Liverpool: No Need For Gareth Barry

As Aston Villa’s European dreams come to a halt, manager Martin O’Neill says he would allow Gareth Barry to move on if the midfielder so desires. Once again, Barry is expected to request a move to Liverpool. We all remember the tiresome saga of his transfer attempt last summer when Liverpool tried to unload Xabi Alonso to fund Villa’s hefty asking price, a reported 18m. Now that a year has been knocked off Barry’s contract, the price could drop as low as 10m.

But Liverpool should not go after Barry again.

In the year since Rafa Benitez tried to get a hold of Villa’s talented England midfieler, Xabi Alonso has had one of his finest seasons yet. Arguably, Liverpool’s best player this season, Alonso’s poise, playmaking and drive has been instrumental in keeping Liverpool title hopes alive so deep into the season. If Alonso is injured or suspended Lucas Leiva is decent cover or Steven Gerrard can pull back from his more attacking role.

Liverpool could use a backup for Javier Mascherano. Mascherano’s contribution to Liverpool’s game is immense, in attack and defense. His absence during the first leg of the Champions League quarter finals led to Chelsea causing Liverpool endless problems as Lucas simply isn’t strong enough to fill Mascherano’s boots. The Blues scored three away goals and carried a two goal league back to Stamford Bridge, which ultimately saw Liverpool out of the competition. Evidence that Liverpool could use another defensive mid.

Barry, with his strength and defensive instincts (he started his career as a defender) could fill this role,  but would he be content as a 10m bench-warmer? He certainly shouldn’t be first choice over Alonso or Mascherano if their form continues.

Certainly, Liverpool need more depth to challenge for the title repeatedly for the years to come. Manchester and Chelsea have been the contenders because they each have almost two full starting line-ups worth of top-class players. But Barry is a true starter, not a squad player. If Liverpool go after another midfielder they need to find somebody strong but young. Someone willing to sit on the bench and grow into the team.

Yet, any serious money Liverpool spend will be expected to go toward a wider player.

Arjen Robben, Glen Johnson and Aaron Lennon names arise in the transfer rumors for Liverpool. David Silva as well who could fill the Kuyt/Benayoun role of playing in more than one position.

As for Barry, despite his dreams of top four glory, he should stay at Villa. If he moves to Liverpool he could follow in the footsteps of Robbie Keane: struggling to fit in a system that has no room for him. At Manchester or Chelsea he could be overshadowed.  He might do well at Arsenal who could use his strength and experience to balance out their youthful side.

But at Villa, Barry could continue as a true leader and remain a part of a club that continues to rise. Villa’s early brilliant form this season is a sign of a bright future for the Birmingham club. They’ve hit a wall in the late season as their lack of depth shows. But if Barry stays and O’Neill buys, Villa could make a more serious bid for Europe next year, and Barry could yet see his ambitions realized with the club he’s been with since 1997.

20 thoughts on “Liverpool: No Need For Gareth Barry”

  1. lucas is not as good as barry,infact spearing is better than lucas. infact as much as i like mash,i think spearing would do a job were he plays. and if clubs are offering 15/ 20mil for mash,i would take it. spearing can and do somethinkmash can,t score goals.. rafa needs to look at spearing closer he has the makings of agood player. lucas has a lot to learn, and i think he will be more suited to spanish football.

  2. I disagree, Barry would be a good addition to our squad. He can play left back, central midfield and wide on the left, he is a versatile and talented player who should do well at Anfield

  3. rouman shut up get rid of mascherano are you for real , are you even a real lfc fan as you havent got a clue what your on about

  4. He won’t do much if he’s always on the bench. No way would he be first choice unless Alonso or Masch left.

  5. I am glad someone else told rouman to shut it!
    Masch is the best defensive mid in the world, so why the hell would be let spearing replace him. I agree with giving Jay a go, but sell masch????!! IDIOT! He would be one of the main players I would keep due to his holding play, allowing our other players to go forward etc… But certain fans either dont play football or have never been to Anfield, so make these stupid comments. I know!!! We should only buy forwards and people who score goals.. then if we scored loads, we would win everything.. Actually… Sell Pepe… get a team of strikers and think of the goals…. (well people havent gone that far.. but sometimes I expect such crap)

  6. No way would he be 1st choice? True.
    However if you pay any attention to modern football, all of the top clubs play 50+ games a season and need 2 players in each position. That is why Villa are struggling for fitness and form now.. they relied too much on a small squad.
    Also, as well as playing half of the games in centre mid, Barry would play other games in wide or defensive positions too..

  7. It would be easy for Liverpool to replace Alonso with Berry. All LFC would have to do is have EPLTalk print an article saying Alonso disrespected the 96 and then Alonso would be dead or forced because of the death threats. Then they can just slide Berry in.

  8. Arsenal need him more than any of the top sides. You saw how outmatched they were at Man U with Diaby and Song playing in the holding roles. Barry would be a great fit at Arsenal. But they wont shell out any more money. The Arshavin transfer was an anomaly.

    Liverpool definately could use a bit more depth.

    What I do find funny is that I remember a different EPL Talk article where they joked about giving Rafa control over transfers, and how ‘pool would be full of defensive midfielders. Now they say they need to buy another one?

  9. Geez RaiderRich, think you’re taking this thing far enough? Three, four, five posts more? We get it, you think the Gaffer was trying to gain profit by bringing up Steven Cohen’s opinions, he disagrees, you continue to be wildly clever by stating some variation of the same comment in every post. Now you’re just coming across as an asshole with your own agenda, and it’s at the point where it’s offensive to Liverpool fans. Have your own email exchange with the Gaffer if you must, but please stop dragging the memory of the 96 through the mud.

  10. So basically because I believe in free speech, and wish to expose unethical corporations, I’m an asshole. I guess in your world, Django, Keith Olbermann is an asshole with an agenda if he comments that AIG is greedy for taking huge bonuses from a failing corporation. I guess in your world anyone who criticizes Halliburton for profiting from the deaths of thousands of U.S. and British soldiers is an asshole with an agenda.

    You claim you cherish the 96, but don’t care that EPLTalk is using the 96 to line his pockets and commit corporate sabotage. EPLTalk could have ignored Cohen and this all would have gone away quietly, everyone would have said “Oh, well he’s an idiot”, and no one would have been threatened. But no, EPLTalk chose to act on it’s bottom line and incite death threats against a competitive rival.

    And no, I will not take it to emails. If he can’t answer his critics in public on his forum, which he has not done except to repeat the same patently false statement that he did not intend to incite violence against Cohen, and that he is not a competitor of World Soccer Daily, then he has no right to criticize anyone else. The same thing applies he chooses to suppress contrary opinions by deleting posts, address banning, or other forms of speech suppression.

  11. I agree with Ethan Armstrong here. Liverpool has more pressing needs than Gareth Barry right now. That, combined with the fact that Liverpool’s transfer budget does not look like it will be all that big means that Liverpool should be focusing in on bringing in wide players, fullbacks, or some cover up front. That is, unless Gareth Barry would be content being deployed as a left-back on a weekly basis.

  12. Thanks for reminding me of my first amendment rights, I can tell you’re obviously on a higher moral level here. I do cherish the 96, and I’m offended by your use of that as a prop for tasteless jokes about the response of Liverpool fans. Was this the majority of fans that did this? How do you know for sure that this was the Gaffers intention? You certainly could have chosen to ignore EPLTalk and said “Oh, well he’s an idiot.” I highly doubt that this is an “if A then B” situation–the internet is a big place and I think you overstate the importance of this website, there’s been plenty about Cohen in a lot of places. Obviously death threats and the like is far beyond appropriate, but I’m of the mind that he should retract his statements that are patently untrue. I completely agree with anyone who voices this opinion and would gladly champion their first amendment rights despite my desire for censorship across the board and a police state. I’d stop short of comparing you to Keith Olbermann or anyone who can formulate a credible argument–usually they are far more than one-trick ponies that do more than speculate.

  13. There were no death threats against Cohen’s sponsors prior to EPLTalk publishing their article.

    I’ve explained the Means, Motive, and Opportunity in other comments sections, go back and read them. Youdo know how to click, right? You can read, right?

    And if that doesn’t convince you, then you’re just blind. Or you approve of white-collar crime, one or the other.

    Your blithering rant just goes to show that you think it’s OK for people who suffer injustice to commit further injustices. You say you disapprove of threats, yet there is no evidence of you trying to stop them.

    And unlike The Gaffer, I get no money for making these posts. I am simply an advocate against violence and corporate greed.

    “You certainly could have chosen to ignore EPLTalk and said “Oh, well he’s an idiot.””
    I did until The Gaffer decided to commit corporate sabotage and sic rabid Liverpool fans on him.

    “I’d stop short of comparing you to Keith Olbermann or anyone who can formulate a credible argument–usually they are far more than one-trick ponies that do more than speculate.”

    Wow, so basically because you disagree with the argument it’s “speculation” and “not credible”. If people like you had gotten the point the first time, I wouldn’t be repeating it.

    And if The Gaffer would admit what his true motives, apologize to the 96 for using them for his corporate schemes and all the people who Liverpool fans have threatened because of his article, actively work to stop the death threats instead of just making empty statements, and confront the idiot Cohen on air. I would stop.

    And by “apologize” I don’t mean anything that suggests he didn’t know what would happen, he’s sorry but it’s someone else’s fault, he’s sorry but not really, or any other type of corporate weasel “apology”.

  14. Raider, neither article posted by The Gaffer suggests any sort of action by Liverpool fans. The first simply explained why Cohen’s opinions were incorrect AND offensive, along with explaining that this wasn’t Cohen’s first offense. The second article was merely an update, again saying nothing about contacting sponsors (let alone making threats). EPLTalk has every right to question the journalistic accuracy and integrity of Stephen Cohen and they have done nothing to incite threats of violence. What a few Liverpool fans do of their own accord has nothing to do with EPLTalk. To say otherwise is to suggest that news agencies should no longer report any information which may anger someone, lest those offended persons do something stupid.

    Cohen should apologize and retract his statements. Fans should stop making threats. End of.

  15. Yes Liucas is Sh*t .. I donno why RAFA plays him…
    Spearing is better than him.. I even think Plessis is also better than Lucas..
    Sell Lucas… get rid of him.

    Alonso is class.. Please RAFA keep Alonso and Masch in the team… do not sell them.. and ya we do not need Barry…. Get a striker instead… to fill torres place in his absence

  16. He can provide cover for aurelio, riera, alonso, masch & gerrard.Although Masch is a great player everybody saw how tired he was for large portions of the season due to international & domestic games taking their toll. The more competitons that we want to compete in the more valuable Barry would be.

  17. Sully:

    You are correct in stating that Barry can provide cover but, Liverpool’s current financial state does not afford them luxuries like that. I think it would be more prudent to address the squads current areas of need, only after that should they go after players who would currently be surplus to requirements.

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