Football FanCast columnist Tom Jones reflects on Gareth Barry’s decision to choose Man City over Liverpool and whether he will rue it in the future.
The Gareth Barry transfer saga over a potential move from Aston Villa to Liverpool dragged on over the summer of 2008 but eventually he decided to stay at Villa to fight for a Champions League place. One season later he joined Manchester City and became part of their multi-million pound squad that has the potential to achieve anything they want to. But will Barry ever rue the decision to turn down Liverpool, or will City be able to win the trophies in the next few seasons that Barry so desperately wants?
Gareth Barry is enjoying an exciting time in his career right now as he appears to be at the heart of Fabio Capello’s World Cup plans and he has helped guide City to a positive start in the Premier League. Barry is arguably playing the best football of his career having settled in a central midfield position, where he pulls the strings at the City of Manchester Stadium and provides the ammunition for a talented front line. While for England he seems to be the perfect foil for Gerrard and Lampard, giving the team some defensive cover alongside his passing ability. So with Barry pencilled in for a World Cup starting place and City already challenging for a Champions League place, has he made the right move and got the most important decision of his career correct?
Manchester City have matched the achievements of Liverpool so far this season, showing the promise that could lead them to a successful season. Off the pitch City are much more settled than Liverpool as well. Having the financial backing of the Abu Dhabi United Group means that City can pretty much buy whoever they want and build an impressive squad. Whilst Liverpool fans are protesting against owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett who have brought debt and instability to the Anfield club. Thus surely it looks like Barry has made a shrewd decision.
Most importantly Barry himself is happy with the move he has made. He told The Observer that “the start’s been a very positive one and that’s helped me settle a lot quicker. As we stand here today it’s been a fantastic start.” And no-one could argue with that, as City look like genuine challengers to the Premier League top four. But the question is whether Barry will be able to look back in a couple of years and say that he made the right choice?
Right now Barry is performing well for Man City, but who knows what he could have added to Liverpool in the middle of the park? However, as a regular starter for England with a World Cup place all but in the bag, and helping City to challenge at the top of the table, Barry looks to have made a good move. And while turning down Liverpool for City could have been a risky decision, it looks like he won’t rue his choice as the next few seasons look set to be exciting and successful times for Gareth Barry.