Welcome to the latest chapter of “The Gareth Barry Saga” and this one’s a cracker. It appears that Martin O’Neill has stopped taking the nicely nicely approach with his captain (or should that now be ex-skipper?) and banned the player from returning to pre-season training!
According to CNN, the Aston Villa manager is furious that Barry has given an unsolicited interview to the News of the World, which appeared in the newspaper on Sunday. While the Irishman was delivering expert analysis on BBC, he was apparently being undermined by the midfielder in the tabloids, something which doesn’t sit well with him one jot.
“The situation remains the same, said O’Neill, adding: “Gareth will not be returning to training tomorrow and he has been disciplined after giving an unauthorized interview to the News of the World.”
In the interview Barry said: “It’s seven weeks now since the season finished but while the gaffer found time to be a pundit for the BCC at Euro 2008, he hasn’t found time to speak to me.
“The last time we spoke was just after England’s game in Trinidad at the start of June — and that’s it.
“It just made me think that the gaffer and the club were just saying one thing in public but were not bothered about me at all in private. What other conclusion can you reach?”
Yes Gareth, you might have been getting frustrated by your situation, but bleating away to the scum-infested journal that is NOTW is not going to help your cause one iota. There’s little doubt that the England international is in a quandary – will Liverpool offer him a lifebelt or allow him to sink?