Was Benitez disrespectful towards Barry?
Last week, Liverpool’s disgruntled manager Rafa Benitez laid out his opinions on Manchester City’s new signing, Gareth Barry.
It was a move which the Spaniard described as ‘100% for the money.’
Of course Barry was a long-term target for Liverpool. Last summer Liverpool and Barry flirted with the possibility of a move, with the former Aston Villa skipper eager to make the switch to Anfield.
He was eager to play with Europe’s elite in the Champions League and also have a chance of winning a Premiership medal, but the two clubs failed to agree a deal for the player.
Liverpool were unwilling to meet Villa’s valuation, and Barry slowly slipped out of Benitez’s grasp. The England midfielder was left to mend burnt bridges at Villa Park.
One season later, Barry opted to sign for Manchester City ahead of a switch to Anfield. Of course his motivation behind choosing Eastlands over European football at Liverpool led to intense scrutiny from the football world.
Benitez, who is no stranger to venting his anger to the media, unleashed a scathing attack on Barry.
“Maybe it’s just me but in this market – the top level -I don’t think money is the most important thing,” the Liverpool manager said.
He added: “At this level everyone earns big money. The question is do you make the right decisions and do what is best for your career? If it’s just for money sometimes you will make mistakes and I’ve been surprised by some decisions this summer – like Barry. I won’t say too much but it was clearly 100% for money. The most important thing for me, though, is the passion of the players”
One can understand Benitez’s frustrations. His two key defensive midfielders, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano, have both been heavily linked with moves to Spain.
Barry would have provided Benitez with a perfect replacement should he have lost either of his two midfield dynamo’s. Yet Barry chose to embark on new adventure with Manchester City as the mega rich club prepare to launch an attack on the Premiership’s settled big four.
‘Greedy’ Gareth Barry, today hit back at the Liverpool manager’s slurs, branding the Spaniards comments as ‘disrespectful’.
He also criticised Liverpool’s approach to signing him, lamenting that he never really felt wanted by Liverpool. This was not the case with the Manchester City manager and staff.
“The difference was that City made me feel wanted. Liverpool had a chance to buy me last season but failed to pay the money, and only found it this year when they knew someone else had reached an agreement.”
He rejected any suggestion the move to Eastlands was motivated by money and reiterated his desire to be part of something big at Manchester City.
“I’ve been in the Premier League for ten years, more, and the money I’ve been paid is phenomenal compared to your average, everyday working man. You live and work away from normal life anyway, so money’s not a big factor.”
It is another foe for Benitez to add to his ever-growing list. He has had public spats with both Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce in the past.