It’s been a tough summer for Aston Villa’s manager (apart from the bit where he spend days in a BBC studio commenting on Euro 2008 matches). It’s clear that Martin O’Neill wants to keep pushing the club in the right direction, although he’s spent an inordinate amount of time instead trying to keep Gareth Barry in the Midlands, instead of allowing him to join Liverpool.
He’s not been helped by some of the comments made in the press, by Barry himself and also a certain Patrik Berger, the latter of whom found himself sacked as a result of stating that the midfielder should join Liverpool to further his career. The Daily Mirror find the former Czech Republic international far from repentant, having a final dig at O’Neill.
“I don’t see any reason to change my opinion – nobody can fine me now,” stormed Berger. “I just said what I thought would be best for Gareth but the manager fined and suspended me from the training ground.
“It was the manager’s decision but I was surprised because we went through my comments in the papers in his office and I went home.
“But the next day I got a letter to my house saying I was banned and fined – he was not even strong enough to tell me eye-to-eye.
“Gareth got a similar letter but we are adults not children and can face it – I would prefer he’d just told me straight.”
Despite Berger’s best efforts (!), Aston Villa are another day closer to keeping hold of the England international, something which would be like having a new signing, with many supporters resigned to the fact that Barry would be leaving this summer.