with Villa holding out for as much cash as possible, but the way they have conducted themselves and treated Barry has been apalling.

    As a liverpool fan, I don't actually think Barry is that good and if it was up to me I'd pull out and keep Alonso. But I've lost all respect for O'Neil after the way he has behaved.

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  • 171. At 4:52pm on 04 Jul 2008, Duffenbrau wrote:

    GrayandRed in response I have never had an issue with Barry wanting to leave. Liverpool are a larger club and consistently in European competition.

    The proud tradition and reputation of LFC no longer exists as a result of this scenario and their unrealistic attitude. The matter is simply resolved by either stating that they will offer the amount or state that they will not bid.

    Everton deserved to finish 5th. Liverpool deserved to finish 4th - miles behind the top three.

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  • 172. At 4:52pm on 04 Jul 2008, KaptainKop wrote:

    As a Liverpool fan I'll be sad to see Xabi leave (Mcnulty you've just proven you know next to nothing about football ith the 'overrated' comment) and I don't see Barry being any improvement on what we have.

    The saga has dragged on (much like the two unwanted yanks in our boardroom) and ALL parties involved are to blame, not just Barry and Benitez. I very much doubt though that relationships between the two clubs are as dramatically bad as mr McNulty implies.

    As for other comments from so called Liverpool fans wanting the likes of Bentley and Downing at Anfield should stop reading tabloids and playiong football manager, then try actually watching these players.

    We need players who will improve the team/squad and these two in particular are no better than anything we currently have.

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  • 173. At 4:54pm on 04 Jul 2008, BoDiddley wrote:

    Why does Phil keep saying "we all know how this is going to end" ?

    No we don't

    No doubt if Barry ends up staying at Villa, we'll be told 'it was obvious from day one that Barry was going nowhere'

    these journos just make it up as they go along. They have no more insight than me or you !

    "This is THE Aston Villa Football Club...we do NOT muck around...we play it straight up until forced to do otherwise...and then, beware." - General Krulak - astonvilla.vitalfootball.co.uk - 1/7/2008

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  • 174. At 4:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, U1494619 wrote:

    Gedhoney - how have Villa behaved apallingly? Barry has made it clear that he wants to go, and begrudgingly Villa are letting him have his way if Liverpool pay the fee they are looking for. Liverpool haven't matched Villa's valuation so for now Barry remains a Villa player.

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  • 175. At 4:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    The point about the fees is that when Liverpool quote £15m for Crouch, £10m for Carson (both players Villa would be interesed in), we decided that was MORE than we wanted to pay so pulled out and are now looking for alternatives.

    Whats so disgusting about Liverpool is that despite being told the price is £18m they continue to disrupt the club and unsettle the player rather than just stumping up the cash or walking away.

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  • 176. At 5:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Barry is still a Villa player, yes - how well do you think he'll perform after the way MON has treated him?

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  • 177. At 5:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, < Stu > wrote:

    Once a bitter blue always a bitter blue hey Phil?

    You are worse than Andy Gray.

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  • 178. At 5:03pm on 04 Jul 2008, BoDiddley wrote:

    176. At 5:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:
    "Barry is still a Villa player, yes - how well do you think he'll perform after the way MON has treated him?"

    Well enough to maintain his placein the England set-up - don't worry about that

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  • 179. At 5:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    Good point Faangler, some clever PR and a new contract and things would be back to normal pretty quick one would imagine.

    Pretty much like when gerrard did his u-turn on joining Chelsea.

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  • 180. At 5:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    good luck, then, but i can't see him and Mon really working together properly ever again, can you?

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  • 181. At 5:08pm on 04 Jul 2008, sirPRINTY wrote:

    i keep hearing about this so-called public squabbling. surely this takes 2 sides to create a squabble. all the anger and hostility in the public domain seems to be coming from one side and that's Martin o Neil, not his football club, just him! he seems to have really gone overboard on this one. Benitez and Liverpool have not said a word to my knowledge. i can't understand why there is so much hostility towards a man and club when they have actually said almost nothing. all recent hostile press reports and television reports are from the Villa side. Chelsea and Man united are constantly making comments about players they like. LFC say nothing and get stick. would it be better if they were more honest and Benitez went public and stated on Sky that he wanted Barry. i doubt it. i think he would be hammered for either approach.

    i don't agree with some of his (Benitez) valuations but i think the comments made about him and LFC in recent weeks are not entirely fair and MON has reacted in a strangely over the top manner from the outset, and from which he has not relented.

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  • 182. At 5:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    To RealBigBod,

    I think they would just get on with things. Although Barry has shocked me with his interview, i can hardly see him doing a Van Hooijdonk!

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  • 183. At 5:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Just one point - Liverpool behaved in a rather different way to Gerrard's proposed transfer than Villa have done over this shambles.

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  • 184. At 5:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, torresel9ino wrote:

    I think we can all agree, the only reason crouch hasnt been playing is because of a certain centre forward called Torres keeping him out the team! Yes thats right the one who won spain the european championship!!! Also what is the point in selling alonso to buy barry the transfers only cancel each other out. Moreover i think we can all agree O'Neill's expectations are to high Barry cant single handedly win anything for Villa.

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  • 185. At 5:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    So in this day and age with agents and underhand tactics whats to stop Barry signing for say Udinese paying 4.5m to buy out his contract. L.F.C. immediately buying him back for 7m. 2.5m profit for Udinese, with signing on fee a 5m saving for L.F.C and 5m to Barry and his agent.

    Deals like this will happen and I for 1 would laugh if this happened to AVFC

    Due to this scenario being very plausible especially in the future. Basically players are worth their contract plus their signing on fee no more. Wenger ha already eluded to this in the last 2 weeks that Transfer fees between clubs will be gone and all that will be paid is the buyout of the players contract.


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  • 186. At 5:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, NorthfieldVillain wrote:

    @ Unbiasedtothebone. I think you will find that Villa fans and management know that Ashley Young, John Carew, Gabby, and Martin Laursen are more important to our club than Gareth Barry.

    But we need to make it clear that we are not to be trifled with. We aren't a selling club, never have been, never will be. We have a genuine ambition to break into the top four and we're not going to do that if we are weak and let "big" teams bully us into selling on their terms.

    We'll let our players go when we see fit for deals that we consider worthwhile. We won't be dictated to by the opposition. Barry misread the key players in this situation hugely, but then we thought better of him too.

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  • 187. At 5:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, paulhayfield wrote:

    I think O'Neill was perfectly within his rights to go public about the Liverpool interest in Barry as it was done at a time when Villa were still trying to push on for the UEFA cup spot and could really have done without being unsettled by a bid for their best player and club captain. This was entirely disrespectful on Benitez's part and understandably riled everyone at Villa. Liverpool deserve everything they get.

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  • 188. At 5:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, the_accountant wrote:

    It's pretty obvious what's going on with this garbage one-sided article from Phil McNulty... Martin O'Neill is the BBC's beloved Euro 2008 pundit, so all he needs to do is put a call in to the sportsdesk and *HEY PRESTO* he gets the blog post of his choice slagging off Liverpool and Rafa.

    Pathetic.

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  • 189. At 5:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, Not Everything is Black and White.....It's RED wrote:

    Do you think Benitez has used the right tactics in doing this deal? Is Barry over-priced? Are Villa being too hard-nosed?


    Basically Yes to all.

    Villa have made their valuation based on England performances in comparison to Hargreaves and Carrick.

    MON want to act like a big club manager and try to bully his valuation onto Liverpool. But When the same tactic is used on him he spits his dummy out and runs to the bbc ranting a load of rubbish.

    Villa have failed to negotiate and are trying to play hard ball.

    Barry may end up in their squad at the start of next season and Anfield in January. For a lot less than £18 million.

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  • 190. At 5:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, TommySnorkel wrote:

    O'Neill is cutting off his nose to spite his face over this and if he doesn't like this all being conducted through the media he should keep his mouth shut and stop running to the press each time Liverpool make a bid. You're right Phil - we all know how this is going to end, it's just a question of whether Barry finally does the right thing and puts in a formal transfer request, forgoes his 'loyalty' bonus and both clubs can move on with the rest of their transfer business this summer.

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  • 191. At 5:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, d0gwill wrote:

    Everyone has different valuations on different players.

    Take for instance Sheffield Uniteds James Beattie, Middlesbrough and Sunderland have enquired about his services for the coming season. Sheffield United were willing to sell at £8,000,000. Thats were it has all started from.

    Also Man Utd paying £18,000,000 for Carrick when 12months before Tottenham paid £2,600,000. So to say that its all come from Rafa is ridiculous.

    Its not that Rafa doesnt rate Crouch, after all it was Rafa the bought him. Its just that Rafa found a formation that worked, with less rotataation but unfortunatley didnt involve Crouch. £15,000,000 is too much and im a fan of Crouch but like someone said, Crouch is Englands best striker going off the past 3 years statistics. £10,000,000 would be reasonable.

    O'Neil made the Barry offer public, no one else. He made it public because he didnt like Liverpools offer. Then Liveprool were asked if this was true and they admitted it was. So Liveprool are wrong for telling the truth? Get a grip people.

    The only liar I can see is O'Neil, In June he never came out and said that Barry wanted to leave yet when hes off babbling on BBC at the Euro's Barry admits he wants to join Liverpool, O'Neil comes out and says Barry told him in June he wanted out?!

    18,000,000 is too higher value for Barry, Liverpool have been back with better offers which Villa keep rejecting. Sooner or later Liverpool are going to give up and move elsewhere, leaving Villa with an unhappy player, creating an unhappy environment among the rest of the squad and minus what money Liverpool had offered.

    Oh and Phil, your article is a little one sided and your knowledge of football seems very limited thinking Alonso is overated. Its a disgrace that you get paid to write on here.

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  • 192. At 5:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, EFCjosh wrote:

    Rafa hasn't got a clue.

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  • 193. At 5:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    MoN? - Man or Numpty? - I think we all know the answer

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  • 194. At 5:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    Ha ha ha ha....the_accountant, do you really think the most important thing on MON agenda is what blog the bbc run with??

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  • 195. At 5:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, Straeh wrote:

    If Barry is keen to better himself and get the chance to play CL football, why hasn't he handed in a transfer request?

    Most people have to make scrifices to realize their objectives, what makes Barry different?

    Funy how a little run in the England side turns a player once admired for his humilty into an "entitled prima-donna.

    Shame money again is the central point to this petty scenario, combined with Rafa's lack of respect for his peers or opposition.

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  • 196. At 5:17pm on 04 Jul 2008, jezza s plaything wrote:

    i tend to come down on Villa's side in this. Barry is their player, they can ask what they like while he is under contract.
    I do seem to remember that there were allegations that Villa poached the same player from Brighton.
    Once again it seems that the whole thing is about money. Barry moaning that Villa didn't try hard enough to keep him and in the same whining breath saying that he wants Champions league football.
    If this involved my club I might care , but really its just about people wanting their own way and manouvreing to get it.

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  • 197. At 5:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, OdieFC wrote:

    I think we all need to settle down and we need to put things into perspective here. Liverpool and Rafa has bought and sold alot players over the years but non of them have gone over like this except for Heinze.

    Back then, it was just Fergie deciding that he didn't want to help out a rival. Which is a fair deal.

    But most of the time, its a rumour. A few bids and its done.

    Alonzo did have a poor season, you should try to have a better season with consecutive foot fractures. Forget playing, try running. The reason Rafa can hold out for 16 million is cause if it doesn't work out plus the Italian then to pay crazy money for players. Alonzo is happy to come back and play. He is beloved by the fans.

    Can't really say the same for Barry. Yes, he is an England International but only for friendlies. Yes he has captained England but Capello hasn't decided who should be captain. But isn't this a mute point, Isn't everyone a national team player in this league?

    Reading thru the replies, most kopites know that Crouch isn't worth 15 million. But lets go back before we signed him for 7 million. You were all laughing at us. As the number of games piled up, as his drought extended game by game. Now, he is regular in the England squad and has benefited from playing at Liverpool. He has played Champions League and did well. And despite what you all think, he actually played more this season that last.

    He just doesnt seem it because he was 2nd or 3rd choice behind a striker that broke the records for most goals in a debut. Who would you have on the pitch? Someone who was decimating defences and setting records or someone who was improving.

    As for Carson, he isn't worth 10 million but this gaffe belongs to Oneill. He came out and said he hopes to complete a permanent transfer because he rates him highly. Its like going to a dealer and say I have cash, I want that car. You will always pay more than you want to.

    In my opinion, this is where this stuff got started. ONeill wanted carson for 4 million, Rafa took a chance to rub it in with the 10 million offer for Barry.

    Most likely Alonzo's move will break down, meaning no more money, he will slot back in. Rafa who has been quiet lately is probably already looking at alternatives either considering a player like Keene or one of the reserves to move up.

    Crouch will leave for 8.5 - 9 million. Barry gets his wish and stays with Villa.

    Just one last note that nobody seems to talk about, if Villa could have finished top 4 in the last 10 years barry has played there, this wouldnt even be necessary.

    Peace Now lets forget all this and settle it on the pitch.

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  • 198. At 5:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, Kris wrote:

    i think rafa is losing the plot a bit tbh.

    selling riise was a bad bit of bussiness imo

    i think crouch and alonso would be missed if sold

    and with the rotaition policy i dont think barry would see many games

    and with gerrard and javier in the centre

    i see even less games for him

    he's better off at villa

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  • 199. At 5:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, stokesvilla wrote:

    I think MoN has got this spot on. Next time a so called 'big' club decides they want one of our better players they will think twice.

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  • 200. At 5:20pm on 04 Jul 2008, hurrahforshinyhead wrote:

    Barry is no better than Alonso.
    I don't know why Rafa is wasteing his time.

    What we need is another quality striker/winger

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  • 201. At 5:21pm on 04 Jul 2008, BoBo_Sheikh wrote:

    phil, just one thing is wrong with your blog. rafa, started to auction off crouch at £15m, when everyone else, inc villa, started to inflate their prices for their players. Rafa's valuation was a reaction to O'Neill's valuation of Barry. If anyone is to blame, it's O'Neill and not rafa as you suggest. You should get your timeline correct.......

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  • 202. At 5:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, Pacmanjunior wrote:

    If you were Barry would you not be annoyed if youre told you'll be spoken to in a couple of weeks four weeks later no word no nothing and see him endlessley on Tv kissing Shearer, and claiming France will win, cos I would, and then youre wanted so much by the club that youre told not to report for training and fined, who from villa has been speaking to sidwell then????

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  • 203. At 5:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, jorgie72 wrote:



    Is Barry worth £18M? Yes (relative to the madness of todays prices)

    Is he that much better than Alonso to justify the price? No.

    The question is really about getting best value out of the Alonso sale.

    Mad Benny might have considered looking at Alonso to Villa with maybe £3M on top.

    However - Central mid isn't even our main concern!! We have Mazza and Stevie G and Alonso and Lucas - it's the wings and attack where we need to focus - exceot we don't because Crouchie was brilliant and then got binned for no good reason!!

    Mad Benny. Mad.

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  • 204. At 5:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, soccerlifer wrote:

    Frankly, I don't see what the problem is. Sellers always wany a higher price and buyers always want a lower price - that's why we have negotiations.

    It's normal for O'Neill to want more for Barry, and for Rafa to want him for less. And for Rafa to want that much for Crouch and Alonso is not unusual either - if he can find a buyer.

    All this righteous indignation and raving and ranting in the press by O'Neill just seems another ploy to pressure Liverpool to meet Villa's asking price.

    Good for him - if he can get his way.

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  • 205. At 5:24pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    So in this day and age with agents and underhand tactics whats to stop Barry signing for say Udinese paying 4.5m to buy out his contract. L.F.C. immediately buying him back for 7m. 2.5m profit for Udinese, with signing on fee a 5m saving for L.F.C and 5m to Barry and his agent.

    Deals like this will happen and I for 1 would laugh if this happened to AVFC

    Due to this scenario being very plausible especially in the future. Basically players are worth their contract plus their signing on fee no more. Wenger ha already eluded to this in the last 2 weeks that Transfer fees between clubs will be gone and all that will be paid is the buyout of the players contract.

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  • 206. At 5:28pm on 04 Jul 2008, The Rock wrote:

    sorry, but a large percentage of people on here are stupid

    Villa do not want to sell Barry. He is under cotnract so they can set the price. Martin O'Neill and Randy Lerner have done nothing wrong. They have set a price on THEIR player. Liverpool can take it or leave it

    Do not compare it to Benitez "bargaining" on the value of crouch. Benitez wants crouch out as he needs the money to fund his purchases.

    And dont go on about the Carson deal. It was a loan with a "VIEW" to a move. Villa havent backed out or screwed anyone. They loaned the player and decided his ability didnt match the valuation, so they MOVED ON....maybe rafa should follow this example and find another player to tap up

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  • 207. At 5:28pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    @ Gerrard0008

    I think the player has to be in the last year of his contract to do this. I'm still not sure how it works then....whats stopping Crouch from doing this now for instance and moving to Pompey with a fat signing on fee?

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  • 208. At 5:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, Hoof and move thats the Liverpool groove wrote:

    I really would like to know what is going on in the heads of some Villa fans? Constantly slagging L'pool off telling us we should worry about our position and blah blah blah.

    Let s face it as an honest Pool fan we aren't at the consistent level of United, Chelsea and sometimes Arsenal but we have at times proved a more than capable match for all three.

    In the past 10yrs we've achieved a lot in terms of honours, what have Villa done??? You've had ONE good season (in your opinion) were you finished 6th with an absolutely woeful defensive record may I add. Yet you now believe you good enough to challenge a top 4 spot??? On what planet?? If anything you should be more worried about B' burn, Ports, Ctiy, N' Castle and Spurs because they WILL BE breathing down your necks next season.

    Young and Agbonlahor won't be at AV forever enjoy them whilst you can. You should be more worried about the lack of quality transfer activity/links going on at your end. Perhaps this could also be the reason why Barry wants to leave????

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  • 209. At 5:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    You cant move to same country clubs and you are allowed to buy out contract with 2 years left and Barry qualifies for both hence i used Udinese as a 3rd party

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  • 210. At 5:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mikewsa wrote:

    I am, to be honest, neither a fan of Benitez nor Liverpool.

    I suppose that, in some twisted way, there is "logic" in Liverpool's approach - any business wants to get the most they can for what they sell, and pay the least they can for what they purchase - and is football not now more "business" than "sport" ?

    It is just unfortunate that, with the poor approach to negotiations, Barry has been caught in the middle. He is not totally blameless either - has certainly done his fair share to escalate the acrimony.

    Will buying him help Liverpool win the league ?

    Not likely, I think. Liverpool can buy any player they like, but the players at their disposal are not the problem.

    My prediction, for what it is worth, is another 3rd or 4th place finish for Liverpool, no matter what players they buy.

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  • 211. At 5:31pm on 04 Jul 2008, robsta82 wrote:

    Benitez wants to improve his team.
    Benitez wants £16m for Alonso.
    Barry will replace Alonso.
    Benitez thinks this is an improvement.
    So he has to pay more than £16m.
    Therefore £18m seems fair!

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  • 212. At 5:32pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    @Gerrard0008

    I guess what's stopping Barry from doing this and from even handing in a transfer request is the money he stands to lose. Kinda shows what the real motivator is.

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  • 213. At 5:32pm on 04 Jul 2008, Kafkabytheshore wrote:

    This is just another example of how overrated and overvalued English players are. And surprise, surprise, were England even at the Euros??
    18 million - not on your life! Why was Jo bought at 19 million - are you saying he is actually worth more than Crouch?
    They should really re-value English players to what they're really worth - not much.

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  • 214. At 5:33pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    go back and read my post, he would pocket 5m, udinese would pocket a 2.5m for nothing and LFC would save 5m. Ther real losers would be AVFC.

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  • 215. At 5:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, BoDiddley wrote:

    Gerrard0008, your talking rot
    MON is a lawyer - I doubt you are

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  • 216. At 5:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    @Gerrard0008

    I'm not sure your maths add up. If we're to believe what the papers say his on, his contract is worth £9-10m. Again, if we're to believe whats reported, his loyalty bonus is somewhere in the region of £3m. So Barry has had to shell out or wipe away almost £13m at this point?

    I'm sure no player could do this on the assumption that said club (liverpool in this case) would compensate him?

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  • 217. At 5:40pm on 04 Jul 2008, rs wrote:

    I think Rafa like quite a few managers ends up looking like a total hypocrite. It often happens with managers moaning about people resting players, then they do the same themselves (gary megson).

    Sure is a boring transfer. I wonder if they will shake hands after they meet in the next villa v pool game.

    Ronaldo and barry, this seasons two stinker transfers.

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  • 218. At 5:42pm on 04 Jul 2008, miraclejuande wrote:

    I think Barry should be happy he got into the England Squad because he was leading and playing well for Aston Villa. At Liverpool under Rafa's stupid rotation policy, he may find his England spot is hindered due to the lack of constant first team football. I agree with the article that Liverpool will sign him, but it may just mean he loses his England spot to Hargreaves or Carrick

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  • 219. At 5:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcus1981 wrote:

    The most interesting point that has been raised, is why the hell do Liverpool want or need Garath Barry? Is it purely because he plays for a club that is close to you in the league and your trying to put further distance? Or is it that Gerrard is running the show and wants his mate?

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  • 220. At 5:44pm on 04 Jul 2008, oskinner182 wrote:

    I used to like Liverpool and Rafa Benitez, but this whole ordeal has made me dislike them both... Alot! Rafa has lost the plot!

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  • 221. At 5:44pm on 04 Jul 2008, lukemarson wrote:

    I like the fact Liverpool fans are defending their club after they went public about the transfer and are trying to blame it on Villa.

    Seems like they've got a chip on their shoulder and an over-inflated ego.

    Benitez started this and he only wants Barry to unsettle a team that are closing in on them. I'd kill for my team to be in Villa's position compared to where we are and Liverpool look like a team who are going to implode in a couple of years time.

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  • 222. At 5:44pm on 04 Jul 2008, Jam_LFC wrote:

    Xabi Alonso is 'vastly overrated'?

    Where did you come to this conclusion? I normally enjoy reading your posts, but clearly you have not watched Alonso in action. If you sat down and watched his movement off the ball, as well as his superior passing ability on it, you would no only eat your words, but apologise. Barry is a decent player, but by no means better than Alonso

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  • 223. At 5:45pm on 04 Jul 2008, soccerlifer wrote:

    I'm kinda puzzled about Mr McNulty's logic on one point: does the fact that Crouch wasn't played regularly last season reduce his value significantly AND make him worth less than Barry?

    I suppose that's like saying that Nico Anelka is worth less than Kevin Doyle because he wasn't playing regularly at Chelsea while Doyle played every game for Reading.

    That Rafa didn't play Crouch doesn't mean he can't value him at 15 mil; it just means he had another striker in Torres that is now valued at 80 mil (if you believe all the Chelsea rumors).

    I don't think Crouch is worth 15 mil (didn't think Bent was worth 18 m last year either and he's behind Crouch in the England pecking order) but I don't think that has anything to do with whether Rafa plays him regularly or not.

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  • 224. At 5:46pm on 04 Jul 2008, oaklands1 wrote:

    Has everyone forgotten the age of Barry not to mention what Alonso has achieved in the champions league?

    Liverpool should not raise their latest bid...villa will be forced to sell a player that is no longer happy otherwise theyll keep him and lose out next season when they realise they need to sell and the most anyone will offer will be 12 mil tops....

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  • 225. At 5:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, Torres+Gerrard=Greats! wrote:

    Gareth Barry I'm Sure would be a Great Signing For Liverpool.

    BUT... Is he needed because with the arrival of Barry .would most Probably see the departure of Xabi Alonso. personally one of Liverpools Un-sung heroes.

    Would this really work:

    Reina
    Degen Carragher/Skrtel Agger Dossena

    Mascherano Alsono

    Then now this gets hard..

    Right sided player? Bentley Gerrard Barry/Babel
    Torres

    So you see from that £18mill shouldn't be really spent on a left sided when liverpool already have Babel, beyanoun, (areulio) etc.. even leto.

    Liverpool should Spend on the Right

    Because Liverpool Need width which kuyt doesn't really give so Bentley or somebody would prefect .


    Going Back to the Barry Signing.
    Buying Barry would prossiblby mean alsono getting kicked ouuta the team with babel i'm sure prefered on the left hand side.
    Now to make MY point:
    REMEMBER LFC FANS LAST SEASON WHEN LIVERPOOL COULD ONLY REALLY DRAW GAMES THEY SHOOULD OF WON AND FOUND OURSELVES 6TH BEHIND CITY AND EVERTON. ALONSO WAS INJURED!!!
    HEE CAME BACK THEN LIVERPOOL SUDDENLY GOT BETTER AND I WONDER WHY THAT WAS......ALONSO MABYE??

    I think it was. He's one of the only players in the Prem that can actually pass the ball. Everyone must of seen him in the euros. ok he didn't start(only bescause senna is a better tackler than xabi) and liverpool have got one of them already with macherano. he played Amazing when he came on he passed the ball with ease.

    So do we really need barry. when we could buy a really decent world class winger....

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  • 226. At 5:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, footyfan wrote:

    you clearly you have an agenda against liuverpool this comes across in all your blogs

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  • 227. At 5:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, itssevennow wrote:

    What an idiotic article.

    How does this reflect badly on Benitez?

    He sets a high initial value for Crouch, and makes a low-ball initial offer for Barry.

    It's called negotiation.

    As for Barry being a regular in the England side, how many matches has he played?

    How many has Crouch played?

    I pray every night (along with world peace) that Rafa walks away from the deal, and leaves O'Neill with Barry.

    He's not that good a player, and Liverpool don't need him.

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  • 228. At 5:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, reubster73 wrote:

    Ronaldo, Adebayor, Drogba, Berbatov, Barry ... there's a bit of a revolution going on and what's important in my opinion is that the fans are saying "You want to go? Fine, sod off then."

    As a spurs fan, if Berbatov wants to go, fine and good luck to him. I want to see players who want to play for my club, and I don't care what they're "worth".

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  • 229. At 5:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, footyfan wrote:

    What an idiotic article. he's an evertonian i hear say no more

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  • 230. At 5:56pm on 04 Jul 2008, scousertommy81 wrote:

    Correct me if im wrong but isnt Rick parry in charge of sorting out transfers once rafa has selected his targets? meaning all this talk of Rafa making lots of bids absolute rubbish?

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  • 231. At 6:01pm on 04 Jul 2008, footyfan wrote:

    whys this guy being paid by the bbc to show his bitterness?????

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  • 232. At 6:02pm on 04 Jul 2008, masterandy23 wrote:

    This is a load of old nonsense. LFC and Rafa have done nothing wrong. They have stayed tight lipped in the press and are just trying to get the best value for a player that they would like, but ultimately dont need. If AV dont drop their inflated price tag then LFC wil stick with Alonso. MON is the one acting like a baby and shooting his mouth off. Surely his is the reputation being tarnished by this, not GB and not LFC.

    Surely we have to take Barry at his word and if he says that, in the 7 or 8 weeks that this has been dragging on, MON and AV havent spoken to him, then they can hardly claim to "have done everything possible" to persuade him to stay.

    Just a couple more points; Peter Crouch has not only proved himself in the UCL...but has become a valuable member of the England squad over the last few years and is also their most prolific goalscorer. Why shouldnt his value be comparable to barry who has only recently got back into the squad??I am sick of anti-crouch sentiment. Just because he doesn't fit into the team that Rafa wants...(he is only being kept out by TORRES- perhaps the world's best striker at this moment!!)..that doesn't mean his value should plummet.

    Oh.. and Hargreaves went from England's biggest laughing stock and rumours of being Sven's love child to £18 million and england's most sought after player after one good performance against portugal in a team of terrible performances....how he has 2 CL winner medals is beyond me. There is no point comparing his value with Barry's as his was so inflated to begin with!!

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  • 233. At 6:03pm on 04 Jul 2008, lechampiongnat wrote:

    Seems to me that O'Neill has a point, but Villa must realise that a situation with Barry staying but unhappy and no big fee from LFC is not a great result.

    As a Liverpool fan, I don't think that Rafa's approach was very clever, particularly with someone like MON. And unlike you, I can't see that Barry will add much to the side, but who am I to make that decision?

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  • 234. At 6:03pm on 04 Jul 2008, soccerlifer wrote:

    @miraclejuande

    You think Barry would be rotated out of his England place if he moves to Liverpool.

    Hargreaves hasn't exactly been a regular at Man U since joining for 18 mil last year, but I guess only Liverpool rotate players.

    You sound like a Spurs fan - no rotation there either; just midfielders in central defence and Defoe rotated off to Pompey...

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  • 235. At 6:06pm on 04 Jul 2008, Hookers_armpit wrote:

    The answer for 231. is simple:

    McNulty is an Everton fan with an alarming obsession about writing about Liverpool.

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  • 236. At 6:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, Torres+Gerrard=Greats! wrote:

    Sounds like AV may just realise Barry.

    Cos he's fallen out with the club

    Biggest Freebee of the Century XD

    [I mean he's banded from training]

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  • 237. At 6:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, BillNewton wrote:

    Anyone who has been on the first day of a basic negotiation course knows why Benitez asked for £15m for Crouch and only started with £10m for Barry. I really can't understand why you need to ask this question.

    What do you think he ought to have done simply ask what price Villa wanted and just say OK then? How do you think LFC's board and fans would have reacted then?

    Personally I am sick of seeing LFC pay over the odds for players we bring in and get next to nothing for those we sell. If Benitez show signs of being a good business man then that's good news.

    When considering Barry's price you have to take account of his age - in three years time LFC would still get £18m+ for Mascherano whereas they'd get nothing back for Barry.

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  • 238. At 6:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, Czechmate wrote:

    Good article right up until you said Alonso was overated. I respect your opinion but i'm sorry Xabi Alonso is underated everybody raves about the Gerrard and Torres connection but when ever these two are in a position to link up it is normally due to a piece of creativity from Alonso.

    The fact that Xabi Alonso is underated not overated is backed up by his lack of a first team place at euro 2008 and the fact that he appears to have been value less than Barry.

    I'm a Liveprool fan and I don't want Barry he is a good player and worth 18 million to Aston Villa but not to us.

    I can see why some people might want him but it seams to be going to cost us both alot of time and money both of which could be better spent on an are we need such as wingers or another striker.

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  • 239. At 6:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, wimboway wrote:

    Villa should hold firm and make Barry buy the rest of his own contract out. That'd show him.

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  • 240. At 6:13pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    would cost 4.5m to buy out

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  • 241. At 6:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, U12549864 wrote:

    "you forgot the other bit of Benitez's delusion - apparently Liverpool's reserve keeper (Scott Carson) who Benitez has hardly ever picked is also worth ?10 million"

    The reason why he "forgot" this is because, if Mr. McNulty has done his homework, he knows that an option to buy Carson after the loan period for 10m was agreed upon by both clubs upon signing the contract that allowed Carson to leave for Villa on loan

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  • 242. At 6:15pm on 04 Jul 2008, woodsyone wrote:

    I think that Phil McNulty's blog was top notch. He summed up the situation perfectly. I am a Villa fan and was desperate for Barry to stay. However, THAT interview put paid to that. It is very sad that the saga has dragged on interminably but once over, I will remember Gareth for what he did for us over a 10 year period. He has been a model professional and one of the Villa greats. I firmly believe that he has come under the influence of the Liverpool manager, who has demonstrated his double standards publically. The GB interview with the News of the world was so out of character, it makes me think that someone put him up to it.

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  • 243. At 6:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, jorgie72 wrote:

    Aside from all this rubbish - as a Reds fan I can say I always keep a close eye on Villa - one of the traditional clubs and a proper footy stadium - Villa should be further up the league than they are. Losing Barry wont help in that quest.

    So yuo can keep Gareth - but in return can we swap MoN for Rafa?!

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  • 244. At 6:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, johnnyG08 wrote:

    Do Liverpool really want to pay 18 million for a 27 year old who has only play 20 times for england in the past 8 years or keep a younger xabi alonso who is reaching 50 caps for the european champions. In an a perfect world Liverpool should keep alonso and still pay villas asking price for barry, I know this wont happen, but look at hargreves and carrick at Man U those two cost over 30 million and there not always playing for Man U. So maybe this is the differents between Liverpool wining the title and being 3rd or 4th place.

    And as for over valuation then just look at Darren bent for £16.5 million, Lets face it english players are priced too high and thats why teams in europe dont buy many english players!

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  • 245. At 6:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, KingBarry6 wrote:

    Can i just make this clear for everyone. The bid was leaked by liverpool, and appeared the next day in a local paper. O'neil was then asked about the bid in a press conference and did not leak it.

    By the way, i no longer stand by my username. I may change it to "SitsOnTheBenchBarry25"

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  • 246. At 6:20pm on 04 Jul 2008, Strongbow546 wrote:

    Crouch $10, Barry $18 seem appropriate but I would keep Alonso and put the $18 towards Villa and Silva.

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  • 247. At 6:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, cmccmc76 wrote:

    couldnt agree more with phil!!!...alonso completely overrated......disappears in the big games and dont forget was abysmal in the home loss to barnsley last season.......villa right to hold out for 18 million.......barry is not top class but still better than alonso........benitez needs to realise that the clubs ourside the top 4 are not stupid........

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  • 248. At 6:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, Aah tea wrote:

    Villa do not wish to sell, they would much rather keep Barry. They do not need £18m or any amount for him. If they were attempting to put other clubs off, they would have set the figure at £25m or more. Many respected commentators (see The Times recently) have commented that £18m is reasonable, it's certainly not unreasonable.

    Benitez made a serious error of judgement in leaking the bid early and in the disrespectful offers made. Liverpool has a choice, pay £18m or withdraw. By eaking out unsatisfactory offers they just prolong the agony and show further disrespect - either put up £18m or withdraw, very simple.

    Villa will be more than happy if it is the latter. For those that think Villa act unfairly in not compromising, there is no reason for Villa to compromise. We don't care if the deal fails. Liverpool should understand that before they do anything else.

    And as for having a disaffected player, things can change very quickly in football. An apology from Barry and some expression of misgivings over ever considering Liverpool would reverse sentiment in moments.

    Oh, and Carson is at best an England reserve and probably not even that at the moment.

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  • 249. At 6:35pm on 04 Jul 2008, Thoughtfulpurist wrote:

    The absence of trophies in the Anfield cabinet is testimony to a lack of ambition in the transfer market.

    Torres excepted, Liverpool have not signed a top class player for many years and the pursuit of Barry continues along that path of mediocrity.

    Untill adequate funds and ambition are made available Liverpool will continue to play fourth fiddle to Chelsea, Arsenal and Man Utd.

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  • 250. At 6:36pm on 04 Jul 2008, Aah tea wrote:

    Regarding Barry not asking for a transfer, I think he has in effect with the comments he has had attributed to him, even if it isn't a formal written transfer request.

    If you read some of the statements from Villa Park, I think these indicate that this is the stance the club will take. Seems fair to me.

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  • 251. At 6:37pm on 04 Jul 2008, gonf81 wrote:

    Is Gareth Barry worth 18million....NO, Is Crouch worth 15 million.... maybe, at least he is proven in both the CL and england team and is Scott Carson worth 10million.... prob not so why did Villa agree to pay 12 million for him when they took him on loan and then renege on it at the end of the season and then try to haggle over the price. I am a liverpool fan and i dont really want him, he is not a guaranteed England pick and is no way worth that amount of money would rather take Alonso all day long over him, regardless of the comment made by Phil. Villa and Oneil have been shameful over there actions with there dealing with this transfer they clearly want the player gone otherwise why werent they trying there best to keep him, instead of someone being on the bbc giving bad punditry. He has been a good servant to the team and just expressed his desire to play against the best players week in weekout against the best teams in europe, i dont see a problem with him expressing this.

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  • 252. At 6:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    There we go again "the statements from Villa Park" - still nothing from Liverpool though - why are they the villains when they say nothing?

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  • 253. At 6:42pm on 04 Jul 2008, Scooby_and_Xabi wrote:

    "Liverpool fans will, rightly, expect more than a cup run this season and so will the club's board - a fair demand in my view."

    How is that a fair demand? He was only given enough of a transfer kitty to sign Torres, Mascherano and Babel last year (which ended us with 4th spot, semi final of the Champs League and lost to Barnsley in the F.A. Cup). With this year, he needs to sell players in order fund new deals, we are strapped for cash now more than ever, so how are we supposed to launch a legitimate title bid when we are signing players like Dossena and Degen?

    If Rafa were given the right financial support this season, there is no doubt we would be competing with the rest. Unfortunately, the reality is, as this whole mess makes it evident, we really can't afford Barry for £18 million (our biggest target... for one reason or another). We should just buy Robbie Keane and David Silva and have done with it.

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  • 254. At 6:49pm on 04 Jul 2008, The Unused Substitute wrote:

    Anyone who thinks Barry is worth anything more than £10 million is quite simply deluded.

    As for the relationship between Barry and Villa, it's simply become unworkable. Consequently, the transfer of Gareth Barry to Liverpool is inevitable. It is now a question of when, how much and who gives in first.

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  • 255. At 6:53pm on 04 Jul 2008, OmanPaul wrote:

    I don't understand the problem with Barry's wish to move to Liverpool. He is a pal of Gerrard's and wants Euro Champs League football. His Agent has obviously tipped off the press and yet everybody wishes to blame Benitez; and Barry has spoken to the press himself to try and apply even more pressure on Villa. As far as the value comparison with Crouch and Barry is concerned, it is obvious that Crouch has more caps and has also scored goals for England. Barry is still a fringe player for his country, but has been a loyal servant of Villa who now appear miffed that he wishes to leave after 10-years loyal service. Let the lad go for a sensible price and hope that he gets his dream of Champions League football elsewhere, be it Liverpool or wherever.

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  • 256. At 6:53pm on 04 Jul 2008, squirrel-adim wrote:

    Phil, you got the wrong end on this article. Why?

    LFC want to buy at around 15 million, AV want to sell at 18 million. In poor people's language this is called bargaining.

    The crux of all this is that Barry wants the move to LFC and no other club has come in for him - knowing he will only move to LFC.

    LFC would not have moved unless they were sure Barry wanted that move.

    I don't know why you stand by O'Neill (I have great respect for him and AV). Barry himself said he did not make him feel wanted. This concludes that O'Neill does want to sell Barry - ow he would have tried all the best to keep him.

    =======================
    end of Barry saga
    =======================

    Your Peter Crouch valuation nagging.

    Name me an International striker who costs say 12 million?????????????????????????
    try 15 million?????????????????????????

    Peter was nobody when he went to LFC and yet he became the nations best striker!
    Can't you recall when he was booed by English fans on the pitch???????

    How about Darren Bent? Robbie Keane being quoted 20 million (Torres came at 19.6 million + add ons).

    O'Neill is frustrated (rightly so!) cause he's losing his captain and kingpin, he has to get a decent keeper + Barry's replacement.

    ============================
    Now your Alonso loathing.

    Alonso is one of the best passers not only in the Premiership but on International scale. Alonso was tracked by Real and Barca and lately Juve. He has vast international experience on both club and national level, yet you say 16 million as a joke!

    Personally I would rather retain Alonso than persue Barry. The only snag is that Alonso's wife is finding difficulty in settling in the UK and would prefer elsewhere. Otherwise Alonso remains loyal, and Rafa will keep him.

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  • 257. At 6:54pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Can't afford him - don't want him - let him stay wih Villa and upset O'Neil's applecart - no interest in playing for them and no money from his transfer - great!!!!!!!!

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  • 258. At 6:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, Bondi2h wrote:

    As a villa fan I think neither Liverpool or Villa are to blame here. The problem comes when a player wants to have his cake and eat it.

    Barry wants to move to Liverpool and wants to receive his loyalty bonus, at 3 million quid wouldn't you? But surely you have got to chose between the two, not try and engineer a move through the papers.

    I hope this can be sorted out because he was a good player for us when everybody else was not. Martin O'neill is protecting the club from the big clubs coming in a picking the best players. Who would look forward to buying off Villa now?

    Finally Liverpool is a great club, but it will be interesting to see how they would react if the even bigger boys came looking for Torres. I am sure they would not want their manager to let him go without a wimper.

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  • 259. At 6:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, barnseysleftpeg wrote:

    Disagree totally, they are both over-valued. Rafa says Crouch is worth £15 million and we all know he isnt, but Barry is not worth £18 milion either and two wrongs dont make a right. If Barry is worth that, then are strikers not worth more traditionally. As you point out, he may not be a regular for England, but when he plays for England he scores. Taking everything into consideration, ages, positions etc, they are both worth around £10 million max. You have to remember that should Liverpool get Barry he will have next to no sell on value when we are done with him. The price tag is ridiculous.

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  • 260. At 6:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, Grant wrote:

    AGAIN PHIL MCNULTY HAS GOT HIS FACTS WRONG!

    Why do you continue to have a go at Liverpool, Rafa and anyone associated with the club??

    Do you really know exactly how the negotiations went? If Liverpool were out of order then why aren't Villa reporting them to the authorities??

    Regardless, Barry is not worth 18M. You know it, Rafa, knows it, everyone knows it! Crouch is worth 10-15M. The reason he isn't getting many games for Liverpool and subsequently for England is because Liverpool play with one up and that man is on-fire Senor Torres! However, everytime Crouch has come on or played when Torres has been rested, he has been great and still scored a fair few goals.

    Your other comment about Alonso being over-rated. You are truly a bad journo hack and have no idea about quality footballers. Alonso, Champions League winner, European Champion is twice the player Gareth Barry is, was and will ever be. He has been injured most of last season and was only coming back to his best at the end of the season. He can pick a pass like no other, however i grant you Aragones also thinks Iniesta and Xavi are a bit better. Rafa is wrong if he lets Alonso go but in my opinion it's probably down to money and he has little choice if he wants to bring in 'the surprise addition' this summer.

    Back to Barry.....i'm afraid Barry is the over-rated one and the reason he's been a fixture in the England squad lately is because Capello has been trying different personnel out in friendlies. We'll see what happens when the big games come around.

    So to summarise, Phil please explain why you give Liverpool such a hard time?

    Do you really think Barry is better than Alonso?

    Why do you provoke Liverpool fans with these nonsensical articles?

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  • 261. At 6:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    So in this day and age with agents and underhand tactics whats to stop Barry signing for say Udinese paying 4.5m to buy out his contract. L.F.C. immediately buying him back for 7m. 2.5m profit for Udinese, with signing on fee a 5m saving for L.F.C and 5m to Barry and his agent.

    Deals like this will happen and I for 1 would laugh if this happened to AVFC

    Due to this scenario being very plausible especially in the future. Basically players are worth their contract plus their signing on fee no more. Wenger ha already eluded to this in the last 2 weeks that Transfer fees between clubs will be gone and all that will be paid is the buyout of the players contract.


    Sparks an intresting debate

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  • 262. At 7:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, greenhalghlfc wrote:

    I agree with Phil on the Peter Crouch comment, as a devoted Liverpool fan i agree that £15m is too much for Crouch, although i do rate him as a striker when needed and we have seen his performances for the national side. I also reckon that Barry will be wearing the Red 'Carlsberg branded' shirt of Anfield next season, so i think Rafa should just bid the money now, because if what he says is true and Barry is his top summer target, then he won't rest until Barry completes the seemingly inevitable switch.

    As most people are, the Ronaldo saga is boring me to the point of tears and sleep. The Barry 'saga' is attractive as i feel something will come out of it in the end, The Ronaldo move - on the other hand - i feel nothing will come of that, Man Utd will not let him go, and Real have stated they will not stump up £75-£80m for a player!


    Great blog Phil, very interesting points made in there, keep it up.

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  • 263. At 7:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, geniuscheshirevillan wrote:

    Unfortunately nobody has come out of this with any credit.

    MON responded to a question put to him before the Everton game last season about an offer from Liverpool for Gareth Barry. How exactly was he supposed to answer?

    "No comment" - the perception would have been that negotiations were on or in the offing.

    "No we haven't" - would not have been telling the truth and MON would not have countenanced doing this.

    "Gareth is a villa player under contract." Maybe that would have been the perfect answer (with the benefit of hindsight).

    We all know how the situation has developed since so I won't cover it here.

    But at the end of the day, MON was within his rights to ridicule the bid received at that time as that was the only way it could have been handled.

    I'm sure Liverpool would have been told what figure Villa wanted, so for them to come in so far below that was only going to see those offers treated with contempt too.

    Yes, perhaps Villa haven't handled this as well as they could have done. But on the other hand Steven Gerrards comments left a little bit of a sour taste. (Surely that was not far off a public tapping up??)

    The interview released by the NOTW from GazBaz was the saddest aspect of this whole affair. Many Villa fans would have rued GB going, but would have wished him well after his loyal service to the club in the last decade. (Maybe he should have read the Mellberg Book of public relations?)

    I think since then it has descended into a rather unholy mess out of which no-one will arise smelling of roses.

    However, one thing it should demonstrate is that clubs outside the supposed big four have had enough of the bullying and are prepared to stand up to them a little more.

    Handled the right way, I think a deal would have been done for somewhere in the region of £15million (or perhaps an undisclosed fee) and all would have been happy.

    I think the end result will be GB at Liverpool, for a fee of about £16.5m. Liverpool having to increase their "final" offer a little, but Villa accepting a little less than they wanted.

    Sadly, it is a rather undignified mess for all involved.



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  • 264. At 7:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, Hipkissisnotabluenose wrote:


    8. At 3:15pm on 04 Jul 2008, Joe_Singh wrote:
    We do not know if Barry is a fixture in the England team until England play a competitive fixture. To say Barry is a regular is only speculation at this point.

    The saga was made public by someone at Villa

    ===============================

    two things wrong with this statement
    a) Barry is the only player to play in all of Fabio Capello's matches in charge

    b) If the saga was made public by someone at villa, why did it first appear in the liverpool echo

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  • 265. At 7:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, coxytj wrote:

    im glad that someone has finally pointed out the carrick and hargreaves price tags! i am a villa fan, and considering that when o'neill originally came to villa, he sat barry down and discussed his future plans. i think that 2years on to turn around and speak the way he did about martin who has brought the club into european contention is disgraceful. i am ashamed of gareths behaviour as captain, and in my opinion the 18mil price tag is a bit much now after realising the type of person barry really is. i hope he enjoys european football, and the title of villa parks biggest traitor

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  • 266. At 7:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, robsta82 wrote:

    If Rafa doesn't like the price he should shop elsewhere.
    If Gerrard wants to play with Barry why doesn't he come to Villa Park? He is 28 and could come and play with our up and coming young team!

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  • 267. At 7:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, ManWithTheFlan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 268. At 7:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 269. At 7:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, wheezychaplin wrote:

    This is the most biased opinion I have ever read. Journalistic integrity at its worst!

    O'Niel has handled the situation disastrously and is equally to blame for the situation along with Liverpool, and Barry, who wants to play for a bigger club in the CL.

    I can't believe you're even allowed to post on 606, let alone be the "Chief Football Writer" if this is the one sided view you express.

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  • 270. At 7:20pm on 04 Jul 2008, robsta82 wrote:

    Gerrard0008 - we may only barely speak English but what is 'a old night in January'?

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  • 271. At 7:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, scoggyman wrote:

    Football, just as with any other industry, trades in a circle of commodity. A buyer and a seller have to agree to a trade, and a good deal is only a good deal if all are happy with the outcome. This is where football falls foul of this age old principal because the aim of this particular game seems to be not only to achieve the aim of buying a player, but it's not a good deal until the buying (or selling) club has achieved the humiliation of their opponent. This humiliation is never dished out by the mangers or chairmen. This task is reserved for the fans to administer when the two teams meet on the field. The same fans who are fed misinformation if given any information at all. This lack of respect for fans is indiscriminate. It matters not if you're an occassional visitor or holder of the most expensive "prawn sandwich dispensing corporate box (another fan attack from a player who should have known better). Aston Villa and Liverpool have always enjoyed a solid relationship. Witness the "several" transfers of Steve Staunton, and Dean Saunders etc. This may be a longing for a bygone era of the fabled bootroom and it's method of negotiation, but I believe it's now fair to say that relations between these two proud clubs will not change now until either or both managers move on. Acrimony has replaced empathy between these clubs. As witnessed at the last home game at Villa Park, the fans already new Gareth Barry was going to leave, but there are waysfor aplayer to do this with dignity, grace and respect for the fans. By chosing to take what I hope was bad advice, Gareth Barry has in one ill-advised interview undone ten years of his own hard work which is by itself a sad thing. similarly Mr Benitez has managed to erase the good will all neutral fans heap on Liverpool, a team viewed by many as welcome relief from the strangle hold administered to the league by Man Utd and Chelsea. Rather than admiring the way he has conducted himself whilst navigating the shark infested waters of the current Liverpool boardroom, Mr Benitez is now more likely viewed as a petulant child wanting every other child's sweeties. Witness the public pursuit of Robbie Keane. Whilst Liverpool have not admitted their desire to take him from Tottenham, they have not denied it either! Shame on Liverpool for this down grading of ethics, but more importantly shame on the game we all love. Integrity is dead, long live football.....But only just!

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  • 272. At 7:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, dhimmi wrote:

    "It is also sad for Barry that a player who has given such good service to a club sees his career at Villa Park end with him receiving such savage criticism from fans."

    Boo Hoo.

    No player has a divine right to win titles or play in the Champions League

    It is not possible for every player to join the top 3 or 4 clubs in Italy/Spain/England and the sooner lazy (because they would rather coast at one club than put effort in at another) players like Barry, Carrick and Berbatov realise this the better!

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  • 273. At 7:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, matthew_dawson wrote:

    No, I'm not THE Matthew Dawson! I presume you mean the Everton fan and England rugby star!

    As for the Barry situation, I actually think he should go to Liverpool. Speaking as an England fan, it would be great to see these two forge a partnership. £18 million is ridiculous, but so is £15 million for Crouch. I would say no more than £15 million for Barry.

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  • 274. At 7:28pm on 04 Jul 2008, Milomix wrote:

    Firstly, Benetiz does not think Crouch is worth £15m nor Barry worth £10m, he’s trying to get the best price for both players. Crouch will undoubtedly go for between £10m (quite likely) and £12m (if Liverpool get lucky), and too right too, as he as proven him self consistently at a higher level since he joined Liverpool for £7m.

    As for the price of Alonso compared to Barry? Well Alonso has more than twice as many international caps as Barry and has played in a European Championship winning side. He has also played regularly in the Champions League, including 3 semi- finals and two finals’ one of which he won and scored the equalising goal in. He’s also played in and won a FA Cup Final.

    There’s no doubting Barry is a decent player but the sum total of his career achievements, is taking pride in battling away in a mid-table side. £18m is a completely crazy price for 27 year old midfielder, unproven at the highest level.

    My money is on £10m + Scott Carson.

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  • 275. At 7:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, Milomix wrote:

    Not sure why every symbol in that post has turned into a question mark?!!

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  • 276. At 7:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, pixelvillain wrote:

    This spat between Rafa and MON goes way back to the Scott Carson affair. Benitez slapped a stupid price tag on the on-loan goalie when Villa wanted to sign him permanently.
    As for the leak to the press, it actually came out in the Liverpool Echo. Which one of the two managers would have leaked it to a Merseyside newspaper? Hmm?
    AND it came out a day before a vital game for Villa who were at the time playing for a fifth spot in the league.
    Im not concerned that Barry maybe isnt worth 18million as the prices for most players are ridiculous anyway. But why should Villa let him go for anything less with the way it has been dealt with, so far.
    Sadly, Barry has now put his own comments in print and isolated himself from his present team.
    I hope he goes soon, for the asking price, and gets to play withe gerrard in the champions league. Good luck to him.
    Personally im more concerned with who Villa will buy and hope ,through the intertoto cup , qualify for the UEFA cup.


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  • 277. At 7:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, arge007 wrote:

    firstly, i'm a villa fan trying not to be biased here and as a keen admirer of Gareth Barry it will be a sad day for the club when he leaves (and as Phil says, he will leave).

    however i struggle to see how MON is to blame in this "saga". He has laid down a price, that we assume to be around £18m. Ok, that may seem a little steep, but who isn't these days? Man City have just spent £18m on a striker that few of their fans will have ever seen play, so in that context the same money for a proven premiership midfielder and player that is clearly good enough to play at international level doesn't seem so ridiculous. He has every right to stand firm and say "if you want him, stump up the cash" - any club on the verge of losing their best player would do the same.

    liverpool however, like most of the other big clubs, seem to suffer from a massive distortion in the value of their own players compared to those of the "smaller clubs". Just because someone like Peter Crouch wears a liverpool shirt doesn't suddenly mean he is worth and extra 5 or so million, and the sooner this is realised the better.

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  • 278. At 7:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, laughingdevil wrote:

    First off I don't think any player is worth the sort of money paid nowadays, however - The going rate for and England International Midfielder (as mentioned in the article) is about 18M, so Villa's price tag is hardly unreasonable, Liverpools current bid of 15M is also not unreasonable, however their starting bid of 10M is as it is almost 1/2 what Villa was after, and contrary to what Benitez seems to think transfer deals aren't market store haggles!. Also lets remember that English players tend to cost more than their foreign counterparts, so a foreign player worth 16M (Alonso) should really be far better than an 18M English replacement, so Logically Benetiz is either

    a - undervaluing Barry, by a lot,
    b - overvaluing Alonso, by a lot
    c - thinking Villa are skint/mugs/or both
    d - thinking the clubs after alonso are loaded/mugs/ or both

    Personally I think it's likely to be a combination of the undervaluing/overvaluing and thinking everyone else is not as smart as he is.

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  • 279. At 7:30pm on 04 Jul 2008, graceandfervour wrote:

    Sorry but the fact that Benitez values crouch at 15m is because he's an england regular, sure he's spent too much time on the bench, but with Torres on top form and Gerrard amply supporting - isn't that fair enough. Pick the teams challenging for a euro spot, forget Man U, Cheslea and Arseal who's strikeforces are formidable - would Crouch not be one if not first choice in all but one or two teams. That's demand... Scoring as well as he did on the very few times he had the chance is vlaue. Simple maths (just the same as MoN is following tack with) Demand x Value £15m! Barry is worth 15 as well but not £18, but MON is an ass staring the whole shooting match of by agreeing a £10m deal for Carson then after keeping the player on the bench for huge chunk of the seaon reneages and offers £5 - O'Niel you deserve what you get, a trully miffed club captain zero tranfer options and tenth place!

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  • 280. At 7:32pm on 04 Jul 2008, robsta82 wrote:

    In reponse to Milomix, Bobby Charlton has more caps than Alonso and a World Cup winners medal!
    If Alonso is so good why does Rafa want to get rid?

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  • 281. At 7:32pm on 04 Jul 2008, allerallerrouge wrote:

    Give the man a chance.....Rafa's building a team, where would the manc's be if they'd have got shot of ferguson after 4 years.... We would'nt be looking over our shoulders i tell ya!!!!!

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  • 282. At 7:33pm on 04 Jul 2008, G_is_God wrote:

    This article is rubbish. The drama is created by the media and the over-emotional O'neill, who seems to have forgotten he is NOT managing the biggest club in the country anymore (ie what Celtic is in Scotland). He has been kicking and screaming ever since we dared to put in a bid for a player that we wanted to strenghten our team. His judgement has been blured by his ego, so much so that he has completely abondened his intention to permanently sign Carson now, the goalie who has served him well last season. And why is Benitez's pride tarnished here? He has done nothing but come back with improved bids. Benitez is trying to do business with very little he has. The likes of Fergie and Abramovich CAN pay over-inflated prices, and this is why we are facing these issues. Lets face it, we should be pointing the finger at the clubs such as Real Madrid, Man Utd and Chelsea, who make it very hard for any other club to afford good players. What will Ronaldo's fee be?

    There would be no drama regarding this transfer. If the likes of Phil here werent earning their living on it.

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  • 283. At 7:34pm on 04 Jul 2008, HarriMerchant wrote:

    Starting at No1 and reading through to No45, I gradually got quite bored. I do not know who McNulty is but he wrote of things as he saw them. Things which I regard as true.
    I have been a Villa supporter for well over 60 years and have not seen too much to write home about. I also watched Liverpool in their Second Division days just after the war, so I feel I can comment on the Barry situation.
    As I see it, the problem started by a non-professional action by one of Liverpool's few amateur managers. This is then exacerbated by an ageing football friend making 'come on' comments. Barry, in his turn, uses the press to annoy the Villa management so that they will allow him to leave with £3M in his pocket.
    What would I do? If I were MON I would accept Liverpool's offer and replace Barry with 3 squad players as it was a weak squad which was one of last season's problems. Then spend the rest of the money available on the best players we could afford (goalkeeper and goalscorer).
    If I were Liverpool I would hang my head in shame and not turn up at Villa Park next season. With Benitez' knowledge of football, we can expect that Barry will be sitting on the sub's bench alongside Gerrard.
    Long live Everton and their first class management.

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  • 284. At 7:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, neilholmes wrote:

    Phil has got it right. Benitez is generally disliked by other Premiership managers for his double standards, and this is now coming back to haunt him. I hope Villa stick to their guns, and even increase the asking price. As for Barry, he must be mad to want to join this desperate club, where expectations far exceed achieveable reality. As for wanting Champions League football, this is not guarenteed this season as there is the small matter of the Qualifying Round to negotiate, and don't be suprised if Liverpool fail the test, assuming they draw a team stronger than a Welsh pub side, which was their typical good luck not so long ago. As to future seasons, I can see Liverpool really struggling to make 4th place, which is the best they can hope for.

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  • 285. At 7:41pm on 04 Jul 2008, Noblelox wrote:

    It's a slow news day eh? Phil you must be of the same nationality as Martin O'Neill as you are starting a fight in an empty room all by yourself.

    Lets look at it from another perspective, a more factual one. Liverpool's initial bid was leaked from Villa's end, it first came out in the Birmingham media, so Liverpool are not playing Real Madrid's game of naming players they are interested in, in the hope that they'll throw in a transfer request and get the move. But then what happens? Do Villa play it down and let it vanish under the pile of thousands of other transfer rumours? No, Martin O'Neill throws this ridiculous public hissy fit that makes the whole thing the story of the summer. They then refuse to pay the agreed £10 million for Carson and if that isn't throwing your dummy out of the pram, what is?

    Then when did haggling become such a crime? Tell me that? You have something for sale and you say it's worth twice it's value, I then say, no it's worth half it's value, we back and forth for a bit then settle on the real value in the middle.. because Liverpool initially bid half the value for other players and ask twice the value for other player, we are not the root of all evil in the English game???

    Sorry Phil, but your blog is just bluster and hard nosed contention to start a fight. And looking by how many posts there are, you did well! Now get back to writing something factual.

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  • 286. At 7:42pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    I also hope Villa stick to their guns refuse the 15m on offer and decide to up the price.
    Barry in turn buys out the remaining 2 years of his contract then signs for a foreign side with a huge signing on fee and the big losers will be AVFC hahaha

    I think Villa should look at the fella who has just moved to the barcodes as they could end up with less than 5m for their captain!!!

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  • 287. At 7:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, Zinedene Salifou wrote:

    Barry wants champions league footy hes been at V

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  • 288. At 7:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, carlos_chav wrote:

    It is incredible that people compare the tag price of Alonso with Barry.

    Barry just scored his first international goal against Trinidad and Tobago in a friendly last month !

    Alonso is being a regular for Spain for many years. YES Spain European Champions 08
    where was Barry for the Euro qualifiers ?
    and where was England in the Euro 08 ?

    My point is, people that say that Alonso is worth is less than Barry just because Barry plays for England is just nonsense.


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  • 289. At 7:48pm on 04 Jul 2008, Estesark wrote:

    Liverpool should walk away from this transfer and come back in mid-August, when a £15m offer, or even something lower, will be accepted. Barry and O'Neill have both made it clear that the former has no future at the club, so, when pushed into a corner, they would rather have £15m than nothing and be stuck with a player that doesn't want to be there, and that the manager doesn't want.

    The only danger in that strategy would be if someone else decides they will pay £18m, but can you really see that happening?

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  • 290. At 7:49pm on 04 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    Liverpool bid £10m for Aston Villa's Gareth Barry
    Birmingham Post
    May 2 2008

    Liverpool are understood to have launched their bid to sign Aston Villa captain Gareth Barry by tabling an initial £10million offer.

    *****

    Liverpool make £10m bid for Gareth Barry
    May 2 2008
    Liverpool Echo

    LIVERPOOL have tabled a £10m bid to bring Aston Villa star Gareth Barry to Anfield.

    Which came first then? Who leaked what and when? Don't blame one club above the other because of local newspaper stories

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  • 291. At 7:50pm on 04 Jul 2008, Zinedene Salifou wrote:

    Barry wants champions league footy, hes been at Villa for 10 years and just as we are getting into europe and approaching 4th he wants to leave. What i think MON should do is play him in an intertoto match then sell him we get the money and Barry is ineligible for champions league that would be funny

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  • 292. At 7:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    Barry is just a smokescreen for Xavi/ Iniesta/ Jeremy Menez anyway. I am positive if somebody is foolish to pay 18m for a player who is 27 in the final 2 years of his contract then Benitez would walkaway.
    Villa will the be forced to find potential suitors and will be lucky to get half of 18m

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  • 293. At 7:59pm on 04 Jul 2008, Homer wrote:

    Good Article

    One thing not mentioned by many is the loyalty bonus barry picks up - i heard if he hands in a transfer request and forgoes it, villa would stand to make a substancial saving

    Does anyone know the actual figure? Someone mentioned it was around 3mil, which is ironically the gap between liverpools latest bid, and the valuation of Barry...

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  • 294. At 8:07pm on 04 Jul 2008, Pirlo-vision wrote:

    I had to laugh when Phil compared Barry to Alonso. Heck, the Villan ain't even as good as Hargreaves (whose work is criminally overlooked). So Barry has one good season with Villa and all of a sudden he's the answer to Liverpool's title prayers? Get real. It's just another case of a player havng a couple of good games for England and suddenly he's world class. Ages ago on 606, I suggested Marcos Senna as the solution for Pool - the guy would cost less, has CL experience and is simply a better player.

    It seems English football is awash with cash but bereft of sense...

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  • 295. At 8:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, carrie wrote:

    Well the vast majority of this mile of posts above say that Liverpool are behaving badly and MON has every right to behave in the way he has. Barry has lost all sense of proportion of what he is, he has had his head turned and Liverpool are welcome to him as he has behaved appallingly.

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  • 296. At 8:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, ManUtdLeon wrote:

    Anybody get the feeling English players are completely overpriced? It's silly Carrick, Hargreaves and now Barry all going for around the 18 million mark?

    It's no suprise the premier league doesnt have enough english players in it! When these guys want to leave and advance their carreer (which we need after our brilliant euro qualifiers) they get told well if a club offers 2 or 3x your value.

    Doesn't anybody agree?

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  • 297. At 8:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, SpyIII wrote:

    Just a word about transfer valuations: If Barry is worth 18 million as an attacking midfielder then Ronaldo is worth over 100 million. If Crouch is worth 15 million then that must make Drogba worth 300 million!! It's time to get back to reality with obscene money being spent on good but not great players. When is it going to stop?

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  • 298. At 8:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, John Quinlan wrote:

    Once again Liverpool are showing arrogance beyond belief. Pay the money for the player or butt out.

    As for Barry is it really that important to be at the fourth best team in the country?

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  • 299. At 8:17pm on 04 Jul 2008, Blokee wrote:

    People keep saying Gareth Barry has been a faithful servant to Villa but what about when he was desperate to leave before MO'N came in?

    O'Neill persueded him to stay after he had agreed to join Portsmouth. O'Neill turned him into the player he is today and Barry wants to turn his back on the man that made him.

    Very sad to see for me, certainly his open and public criticism of his manager.

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  • 300. At 8:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mikewsa wrote:

    In reply to 292

    You say "Villa will be forced to find someone to pay 18M, and have to settle for half" . . .
    ..... that souns like typical Liverpool / Benitez logic to me, and you totally miss the point.

    Villa don't wan to sell.
    Villa dont need to sell

    So how wil they be "forced" ??

    Villa are not "forced" to do anything - if they were Barry would already be wearing a Liverpool shirt.

    Liverpool, and Benitez, need to do the one thing they are no good at - put up or shut up.

    Villa have put a high, but fair at current prices, value on a player. A player hey dont want to sell, but whom Liverpool want to buy.

    So, pay the price or walk away. Simple.

    If your neighbour does not want to sell his 20,000 pound car, but you offer him 12000 because you covet it, can you rightly be upset when he tells you where to catch the bus?

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  • 301. At 8:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, Gerrard0008 wrote:

    Villa dont want to sell
    Villa dont need to sell
    Villa can do what they want

    Player power is everything.
    Barry doesn't want to play for villa
    Barry doesn't have to play for Villa
    Barry is within his rights to pay 4.5m and buy out his contract and go elsewhere.

    Villa do not have the upperhand
    Barry does, therefore if Villa like it or not Barry will be gone!

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  • 302. At 8:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, Berethorn wrote:

    What a pitiful little article, didn't even finish reading it. Crouch not an England regular? What a load of cobblers. Man nearly saved McClown's job single handed.

    Rafa's offered £15m for Barry, same as his asking price for Crouch. What's the problem there?

    Bloody media. Never mind O'Neill's hysterics, can't go upsetting a bbc pundit now can we? No of course, it's all that meanie Rafa's fault.

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  • 303. At 8:24pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mikewsa wrote:

    As for Crouch being valued at 15M, it just proves that :

    a ) transfer values have gone haywire
    b ) Benitez is smoking his socks and thinks everybody else is too.

    The paid 7 for Crouch, who was overvalued then, and is now not even considered good enough to be a Liverpool OR England 1st choice starter - and want more than double?

    Crouch will leave for 10M, and that is a great deal from Liverpool's perspective.

    In another 2 seasons he will be re-sold for 6

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  • 304. At 8:24pm on 04 Jul 2008, Paul wrote:

    A good piece of writing. The one thing I don't agree with is the suggestion that Barry's given ten years of solid service to Villa and so "sentiment" should allow us Villains to let him go. We don't want him to go because he's our captain, our engine room and our best player. But the vast majority of Villa fans would not have resented his departure were it not for the totally unnecessary blast at O'Neill last weekend. That is what has really soured this affair .... that and the blatant tapping-up of Barry by Gerrard and Benitez.

    I really hope that Everton displace Liverpool in fourth place next season ....

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  • 305. At 8:26pm on 04 Jul 2008, manolito4 wrote:

    I've said it before and now yet again - Liver need to save all their loose coins each year and buy one offensive stud. One per year and in a few, they will actually have a team that can win the PL, or the CL without having to resort to rediculously booooring tactics. Just one per year. Barry is no better than Alonso. It drives me crazy and I'm not even a Liverpool fan!!! A por ellos ole!

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  • 306. At 8:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mikewsa wrote:

    And, as I said earlier . . . .

    Liverpool can buy who they want, but still wont finish higher than third - but probably 4th

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  • 307. At 8:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, allerallerrouge wrote:

    I agree, but thats the price you have to pay, for an outstanding midfielder of our time! Now you're just i'm taking the p**s

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  • 308. At 8:43pm on 04 Jul 2008, thelovelyhotspot wrote:

    Please BBC show some responsibility and stop endlessly discussing these long drawn out, monotonous and darn right tedious football sagas. There is a wonderful summer of sport going on without from Wimbledon to the cricket and then the atheletics. Stop feeding these overhyped selfish footballers egos by endlessly discussing them all year round, why instead does the Beeb (and I accept other media) not focus on good competative action eminating from other sports where these stars are genrally down to earn while also working exceptionally hard and altogther being far more interesting than the drab premership.

    All I am asking is just to give fooball a rest for a while, I used to like it unti it got predictable and endlessly overcovered in the media

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  • 309. At 8:45pm on 04 Jul 2008, celticnomad wrote:

    As with most articles/blogs some sense and some unsubstantiated nonsense.
    First off, you cannot compare prices for Strikers and Midfielders it just doesn't work. A Very good midfielder will generally fetch the price of a good striker ... And that , to me in any case, means that it's not unreasonable that Barry and Crouch are worht the same.
    Secondly, if comparing prices an 18M valuation on Barry means that he's as valuable as Torres ... Baltently not true.
    Final pont is the position of MO'N as beyond reproach. The man frequently talks nonsense, blamed Liverpool for leaking the approach where some sources have attributed this to his own club and then refutes Barry's comments without backing up with facts .. ..ummmm

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  • 310. At 8:46pm on 04 Jul 2008, TheBull74 wrote:

    Sorry Phil, but you are a muppet. £15 million for Crouch is very reasonable compared to the price being branded about for Barry.

    Crouch has been more of a regular in the England setup than Barry over the last two years and and has scored goals at every level he has played including the England team which increases his price.

    Alonso, over rated his he? He was bought for £10 million and Liverpool are looking £16 million hardly outrageous for a player who has just won the European Championships.

    Hargraves £17, Carrick £18 million for two player who have only played a handful of games for England. An England team that did not qualify for the Euros. These two players stink of overation.

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  • 311. At 8:47pm on 04 Jul 2008, aaronfairhurst wrote:

    Sadly, a really poor article Phil.

    Simply because Rafa values Crouch at 15m has no bearing on what value is attributable to Barry.

    As a simple point of economics, price is based on supply and demand. I think it is fairly safe to say that there are far fewer players who you can compare with Crouch in the world, than can be compared with Barry.

    Crouch is a very rare and very effective player. I do not for one minute believe that Rafa would sell Crouch if he had a choice in the matter. Crouch offers something that not many other players offer. With his back to goal he is as good at holding the ball up as most, probably with the exception of Berbatov. And, while (as is well documented) Crouch isnt as prolific at scoring goals with his head as you would expect for a man of his size, if you want to simply create chaos in a box Crouch is the ideal solution. Crouch will win virtually every high ball that is thrown at him and is a master of knocking it down to a fellow team mate, creating chances. This can be vital in closing moments in a game.

    As I have therefore said, Crouch is a very rare commoditity.

    Is Barry? Probably not. There are numerous players who can do what Barry does. He is a good player (potentially very good), but is he unique in his style ability - almost certainly not. Most Liverpool fans are split on whether he is an improvement on Alonso. They certainly wouldnt expect Barry to make Liverpool title contenders on his own.

    What is clear now, however, is that the relationship between Barry and MON has broken down (which is sad given the history Barry has with Villa).

    You then state that Liverpool will simply have to meet Villa's valuation, again I disagree. What will happen if they don't? Barry certainly doesnt now want to remain at Villa and MON probably now doesnt want him in the dressing room (as we have seen from his recent ban). Villa therefore have no option therefore than to sell. They also cant sell to anyone they chose, lets not forget that Barry has the final call on where he can move.

    If Liverpool sit tight and Barry holds out for his 'dream' move to Liverpool, this will happen at the price Liverpool want.

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  • 312. At 8:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, lancastriannick wrote:

    I cannot see why signing Barry, good player that he is, is going to make Liverpool a radically different title-winning proposition next season. Alonso had a relatively poor season last time round, but it must be remembered that he had a broken metatarsal that kept him out for 2-3 months, and as a result he suffered from not being fully fit. Watching him play for Spain last month showed that he is back to full fitness. What Liverpool need is (please excuse the American language) a 'game-breaker', not another central midfielder.

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  • 313. At 9:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, Berethorn wrote:

    Oh and as for Crouch being "studiously ignored for much of last season" - just remember who he is up against for a starting place will you? TORRES!

    Most Liverpool fans don't even want Crouch to go - we think he's a great and valuable player who still has much to contribute. However he doesn't want to play second fiddle and I can understand that.

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  • 314. At 9:02pm on 04 Jul 2008, Delthered wrote:

    Sorry, but Barry better than Hargreaves and Carrick. R U Having a laugh LOL!

    What has Barry won...nothing. How many titles have Livepool won in the last 18 years...none.

    World class you're having a laugh. Carrick has won 2 titles and 1 Champion's league and Hargreaves 1 Premiership and his 2nd Champion's League.

    So, who's really worth £18m?

    Scousers delude themselves that they are still a big team.

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  • 315. At 9:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, RafalutionIsMyName wrote:

    ManUtdLeon,

    I totally agree apart from Hargreaves. Having watched him play for FC Bayern I think he was worth the transfer figure, especially with his CL experience.

    Carrick I thought was overpriced and Barry IS overpriced

    This is all bad news, no wonder England are so poor when even fringe players are so overpriced, increasing the pressure on such average players. And foreign clubs won't risk money on them either, which is what we need more players abroad.

    As a Liverpool fan I can see Rafa's idea with his valuation, as people have said Crouch has been top England scorer, more established than Barry surely?? And people will certainly knock him down, why don't they just advertise the players as £15 mil o.v.n.o? : )

    More worrying is the total lack of funds available to Rafa and no sign of funds appearing unless he sells. We are doomed already the sooner we realise the better!

    To all those slagging off the article...why read it if you hate PMc so much? Why spend time posting if it offends you? He has merely kicked off a debate.

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  • 316. At 9:09pm on 04 Jul 2008, BoDiddley wrote:

    Gerrard0008 you are deluded - stop writing rubbish please - you don't know what you are talking about

    Barry's going nowhere unless the fat waiter stumps up the cash

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  • 317. At 9:14pm on 04 Jul 2008, scorpiobobby wrote:

    Anyone who says alonso is better than barry is having a laugh.I say this because alonso and barry are very similar in midfield, both with great vision and great passing skills.The main reason i feel barry is better than alonso is because barry can play very well on the left whereas alonso couldnt.Also 18m is not overpriced it is the right price.If alonso is worth 15m, thats why i say barry is woth 18-20m.Come on liverpool sign barry!

    YNWA

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  • 318. At 9:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, AVFC_21 wrote:

    What realy annoy's me is that the so called "big four" think they can get any player they want and for the money that they want. it's totaly out of order, if we turn around to Arsenal and say we want Theo Walcott they will tell us where to go, but if its the other way round they get annoyed, throw their toys out the pram and say its not fair.
    MON got it right, he rejected the bids for Barry because Barry haden't said he wanted to go. Now Barry has said he wants to go, we have set a price, its up to Liverpool to meet it.
    We are not a selling club and have more money that liverpool, but they still beleive they can get who ever they want, its not about how much a player is worth its about Villa's valuation, he was our captin and an england reg, he is obviously worth more to villa than he is to liverpool.
    Keep it going MON, show the "Big Four" they can't get every player they want, let Barry rott in the reserves, we don't need the money we just need to prove a point and send a message to them that Villa do not need to sell!

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  • 319. At 9:17pm on 04 Jul 2008, geniuscheshirevillan wrote:

    Post 290 bears some thinking about. Both local papers reporting the same story on the same day.

    Are they part of the same media group? If so, wouldn't it be feasible that the story was leaked to "the media group" from whatever source (but only one) and then given a local slant in each respective paper?

    However, that still doesn't excuse the disappointing behaviour from all involved since then.

    Sadly, most disappointing of all was GB himself. If burning bridges was an olympic sport, we'd be looking at a guaranteed gold medal later this year......

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  • 320. At 9:18pm on 04 Jul 2008, tommyjohnsonsupersub wrote:

    To Carlos_Chav

    Alonso can hardly take much of the credit for Spain's Euro 2008 success can he? He was on the pitch from the start once during the tournament - the final group game after Spain had already qualified for the second round.

    Barry on the other hand was one of England's better performers during the qualifiers as I recall and was often better than Gerrard and the rest of a very overated team.

    I'm not saying Alonso isn't as good as Barry but on the form of the last 2-3 years there's no contest really. Maybe if Alonso wasn't so injury prone it may have been a different story.

    I'd say 18 million for Barry is a realistic price at this time. O'Neill has named his price. If Rafa wants him then thats what he needs to find. The only questions are do Liverpool have the financial clout and does the Spanish waiter want him that badly?

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  • 321. At 9:23pm on 04 Jul 2008, KaptainKop wrote:

    EFCJosh. just remind us how many cups old Golum has won at the bitters?

    I believe the answer is none, and Rafa in his much shorter time has won a few.

    If Rafa doesn't have a clue, then your manager must be a total cabbage surely?

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  • 322. At 9:26pm on 04 Jul 2008, lufclegendz wrote:

    i cant see how benitez can think the
    valuation is wrong when barry has been an england regular for the past months and aston villa's, argubaly, best and most important player and captain!

    if benitez sees crouch to be worth 15m then he can see barry to be worth 18m

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  • 323. At 9:29pm on 04 Jul 2008, redforever wrote:

    Much has been made of the way this has been handled, and in this article Rafa Benitez taking a bit of a pasting.
    A couple of points of fact. It is most certainly not clear WHO broke the story, and lets be honest transfer stories break everyday, but in this case Martin O'Neill climbed out of his pram.
    At no point has Benitez spoken out about the Barry evaluation. The club will be doing the negotiating, and Rick Parry will be trying as I hope every club executive does, to get the best price he can for Barry.
    Can someone please find me an example of a manager who hasnt added a few million onto the evaluation of a player? It would be more surprising if Rafa had said " 15 million for Crouchy, noe he isnt worth quite that much."
    The only person in this tale who really had something to lose by speaking out was Barry himself, and he has made it very clear that O'Neill has made NO effort to persuade him to stay, the opposite in fact.
    So lets stop pointing th efinger at the "atrocious" behaviour of Liverpool and get some perspective.
    This whole thing is a saga about a story about a non event. BBC journalists have a living to make, and this is how they do it.

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  • 324. At 9:34pm on 04 Jul 2008, lufclegendz wrote:

    does anyone else see now why clubs are buying abroad?

    someone like deco, who is a regular international player and has won the uefa cup and champions league, be worth 10m less the barry who isnt either a uefa cup/champions league winner or international regular.

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  • 325. At 9:38pm on 04 Jul 2008, astonvillaavfc2008 wrote:

    Really as an Aston Villa fan, I am embarrassed at MON's hysterical behaviour. Liverpool want to buy one of our best players, shock horror. I don't see the crime personally. I can't see how Liverpool have been undignified. Its just a bit of bargaining that is being played out in public.

    The fact is Barry wants to leave after 10 years service, well let him, we don't want players who don't want to be here. We may have expected more for someone who's been here that long, but this is the modern day footballer. There really is no loyalty any more. (I'm not saying Barry is being disloyal).

    As for the valuation. I believe 18m is probably too much for Barry, but if that's what we can get, we won't complain.

    As far as the Crouch vs. Barry debate is concerned: Barry has 2 years left on his contract, Crouch 1, both are in similar stages of their England career. Crouch has improved at Liverpool. Crouch is a striker so will naturally cost more. I would rate Crouch at about ten or 11 million and Barry at about 12-13 (due the extra year on the contract).

    Also, last summer a 8m transfer fee (we paid 2m for the loan deal) was agreed for Carson, should we want to take up the option. MON decided (rightly IMO) not to buy him, but thats where that figure has come from, for what its worth.

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  • 326. At 9:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, STEVIE4PM wrote:

    Why do they have to make things so difficult?

    Carson + 7million = Barry
    Alonso can go for 15m
    Crouch can go for 10m

    Keane and Silva would be nice, let's say 18m and 14m respectively.

    However we still need another keeper to replace Charles (not on first name terms but just easier to spell).

    Please stay away from Downing Rafa, I hope that was a wind-up.

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  • 327. At 9:55pm on 04 Jul 2008, kwinquark1 wrote:

    Benitez- naive
    Barry - massively overpriced
    O'Neill - fractious

    ALL soccer players are overpriced here. What contribution do any of them make to the national well-being? Zip.

    Pro football takes itself rather too seriously, mainly due to the media blitz instigated by various Murdoch organisations and now seemingly endorsed by BBC employees.....

    That's you, by the way, Mr McNulty. Most of us neither know nor care. In face of much publicised economic and topographical disasters worldwide, this discussion borders on obscenity.

    Time for a beer..............

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  • 328. At 9:56pm on 04 Jul 2008, spoonfull wrote:

    The thing that really strikes me in all of this is how sensitive to even the slightest criticism so many Liverpool fans are.

    Be a bit more circumspect and accept that not everybody has the same opinions that you have.

    Phil McNulty is giving his honest opinion: learn to live with it. It's called debate and it's healthy.

    More power to your elbow, Phil - I enjoy your articles - even when I don't agree with them.

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  • 329. At 9:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, JClarkey wrote:

    Mr O'neil is digging his heels in and for a player he is desperate to keep. He makes out he (A.Villa) is the injured party but he knows that he cannot keep hold of a player that is desperate to better himself. With the greatest of respect Aston Villa are as likely to play in te Champions League as i am of winning the Lottery. If you believe the press he is hoping to use the money to fund a bid for David Bentley. A player who wants to better himself by "playing in the Champions League". There is a massive divide between the top 4 and the rest of the Premier League. Mr O'neil is just frustrated that he will never be viewed as a manager capable of managing any of the top four. Stop playing games or Mr Barry will leave in January for £2m at best. Think everyone is tired of your games, with respect.

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  • 330. At 10:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, BoDiddley wrote:

    Lerner is putting down a marker. He knows Liverpool are vunerable and in direct competition for 4th place.
    This is a high class game of poker, and Barry is just a pawn.

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  • 331. At 10:04pm on 04 Jul 2008, Whitstablevillan wrote:

    I cannot understand the logic of Benitez. As many others are stating how can Crouch be valued at £15m and Carson at £10/12m, and quibble at £18 for Barry? Some years ago the Kop called Gary Sprake Cinderella due to his problems in goal. So what would they call Carson if he were to turn up for another club at Anfield? I hate to think. The saga leaves a bitter taste in everyones mouth and does nothing for the reputation of LFC.
    I think that the whole episode may well go into the January window as Benitez does not have the CASH that MON is demanding. He has to sell to buy, and while Alonso is still in red, Barry will remain in claret and blue.
    Barry is worth £18m when compared to Carrick and Hargreaves, perhaps more. But Villa are not short of cash only players and who knows, if the saga does go to January, Villa might be in a stonger position to hold onto their No1 player.

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  • 332. At 10:06pm on 04 Jul 2008, NorthfieldVillain wrote:

    Have to disagree strongly with astonvillaavfc2008. The leaking of a story to the Liverpool press on the eve of our last home game stank to high heaven of dirty tactics.

    MON is very careful to keep transfer business out of the papers as he is a very honourable man. When honourable people come across acts that they despise they only have one way to react - and that is with anger.

    I back his stance and handling of the situation 100%. Just because a few dozen armchair Liverpool fans take umbrage at a well written and argued blog I'm not going to apologise or back down.

    And neither should our manager.

    If Barry wants to go so much that he plasters his name and garbage all over the newspapers, let him put in an official transfer request. Then he can go on the cheap.

    Until then he can stay at home on gardening leave. Penniless Liverpool will sell what assets they have, get some other players and leave him absolutely nowhere to go.

    He can then either grow up and try to get his place back in the side or go abroad on the cheap.

    He is worth £18m to the Villa, and one would imagine a quality English born player, so useful for the upcoming changes to Champions league teams, would be of great use to an English team competing in said league, particularly when it is stock full of foreign players. Moreover he's their number one transfer target and has been since the end of last season, with their captain even putting the manager under pressure.

    Fail to get their man and will Steven Gerrard be the next primadonna player to throw his toys out of the pram?

    Liverpool have a lot to lose in this situation, more so than the credibility they've already lost.

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  • 333. At 10:11pm on 04 Jul 2008, tourdirector wrote:

    Re: Peter Crouch. I think he is worth £15m. He's good on the floor, in the air, with his passing - and scores goals. He's certainly the best English centre forward, and he makes more impact in the England team than any other forward - including Rooney and Owen. Who else is there to buy with his range of talent and, especially, impact, and who's English?

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  • 334. At 10:12pm on 04 Jul 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    Posts 15... 41, 45, 47, 48... 71... 98... 118... 154, 157, 158... 166, 167, 168, 169 ... ... 256, 269, 282, 285, 294, 302, 310, 311...

    I never really noticed Phil McNulty before, but I have now.

    And I used to believe that the BBC cast the net out wide to get the best quality in sports journalism.

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  • 335. At 10:16pm on 04 Jul 2008, footyfan wrote:

    And I used to believe that the BBC cast the net out wide to get the best quality in sports journalism.


    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    it seems not

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  • 336. At 10:19pm on 04 Jul 2008, The Trawler wrote:

    Frankly, if Hargreaves is worth £18m including add-ons and Carrick £17m, then surely Barry must be worth the same - if he was being chased by United, that is.

    As he is being chased by Liverpool I'd advise Villa to skip the add-ons and play hardball for straight cash - which appears to be exactly what they are doing, so fair play to them.

    Barry is not in the class of either Hargreaves or Carrick. But he is still Villa's captain, and has shown himself to be a highly effective and consistent performer at their level. As such, his transition into Liverpool's midfield should be pretty seamless.

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  • 337. At 10:20pm on 04 Jul 2008, George Rule wrote:

    I love the rampant double standards of the LFC fans here. (Baggies fan, so no axe to grind and I am not going to support anything AV do for the sake of it).

    So many comments re: Crouch and Carson valuations at 15M and 10M respectively. All saying Rafa is just trying to do his best for the club and he's got to try etc. etc. etc.

    THEN they turn around and with the same breath say MON is being unreasonable for doing exactly the same thing as Rafa.

    Rank hypocrisy.

    Just because Rafa knows he won't get those figures (9M and 6M possibly?) doesn't make Rafa into Robin Hood or a loveable rogue. Equally just because MON is almost bang on the money and knows he can get it does not make him the Sherriff of Nottingham (or Brian Clough, although he is trying,,,)

    Still it's good to see the good folks of LFC being as well balanced as usual, a chip nicely perched on each shoulder. Whatever happens is not our fault but always someone elses. Boris wasn't a million miles away. AND I do actually like LFC and would love them to seriously challenge the top 3. But you do have a habit of making it hard to like you, but not as difficult as MU or CFC.

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  • 338. At 10:22pm on 04 Jul 2008, sheggerd wrote:

    In response to jammin89, while I agree that Crouch is worth less than Barry, strikers have always commanded higher prices than other players. In this in mind, it isn't that hard to see why Benitez thinks rouch and Barry are worth the same money

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  • 339. At 10:24pm on 04 Jul 2008, sportySpecN wrote:

    Liverpool and Villa reached an impasse a while ago. In my view, Barry's agent is only to aware of this and has put words into Barry's mouth to ensure that it becomes impossible for him to remain a Villa employee. That way he will have to move and the agent will be able to pocket a nice big fee.

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  • 340. At 10:25pm on 04 Jul 2008, Tatruth wrote:

    What a shame Villa are de-stabilised by a player who they de-stabilised to sign. It's just a shame Brighton won't get their % after settling that side of their contract. Clubs do it all the time in the most underhand way. No doubt my club have done it whilst having it done to them on a grander scale.

    Clubs are run by liars and managed by liars with players lieing to themselves. Could I care less about the 'drama' played out? Not really.

    Xabi Alonso seems to be acting like a gentleman and hopefully he'll get what he wants. I just can not understand English football economics. Xabi may be worth 16 mill but Crouch in the last year of his contract 10-15 mill? Madness. Abroad at the great clubs, if they'd want him, he'd be advised to wait and hold on for bosman. Frankly anyone paying 5mill plus is cavalier with his clubs cash. Come on down Receivership Redknapp.

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  • 341. At 10:34pm on 04 Jul 2008, riffler wrote:

    Barry is hardly a "fixture" in the England side - he's a squad regular thus far, at most. Crouch may not be rated as highly, but he's a striker, which gives him a much higher value than a workhorse midfielder, especially if he's genuinely considered a possible replacement for Adebayor.

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  • 342. At 10:35pm on 04 Jul 2008, runthatbymeagain wrote:

    factual incorrect tosee rafas answer to how much Crouch was worth, he actually was asked how much was Crouch worth and he replied £15m.

    Once again the author demostrates in his blog (or should be blag) his inability to debate in a reasonable way. Instead attempting to present a flawed and biased jaundice view as a thought out piece of balanced journalism. What do we expext thou.

    Instead he goes on about Liverpool and there attitude to the transfer, which when looking at the news it is O'neil making all the comments and fueling the fire.

    Martin as used the press to bullied is own player, makes oyu think what potential signings are considering having seen how he treats a loyal servant.

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  • 343. At 10:39pm on 04 Jul 2008, kendoddsdadsdogsdead-lfc-thanx a lot moores wrote:

    This appears to me to be a very one sided account setting liverpool as the big bad wolf in this whole scenario, lets have a look at the alleged facts! Liverpool leaked their interest so as to unsettle Barry and manoevure Villa into a selling position.....................wrong........ a leak from villa park passed the info of liverpools transfer bid to the local press who in turn passed it it the liverppol echo who ran with it , all of a sudden villa act all indignated!!!!!!
    carrick, hargreaves, hardly regulars in their national side, contrast this with mascherano and the fee paid maybe puts it into perspective! once again the argument rises about over exorbitant transfer fees and as usual english players seem to be worth double the normal rate!
    Last but not least O'neills argument that once a player says he wants to go thats it! i guess thats what ferguson said about cantona and now ronaldo, pretty pathetic really.

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  • 344. At 10:41pm on 04 Jul 2008, Dommerivo14 wrote:

    All this rubbish about, so and so was bought for so much so that must mean so and so is worth x amount is rubbish. Spurs paid 18 million for Darren Bent and how many games did he start for spurs last year let alone how many times did he play for England. Transfer talk is all speculation and dealing. Anyone knows that when selling a player you set a high price and work down from there. Barry is not worth 18 million and everyone knows that but both sides are trying to get the best deal possible. I'd expect better comment from a so called football expert as McNulty claims to be. Michael Owen left Liverpool to win trophies and went for a comparatively miniscule 8 million and won nothing, but he wanted to leave. If a player really wants to go and has given the club great service, let them leave and move on.

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  • 345. At 10:51pm on 04 Jul 2008, SalemHanna wrote:

    I'd rather keep Alonso than gain Barry, but I suspect Alonso leaving is a 90% cert. Barry would fit in well in Liverpool's midfield, judging by his teamplay with Gerrard in some of Steve McLaren's few fine moments as England manager. As for this whole saga, I blame the man himself more than either manager. I read his interview in the tabloid and even though he was desperate to join my club, I thought his way of putting it was a slap in the face to any Villa fans that were reading.

    Welcome to the team if you come, Barry, but please be careful what you say to the press; many of us Kopites admire your old club and don't especially want to offend them.

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  • 346. At 10:57pm on 04 Jul 2008, shivam_man utd - banned wrote:

    He should stay at Villa because that's his home but if he want european football he should go to Liverpool and Villa should accept the 18 mil offer.

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  • 347. At 10:58pm on 04 Jul 2008, franco867 wrote:

    shows how stupid you are.

    Barry was a regular that played in the England team that didnt even qualify for euro 2008. well that shows hes a great player.......nugget.

    Phil mcnugget! your a plum and how you even get to write on here is a joke.

    How is alonso overated. i have never heard anyone outside liverpool have one word of praise for him. even after he run the champs league semi 1st leg against chelsea.

    oh and not to mention the fact he is a champs league winner.

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  • 348. At 10:59pm on 04 Jul 2008, OnThe7nthDay-Rooney wrote:

    Hargreaves was never ousted by Barry, he was injurd. And Carrick has been in great form for united this season, our most consistanly good CM all season. Barry over him is madness. Barry gets the nod because he shows more passionwhereas Carrick is silent but also the most accurate passer in the Premiership

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  • 349. At 11:00pm on 04 Jul 2008, franco867 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 350. At 11:10pm on 04 Jul 2008, acj696 wrote:

    I'm probably going to take a slating for this but I would argue Liverpool have the best centre midfield in the Prem in Gerrard, Mascherano and Alonso. £18m on Barry is a complete waste of money and will bring Liverpool no closer to the title. Its out wide that they have the biggest problems. If they really want to give Villa that much money ask for Ashley Young he will give them much more in return.

    Looking at Liverpool they probably have the worst full backs in the top half of the table, and a free transfer who isn't first choice for Switzerland is not filling me with confidence to fix that. They also have a real need for a top quality winger (or 2). The only player I have seen them linked with that I think would be a good signing is Robbie Keane I think he is class.

    Domestically I think Rafa has gone as far as he can. Thoughts??

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  • 351. At 11:27pm on 04 Jul 2008, Dommerivo14 wrote:

    acj96 - Babel will come on leaps and bounds next season, he's young and has spent a year learning what it takes in the prem league. He'll be much better than Ashley Young and will add more goals to the attack. I'd rather Rafa spent the money on Bentley and Keane, then Liverpool would have a bit more of a shout. Degen has pace and will provide options at right back, he's been injured most of last season and was a part of the Swiss team that kept clean sheets in all thier games at the last world cup. Besides law of averages says that sooner or later he'll find a decent left/right back.

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  • 352. At 11:36pm on 04 Jul 2008, cincyreds wrote:

    18 million for Barry then I'm worth 10 million and I'm past it. The trouble is players are over valued in both fees and wages and it's about time football (i.e. Premier League clubs) wised up. If Liverpool think Mr Barry is the next stage on their quest for their Holy Grail (Premeir League title) then they need a new manger but there agian I'm past it!

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  • 353. At 11:45pm on 04 Jul 2008, G_is_God wrote:

    'I really hope that Everton displace Liverpool in fourth place next season ....'

    I can see that Villa fans are setting their bar high for next season! :D

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  • 354. At 11:48pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcd77 wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 355. At 11:50pm on 04 Jul 2008, marcd77 wrote:

    lol, if villa wanted to keep barry they should have gone for some top quality forwards to show they wanted to improve...reminds me of gerrard asking for proof and getting torres.

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  • 356. At 11:52pm on 04 Jul 2008, Mike Martin wrote:

    A midfield of Barry-Gerrard-Mascherano would be one of the strongest in Europe. Barry is miles better than Alonso who I also think is over-rated. He goes missing away from Anfield too often. If Carrick is worth £18m, so is Barry.

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  • 357. At 00:01am on 05 Jul 2008, nga126 wrote:

    Benitez Is entirely full of sh**. How many games did crouh play last season and how many goals did he score.(15 mil for a daddy long leg, wat a joke). If liverpool have any class they will pay the 18 mil wanted by Aston Villa

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  • 358. At 00:10am on 05 Jul 2008, FootiefanDave wrote:

    I'm a Reds fan, but I also like Martin O'Neil and I'm embarrassed at the way Benitez has conducted his approach for Barry. Your points about Alonso and Crouch are valid and if Benitez is desperate to sign Barry he should pay the going rate. Unfortunately, if the transfer does go ahead now it will leave a nasty taste in the mouth.

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  • 359. At 00:14am on 05 Jul 2008, cincyreds wrote:

    With or without Barry - Scousers 5th, Villans 8th. Go Harewood!!

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  • 360. At 00:18am on 05 Jul 2008, redforever wrote:

    Supply and demand. The market will decide the transfer value of these players in due course.

    People usually ask for more than they expect when selling, and bid lower than they are willing to pay when buying.
    I dont know what the fuss is about. Aside from the leaking of a transfer discussion, which was apparently done by a Villa insider (but what does it matter, there are a hundred transfer rumours a day, the BBC actually has a page set aside for it!!).

    What I dont like though is O'Neills behaviour. He is acting like a baby and throwing some uncalled for abuse at Liverpool. For someone who got so upset about a bit of media coverage in the first place, he doesnt mind being on camera and in writing himself does he?

    Villa fans need to calm down and try not to believe the opinions of the likes of McNumpty, are actual facts about Rafa or our club, and Liverpool fans wont allow O'Neills antics to cloud our view of your storied club!

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  • 361. At 00:34am on 05 Jul 2008, sheggerd wrote:

    Re acj696, Liverpool seem to play primarily through the middle with players drifting wide when necesary . Barry would definitley fit into that game plan. I do agree that they need better full backs though

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  • 362. At 00:34am on 05 Jul 2008, NotSuperHans wrote:

    I've been reading through this saga for a few days now, and this comment is going to be quite long.
    This is a serious question. I'm a Liverpool fan, and I would like to know exactly what arrogant things Rafael Benitez has said, from May 2 until now, regarding Martin O'Neill and the Gareth Barry saga and his valuation of Gareth Barry. To my knowledge he has said absolutely nothing; all of the quotes have come from Martin O'Neill, Gareth Barry, and the newspapers' spinning. Somehow I doubt any of those three are completely impartial.

    From reading many of the comments here, not to mention the article itself, it sounds as if Benitez is simply so arrogant/mad/cheap that he refuses to pay straight cash for a player he's obviously desperate for, and I don't believe that for a minute as it simply does not make sense.
    We have seen last year that, when given the funds, Benitez is willing to simply pay for the player he wants (Mascherano, 18 million, Torres, 20 million). Obviously he really wants to get Barry, otherwise he would have just stopped negotiating. I honestly believe the reason all of this nonsense has dragged out so long is because Benitez simply isn't being given the money, and for some reason feels Barry is integral to his plans-- *not* because he disrespects Villa, or thinks Liverpool has some sort of God-given right to pay whatever they want for whoever they want. I think everyone is painfully aware of the failings of Liverpool's owners by now; Benitez has mentioned in interviews that he basically will not have the funds he wants, and Torres and Gerrard have both mentioned in public how they felt the manager must be backed, suggesting the money is simply not there.
    I could easily go into a rant about Moores and Parry's incompetence in selling to Those Two, but this is not the time.

    Anyway, I understand Villa fans' ire. If the situation were reversed, as in the SG saga, I would understandably be extremely annoyed that our captain and star player was being haggled over in such a way. Then again, if the team trying to buy him had notoriously crap owners, I would think that also had something to do with it. Single people don't buy players, it's an entire board.

    Point: I think Benitez is between a rock and a hard place. Petition the owners for more money and they sack him for complaining too much. Deal with the lack of funds and try to negotiate for the player you want, and the media/opposing manager takes offense and spins everything out of control. The latter, however, means Benitez still has a job, hence why he's doing so. People are saying he should just walk away if he doesn't have pay the money; say he did so, got someone that he didn't want as much, and got fourth again. He is criticized for getting the player he didn't want as much instead of Barry and wasting everyone's time. He doesn't walk and finally gets Barry; he is criticized for being rude and arrogant and somehow WANTING this tiresome saga to drag out for 2+ months. Damned if you do...

    This is not to say that Benitez is totally innocent. I believe that he should have simply made a cash offer up front, offering players always seems to make both parties angry. Butt I really don't think Benitez expected anyone to pay 15 million for Crouch, and I seriously doubt he though he would *actually* get Barry for the 10 million offer. As so many people seem to have trouble grasping, he is *negotiating*.
    If MON was so unutterably offended by the initial offer, all he had to do was tell Benitez no. He didn't have to go to the press about it. He didn't have to spend Euro 2008 complaining about it. He just sounds as if he's annoyed about losing his star player and is trying to force Liverpool's hand to get lots of money, while playing the poor old innocent manager getting bullied by Big Bad Liverpool FC.
    I don't object to his trying to get 18 million for Barry at all. What I do object to is this:
    "The logic, however, looks twisted when set against his opening offer for a player who is now a fixture in Fabio Capello's England side and who was a regular for Villa last season, delivering a string of outstanding performances."

    How exactly is this twisted logic? Crouch is competing for a spot against the man who literally won Euro 2008 for his national team, the second highest goalscorer in the league last year, the man who broke Ruud Van Nistelrooy's record for most goals scored by a foreign player in his debut year.
    Who is Gareth Barry competing against in Villa for a starting place? Nobody, he's the best for that position. Same with Crouch; it's not that he's crap, he's just not the best at the time in Liverpool's squad, and it's extremely difficult to get a look in when your competitior is Fernando bloody Torres. Benitez rates Crouch; he offered him a renewed contract. Crouch didn't sign because he knew, with Torres in the squad, he just wouldn't get as many games. There is simply no room for him in the current setup.

    Regarding the English national team, Barry has been recently exceptional not because of his sheer, raw, blinding talent, otherwise you would have been discussing him in 2006. The reason Gareth Barry has shined recently, I would suggest, is his partnership with one Steven Gerrard. This is not to say that I think Barry is a no-mark; not at all. I just object to him being made out as some sort of cornerstone of the national team, when the reason we are discussing him right now is because someone else happened to be injured in September last year, and he happens to play well with a particular player. Crouch got his start similarly, cos of Rooney's foot, so.

    For what it's worth, I think Barry's quite good but his price is a bit inflated, and I would say around 15 million absolute max. (Mind, I would have gone for David Silva and forsaken central midfielders this year.)
    And for those who are saying Aston Villa may clinch fourth this year-- with all due respect, I have seven words for you:
    Torres, Gerrard, Mascherano, Babel, Agger, Skrtel, Reina.

    That is the end of that.

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  • 363. At 00:41am on 05 Jul 2008, noiseboy120db wrote:

    i agree 100 per cent
    liverpool and benitez
    want to raise 50 million this summer they have said selling players
    they include risse, crouch, alonzo (and i would suggest if they want that much half their squad)
    they not only the 15 for crouch (who is good and worth a bit of money but not a regular anywhere)
    16 for alonzo (which is way over priced I'd say 8 would be nearer the mark)
    they also quoted villa a totally unacceptable 10m for their third choice keeper

    so martin o'neill is right to ask for more for Barry, he is a captain a england regular and a great player with years left in him.
    Man u paid much more for Hargreaves and liverpool should be looking even higher than that. it would be like people wanting Gerrard for half his value.
    When you look at the prices english clubs have to pay for foreign stars why should people expect to sign English players on the cheap, even if it is only between english clubs.
    Fair enough a lot of players are overpriced but surely the good ones are worth the money.

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  • 364. At 01:11am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but the value of a player is really the price that other clubs are willing to pay for him. Sure, United paid however much for Carrick and Hargreaves, but they didn't pay that for Barry, did they? I don't see anyone else bidding for Barry. If Liverpool were to pull out of the deal, MON would be fairly screwed, wouldn't he? He's fined and banned Barry already, so I can't imagine they could very easily re-establish a working relationship. And there doesn't seem to be a line of suitors for him. I hope Rafa refuses to pay another penny. What would MON do then?

    As a Liverpool fan, I'm not too bothered if we get him or not. I'd rather keep Alonso, to be honest. But the insistence by so many that Rafa has done anything wrong in these transfer proceedings is completely ridiculous.

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  • 365. At 01:21am on 05 Jul 2008, adonisdemon wrote:

    This article is trash. Crouch has played at th highest level and annihilated teams like Arsenal and scored hat tricks against the, and champions league teams. What has Barry done?

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  • 366. At 01:24am on 05 Jul 2008, Jonsey7 wrote:

    I haven't read all of the 300+ responses before, but Gareth Barry as a better player than Alonso just doesn't add up. Xabi is more of an international for Spain, now ranked as number 1 in the world, while Barry, sometime plays for a team ranked just above Scotland.... Forget Barry, keep Xabi.

    And Barry worth £18m is a joke. £15m is pushing the boundaries. He wore an armband for England in a meaningless friendly against the mighty Trinidad and that raises his value somehow? Get a grip. Oh, United paid a similar price for Hargreaves and Carrick. Just goes to show United have way too much money as neither were worth that.

    For anyone who says that Downing is any option really needs to see someone. I'd be appauled if we signed him. I'd rather Milner any day. And I don't want him.

    Now Robbie Keane...

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  • 367. At 01:29am on 05 Jul 2008, Gun_em_down wrote:

    I' m an Arsenal Fan ..so neutrality guaranteed before i say something...

    This has really turned ugly, when it should have been a farewell to barry who have been serving villa for so long..he deserve his chance to champions league give his talent and more importantly his recent performances.

    On the other hand i say Benitez is to blame to make this thing un-necessarily ugly,Villa would obv be happy to keep a player like barry, any club would be, but when they have their asking price and are ready to release barry with 17m, i think liverpool is just showing bad bargain,Barry's price match that.

    And benitez just dont know the valuation of players, i completely agree with phil about crouch's price tag,where he was last season ? whereas barry was outstanding even internationally.

    In my opinion liverpool shud give a break to this and if they really want barry go for that price tag coz barry with gerrard will fetch them much more than they think they lose with buying barry with 17m tag.

    Over n out liverpool is making it look ugly and i understand villa's asking price they lose a gem and price both compromising with liverpools price.

    Although i really wish barry could buy out his clause and move over where he wants, he obv dont want to stay with villa.

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  • 368. At 01:31am on 05 Jul 2008, Dey-do-doe wrote:

    Since when does the valuation of another player impact on Barry's value?

    Alonso is a CL winner, a European champion (with Spain), younger than Barry and has 4 years left on his current deal. If Juve (or anyone else) pay £16m for him what has that got to do with Gareth Barry's price?

    Why should Liverpool apply a low valuation to Crouch then pay over the odds for Barry? Are Pompey not doing the exact same to Liverpool by offering £7-8m for Crouch when he's (by O'Neill's logic) a regular in the England set-up (with the best goals ratio), played in CL, wanted by other clubs and has a proven goals record at the highest level.

    Granted, Villa can value them at any price they want but I suspect that if they push it too hard then Liverpool with either hold on to Xabi, look elsewhere or wait safe in the knowledge that Barry has severed his links with the Villa and it would be in no-one's interest for Barry to stay.

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  • 369. At 01:33am on 05 Jul 2008, bazza66 wrote:

    What a poor article. You conveniently forget the reprehensible behaviour of Martin O'Neill and his quite staggering arrogance in blaming Benitez for the transfer leak when the source came from within Villa.

    You also forget he has recently sought to unsettle players from other clubs in order to get them to Villa.

    Crouch v Barry? Both are good without being great. As for Alonso being overrated, perhaps but he was an important sub in his country's first trophy in years.

    Barry's team couldn't even make it there because they were found out to be average at best and defo overrated

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  • 370. At 01:37am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Do people not understand that the purchasing of players is a NEGOTIATION? The continued insistence that Liverpool must simply stump up and pay what MON demands is ludicrous. It is his right to hold out for a certain figure, but it is just as much Liverpool's right to try to get the player for less. This is simply business, people! How anyone can insist that this is inappropriate is absurd. NEGOTIATION. End of.

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  • 371. At 01:46am on 05 Jul 2008, GreatFeetForABigMan wrote:

    Couple of points you touched on Phil.

    1. Alonso Over-rated.

    There isn't any other player in world football who can calm a tam like Xabi. Whether from the start or the bench his influence on the tempo and direction of a team's passing is ESSENTIAL without being EXPLICT (a la Gerrard). An obvious example is the control exerted by the Spanish midfield during the recent Euro 2008 final, but the clearest example i've ever witnessed is when he came on during the 2007 Champions League semi-final against Chelsea at anfield. His introduction on 78 minutes saw the tie swing back to the initial dominance of Liverpool, once Chelsea began to exert some control. Admittedly, this season has seen people such as yourself become smug in the apparent 'downfall' of the man you see as a profligate waster of attacking potential; but that is due to injury whilst on International duty, combined with the pregnancy of his wife, and birth of his child in March...a mental block for any sportsman, surely.
    Little do sensationalist pundits note that he, together with Mascherano, formed a formidable pairing in the centre of midfield in Rafa's 4-2-3-1 formation which proved profitable towards the end of the season (And which also slayed the impregable (in your eyes, anyway) Arsenal midfield in the Champions' League). Masch's tireless running and Alonso;'s precision passing formed the base of every Liverpool attack from around March onwards, and that is apparent when only focusing on this season.
    Over the years, Alonso has been a jewel in the liverpool midfield, and Rafa owes a great deal of his AND Gerrard's success to him. But i'm sure you would rather ignore the facts and rest upon your flawed and lazily unilateralistic opinion of 'Alonso Overrated.' Which amounts to little more than sensationalist tripe, and embarrasses those Liverpool fans to whom you ascribe the opinion of Barry equivalent to Alonso.
    Only Phil McNumpty could attempt to degrade LFC supporters in such a way.

    Second Point: Flawed Benitez Logic:

    You Broke it down to 15 million Crouch, 18 million Barry.

    Crouch has performed excellently in the Champions League and on International level for two seasons now...even after the joke status symbol applied to him by the media - yes you mcnulty!
    Crouch Last 2 Seasons:
    Apps 78 Goals 29.

    Rooney last 2 seasons:
    Apps 98 Goals 41

    These stats dont event include international goals...a field in which Crouch has clearly done far better than the BBCs beloved Rooney. (Even when he scored no goals in four gaes and subsequently gets sent off).

    So that's why Rafa has places him at 15 million. Not only because ofhis all-round quality, and threat he brings to a side, but the flashes of brilliance present in goals against Arsenal (four times)Galatasaray, Man United, Chelsea and Bolton.
    Paying 15 million for Barry, then, would surely be as logical as selling a proven, International class midfielder as Alonso for 1 Million more? And then Flogging Crouch for a fair price?

    I bet you were gutted when Alonso turned in a star performance against Greece, and then replaced Fabregas to ensure Spain kept the ball more efficiently.
    Poor show Phil.

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  • 372. At 02:17am on 05 Jul 2008, Wot Kuyt 'e did wrote:

    Post 362, NotSuperHans -

    Please apply for a job as sports journalist at the BBC (+ a huge salary). They are in desperate need!

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  • 373. At 02:25am on 05 Jul 2008, Vincent wrote:

    All your comments are frankly nonsense.
    Benitez is entitled to value Crouch at 15m just as O'Neil is entitled to value Barry at 18m. If no one meets the asking price, then clearly neither 18m for Barry or 15m for Crouch is the market price. I don't see anyone else bidding for Barry. When Benitez approach O'Neil, O'Neil did not rebuff the approach by saying 'Barry is not for sale'. Instead he chose to say, 'Well, he is our best player and he is under contract...' - not the right signals if he did not want to cash in on the player. Nor did O'Neil indicate that the deal should be kept quiet. There nothing ugly about it on the part of LFC, just Villa (who wants to make a killing) and Barry (who's fed up as he can nearly smell CL footy, hence his comments towards his employers). LFC is quite entitled to make incremental bids - would you pay the full asking price when buying your home? Maybe, if you did not want to risk losing the house to another bidder, but in this case there is no other bidder. So what exactly has Benitez or LFC done wrong? If they have done anything wrong, then report them to the authorities! Don't put a slant on it just because Villa wants to make a killing and it seems the media has fallen for it hook, line and sinker.
    To compare Alonso with Barry is like comparing apples and oranges, since they are different type of players. Alonso's passing can be majestic at times, whereas his physical presence can be lacking at times. Indeed, his form has dipped in the last couple of years, punctuated by injuries. In Barry, I guess Benitez sees a physically stronger player, more adapted to the English League, at times proven to work as partner to Gerrard in England games. In my opinion, it may be the right move to buy Barry in trying to win the League, where I feel player confidence (e.g. Reina awful against ManU away) - perhaps even an inferiority complex among the players - has played its part in major games that has been the difference last year. Alonso I feel, however, is a better player all round.
    LFC let Baros go to Villa for 6m a few years ago, when they could have got 8m for him from Lyon - purely because Baros did not (at the time) want to be reunited with Houllier. I don't see Villa being so gracious or treating their players with such understanding!

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  • 374. At 02:28am on 05 Jul 2008, idriscroft wrote:

    I agree unilaterally with davewalnut. Although you may justifiably make the point that an £18 million valuation of Barry is 'ridiculous' it is the valuation of a player whom the club are desperate to keep, is the stand out top player at the club, and who when is all is said and done, is a player NOT for sale. This is why Liverpool will have to pay over the odds for Barry.

    The 'top 4' have a history in bullying premiership clubs in a fashion, in which if the tables were turned would leave them seething, and i am glad Villa are now taking a stand. Chelsea did it with Parker and Sidwell and United with Saha. The active pursuit of a player indispensible to one club, in order to slightly better their own.

    As far as Barry is concerned, i say let him leave...with regret. The lad obviously wants to go, and if he wants to leave behind the hero worship at a club which is genuinely going somewhere, to be a cog in the ever underachieving machine that is Liverpool fc then so be it.

    Up The Villa...Holte Enders In the SKY!!!

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  • 375. At 02:34am on 05 Jul 2008, mjeddy wrote:

    Absoluteltly!! I agree with your article. There has been faults on all sides. And i say this as a Liverpool fan. Too many people have tried to paint this as black and white but really the whole thing has been a complete mess for a couple of months now. Nevermind club loyalties, as a football fan i think we all deserve better

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  • 376. At 02:43am on 05 Jul 2008, richisential wrote:

    Let's get the situation correct people...

    Barry is the Villa captain, has proven to be the most consistent performer in the Villa team over the last few seasons and has been one of the most consistent performers in the premier league. He can play in a variety of positions (in some cases, better than the first choice player) and was rightly heralded as a potential legend for the Villa faithful.

    Everything was going fine.....

    ...until Benitez made public his admiration of (and wanting to buy) Barry. People on this post seem to have short memories when they insist that MON made the first 'media-move'. Benitez made the first public move. It serves no purpose for MON to state that another club is interested in his best player. Let's get things straight...

    VILLA ARE NOT A SELLING CLUB....WE DO NOT NEED THE MONEY...WE ARE BUILDING TO THE FUTURE

    Unfortunately, Barry can't see into this vision because people (particularly LFC and his advisors) have given him this false vision of 'perfect' world where Liverpool will win all the trophies from now on and Barry will captain the England team to World Cup Glory and beyond. This will NOT happen. Barry will be a worse player by going to Liverpool because Liverpool can't offer him the regular games that his talent deserves.

    The one thing that i can say about Barry is that he is a professional (when it comes to the football pitch at least, not when it comes to media strategy and contract negotiation) and if need be, I have no doubt that he will complete his 2 years remaining on his contract. MON knows that also.

    The sad thing about this ridiculous saga is that now Barry had destroyed all relations with the Villa faithful and, for all his good work over the past 10 seasons, he will never become a Villa legend (just look at Dwight Yorke).

    LFC....take him...but it will cost you £18mill and no less. How do you like dem apples???

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  • 377. At 02:49am on 05 Jul 2008, Vincent wrote:

    Frankly, you can keep your apples because LFC doesn't like the price!
    All this bargaining is just business talk in arriving at a market price; at the moment we still have an asking and bidding price which do not meet - with only one bidder!
    And I thought the leak to the media came from within Villa.

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  • 378. At 02:51am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Wow. I wasn't aware that the above Villa fans were in a position to negotiate this sale! Colour me surprised!

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  • 379. At 02:52am on 05 Jul 2008, yrksvillan wrote:

    "And O'neill was the one who let the bid go public so he should stop sucking lemons and dissing LFC. Plank."

    I keep hearing this line from liverpool fans, but nobody seems to be able to say exactly how this happened.
    It broke in the Liverpool Echo. It's there for everyone to see, phone them up, get a back issue.
    Until someone actually shows me some proof that "someone at Villa leaked it" I'll continue to go with the recognised, printed, proof.

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  • 380. At 02:57am on 05 Jul 2008, pomychopper wrote:

    There is no doubt Barry will improve Liverpool but not enough to win the league and if Rafa is silly enough to spend his entire transfer kitty on one player when they clearly need reinforcements else where then it will be no suprise to me if this is Rafa's last season in the prem anyway.

    Do you then expect America's version of the chuckle brothers to then sort out a decent replacement?? What top manager would want to work for those jokers??
    Heard Johnny Barnes is looking for a return to management!

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  • 381. At 03:04am on 05 Jul 2008, richisential wrote:

    Why do LFC fans think we need to negotiate a sale???

    WE DO NOT NEED TO SELL!!

    We have not put Barry up for sale on eBay, then moaning about getting less than we wanted.

    As far as Villa were concerned, he was not for sale in the first place.

    Let's put it into context..

    ...this situation is like someone knocking on your front door and saying "i want to buy your house and i'm going to offer £100." The reaction to that is obvious.

    You are only in a position to negotiate when you are in the stronger position (e.g. Barry being on the transfer list for months and not having any offers at all).

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  • 382. At 03:06am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Rich, do you think Barry staying at Villa now, after everything that has happened, would be a workable relationship? I'm doubting so.

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  • 383. At 03:09am on 05 Jul 2008, Vincent wrote:

    Rich, if O'Neil did not want to sell then he should have said to Benitez when first approached 'Barry is not for sale', not 'Well he is our best player, and he is under contract...'.

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  • 384. At 03:14am on 05 Jul 2008, richisential wrote:

    Barry has proven over the years that he is a professional - I have no doubt that he will continue in this vein in the foreseeable future.

    I'm sure he can play a bit part from the bench in the next season, make a slight contribution but not get a consistent starting role, end up having one season left on his contract next summer and so subsequently be valued at £15 million. Does that seem unreasonable??

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  • 385. At 03:16am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Yeah, it does. So do the repeated comparisons to Crouch. But you can think what you please. We'll just see what MON does.

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  • 386. At 03:19am on 05 Jul 2008, Vincent wrote:

    Rich, O'Neil is far too shrewd to let the value of Barry run down. I suspect, rather than what you suggest, he will have a pivotal role at Villa next year to increase his selling value. Last thing MON wants is to do what you suggest and have Barry fade out of the England team as a result and decrease his book value.

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  • 387. At 03:21am on 05 Jul 2008, hassinator wrote:

    show me a good loser and i will show you a loser

    end of

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  • 388. At 03:21am on 05 Jul 2008, Vincent wrote:

    LFC should now keep Alonso and/or look elsewhere. Villans will no doubt still blame LFC for this saga.

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  • 389. At 03:23am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    I would love to see Liverpool pull out of this bid and keep Alonso.

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  • 390. At 03:25am on 05 Jul 2008, richisential wrote:

    lock - i was talking tongue-in-cheek *:oD

    In all seriousness, MON has asked for £18mill and unless Liverpool stump up that cash, i can't see Barry moving.

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  • 391. At 03:42am on 05 Jul 2008, neekydown wrote:

    I agree with your artical to a point, too much said by both manager's
    I spoke to a Villa supporter who said Barry would never leave because the fans loved him.
    They don't love him now, so all this has turned into sower grapes for what !!
    He will play for Liverpool and we have known it from day one.
    The rest of it just leaves a bad taste in the mouth from screwed up the game has become.

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  • 392. At 03:45am on 05 Jul 2008, antiblazer wrote:

    It would appear that the ethics of the Spanish leave a lot to be desired.

    We have Real Madrid trying every underhand trick in the book to unsettle Ronaldo and similar tactics from Benitez, albeit that he is obviously struggling with the Euro/Pound converstion rate.

    It should however be noted that in times of financial hardship they could not have chosen greater foe's than British Bulldogs Ferguson and O'Neil , as both will bite their backsides so deep their wallets will fall out.

    AND then, We have the Robbie Keane ........ They Don't Like it Up'Em, do they !

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  • 393. At 03:47am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Yes, how dare those Spaniards have the audacity to bid for other players! And for those players to want to join the Spaniards! Absolutely reprehensible!

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  • 394. At 04:05am on 05 Jul 2008, aclarkebowen wrote:

    A couple of issues:

    1) Gareth Barry is almost certainly not worth 18 million pounds but he's worth that much to Aston Villa.

    2) Liverpool have behaved poorly in making their interests known when Villa were still fighting for the UEFA Cup place. And Gerrard's words, too.

    3) Benitez's valuation of Crouch and Carson isn't really related to O'Neill's valuation of Barry. I highly doubt O'Neill is pricing Barry based on how Benitez is pricing Crouch and Carson. It does, however, leave Benitez with egg on his face in terms of PR.

    4) Aston Villa are certainly entitled to, and should definitely be, fighting for all the money they can get for a player. Liverpool are in an awkward situation where Aston Villa don't need the money, can keep Barry for several more seasons under contract, and the player wants to leave. The first two ensure Liverpool will definitely overpay while the third will ensure Liverpool will get him as long as they can find the cash.

    5) O'Neill is looking more and more the genius in this transfer. Why? He's getting rid of an unhappy player for a fee that's nearly inflated 100%. There's absolutely no doubt in my mind O'Neill is mostly happy with this deal despite what he says in the papers as he's on the verge of mugging Liverpool.

    6) The criterion used to value Barry is no doubt unfair for Liverpool but fair for Aston Villa. Liverpool can't use the excuse that the reason the fee is so high is because their rivals can pay more. Imagine how funny that would sound to the Aston Villa lawyers.

    ----

    I personally believe that the conversation went down like this. It's a couple of weeks before the end of last season...

    - LFC: 'sup, Martin, how much for Barry?
    - MON: He's not for sale.
    - LFC: Alright, how about 10 million quid plus Pennant and Riise?
    - MON: I said he's not for sale, and what kind of fool do you take me for?
    - (Story gets leaked. Barry starts whining)
    - MON: Alright, he can go, for 20 million pounds.
    - LFC: Alright, here's 12 million pounds.
    - MON: What part of 20 million pounds don't you understand?
    - LFC: Alright, here's 14 million pounds.
    - MON: Rafa, are you stupid or something? 20 million pounds.
    - (More whining)
    - MON: Very well. 18 million pounds, take it or leave it.
    - LFC: Alright, here's 15 million pounds.
    - (Barry says he doesn't want to pay 3 million pounds)
    - MON: Then we have a problem.

    ----

    Like I say, eventually, Barry will end up at Aston Villa for a fee vastly inflated. Aston Villa fans will be disappointed but they'll have a lot of money to play with. Liverpool would have lost money in what essentially seems to be a like-for-like swap. To me, O'Neill is the genius here and Benitez is the mug. Think about it for a minute - Deco for 8 million pounds, Sidwell for 5.5 million pounds, Gareth Barry for 18 million pounds - Benitez never fails to surprise me.

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  • 395. At 04:07am on 05 Jul 2008, aclarkebowen wrote:

    Er, I mean, "... Barry will end up at Liverpool for a fee..." not Aston Villa. Apologies.

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  • 396. At 04:19am on 05 Jul 2008, richisential wrote:

    Every player has a price. The fact of the matter is that Benitez wants a player from a club in a better bargaining position than his. Benitez has shown his hand, but it still remains in MON's hands as to what game they are playing.

    The result for Villa - Ching Ching!

    Liverpool fans can argue till the cows come home about whether Barry is better than Alonso or not. That isn't the issue in discussion as it appears that Rafa has made up his mind already.

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  • 397. At 04:25am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    I do think it's amusing that you seem to think Villa hold all the cards here. But really, I don't think it matters much to Liverpool's future whether we get Barry or not. I'm just getting tired of the Villa outbursts on the subject, which are born of the frustration associated with not being able to hold onto their own captain.

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  • 398. At 04:48am on 05 Jul 2008, richisential wrote:

    But isn't all this transfer speculation borne from the frustration of Liverpool trying to win a title again which, if we are all honest, they have no chance of winning in the foreseeable future?

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  • 399. At 04:48am on 05 Jul 2008, aclarkebowen wrote:

    Reds69: I assume you replied to me? I do think it matters what happens here. If Liverpool don't get Barry, Aston Villa will be stuck with an unhappy midfielder, true, but wouldn't Liverpool be stuck with an unhappy midfielder, Alonso, too?

    Liverpool can pull out now which would leave Aston Villa in a tricky situation but I think Liverpool have a lot more to lose than Aston Villa in this case. With Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United all set to make additions to their squads, Liverpool have only added more full-backs to their squad which would hardly make Liverpool contenders for a higher placing. Without selling Alonso, after all, they won't be able to get Barry. Liverpool may be able to get the money through selling Carson and Crouch but I'd imagine that that money would be better used for a striker/winger/goalkeeper.

    No, there's only one unfortunate route for Liverpool and that's to labour on the Barry saga, one which benefits Liverpool (at least in Benitez's mind) and weakens Aston Villa - although the money is a sweetener.

    As for the frustrations, one should have anticipated trying to buy a captain and talisman, and arguably the best (or one of the best) players at a club that doesn't need to sell, and a club that has ambitions higher than their current position.

    Nobody has behaved like an angel in this transfer saga, least of all Barry, but that was the fault of a fairly unprofessional first approach by Liverpool. Everything else has descended into a stinking mess, when Liverpool could've made the job much easier by putting in a much higher first offer. 10 million pounds plus two Liverpool failures is hardly the type of offer that makes clubs drool - unless, of course, you're a relegation favourite.

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  • 400. At 04:53am on 05 Jul 2008, shellmarioancic wrote:

    Phil - Agree with you completely. i like to smoke what Rafa is smoking :)

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  • 401. At 04:56am on 05 Jul 2008, Reds69 wrote:

    Well, I see richisential has resorted to petty comments predicting the future, so I'll ignore that.

    And no, aclarkebrown, I don't think Barry is the only move for Liverpool. Whether we get him or not, I don't think he's the last move this summer. The transfer window is not yet closed or even close to it. As for the funds...regardless of what has been said in the media, none of us really know what funds are available. We can only wait and see. And I don't think Alonso would be unhappy or unsettled to ultimately stay at Liverpool.

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  • 402. At 05:17am on 05 Jul 2008, Mookha wrote:

    This is called negotiations. Especially important if you don't have a lot of money to spend. When you want to sell you start high and when you want to buy you start low. Rafa can't control MN's emotions over, basically, being pissed off at losing his player.

    And Mcnulty - if you want to compete at the PL you need a lot of money - so don't blame Rafa for that. Arsenal is the exception that proves the rule.

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  • 403. At 05:44am on 05 Jul 2008, Moods23 wrote:

    Villa don't know how to treat loyal servants that is why they are an ordinary team and Martin O'Neil an average manager. Barry wants to leave. He wants to play champions league football. Villa cannot provide hime that. It that simple.

    O Neil makes too many excuses[like the ones after every game that Villa loses]. He always tends to point the blame at others rather than himself. He accepts no responibility for what he does.

    I agree with Barry that O' Neil chose to be a pundit on EURO 08 rather than get his contract sorted or persuade him to stay. He then makes excuses that once a player chooses to leave there is nothing he can do. What a load of rubbish. Some kind of manager he is. Is he saying that he cannot persuade players to stay at Villa or he cannot persuade players, period. I think the latter.

    Let Barry join Liverpool as a mark of respect to his loyal service to Villa. Celebrate his accomplishments and desires rather than hate him. This will not help Villa and will only make Barry more determined to do well when he comes up against them.

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  • 404. At 05:52am on 05 Jul 2008, NotSuperHans wrote:

    Wot Kuyt'e Did-- ta. Sending in the resume tomorrow. :-) The Libertines are quite good too.

    Anyway, answered my own question.
    Benitez *has* commented, to wit: http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-fc/liverpool-fc-news/2008/05/12/we-re-in-clear-over-gareth-barry-rafa-benitez-100252-20895833/

    From the Birmingham Post, May 13:
    http://www.birminghampost.net/midlands-birmingham-sport/west-midlands-sports/aston-villa-fc/2008/05/13/benitez-tells-aston-villa-to-face-up-to-losing-gareth-barry-65233-20902060/

    Brusque, to be sure. But I fail to see the paper trail that links Benitez back to the press leak, or where he actually says any of these things O'Neill says he did. Benitez says that he heard Barry wanted CL football-- hardly a secret-- and that he called O'Neill, sent him a fax a few weeks later with an offer, and called him about the fax. He never claims they were on the phone for hours back and forth, and he never claims O'Neill instigated talks.

    I went looking for comments Benitez made between the leak on May 2 and May 9, when O'Neill speaks, and I can't find any. It's not unlikely that some random office guy in Liverpool stopped by the Echo and said "They made an offer for Barry." But is it so totally unbelievable that nobody, not a single soul in the Villa offices could have leaked it simply because it was a huge story and confirmed that Gareth Barry might actually leave?

    It looks to me as if the press has made a big fuss out of it in order to stir up a bit of controversy. The second link even says that Benitez never claimed any prolonged discussions. Papers are the ones making it seem to Villa fans as if O'Neill was going behind their backs. Papers are the ones making it seem as if Benitez had a quiet word in newspapers' collective ear about constant negotiating to get the price down. In fact, Benitez says, quote, "He will not have any problems with his supporters because he never said to me he wanted to sell Barry."

    Of course, I am positively shocked at the notion of papers stirring up controversy to sell stories.

    Look, someone knows the real source of the leak, but I'm pretty certain none of them are online. All of this just seems quite roundabout. Villa fans can argue it so that Benitez is a bully who's getting his dues when trying to unsettle a player to get him cheaper; Liverpool fans can argue it so O'Neill appears to be a whiner making noise because his star player is leaving. The general public will probably never know what really went down.

    I just think it's a real shame because, to my knowledge, Villa and Liverpool fans got on pretty well before all this.


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  • 405. At 06:05am on 05 Jul 2008, I_Hate_Ewoks wrote:

    I am bemused why Phil and others feel that Liverpool and Benitez have acted improperly. Is it a crime that Liverpool want to sign Barry? That the story was leaked to the press? Is it Liverpool's fault that Barry has spoken out against MON?

    Let's be real people. If Liverpool had of conducted the transfer behind closed doors would Villa have done a deal for a lesser amount? Absolutely not.

    Both clubs are trying to get the best deal possible and NEITHER of them should be faulted for that.

    One last thing Phil, Liverpool are willing to negotiate Crouch's fee. If Villa aren't willing to negotiate Barry's fee then Liverpool should walk away from the deal.

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  • 406. At 06:32am on 05 Jul 2008, neekydown wrote:

    Being a Liverpool supporter for many years i have to say Bill Shankly must be turning in his grave looking at this fiasco.
    Barry is not worth this money we all know, Rafa has made one good signing so far which was Torres what a bargin in comparison,never mind trying to bust your gonads on signing Barry and empty your piggy bank doing so.
    First make sure Aggar will be fit and we have central defenders, it is what we have given away at the back in the last two seasons which has stopped us contanding for the Premiership.

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  • 407. At 06:37am on 05 Jul 2008, greenMackers wrote:

    1) Agree that the Barry saga leaves a lot to be desired.
    2) Can't blame Rafa for trying to get the best deal possible in light of the financial meyhem at Anfield. Step up Mr Hicks and Gillett.
    3) Yearn for the days when the first time we fans knew Liverpool had a new player was when the deal was done.
    4) Now it seems we Reds are into unsettling players first, like Barry and Keane. Not the Liverpool way.
    5) Hands up anyone who knows of a bad transfer that proved to be worth the grief ? I can't think of any ?

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  • 408. At 08:15am on 05 Jul 2008, 836mcd wrote:

    A reminder as to why I stopped buying the local paper when Bitter Phil was involved. You are employed by the BBC which is funded by us all. Please try and show some professionalism by at least pretending not to have an agenda. It is becoming too obvious to ignore. There are very serious issues in English football which would benefit from investigation and discussion so another big bad Liverpool dig is just lazy. Are you afraid that Barry may push them nearer to a genuine title bid. We couldn't have that could we !!

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  • 409. At 08:24am on 05 Jul 2008, ian_jamsie wrote:

    Liverpool have set a president when it comes to putting a value on their own players.

    All Villa are doing is matching that.

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  • 410. At 08:24am on 05 Jul 2008, itsallgoneblue wrote:

    I'm not convinced any party involved has handled themselves particularly well, although i'd say that O'Neill will come out with his reputation more intact than Benitez or Barry. As for whether Barry will make the difference required for a serious title challenge from Liverpool, in my opinion the answer is a definite no. Liverpool's central midfield the last couple of seasons has been one of the only areas where certain players have been playing well, Gerrard and Mascherano being the obvious examples. I agree with previous posters who cite the terrible weakness on the right flank. Pennant is just completely ineffective and Kuyt, for all his qualities, is not a right winger. The 18m for Barry ought to be spent on Bentley, a player who would make a genuine difference to their title aspirations. For the record, i dont support either Villa or Liverpool

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  • 411. At 08:27am on 05 Jul 2008, ian_jamsie wrote:

    If liverpool had come in at the end of the season with a 15 million cash offer.

    Villa would have accepted it and there would have been none of this rubbish and no anger between the clubs and supporters.

    Now due to all this tripe, Villa want 18m and they will not budge on it.

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  • 412. At 08:32am on 05 Jul 2008, Willnfd wrote:

    As a Villa fan I am disappointed by the whole saga. Many people here are purporting to know the facts about who said to what to whom and when but in reality it's all guesswork. What we do know is that Villa don't want to sell so have set a high price. Nowt wrong with that, if Liverpool really want the player they will pay up, if they don't they will walk away. Gareth Barry is the loser in all of this. He has tarnished his reputation in the affair - what he was thinking by speaking in the NOTW only he (and presumably his agent) can know. But lets get one thing straight. We don't NEED the money. Randy Lerner has spent millions improving the training ground and rebuilding the Holte Hotel as well as ditching a sponsorship deal in favour of a local hospice charity. Hardly the Doug Ellis era is it? I'm just sad that the previous good relationship between the two clubs has suffered as I always have time for Liverpool.

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  • 413. At 08:33am on 05 Jul 2008, dgeb26 wrote:

    I'm a Liverpool fan, but for the first time I can remember I've spent the whole summer wishing that our proposed transfer deals would collapse: Milner, Bently, Downing none of these are good enough for Liverpool. I see what Rafa is doing -buying someone to cross the ball, but who to exactly. Crouch is leaving, Torres is decent in the air but is much more dangerous with the ball at his feet.

    No what Liverpool need are 3 creative midfielders(2 wingers and one who plays in the Fabregas area), and at least one more striker. The annoying thing is that we already have one of these players- Alonso. When we played the Champions League 2nd Leg against Arsenal, it seems to me that after our equaliser Xabi had decided enough was enough and got himself out of defence and started controlling the play, the same way he did in his sole game in Euro 2008 because that's what he is a creative midfielder not a defensive one. Don't forget he was originally bought to replace Gerrard who was on his way to Chelsea, and if he goes to Juventus it won't be Sissoko he kicks out of the team! He'd be their creative maestro, and he could be ours if Benitez realised that you don't need 2 defensive midfielders when you play Middlesborough etc and let him play his natural game.

    So come on Rafa wake up. Stop wasting time and money on a plastic Gerrard and get us some genuine quality.

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  • 414. At 08:34am on 05 Jul 2008, itsallgoneblue wrote:

    in response to comments about Michael Carrick, yes its true that a jump from Spurs paying 2.6m and Manchester United paying 18m 2 years later is far too steep, but i think if you ask Manchester United fans who actually go to Old Trafford, or football fans who generally watch a lot of games, you'll find that there is nothing but praise for his performances. He is consistently excellent for United, but doesn't get recognition for this because he wont score more than a handful of goals a season. His ability to pick up a pass from the back four or keeper and within seconds start an attack with a pinpoint ball is better than anyone else in the league, and his general ball retention is terrific. He isn't afraid to play the simple ball, is capable of the spectacular 60 yard pass, and if you watch him, count how many times he gives the ball away. Very few, if any

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  • 415. At 08:54am on 05 Jul 2008, BeanoMasch wrote:

    The Barry story was originally leaked to a Midlands newspaper from a Villa Park source. It was MON who first spat the dummy, venting publicly with an outburst inaccurately slamming Anfield for the leak. Since then, the Villa manager has been digging himself into a hole with his emotionally-driven public-posturing and self-centered intransigence. You haven't seen Benitez reacting so emotionally about Chelsea's widely-speculated attempts to unsettle Torres.

    The Villa manager should at least consider Barry's wishes; on Monday, Benitez will let Crouch go to Portsmouth for significantly less than his valuation partly because the player expressed a strong preference to return to Fratton Park. Compare that to MON's vindictive response to Barry's career ambition. Sadly, it is an indication that he (MON) is struggling with some of the pressures and stress of top flight management. It's just the way the transfer game is played. If MON doesn't like the heat, he should get out of the kitchen.

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  • 416. At 08:58am on 05 Jul 2008, kopoftheziller wrote:

    people are forgetting crouch is one of englands top goal scorers in the last couple of years were as barry has only just got into the team so i would say that the value of crouch is right. Personally i think we should keep alonso and forget about barry

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  • 417. At 09:00am on 05 Jul 2008, Willnfd wrote:

    415. At 08:54am on 05 Jul 2008, BeanoMasch wrote:
    The Barry story was originally leaked to a Midlands newspaper from a Villa Park source.

    So do you know this is factually correct? Do you work at the paper or Villa Park? Where is the evidence?

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  • 418. At 09:04am on 05 Jul 2008, GraymeadYNWA wrote:

    Barry only has a year left on his contract, we sold Owen for 7m plus Nunez (yeah he was good ;).) so why is Barry worth 11m more than Owen, that makes no sense

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  • 419. At 09:05am on 05 Jul 2008, chalobilly wrote:

    Do you really think that Barry has pushed out hardgreaves in the England squad? I feel Hardgreaves is a far better player and i´ve watched him since his young days at Bayern.
    Also, with all this going on at Liverpool over the last few seasons. With such huge egos at play.It seems something is going to crack.

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  • 420. At 09:16am on 05 Jul 2008, AndyrobertbradleyGerrard wrote:

    Not sure how this is 'reflecting badly' on Liverpool or Benitez. What are Liverpool supposed to do...blindly accept anyone's valuation of a player they're interested in? Once they do that what do you suppose is going to happen when they do go after someone....inflated prices perhaps? Maybe, just maybe they should try and get a target as cheaply as possible, a couple of million off here, another couple of million off the next target and suddenly you've nearly got enough for a third, it's not rocket science, just basic economics, something practised by all clubs bar chelsea.

    Not at all convinced that it was Liverpool who broke the story either.

    Finally, it's only a transfer 'saga' because you lot make it so.

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  • 421. At 09:24am on 05 Jul 2008, God_Himself89 wrote:

    Barry is a disgrace... he has said he wants to leave yet where is his trasfer request?

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  • 422. At 09:29am on 05 Jul 2008, bigflag_on_the_kop wrote:

    Barry will have to play on the left wing, as, if we purchase a main striker to partner Torres, then Gerrard will fall back into midfield with Mascherano. Is Barry worth 18 million, just to play out of position on the wing? Besides this, the Gerrard/Mascherano combination doesn't work. Liverpool's season picked up considerably, when Gerrard moved up to the front. I fear the worst. Hopefully I'm wrong.

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  • 423. At 09:30am on 05 Jul 2008, Brummie-1875-KRO (cuz iiiiii wanna be @ City) wrote:

    There is no doubt that Barry is a highly talented player, but his petulant interview to the media shows up the flaws in his character.

    This usually rose to the surface during local derbies. I remember a couple of seasons ago when he ran over to the ref moaning about the method that Melchiot used throwing the ball back into play. 15 seconds later he got the foul throw he was after. This was just one of his moaning incidents.

    We are all fed up of players under contract that feel they have the right to change employers at whim whilst the rest of us have to put up or shut up wherever we work.

    Martin O'Neill is a great manager (even if as a bluenose it hurts to admit it).

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  • 424. At 09:49am on 05 Jul 2008, Noblelox wrote:

    Post 325 by astonvillaavfc2008, My word, common sense from a Villa fan! I applaud you sir!

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  • 425. At 09:50am on 05 Jul 2008, spinksmyhero wrote:

    There seems to be a lot of confusion over who did what and how this all became public. Rafa blamed O'Neill for going public - so for so many Liverpool fans that's it - end of discussion - it's all O'Neill's fault.

    3 weeks before the end of the season (we know this retrospectively from both managers) Rafa approached O'Neill confidentially. Liverpool's season was over - they were going to finish 4th. Villa were still pushing hard for 5th. Just because Liverpool's season had finished Rafa plunges into transfer negotiations showing complete lack of respect to Villa and O'Neill.

    O'Neill palms him off with 'I'll have to speak with my chairman'. That does not mean he is for sale - as Rafa then claimed. It means go away and I'll give you time when my season has finished.

    Days before Villa's key game against Wigan Liverpool are linked with Barry in two papers (one in Liverpool and one in Birmingham) virtually simultaneously (evening edition of one, following morning edition of the other). This is not the random speculation that papers are often filled with. This is essentially the same story being claimed by two papers at the same time. This shows evidence of a deliberate and carefully planned leak. In my mind there are two options: a rogue employee at Villa Park or an employee at Liverpool with Rafa's knowledge and blessing. The wider press (who are very experienced in spotting a real story) then start asking Barry and O'Neill about this instead of focusing on Villa's end of season.

    After the Wigan game O'Neill answers on of these questions directly (this according to Rafa is going public!!!!). It's true that O'Neill could have dismissed the question. No-one would have believed him but he could have done. He is angry at seeing Villa put in one of their most inept performances of the year and thrown away the chance of finishing 5th and are in danger of slipping to 7th. He is angry with Benitez for his lack of respect trying to conduct business before the end of the season - so he decides to expose Benitez - not only for the above but for the derisory figures Benitez was suggesting.

    Through all this I respect O'Neill's honesty and professionalism in dealing with the press and fans. Some will say Benitez is being professionally ruthless in his pursuit of success for Liverpool. I still believe that integrity and respect are still an important part of being professional. Benitez and seemingly many fans of Liverpool disagree.

    Melburg showed enormous integrity and respect with the way he left Villa to take his career to a new challenge. Every Villa fan wishes him all the best. It is the lack of respect and integrity shown by Barry that has turned Villa fans against him.

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  • 426. At 09:55am on 05 Jul 2008, BossDonkey wrote:

    A bit of a puzzle this article. Every transfer in history starts with the selling club quoting 1 price and the buyer quoting another. Maybe Villa should demand £5 million and Liverpool offer £20 million instead. Now that would be a proper story.

    Xabi Alonso played in the final of the Euro Championships and has a winners medal. He also has been in 2 CL Finals. If he's only worth the £14 million offered by Juve, maybe Aston Villa should consider why Gareth Barry is worth £18 million. Or maybe Rafa should go into press and berate Juventus for their insulting offer?

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  • 427. At 10:00am on 05 Jul 2008, jayred wrote:

    I may be biased but then I'd be no different from this article. For starters, although nothing has been confirmed, it appears Crouch has now gone for around £10 million. Had Benitez said '"A £10m price tag for Crouch would not be unreasonable." he would have invited offers for £6 or £7 million. Going public may not have been the best move, but (as the old adage goes) everyone has their price. I don't know why a deal wasn't done involving Carson, but then wasn't it O'Neill publically whinging abou that last season? Maybe if a little bit of both sides had been thrown into the article (of course I realise Villa's frustration over this) it would have been a more informative read, but then what reaction would that have gained?

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  • 428. At 10:02am on 05 Jul 2008, therealeverton wrote:

    I'm not sure why there's so many people blaming O'Neil for taking this public? He responded to stories about Liverpool's players + cash offer as far as I can remember. He was upset that the story was in the paper almost before he got the fax.

    As for Rafa (blame this on me being an Everton fan if you choose but it's an impartial view)

    I don't know why, but Rafa seems to think it's part of his job to cause friction with other clubs. I watch some Spanish football, but I'm not overly familiar with the politics so maybe it's a Primera liga thing? He treats the Merseyside rivalry like it's the "old firm" under the misaprehesion that it's neccessary to foster hatred if you're local rivals. Known for decades as "the friendly derby" we've seen a sinisiter edge appear in recent years, typified by the digusting chants from BOTH sets of "supports" at the Anfield derby this spring. It seems to have coincide with Rafa's deliberately inflamiitory remarks, Accussing Lescott of diving when Caraggher used wrestling moves to haul him to the ground; Accussing the Everton fans (rightly so) for their disgusting chants about Gerrard, but saying nothing about the disgraceful chants re the handicapped children of Everton players etc. the infamous "small" jibe regarding their amicable rivals, who just happen to be the 4th most successful English club, hardly small.

    It's not boxing, you are allowed to treat other clubs and managers with respect, and Rafa is doing himself and Liverpool no favours.

    Fact is , (as far as i've heard / read) Most Villa fans would have been happy to thak Barry for his service and wish him luck at his new club. The tabloid interview has soured that, and it's a shame.

    As for the price, there are many arguments, but given that two of the England midfield have recently gone for £18m you'd imagine that as a starting price. You could imagine lowering it a little for Barry's age, and that MAY have happened if the deal had been conducted "properly". Also it is logical, (though how much logic has to do with football tranfers is debatable), to say that as they are replacing Alonso with Barry, Barry should be worth more. Alonso isn't "vastly over-rated", however it could be argued that he's never, fully adapted to the English game.

    Anyay feel free tothik i've just said that because I'm an Evertonian, but try and look at my comments with an open mind, and agree / disagree based on their merits.

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  • 429. At 10:02am on 05 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    spikysmy hero

    why should a villa leak be a "rogue" and a liverpool leak "have rafa's blessing" - any bias there? - and for your information the brum post was first with the info - check the papers' web pages, both of them - that tells me it's from villa

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  • 430. At 10:05am on 05 Jul 2008, JtheDog wrote:

    15 Million for Crouch is crazy.
    18 Million for Barry is crazy.
    17 and 18 Mill for Hargreaves and Carrick is crazy. I agree partially with you on the last. I am a Liverpool fan so I'll not hide. With your same argument about H and C at MU, Torres cost us 20M and like it or not one of the above is anywhere within a mile of him. As an LFC man I'll defend Rafa. He obviously knows Peter is not a 15M chap but if he asks for 10 he'll get 8 so ask for 15 and maybe get 10. All of this shows who is really killing the English national team. It's the English themselves. Why should anyone go for an Englishman half the calibre of the Torreses of the game and pay just as much? Answer that and you'll convince me. And by the way I WANT BARRY to come. But I'll be 100% behind Rafa if he doesn't pay over the top for him.

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  • 431. At 10:09am on 05 Jul 2008, andy wrote:

    i think it's a fair analysis of whats gone on. Liverpool have tried to get Barry on the cheap and MO'N has stuck to his guns. Its inevitable that Barry will leave because i believe he's burnt all his bridges with Villa. I cannot believe he's been so badly advised by his agent.

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  • 432. At 10:13am on 05 Jul 2008, BossDonkey wrote:

    But then we all know that Phil McNulty, once of the Liverpool Echo, is a bitter and twisted blue.

    It must be hard to have England's most successful football club in your city. Not for long though, Phil. Kirkby awaits and the blue 3rd of Merseyside will be able to move out of that big red shadow.

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  • 433. At 10:13am on 05 Jul 2008, Ben wrote:

    One sided article! Man U paid around £27m for Wayne Rooney. Although Peter Crouch is not of the same calibre as Wayne, he's a proven goalscorer both internationally and at club level against top oppositions. Furthermore, he offers a different type of attack and he's also good with the ball at his feet. So, I think he should be worth half what Wayne costed Man U. £15m is not an unfair tag for an English player with peter's qualities.

    Xabi Alonso is a similar type of player to Barry. Although he lacks the physical presence that Barry has he compensates it with his hawk-eye distribution of the ball. So, if Xabi is worth max. £16m, so should Barry but he's worth £18m because he's an English player!

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  • 434. At 10:17am on 05 Jul 2008, 2Yards wrote:

    I get confused over what is acceptable behaviour. Clearly the blatant courting of Ronaldo is wrong - but what of Milan saying their single transfer target is Milan? And Man City talking contantly about signing Ronaldinho when no bid had been accepted? Worse are those big clubs who wine what they have done to others happens to them. Carrick was settled at Spurs - and their best player - but refused to sign a new contract once Man U's interest in him 'coincidently' became known to him. Spurs had no choice but to sell. Managers: don't dish it out if you can't take. Man U are getting a taste of what it's like for most other clubs all the time; Villa are trying their hardest to get as much as they can from a situation they can't win. I just wish they did it behind closed doors. Liverpool fans - how would you feel if Chelsea came in with a £10m bid for Torres and he said he was desperate to join them?

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  • 435. At 10:17am on 05 Jul 2008, redandblackT-Save 606 wrote:

    Do you watch football Mcnulty or do you just skim through it?Alonso over rated?absolute nonsense!I know the English prefer the blood and thunder head less chicken running with no skill attributes of their midfielders so the chances of you noticing the cultured play,extraordinary range of passing and sublime skill of Alonso would be slim.

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  • 436. At 10:21am on 05 Jul 2008, spinksmyhero wrote:

    Realbigbod

    I have checked - as I said the story appeared in the evening edition in Birmingham followed by the morning edition of the other. As with all newspapers they later post stories on their internet sites (they want you to buy the paper first!!!)

    There's no proof - we can only discuss which is more likely. Scenario one - Liverpool Echo, every night - are scouring every local paper up and down the country looking for transfer speculation between say 4 pm (when evening edition went on sale) to say 3 am (when morning paper goes to print). Scenario two - a planned leak was made to both papers simultaneously. I suggest that scenario 2 is by far the most likely.

    So given the likely hood of scenario two did this leak do more harm to Villa or to Liverpool? Undoubtedly to Villa - hence me saying a "rogue" within Villa. I just cannot believe MON sanctioned a leak. It was to Liverpool's benefit.

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  • 437. At 10:24am on 05 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    so you do admit the brum post was first, eh - interesting !!

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  • 438. At 10:25am on 05 Jul 2008, BeanoMasch wrote:

    The story appeared in the Birmingham evening paper first. Fact. It was only carried in Liverpool the following day with the reporter confirming the story leaked in Birmigham, not Liverpool. Journalists like to otherwise claim "exclusives" so this attribution reinforces the claims of a Villa Park leak. Regardless, why is Benitez getting such a bum rap? Isn't he right to open any negotiation at the low end with a walk-away limit in mind? O'Neil is being naive if he thinks his best players won't be targeted by other clubs. Benitez has had to endure similar worries with Torres and Gerrard; Ferguson with Ronaldo; Wenger with Adebayor, etc., etc.

    Get real O'Neil -- you're players are not off-limits and stop the blame game.

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  • 439. At 10:36am on 05 Jul 2008, brentwoodhammer wrote:

    Interesting article and I tend to agree that Rafa's a bit out of touch with reality - mainly on the grounds that I don't rate Crouch - but Bruben's got a point - is this maybe just a case of strikers being worth a lot more than those who play in any other position.

    btw - hope Barry does go and that he develops a serious partnership with SG - that could be the difference needed to move England up a level - tough break for Lampard if it means he no longer features for England - but obviously he's never really gelled with SG - who still has to be a big feature in Capello's plans.

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  • 440. At 10:43am on 05 Jul 2008, designaw wrote:

    Good article, though it failed to mention the ongoing position of another player in dispute between the two clubs - Carson.

    Benitez values Crouch at £15m, Alonso at £18m and Carson at £10m. So what value does Benitez attribute to an England international and proven partner to Gerrard? no more than £13m.

    There is another aspect to the valuation of any English player that is the legislation in the FIFA and UEFA pipeline, that teams must have a minimum number of home nation players in the first-team squad. The impact of this will be higher values for all home nation players, not just England squad players, and this will apply to all English teams including Liverpool and Aston Villa.

    What is clear is that Barry is the ideal solution to many of Liverpool's problems and would form a partnership with Gerrard that Alonso hasn't acheived. In that sense Alonso's value on the open market maybe £18m but his value to Liverpool is considerably less, so what of Barry's value on the open market? Liverpool value him at £13m but clearly his value to Liverpool is far greater.

    Villa have every right to demand their valuation for Barry as Liverpool do for Alonso and the sooner Liverpool realise this the sooner this situation will be concluded. I do feel that Benitez has exposed a number of flaws in his character in his handling of the Barry transfer and I feel that other managers will be reluctant to give him an 'easy ride' in any future transfers with other clubs.

    I am a Villa fan and will miss Barry very much, having watched him come from Brighton (under a cloud) and developed into the centrepoint of our squad his departure will be a massive loss, the biggest we could suffer. I believe that the way this has been handled has soured the view of Benitez and Liverpool for a lot of Villa fans, particularly in light of their valuations for some of their players that I wholeheartedly consider inferior to Barry.

    Villa don't need to and don't want to sell Barry and though he now wants to leave the bottom line is the price for him is £18m, pay up Benitez or shut up!

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  • 441. At 10:50am on 05 Jul 2008, XineBBSA wrote:

    Thank you for this article.

    People have been saying for a while that the BBC hires liars.

    And yes. Here's another one to add to your collection.

    Bitter BBC Journalist shocker.

    Who'd have thought it.

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  • 442. At 10:54am on 05 Jul 2008, ccfcjayjay wrote:

    hahaha whoever said that alonso isn't that good as he didn't get in the spain team for euro 2008 is a fool! you telling me barry would have got in ahead of xavi, iniesta, senna or fabregas? of course he wouldn't. infact i would be willing to bet pretty much any amount of money that barry wouldn't get into the spain squad, as he is not even as good as alonso. I cant blame Liverpool trying to sign barry for 10 million, cause as a player, that is all he is worth. Yes villa dont want to sell him, so of course that value will go up a bit, but he is never worth 18 million. Just because barry has got a few england caps he must be worth a fortune. Barry is a hard working, decent engine type of midfielder, he is not that technically gifted at all. I get the feeling liverpool only want him to keep stevie g happy, why else would rafa blow almost all his transfer budget on a player in an area they dont need to strengthen. I dont see why people are getting on Rafa's back. All he is doing is trying to sell his players for the most money possible, the same way MON is doing with barry. Yes Crouch is never worth 15 mill, but rafa says that incase anyone is stupid enough to come in with an offer somewhere close to that. If rafa had said, oh i think crouch is worth about 8 million (what he is actually worth with one year left IMO) and someone bid that much for him, do you think the americans would be happy with him? Rafa knows crouch is not worth that much, he is just trying to sell him for as much as possible. I personally think that the only person that should be getting slated in all this is Barry. He has given 10 years good service to villa, and has every right to leave for a bigger team to play CL football, but to come out and give an interview slating your boss before you have left is moronic. I hope liverpool decide to go sign someone else, and MON sticks to his guns and leaves barry to rot in the reserves. Then maybe he will stop getting so overhyped, and Carrick will get his chance in the england team he deserves, as he has been twice the player of Barry over the last two prem seasons IMO! (and no i am not a Man U fan!)

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  • 443. At 10:59am on 05 Jul 2008, readreaderreadest wrote:

    I think you have summarized this mess between two clubs, who up until now have a history of very good relations, very well.

    However, I think you probably forgot to add an important point. The person responsable for transfer DEALINGS at Liverpool FC is not Rafael Benitez but instead Rick Parry.

    This is yet another example of a long list of incompetent transfer dealings by Mr. Parry (cf. Owen and Heinze). Mr. Hicks, for all the problems he himself has brought to the club, has certainly got one thing right, namely, that Mr. Parry has to go.

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  • 444. At 11:04am on 05 Jul 2008, fatsovonchubby wrote:

    Well 5 million posts already so I'll keep it simple. When you strip away all the thrust and counter-thrust of transfer handbags, Gareth Barry is one of the (latterly) outstanding players in the best league in the world. Left footed, club captain, peak years of his career etc. I think Villa can command any price they like. What I'm not convinced of however - is whether the move to Anfield is right or not. Benitez has dropped short in my estimations on a number of occasions recently (I'm not a Liverpool fan) and I don't think he's the best man manager around - especially for a team pushing hard to regain their illustrious past. Good luck Gareth.

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  • 445. At 11:08am on 05 Jul 2008, Willnfd wrote:

    438. At 10:25am on 05 Jul 2008, BeanoMasch wrote:
    The story appeared in the Birmingham evening paper first. Fact. It was only carried in Liverpool the following day with the reporter confirming the story leaked in Birmigham, not Liverpool. Journalists like to otherwise claim "exclusives" so this attribution reinforces the claims of a Villa Park leak.

    Strange then that it was claimed as an 'Exclusive' by Tony Barrett of the Liverpool Echo. Presumably only exclusive in Liverpool...

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  • 446. At 11:08am on 05 Jul 2008, TheRealGerrard wrote:

    I remember watching us play the Villa at their place last season, and Barry was the only quality on show from the home side.

    I said then that Barry wouldn't look out of place in a Liverpool shirt and I'm delighted we're going for him.

    Have to say though all this false outrage is a bit sad, you media sorts love it!

    Barry is worth every penny, all we need now is the only quality player from Middlesbro in Downing and Robbie from Spurs and we're done :)

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  • 447. At 11:11am on 05 Jul 2008, murnauthecat wrote:


    I agree that there is definately a sour taste to this saga but I think that all three parties have contributed to it. I haven't personally heard Mr Benitez's state his valuation of Peter Crouch at £15 million, or Xabi Alonso at £16 million but I will take your word that this is his personal evaluation of those players. It has been known in the transfer market to inflate the price of the player you are trying to sell and to undervalue the price of the object of your desire. I think their may be sound and common business related reasons for this.
    I have the feeling that Martin O'Neill is pretty bitter over this issue - he and Mr Benitez did not seem to have a problem with the loan deal for Scott Carson -perhaps their relationship soured somewhere when the proposed January transfer purchase of Carson did not eventuate? The normally mild mannered Aston Villa manager may end up having to temporarily exile Gareth Barry to the place he has sent other Villa players to incur his wrath - Stoke . I wonder if he would be willing to do so next season.
    I have a lot of respect for Martin O'Neill and I am sure that there are more than a few Liverpool fans who would have loved to have seen him to be the man to take over from Gerard Houllier (do I recall a public spat over that possibility?) If he is bitter over this there could be many other understandable reasons. Having persuaded Barry to stay last season he must have that that the prospect of qualifying for Europe would keep his club captain at the club. There is even a possibility that had Villa had more luck and more wins he could have delivered Champion's League football. That possibility disappeared and now is it a case of the club's talisman wants to go and play for a team that he thinks he can win more medals with ( Liverpool fans can probably relate to the bitterly demoralising effect this could have on a club), or is it merely a case of him wishing to fulfill the dream of playing Champion's League football and perhaps securing a midfield partnership and club level that could reinforce his claim to a regular England place?
    I can sympathise with Gareth Barry in the slightly mercenary act of not submitting a transfer request when to all intents and purposes it is his desire to leave the club as I am sure that he feels he has shown ten years of loyalty and therefore feels he is entitled to some compensation. Footballers are increasingly mercenary and from the outside not submitting a transfer request seems an act slighlty lacking in decorum - but then not out of context with other acts in the saga.
    I whole heartedly agree that the reported £15 million tag for Crouch is not reflective of the value placed on the player by the Liverpool's reluctance to play him the past season but it must be understood that Benetiz strayed from his normal rotation policy last season to allow Torres a regular place while bedding into the English game. I also feel that Crouch may have played more games in Europe had Liverpool come up against Continental rather than English clubs in their last two games. £15 million as a figure for Crouch before the 2007/8 Champion's League final would not have been sneered at. There is more to come form the player, regardless of where he plays his football next season. I am sure that Benitez and Liverpool fans would be happy to see him stay but they would also be pleased to get £10-12 million for him. I therefore think that a suggested rating of him at £15 million is probably only £3 million over expectation. If there was a club willing to get engaged in an acrimonious bid for him I am sure that Liverpool would stubbornly hold out for more - but those kind of saga's only occur once in a blue moon.
    As for Alonso's poor last couple of seasons which did not fulfil his intitial promise I am sure that he will be quite happy with his Euro 2008 winner's medal and when he finishes his career he will probably also be proud of his
    2007/8 Champion's League loser's medal (which will compliment his winner's medal). While he was not first choice for Aragones in midfield and while Fabregas' performances(and the injury to Villa) saw the latter take the more attacking role that presented itself in the team, he did play in the finals and the final itself. Daniel Agger did not have a great season last year and although Alonso looked a little slow at the end of the English season,( the European season went on a little longer), I am sure that the metatarsal injuries suffered by Agger and Alonso did not help their season's to fulfil their initial promise. It should be remembered that Alonso's intial promise was shown as a midfield ballplayer - a position in the Liverpool team that clashed with the space roamed in and out of by Steven Gerrard. Benitez has had Alonso playing a much deeper role and one with more defensive responsibilities - his languid style of play is not best suited to that position ( I think he will flourish in Italy or Spain if allowed a more central role) and at a few vital times he has cost Liverpool goals through not being in the correct position when tracking midfield runs into the box. As a Liverpool fan I think that he has been a valuable servent and I would love to see him spend a 5th season at the club because as well as neing an intelligent player he has been a great example to youngsters - he seems incredibly level headed both on and off the field (no nightclub escapades, superfluous step-overs, constant diving and crying, spitting foul language into the face of refs and opponents - a la JT, Rio.) His only blemish is probably not having been more forceful when he had the chance to drag the temporarily mentally deranged Mascherano away from trouble in the recent defeat to the team often incorrectly referred to as 'The Reds'. Benitez no doubt knows that he needs the money to by Barry and he is hoping to get as much as possible for a player that he is willing to sacrifice to establish what he sees as a potentially Premiership winning midfield combo. Alonso is certainly not worth £16 million in the English game ( I don't think
    many English clubs would allow him to play his natural game) but if the money is there, he may be worth that much in the Italian or Spanish game.
    Despite what amounts may or may not spurt forth reportedly from the mouth of Rafael benitez on the valuation of mrs Crouch, Alonso and Barry, I think that he probably considers them all worth something in the region of £12/13 million. If he is pursuing Barry then obviuoly he knows that the price could get pushed up to £18 million+
    and if he has to sell players to get the money to finance the deal then he is aware that he may have to accept less - depending on the necessity of others.
    The idea that Marty and Rafa are sitting next to fax machines firing of offers and non acceptences of offers (once Marty receives it and turns around vehemently shaking his head at Randy with that fuming look that steams his spectacles) is ludicrous. There is an on-going negotiation and utterances of shifting values from the team representing the side desiring to buy (or offer player deals, etc) and a stubborness to stick at a price by the team representing the club the reluctantly may sell.
    Martin O'Neill is being understandably stubborn about this and he has quite rightly reactedly angrily to Barry's suggestion that he was spending time as a Euro 2008 pundit that could have been better spent convincing his captain to stay at the club. Who knows though, maybe at the time he had signed up to the punditry he was thinking that he would be in the same country as his club skipper had England been able to get a result against a team that only had to lose their final game to progress to the finals? Martin O'Neill has a lot of grace to lose in this situation -the most important think for him to establish is that he is not happy to lose his club captain and talisman, and that the fact that such an imprtant player wants to leave should be perceived as a slight to both club and manager. Acceptance of anything under £18 million pounds would seem a capitulation.
    I think that, although you have said that Rafa cannot say that he values one player at one price and then another at a similar price despite hardly playing them, he can probably do what he likes to a degree. To say that he is under pressure to deliver a serious title challenge is stating the obvious. By footballing standards, by the terms of why fans should follow football Liverpool had a decent season last season -there was plenty to be happy about. The reality though is that it is a high finance game and that fans expect trophy's and while it is rediculous to think that at the start of a season any team has a right to win the trophy because of the team have on paper, every year is said to be going to be the year that The trophy is returned to Anfield. Even last season Paul Schole's non sending off could have sent the Premiership to London - there is so much luck, outside influence and plain old football to be played. RBenitez will be under the pressure and one thing that Liverpool fans will tell you is that Rafa of now is not a meek mild mannered Spanish gentleman, if he ever appeared to be so - he reacts to that pressure by saying things that he does not necesarily believe but which he knows will create a climate in which to operate (he will not always get this right). Secretly I don't personally believe that Rafa thinks Everton are a small club but I think that Liverpool fans are pleased that he reflected the hurt that a draw to the Bluenoses, (which effectively extinguished a run that had the potential to challenge for the title), with a snide and venomous remark that showed that winning the Derby mattered. Last season Liverpool won the first of these fixtures with an almost complete lack of grace - a poll of Liverpool fans will probably reveal that they see that win as a highlight of the season rather than a situation in which they maintained the moral highground but lost the fixture. Effectively Benitez sees that Barry has the potential to form a great partnership with Gerrard and Mascherano ( and probably a more agile one than the current LFC combo) and in metaphoric terms he is stealing one of the crown jewels of another aspirational European club - I am sure that he is racked with guilt about doing this but may well consider himself already damned. From his point of view why should he (if it is he and not the rest of the club) try and be super nice about it? Should he be offering Crouch, Carson, Alonso and £21million for Barry and add that he is willing to add £3 million to take back Patrick Berger to mow the lawns at Anfield? There is a limited amount of money available and if the first offer made to a club who are incredibly reluctant to sell their captain, and who are incensed by the unfolding of the drama, is accepted then there is a case for sacking the manager (if indeed it is the manager) making the bid.
    In some ways it is a sad saga but for the most part each party is acting as you would expect. I cannot say if it is they way that the interest was leaked that so infuriated Martin O'Neill - it seemed to have been a strong probability well before the leak - as these things so often are. References to the slight on Liverpool's fine tradition indealing with such matters may overlook other transfer issues in the clubs history (Middlesborough and Nottingham Forest could have a think or two to say). Liverpool will hope that the arrival(and a few others) will be the spur to a serious challenge in the league. Martin O'Neill will hope that the club receive enough for the player to replace him with two players with the potential for one of them to suceed and surpass Barry's achievement. I am sure that the incident will be used by the manager to spur on the rest of the team to show that they are capable of improving without Gareth Barry - and for sure the Villa fans will love how vehemently O'Neill has reflected the feelings of the club. Gareth Barry probably comes out of this worse off the pitch but for it is what he does on the pitch that will be of most interest. Should Liverpool progress to the group stages of the Champion's League he should be playing at the highest level of football against teams he must have dreamed about playing against as a kid.

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  • 448. At 11:18am on 05 Jul 2008, Mobious wrote:

    I am a Villa fan and I can understand Barry wanting to go to Liverpool, however how he has handled himself is disgusting. Villa fans supported him, cheered his name when he was being overlooked for England. Then he finally gets his chance and once again we support and cheer him.
    MON is responsible for getting him into the position he is in, but then to turn his back so quickly on the loyal support is upsetting.

    However how football has changed. Liverpool of old would never have conducted itself this way and it is indicative of what happens when people take over who don't know the tradition off English Football. Barry is worth 18mill in todays market. They have turned Barrys head so now they should pay up. They should also be reported to FIFA as they doing with Keane at Spurs now. This needs stamping out and some integrity returned to the English game.

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  • 449. At 11:20am on 05 Jul 2008, U11803440 wrote:

    In answer to your concluding questions, rather than go at tagents as most do on here, No Benitez has certainly not used the right tactics, Yes Barry is worth 18M, and No Villa are not being too hard nosed.

    Barry is therefore easily worth 15M, which is actually all Villa want, NOT the 18M quoted. The extra 3M is to pay Barry his loyalty bonus, which he would lose if he puts in a transfer request.

    Since he wont, but clearly wants to leave, then Liverpool will have to pay it.

    Not hard nosed, just good business

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  • 450. At 11:25am on 05 Jul 2008, JtheDog wrote:

    447 summary please ;)

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  • 451. At 11:25am on 05 Jul 2008, loupe wrote:

    Rafa is having a laffa if he thinks he can get England's 2nd best midfield player for 10 mill

    Rafa will have to get close to the 18 million mark because he knows that Barry is the perfect partner for Gerrard and enhances the way he plays, the problem for Rafa is that O'Niel knows this too.

    Also Rafa knows if he does not get Barry and Liverpool finishes 4th again he is packing his bags and going back to Spain

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  • 452. At 11:26am on 05 Jul 2008, shotshammo wrote:

    How about a league table of how much a player is worth in the premiership, starting with the most expensive, and working down to the lowest.
    The bench mark being they must be worth over a million pounds.
    A rough guide to start with, by the clubs own supporters, with the ability to re-adjust either weekly or monthly based on comment by any supporter.
    I bet the players from the four top clubs will be inflated,above those the likes of Barry simply because he plays for Aston Villa.
    It would be nice if a National paper took the challenge up, as well.
    This would make it more transparent when a manager was stirring things up or trying to bluff his way to getting a player underpriced, simply because he plays for a less wealthy club.

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  • 453. At 11:30am on 05 Jul 2008, U11803440 wrote:

    shotshammo, Barry does not play for a less wealthy club, we are wealthier than Liverppol

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  • 454. At 11:31am on 05 Jul 2008, lfcbias wrote:

    This saga is a bit of a joke. O'Neil came out claiming that he had tried so hard to keep Barry, constant conversations bla bla, but when Barry says 'well no, actually i've had hardly any contact from Oneil at all' he gets fined for showing that Oneil is lying to try and please the fans. If Liverpool pay £18m they're mugs, he's not worth that, he's new and unproven in competitive internationals, he's a good player but world class? At 28yrs old he's leaving it late to prove it if he is! If he was 24 then i'd say fair enough pay £18m, Gerrard clearly sees him as a perfect partner, and Benitez sees something there too so if we can get him at reasonable money fine, but Villa's cuckoo valuation is way out and Liverpool shouldn't be held to ransom. I'm more concerned about getting more firepower on board, if Torres gets injured we're in serious trouble, Voronin is useless, Rafa has no confidence in Crouch although i think he's perfect partner for Torres and should be starting, and Kuyt is a hard worker, but he's no winger and cant score goals so has to go for me. Being an all rounder is great, but not if you're average in those positions, if we want to compete at the top they've got to be class in their positions, mediocrity will not do!

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  • 455. At 11:38am on 05 Jul 2008, MuramasaEdge wrote:

    Ah yes, I see Liverpool fans haven't changed a bit.....still ever clawing to the flawed logic that their players are worth more simply for the privilidge of playing for the 'Pool.

    The article is correct in saying that if Benitez wants to inflate the values of his listed players, and yet pay less money than what is worth for the person he'll be replacing then they're wrong, all wrong.

    Benitez has a habit of diluding himself in the transfer market, and I think it's not going to work this time. He wants to buy a 28 year old for a position he has already more than abily filled with Xavi Alonso, Steven Gerrard and critically Javier Mascherano, who I believe was Benitez most important signing of all. I don't understand why he values his listed players so high, and I don't care- but what I find interesting is the fact that Benitez doesn't seem to be looking at the wing and striker situation. YES, Liverpool have Torres, widely touted to be as successful in the Premiership as Thierry Henry; however, Crouch is on his way; Voronin couldn't strike the back of a barn with a beach ball; Kuyt is a winger now and I can't think of any adequate backup should Torres get injured.

    The 'Pool need to be thinking here about who and what they need for the under-strength positions- not who they WANT to replace on a whim.

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  • 456. At 11:39am on 05 Jul 2008, etienne123 wrote:

    Phil, why is the media so scared to upset Liverpool?

    Why have you had to "whisper the words 'vastly over-rated" when I thought no-one was listening" instead of saying it ouright'?

    And why have you only come out and revealed it now you believe he is leaving?

    You may have connections to the Liverpool Echo but you've never been shy in criticising Blues before - Joe Royle and Big Dunc to name two.

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  • 457. At 11:45am on 05 Jul 2008, mszaaa wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 458. At 11:47am on 05 Jul 2008, ewanthegit wrote:

    I think you are all missing the point here.

    In my exciting Football Manager adicted life (I know, I know, what a winner) to buy a player not on the transfer list you have no option but to bid TWICE the clubs own valuation and sell at half of your own. You can only get the cash together by promoting kids from the youth team and selling them on immidiatly.

    Anybody else thinking Rafa's been playing too much playstation and mixed up his realities?

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  • 459. At 12:04pm on 05 Jul 2008, Vincent wrote:

    Willnfn (post 412) '...Many people here are purporting to know the facts about who said to what to whom and when but in reality it's all guesswork...'
    OK, I didn't have it 100% correct (posts 373 and 383) verbatim, but having checked my source:
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/main.jhtml?xml=/sport/2008/05/09/ufnvilla109.xml
    what I posted was pretty close to what MON HIMSELF said: 'Well he's got a testimonial and two years left to run and he's our best player.'
    This is not the same as saying 'Barry's not for sale!'.

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  • 460. At 12:08pm on 05 Jul 2008, chazza747 (emb xv wing) wrote:

    dont forget how much carrick cost - he's no better than barry

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  • 461. At 12:17pm on 05 Jul 2008, Simoncfc1 wrote:

    Carrick is much better than Barry! His passing is brillant! I did question the cost of Carrick at first but now I understand why he cost so much. He has justified his huge fee.

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  • 462. At 12:24pm on 05 Jul 2008, wildmonkeymagic wrote:

    If Gareth Barry was not for sale all Villa had to do was come out and say he's not for sale at any price just like Liverpool have when the Chelsea rumours were floating around about Torres, Simple.

    If Spurs will pay 16.5 million for Bent and Sunderland 9 million for Craig Gordon whats wrong with Benitez putting a top price of 15 million on a proven international with champions league experience and 10 million for an England international goal keeper? Also everyone knew he was just negotiating and now it looks like Crouch is on his way to Portsmouth for 10 million so good business all round.

    I feel a bit sorry for Gareth Barry having to watch the Euros and listen to his manager talk about the situation in front of millions of listeners without being able to defend himself. It seems like double standards really that MON can go live on T.V. and talk about whatever he wants every night but his players can't speak to any media. Although what Barry has said didn't make him come across very well, but I can understand his frustrations. What's MON doing on the BBC anyway he should be concentrating on his real job you'd never catch any of the serious managers doing that, it's not as if he needs the money!!

    If Villa don't want to sell Barry then there is no need for them to lower their price they can hold out for 18 million. However MON has handled the situation very badly, he doesn't seem to have tried to keep his captain instead he has made it almost impossible for Barry to stay which seems like really bad management. Liverpool still have plenty of time to find an alternative so he needs to either start negotiating or he's going to be stuck with a very unhappy player.

    I know Rafa can be annoying sometimes and he certainly doesn't try to make friends with any of the other managers but i don't see what he's done wrong here? Who is this Phil McNulty and does he have a problem with Liverpool as that was a very one sided argument!

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  • 463. At 12:25pm on 05 Jul 2008, B3NNY-B0Y wrote:

    I think Benitez is a disgrace! How can he be such a hypocrite!! £18m too much for a club captain, England starting midfielder who has been in amazing form this season compared to £15 for Crouch who never plays for his club, never mind his country! o'neill is doing a great job in holding out for the cash which shows he is not going to give in to Bullies! Up the Villa!

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  • 464. At 12:27pm on 05 Jul 2008, pixelvillain wrote:

    Blimey, theres obviously nothing more interesting going on in football at the moment!
    You can tell its still pre-season.

    As for comment 447....
    murnauthecat, your supposed to comment, not write a whole article. You should create your own blog.
    On the subject of Barrygate,
    Ive got a sneaky feeling that it was Barry's agent who leaked this out to the papers in the first place.


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  • 465. At 12:30pm on 05 Jul 2008, harrys_pony wrote:

    Alonso is class, perhaps He lacks the pace required in the premiership but He is still a fine player. Barry is decent but a different type of midfielder and perhaps more versatile

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  • 466. At 12:32pm on 05 Jul 2008, showboating tragedy wrote:

    I am a villa fan so may have a little of the arsene wengers when it comes to this subject but i have to say that this blog is the best description of events in this saga that i have read.
    my stance is that barry has 2 years on his contract so o'neill isnt obliged to entertain any conversations with barry about his future which for me negates any of barrys comments in the sunday rag.
    18m is a far cry from barrys actual worth but put correctly put in context with hargreaves and carrick then it isnt the most outlandish ask. If liverpool really want him then they should pay the cash!
    i also reckon that if benitez had played ball from the start then barry would be a red and we would all be moving on.
    10 years of service aside, barry has let himself down by his actions and benitez has made himself a bit of a laughing stock in the top 4.
    great blog phil - nice one

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  • 467. At 12:33pm on 05 Jul 2008, kopart wrote:

    Bull, Martin O'Neill is a disgrace, Barry is not a player who has signed for him and been there 5 minutes, he has been a long serving player from his youth and that man has not got the decency to let the lad follow his dream and sign for a Champions league team. The lad deserves to leave with dignity and not with a black cloud hanging over, he deserves better from Aston Villa.

    secondly it was nothing to do with the Price of Crouch, O'Neill based his price on what Liverpool paid for Mascherano who is 4 years younger a first choice for his country and a recognised World class player. Barry is still a second Choice for England at the moment, he will improve at Liverpool I agree but he ain't worth18 Mil yet.
    so Martin O'Neill should crawl back under hs rock and get a reality check.
    Carson joined Villa last year, with agreement if they wanted to sign him it would be 10 Mil, then That idiot at Villa decided he didn't want to pay that and tried to get it lowered. he should be working on the market with a stall where all the con men go

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  • 468. At 12:44pm on 05 Jul 2008, NorthfieldVillain wrote:

    There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about Scott Carson. Villa try to keep their transfer dealings out of the newspapers but it appears that we paid a £2m loan fee with an option to pay £10m to buy him at the end of the season.

    For the first few games it seemed we had found somebody truly special. Unfortunately after McClaren decided to pick him for his competitive debut in the most important England game for the last two years he wasn't the same again. His terrible England form stayed with him for pretty much the rest of the season.

    Contrary to what some 'pool fans have posted above he was never on the Villa bench. In fact it was rumoured that part of his loan agreement was that he had to play in every game.

    If that is the case MON must have rued the day he agreed to that! His form was atrocious after the England game. He seems a nice guy but I can't recall him making a single save of note during the season. Rather he was better at diving out of the way of the ball! An uncanny knack for it in fact.

    I don't doubt that Benitez didn't like MON offering him half of what had been agreed for Carson ... but he is simply not worth £10m. Personally I'd not have offered 10p, but that's me...

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  • 469. At 12:44pm on 05 Jul 2008, dsimpsonlfc wrote:

    The way i see it is that Liverpool wanted to test Villa because they wanted Barry for the cheapest price. Unlike when Manchester United bought Carrick they just coughed up the price straight away and got their man. I am beginning to get bored of this saga now and i am starting to wonder whether we really should pay the 18 million. I think Villa should just take the 15 or face having a player who doesn't want to be there. It would deserve Villa right for just being unco-operative and we should also not allow scott carson join Villa for anything under £10 million.

    That said I also believe that Barry will play brilliantly at Liverpool because of the Gerrard partnership but its his age and price that makes you think twice.

    I also don't understand why the £16 million valuation of Xabi Alonso has been questioned. I am not really a fan of Alonso when he plays for Liverpool but when he plays without Gerrard in a team and has more freedom, he is a great player and is probably worth more than £16 million.

    If we are destined to sell Alonso, we should sell him for the £16 million, get Barry and then get either danny guiza or robbie keane(who i must say would be a legend at Liverpool). David villa would be a good signing for a team except liverpool because torres is far superior. We must get a player who is not thought of as a better player than torres to allow him to shine.

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  • 470. At 12:49pm on 05 Jul 2008, B3NNY-B0Y wrote:

    kopart, O'neill is gonna let Barry go, but Liverpool have been scumbags in this deal. Firstly, by trying to unsettle Barry through the media which worked.
    Secondly, by making the deal public in which villa did not want.
    Thirdly, bidding a stupidly low amount of 10mil plus players of low quality (fat riise) and by only increasing the offer by 0.5mil every bid.

    I think this shows that Liverpool have no pride, no money, overvalue their players and like playing it dirty to get what they want because they think they are part of the Big 4. I can guarantee that they will not finish in the top 4 next season!

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  • 471. At 12:51pm on 05 Jul 2008, FlyingScotsman22 wrote:

    A well balanced article on an emotive subject. Liverpool don't appear to have played a clever hand in this game and will have to pay 'top dollar' for a player who I feel has shown at international level that he can play alongside Steven Gerrard - not as much can be said for Gerrard and Frank Lampard - but that it is a bigger different debate!

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  • 472. At 12:51pm on 05 Jul 2008, showboating tragedy wrote:

    koparts comment is a joke......"that man has not got the decency to let the lad follow his dream and sign for a Champions league team. The lad deserves to leave with dignity and not with a black cloud hanging over, he deserves better from Aston Villa."

    at no point has martin o neill said he cant go.

    at no point has martin o neill slated gareth barry for wanting to go.

    All martin o neill has said is that there is a valuation of the player, and he can go when it is met.

    If liverpool dont want to pay the asking price then they shouldnt have made such a noise in the press about wanting to sign him!

    Also if gareth barry wants to play in the champions league that badly then he should stump up the excess 2m himself and get out of villa park. its not like he cant afford it after all!

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  • 473. At 1:16pm on 05 Jul 2008, LongArmOfTheLaw wrote:

    "so liverpool should really either stump up or shut up"



    -----------------------------------------------




    So tell me, what exactly have Liverpool said about this Barry transfer??

    Didly squat.

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  • 474. At 1:25pm on 05 Jul 2008, oaklands1 wrote:

    B3NNY-Boy you have no ideal what you are talking about...Liverpool "think they are part of the big 4"??? r u kidding, theyre the most succesful club in England, if they dont want to pay that amount of money than its up to them. Barry isnt worth 18mil at the age hes at, and liverpool dont really need him they just want him...Macherano Alonso lucas and Gerrard have enough ability in the centre, what Liverpool really need is a second top winger to play on the opposite flank to babel.

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  • 475. At 1:29pm on 05 Jul 2008, nonkey1 wrote:

    As a Liverpool, fan the Barry saga has made me really envy Villa supporters for having such an entertaining manager in Martin O'Neill. What a funny little man he is. Great fun. I'll miss him when we finally sign Barry.

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  • 476. At 1:32pm on 05 Jul 2008, tmepol wrote:

    The price of petrol, a loaf of bread and footballers are all ridiculous but that if you want them you have to pay it the going rate and regardless of what the kopites amongst you think of O'Neill, Barry or Alonso the going rate for Villas captain is £18million.

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  • 477. At 1:41pm on 05 Jul 2008, carkeyking13 wrote:

    I think Barry would be a good signing for Liverpool its just everyones making such a big deal about it. I think it could even be better keeping Xabi Alonso.

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  • 478. At 1:49pm on 05 Jul 2008, heythere99 wrote:

    Gareth Barry has earned 20 England caps since 2000 and Peter Crouch has earned 28 since 2005. Whose the England regular?

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  • 479. At 1:50pm on 05 Jul 2008, jstallwood wrote:

    Even as a Villa fan, I can say that £18m for Gareth Barry is certainly over-priced. But so were moves for Hargreaves and Carrick. So why should Villa sell their captain and arguably best player, a regular England international and a candidate for the England captaincy, for less than two English central midfielders who are no better at the game? It's about how much he is worth to the club - Barry will always be worth more to Villa than Liverpool on the pitch, so Benitez needs to pay more to take away our star captain.

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  • 480. At 1:52pm on 05 Jul 2008, therealeverton wrote:

    462. At 12:24pm on 05 Jul 2008, wildmonkeymagic wrote:
    "If Gareth Barry was not for sale all Villa had to do was come out and say he's not for sale at any price just like Liverpool have when the Chelsea rumours were floating around about Torres, Simple."

    AND

    "What's MON doing on the BBC anyway he should be concentrating on his real job you'd never catch any of the serious managers doing that"

    Wow two amazing comments there.

    With the Ronaldo saga drifting on, I really don't know how you can say that all Villa had to do was say he wasn't for sale.

    "serious managers" don't pundit on tv? Seriously? Fergie did it, Wenger doeas it (usually for French tv), Mouriniho, and so on.

    Just ill informed commentc there I'm afraid.

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  • 481. At 1:53pm on 05 Jul 2008, LM wrote:

    I think you touch on an interesting point, but don't bring it to it's natural conclusion.

    Benitez estimated Crouch's value at £15m, as the first stage of the annual summer brinkmanship that makes up the transfer market. He now appears to be willing to accept around £9m from Portsmouth. None of the discussions around this possible transfer, including the comments from Southampton, have aroused any controversy. So Benitez is clearly realistic about Crouch's price, but naturally bluffs to achieve the maximum return.

    Conversely, O'Neill has reacted theatrically on a number of occasions, and shows no willingness to negotiate. The latter point is fine - he doesn't want to sell Barry - but the way he's criticised Benitez in the press has been embarrassing for O'Neill.

    It's easy to join in Benitez bashing at the moment, but a little clear-headed thinking shows that you've misjudged this situation a little.

    As for Alonso - bought for around £12.5m, subsequently a mainstay of the Liverpool side which then went on to win the Champions League - is it unreasonable to expect a profit on this regardless of your opinion of his abilities? Are there better alternatives in the market? His compatriot Senna, at the age of 32, is now supposedly worth £32m according to his employers.

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  • 482. At 1:56pm on 05 Jul 2008, BossDonkey wrote:

    If we listen to the great football sages on this site, Villa are wealthy and on the up with a great manager. Liverpool on the other-hand have a manager who is a fool, are skint and clinging on to the top 4.

    Why are Villa selling then? Refuse to sell and place a bid of £5 million for Gerrard and leak it to the press to unsettle him.

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  • 483. At 2:25pm on 05 Jul 2008, smith42 wrote:

    What has Barry done, there he was gaining the respect and admiration of the nation from his England and Villa performances. Yet because of his ridiculous and disrespectful comments to O'neill in a cheap attempt to speed up this inevitable transfer he has undoubtedly tarnished his reputation and there is no possible way he can recover the situation. As for Benitez his actions need some questioning also, someone should have a word with him and tell him to get his act together.

    I just hope this transfer goes through and Villa get the money they deserve, then Barry can be shown up in the champions league as the ordinary player that he is and Benitez will also look like a fool when liverpool end up miles off the pace in the championship race as they will have once again spent silly money where it is not required

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  • 484. At 2:26pm on 05 Jul 2008, kopart wrote:

    Rafa is that fool .thats won The Champions league and FA Cup what has O'Neill won, Sweet FA.

    Business thats what it is all about you offer this they want this, and they meet in the middle.
    And people moan about managers buying abroad and this a prime example a team like Villa trying to sell a player at a hyped up price, and what has he done in the game to warrant this, won er??? nothing. and a squad player for England not a first choice starter like Crouch who at one point was the only player scoring for England, and O'neill thinks his player is worth more, I don't think So/


    As for Liverpool insettling Barry, you can blame the press for most of that, they have nothing to write about so to justify their wages they make things up, and a lot that has been said is crap that has been blown up by the press. they have tried to sell Gerrard, Torres and uncle Tom Cobley an all. Rafa has been quoted of buying a few players and he has to come and tell everyone he has no interest in them. how does that make a player feel like to read a team like Liverpool want him, to find out it was press rubbish. these pressmen don't give a toss about peoples feelings but about their own pockets...

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  • 485. At 2:40pm on 05 Jul 2008, dellem wrote:

    as soon as we see who wrote this article about Benitez we know it will be negative... not worth reading

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  • 486. At 2:40pm on 05 Jul 2008, welshelmo wrote:

    I am a Villa fan and agree that Barry has given 10 years of service and deserves to move on to Champions League football if that's what he wants. However Villa are not the ones who want to sell and have not put him up for sale. Therefore any club who wants him must come up with an offer which a club feels they cannot turn down. Giving his age, and international status I think 18 million is not too much if you consider that Bent went for the same price and Crouch is being touted at 15 million.

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  • 487. At 2:49pm on 05 Jul 2008, Dr_Nice wrote:

    I am a Villa fan and I think it is a shame that Barry has been driven by Liverpool to look this un-professional with his recent statements.

    He has completely every right to go the Liverpool and play Champions League, if he had been dignified and kept his mouth shut about leaving, the two clubs could complete the deal he would have been remembered as a Villa legend and would have his name sung everytime he came back home. Can football players be that in sensitive and hard nosed that they have so little regard for the people chanting their name for ten years

    For Aston Villa we have a very competant manager and the best Chairman a fan cold hope for, we don't need the money but if we were to lose Barry we would need to buy a player of his standard and recently players like Hargreaves and Carrick have gone for the same price as we are asking for therefore that is what we need.

    It is no good Liverpool trying to bully us as we are not some little team you can push around we want players not money if you want one of ours you better pay us or leave us alone.

    Barry has to go now anyway as he is dispised by every Villa fan, he has put great effort into many Villa campaigns over 10 years and has completely blighted it all by disrupting the beginning of one of our most important seasons with his poisenous little comments when he could have been a gentleman.

    I wouldn't mind him sitting and rotting in our reserves.

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  • 488. At 2:50pm on 05 Jul 2008, gogrugby wrote:

    The daftest part about all of this has got to be Martin O'Neil's sulking. Unfortunately, in football, there are a few super-rich clubs like Man U and Chelsea who, if they want to can buy anyone they want.
    Liverpool aren't in the same bracket but do offer something over the most of the clubs that is seen as a step up for many (not all) players.
    It's a pain for the other clubs but until something happens to limit the amount that clubs can spend in transfers, bigger clubs will always seek to attract other clubs best players.
    Martin O'Neil knows this but behaves like a big soft kid. Personally I hope Liverpool pull out of the deal, it's not worth the hassle.

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  • 489. At 3:14pm on 05 Jul 2008, G_K___ wrote:

    Gogrugby said -

    "Martin O'Neil knows this but behaves like a big soft kid."

    -----------------------

    I'm sorry, but your post doesn't make any sense to me.

    You're saying that Villa simply have to surrender their top players to clubs who are richer.

    And then you're saying Martin O'Neill is wrong to stick with his valuation.

    Surely - if it is true that the richer clubs get their way regardless - it is precisely because they can AFFORD to pay the asking price for the players they want.

    If they can't afford it, obviously they're not rich enough.

    Well done O'Neill (who incidentally is twice the manager that Benitez will ever be...)

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  • 490. At 3:24pm on 05 Jul 2008, rafael wrote:

    You haven't got the facts right McNulty you should have looked back a few weeks before all this rumpus between Rafa and O'Neil hit the news. Also you said Rafa said Crouch was worth 15 mill then how come he took 10 from Portsmouth (could it have been that Crouch wanted to work with Harry again) or should he have done an O'Neil and told him that we'll wait till I get the 15 mill maybe from Spurs or Arsenal or City, you dont get it mate in that most of what Rafa does is for the club and all Ive seen in the press are many lies about him and many untruths and when the facts come out about the Barry fiasco we will find O'Neil with egg all over himself of that Ive no doubt. One more thing if O'Neil is so right over this then why is Barry having a go could it be that O'Neil has not been honest with him as well.....

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  • 491. At 4:05pm on 05 Jul 2008, Lemonovski wrote:

    Liverpool should shut up? What about actually?

    O'Neill was furious about Liverpool making their interest public - first thing I heard was O'Neill spouting off about the bid going public. It was he who brought it to everyone's attention, not Liverpool.

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  • 492. At 4:06pm on 05 Jul 2008, dm8364 wrote:

    To say Barry wouldn't perform based on this is a little unfiar. West Brom took a much harsher stance over Koumas and look how that situation turned around. I think it is refresshing that clubs are standing up to these players and other "bigger" clubs who think that they can just get what and who they want when they want it.

    Nothing would make me happier than to see Ronaldo sit in the reserves and rot if he does make his wishes to join Real public. Barry and Ronaldo should honour the long standing and very lucrative contracts they have just signed and let their clubs decide if they want to sell or not.

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  • 493. At 4:07pm on 05 Jul 2008, ikscouse wrote:

    Liverpool seem to want Barry because he has broken into the England squad. His work ethic and skill levels have been the same for years, yet no other premier league club was interested in him. Plus he is in a squad system at Villa where he does not have to fight for a first team place. This would change if he goes to Liverpool. He will have full internationals to compete with at Anfield. He is NOT worth 18 million.
    His arrival at Anfield will upset the balance in midfield as he is similar to Gerrard. It will be a lot like England attempting to play Lampard and Gerrard in the same eleven. L.F.C would be better selling Alonso and using the funds to pry Robbie Keane away from Spurs.

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  • 494. At 4:08pm on 05 Jul 2008, CeeJay wrote:

    Some of what Phil says is correct but he appears to have ignored the fact that O'Neil was away in Vienna for a month and that he was not on Villa business. From Barry's point of view this may well look as thought he was being told to go. Most people in UK have considered O'Neil to be one of the best managers around for a long time - his reputation following this affair has shown that he can be as childish and as unreasonable as the rest of them.

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  • 495. At 4:19pm on 05 Jul 2008, G36butch wrote:

    Barry has less then 2 years on his contract, so he could buy himself out if he so wished. Then villa would get no transfer fee at all!!

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  • 496. At 4:27pm on 05 Jul 2008, branzal wrote:

    Barry wants to go to Liverpool to satisfy his dream - why doesn't he ask for a transfer - or isn't his dream worth the 3m it will cost him.
    Aston Villa are not poor - they aim to become a better side and maybe challenge the top 4 - then they needn't sell him for less than they want.
    Liverpool want him so they can climb into the top 3 - why not spend the money surely having a chance of being champions is worth the risk.
    Of course it's all just the normal business of buying and selling players.
    Any player is worth what someone will pay for them - or the price the team they play for turns down.

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  • 497. At 4:46pm on 05 Jul 2008, Cherwho wrote:

    Rafa has made a few strange moves during his time at Anfield but this takes the biscuit.
    It has been made clear we have not got the funds for transfer like last year but he is ready to shell out £15 million - about £5 million more than he's worth - on Gareth Barry.
    I can't believe this move for a holding midfield player. We already have three top class players in that position.
    Selling Alsono to make this happen just beggars belief. Apart from an indifferent season last year, largely because of injury, he has been far and away Liverpool's third most consistent player. He is a class act, Barry isn't.
    We finally have got a formation that suits him and Stevie G, and no we're selling him.
    Please can we forget this Gareth Barry nonsense, which is costing far too much time, money and effort, and get on with buying another goalscoring attacking player to take the pressure off Gerrard and Torres.








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  • 498. At 4:46pm on 05 Jul 2008, Phumfeinz wrote:

    CeeJay wrote:

    Some of what Phil says is correct but he appears to have ignored the fact that O'Neil was away in Vienna for a month and that he was not on Villa business.
    --------------------------------------------------------

    Wrong. From MON himself:

    "That's not to say that people weren't busy during the summertime. I went out and did some games for the BBC. I was working there for two or three days in the week then coming back and working here.

    "So it was not as if I spent three weeks out in Austria - not that I should have to explain myself to anyone other than one person at this football club."

    I wish people would stop commenting when they don't know the full picture.

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  • 499. At 5:09pm on 05 Jul 2008, ian_jamsie wrote:

    Torres was well over priced at 21m too.

    On reflection it was a good deal.

    But he was not a 20 goal a season striker.

    He was often a sub for his country.

    He had no premier league experience.

    Realistically he should have been round at the 5-10m mark.

    Comparing Torres value post the season he has had is just plain dumb, because now he is worth 40+million.

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  • 500. At 5:17pm on 05 Jul 2008, RealBigBod wrote:

    fumfines

    if he had so much spare time why the h........ didn't he contact barry?

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