For a moment there, Gareth Barry thought he was back playing for Villa. Image: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images.
All of the time.
While Spurs fans can only hope Bale wasn’t dreaming of scoring for Madrid or Barcelona. Image: IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images.
Gareth Barry is lucky that football doesn’t throw up too many reasons to compare him with his near namesake at Spurs. But it’s been that kind of season at Manchester City, and after Bale continued his extraordinary run of form for club and country with two goals vs. Newcastle United in Saturday’s early kick-off, there seemed little doubt that all eyes would be on the Welsh wonder when it came to the weekend’s dispatches.
Could anyone have foreseen the nightmare scenario that was to unfold when last year’s league winners turned up at St Mary’s for a game vs. the promoted and struggling Southampton? Even the most avid of Saints supporters, buoyed by City’s inexplicably juddering league form, would have raised an eyebrow if it had been suggested that their players would run rings around Mancini’s expensive squad, let alone force an England midfielder into two expensive errors, the second of which saw him cheerfully punting the ball into his own net.
Citeh are now twelve points behind leaders Manchester United, Roberto Mancini has effectively conceded the title and has the hump with his players. United? They went about their business, put Everton back in their place and, for the moment at least, are focused on worthier foes.
So Fergie says, anyway. And who are we to argue?