It’s not as if you can accuse Gareth Barry of being disloyal to Aston Villa if he were to leave the club in the summer. After all, the 27-year-old has been at the club for his entire career, starting off as a full-back before progressing into a midfield maestro for both the Villans and England. Barry is clearly at a crossroads in his career – does he stay at the club and continue his good work in the Midlands or does he instead sign for a ‘Big Four’ club, thus ensuring Champions League football and the possibility of landing some serious silverware?
It depends on the ambition of the club, according to The Guardian. Just as Jerry Maguire asked his sports players to ‘show him the money’, Barry wants Martin O’Neill to show him the signings he intends to make in the summer.
“Every player wants to play at the highest level. I want a chance to play Champions League at some stage in my career.
“It’s about medals. You want to finish with one bit of silverware and, hopefully, more. I’ve always said the ideal situation would be to do it at Aston Villa, but I’ve got to look at myself and be selfish.”
It’s a vicious circle for O’Neill. He need to keep hold of players like Barry if he is to sell the club to other talented young players. If the captain departs, it’s hardly representative of a club moving forward, especially with Olaf Mellberg set to join Juventus. It’s at least refreshing to see the midfielder lay his cards on the table, rather than lamely declare his love for the club.