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Sports: Football / Sport Topic: Football Players & Coaches

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      09.08.2002 03:23
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      Just as everything seems to be turning sour for Nicky Barmby - missing out on all Liverpool's Cup treble triumphs in 2001 following a succession of injuries, an ankle operation which destroyed his 2001-02 season and then seeing a succession of big money foreigners arrive at Anfield to start dropping him down the pecking order as the new season approaches, and disappearing from trace in Sven Goran Eriksson's England plans after playing in the legendary 5-1 slaughter of the Germans in Munich - then lo and behold, a fat knight in shining armour comes riding down from the dales of Yorkshire to whisk him away to his home soil with the promise of a chance of resurrecting a career which has definitely been on the wane. Ah, life is GOOD. In truth, the £2.75million deal which will see Barmby move down the M62 from Liverpool to Leeds makes perfect sense for all parties. For Liverpool, there is the comfort that they will not have to keep a disappointed former international kicking his heels in the reserves, with his morale and value dropping through the floor, and nearly £3million in this dead transfer market is good money, helping Gerard Houllier to further develop his foreign legion. For Leeds, the fee is a snip even in today's market for a former England international who can play anywhere in midfield and will bring a creative dimension which has been sadly lacking since Gary McAllister flew the coop in 1996. For Terry Venables it brings a familiar and favoured face to join him in in his new found empire in West Yorkshire and gives him some undoubtedly welcome options. For Barmby it represents not just another chance, but the reunion with his mentor, the man who signed him for Tottenham and gave him his England chance back in 1995. Yes, everyone's a winner. Barmby has always been a bit of a nearly man, someone who emerged in an exciting Tottenham forward line alongside Teddy Sheringham and Jurgen Klinsmann in the first half of the 90& #39;s but never really took that big step forward to superstardom, someone who always seemed to be on the margins of the England ranks, despite scoring the first goals in the England reigns of both Glenn Hoddle and Eriksson and offering a potential solution to the eternal problems of lack of wide left midfielders, someone who flattered to deceive at both Middlesbrough and Everton before looking fleetingly the part at Anfield when he arrived there in 2000, but whose value has fallen from £6million at that stage to less than half the sum these days. Venables and Leeds will no doubt be praying that the 28 year old who hails from Hull will finally realise the potential he has always shown. Barmby is certainly still young enough and skilful enough and has the ability to provide the missing ingredient in a Leeds midfield which is only a vigorous but limited shadow of the Bremner-Giles-Gray or Strachan-Batty-McAllister-Speed supreme units who inspired Leeds' title triumphs in 1969, 1974 and 1992. Eirik Bakke, Olivier Dacourt, David Batty, even Lee Bowyer, are limited in their distributive flair and ability to get on the end of attacks, while Harry Kewell is too inconsistent to be the REAL THING. Venables has clearly identified midfield as being the Achilles' heel at Elland Road (a view that a fans' poll at the club's official website heavily endorsed), because he is also talking to Australia captain David Okon, who has been given a free transfer by Middlesbrough, but also a player Venables knows well from his time with both club and country. The tabloid rumours have had Leeds chasing half a dozen defenders to replace the now hated Ferdinand, but midfield is where Venables clearly sees the real problems and who can blame him? The Elland Road club have for several years been extremely limited in their capacity for unlocking opposing defences with incisive passing, and this has restricted their front men. Barmby isn't a part icularly gifted ball player, but will bring a fresh new look to Leeds' midfield and it will be interesting how Venables decides to use him. The popular view is that he will play on the left, allowing Harry Kewell to drift behind the front two, but my suspicion is that he will be employed on the right flank, allowing Lee Bowyer to remain in his more favoured central role, alongside Olivier Dacourt, although both players were rumoured to be heading out of Elland Road. Barmby, as Venables knows full well, is an extremely gifted and intelligent player, and one who works uncommonly hard for the interests of the team for such a progressive player. There's been a lot of doubts about Venables relying on old favourites (something he was heavily criticised for when he was England manager), and the Leeds supporters have started recalling the ill fated reign of Brian Clough for 44 days in 1974 and his decision to draft in Derby stalwarts John O'Hare and John McGovern. Still, the three of them went on to do the biz when they were reunited at Forest, didn't they? Venables must be given the scope to reshape this team of under achievers. O'Leary was given big cash to spend and left behind him a collection of great players, although a few will need to be moved on if he is to be able to really make this his side. It will be interesting to see the impact he has and if the signing of Barmby is anything to go by then we are in for a very new look team, and one which will play in the classic TV style, as practiced in exciting Barcelona, Tottenham and England sides.

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        06.08.2002 04:14
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        Q: Which footballer scored the first goal for England during both Sven Goran Eriksson's and Glenn Hoddle's reigns? A: Well, as you've probably sussed this piece is about Nicky Barmby, then you undoubtedly know that he's the man, but honestly would you have remembered otherwise? For amidst all the brouhaha about England's World Cup campaign and unrealised potential when crumbling against the showponies of Brazil, Nicky Barmby has become the forgotten man of English football after all the promise he showed in the early part of the Swede's reign. Further to that, amidst all the preparations for the new season and Liverpool's new foreign signings (and the signing they didn't make - Lee Bowyer), Barmby has even become the forgotten man of Merseyside... In fact, it looks like the only way that Our Nicky will get back into the big time is if his long time admirer Terry Venables saw fit to make him an early signing in his new set up at Elland Road, and the failure of the Bowyer deal has made that seemingly less likely. Nick Barmby was born on February 11 1974 in Hull and had a trial with Liverpool when he was 17, but ended up at Tottenham. The move turned out well for him and he broke into the Spurs team at just 18, going on to play a key role at the club following the departure of Terry Venables and Paul Gascoigne as part of an exciting forward line which also boasted Jurgen Klinsmann and Teddy Sheringham. He made a name for himself in that fairly illustrious company and the intelligent promptings of Sheringham brought out the best in him, catapulting him into the England reckoning. He played in the England Under-18 side which won the European Championship in 1993, with Robbie Fowler among his colleagues, and a couple of years earlier, aged 21, he broke into the full side, winning his first cap in a goalless draw against Uruguay. Following that breakthrough, Barmby has been a r egular international, but has never really pinned down a place, although for a while he represented the best option in England's problem left midfield slot. During the intervening years, Barmby has also moved clubs with a fair degree of regularity, apparently securing a berth, yet drifting on just as he seemed ready to make a real name for himself. In 1995, shortly after his England debut, he sprang a surprise by leaving London (amidst the troubled reign of Alan Sugar as Tottenham chairman) and opting for a return nearer his roots, joining Middlesbrough in a multi million pound move. He remained on Teesside only just over a year and in October 1996 signed for an Everton side who were in the doldrums for £5.75million. Everton were a drab, but hard working side, and for a while Barmby gave them a much needed creative boost, although he couldn?t really find either his best form or an ideal role, slipping between out and out striker and withdrawn schemer. He hit his best form in 1998-99 having come through injury troubles and was starting to look the part again. 1999-2000 saw him back at his peak, and he enjoyed a good run in the England side under Kevin Keegan. Unfortunately shortly after declaring his love for Everton and his intention to stay at Goodison for the long term, he opted for a switch across Merseyside in a £6million move to Liverpool. He had a good first season at Liverpool, but then struggled with injury in the closing stages and missed out on the glory of their treble Cup triumph. He was beset again in 2001-02 and played just nine games before an ankle operation ruled him out of the rest of the season. He remains as something of an enigma, a nearly man, who can play consistently well at the top level without really moving onto a higher plane and the emergence of John Arne Riise in 2001-02 will make it even harder for him to force his way back into the Anfielders team. It's a shame , and it seems that only a move away from his supposed dream team can resurrect the career of the dimutive forward. If any club is willing to take the risk of laying out cold cash in this uncertain and lethargic transfer market then they may get a bargain if the busy little spark returns to the game of Barmby, but his proneness to injury makes that unlikely. Terry Venables looks the man likeliest to take the risk, but Elland Road is unlikely to take Barmby to their hearts.

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          15.04.2001 20:43
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          Nick Barmby has definitely made the right decision to move from Everton to Liverpool. The switch in Merseyside has both helped Liverpool to star in Europe, the FA Cup and the Worthington Cup as well as doing well in the league, but has also destroyed Everton's dreams of achieving anything this season - they lie in low table, but probably safe from relegation. You wouldn't have thought one player could have made such a difference, and it is usually the team effort that collect points, but I believe Barmby is one of the best attacking midfielder/strikers in the country, and he's deservedly been picked for the England squad - good for him, and the country's prospects of achieving in the World Cup. Scoring goals isn't easy, but he's managed to put a fair amount away this season despite being up front with the country's leading goal scorers - Heskey, Owen and Fowler. I feel that they have all done extremely well and have helped eachother to improve as players, and as such they have the best strike force in the country - all of whom are English! Oh and Danny Murphy is also superb! Barmby is one to watch out for in the World Cup 2002, and could prove to be someone who can collect the Golden Boot. He's a volley master and a very hard working player. Top stuff - 5 stars well done.

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            06.03.2001 02:37
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            Ever since Nick Barmby has been playing professional football i have not rated him. When he signed for Liverpool this season i thought what a waste of money. I really didn't think that he woulf play much for liverpool this season (i guess that is why i'm not a manager). Barmby has been one of the players of the season so far for me. It just shoes what happens when you put a good player with quality. Barmby's performance against Spain for england was so good. The spanish defence just couldn't control him. His goal that he scored was down to good running and bravery. How many players buckle under the pressure when you see a goal keeper flying at you?. I hope that Sven keeps with the formation he used against Spain and that barmby will keep on playing in the same position.

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              21.12.2000 17:50

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              Barmby has been accepted by the Liverpool faithful with open arms since his move across Stanley Park. The fans here love him and he turned out to be a better asset than I anticipated if not most Liverpool fans. His versatility has proved extremely useful and he is one of the only layers this season to have taken part in every game. He has also given the team some much needed width down the right and has been the first Liverpool player for a long time who has been prepared to get to the by_line and cut balls back. His partnership with Markus Babbel is also flourishing down the right side and it is sure to say that things should improve for a long time yet.

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              07.11.2000 01:38

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              Nick Barmby is a quality player but there was a lot of debate about whether Liverpool actually needed him and whether he was worth the transfer fee. Well with the injury to Berger it seems that Nick will get a good run in the first team and should be able to prove how good he is. Nick has played for England a few times and he had a good but brief Euro 2000 tournament. With Everton he was never really going to break into the England squad on a consistent basis. Its now time for Nick to show everyone that he is a very good player.

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              06.11.2000 21:38
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              It isn't very often that you see a player move between two clubs that have huge local rivalry, and the Everton / Liverpool rivalry is one of the most intense you will find. Nick Barmby changed from being hated by Liverpool fans to being loved by Liverpool fans in a s short period of time, and while he did that he changed from being loved by Toffees fans to being hated by them. Barmby made Everton fans hate him more and made them think of him as a real traitor when he scored in the recent Merseyside Derby with an excellent header. The Reds went on to win the game 3-1 and whereas Everton are going through a bad patch, Liverpool are doing well at the moment. When he was at Middlesbrough, when he was at Everton and now when he's at Liverpool, Barmby has always been a very talented player but his consistency is questionable. I'm not sure if he's been unlucky with injuries or something, but one minute I see Nick Barmby playing well for England, then after that I hear nothing about him for a couple of months. One thing is for sure, Barmby is a talented footballer and scores many important goals. If he can be consistent he will be a key player for Liverpool as they try to keep up with Arsenal and Man Utd this season.

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              03.11.2000 16:56
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              It is strange to see a player travel from Everton to Liverpool. Usually it is Liverpool palming their rejects on Everton but never has a good player gone the other way. Nicky Barmby I think is a great signing. In the warm up games to Euro 2000 I thought that he was by far Englands best player and when it got to the Portugal game and Keegan had picked Wise I couldn't believe it. Barmby was the only player that showed anything to merit from the last friendly before Euro 2000, I thought that he was gonna be a sure thing for the Portugal game. It is good to seeing him doing well at Liverpool though. He is a great player and an excellent signing. Much bettter than all the pants that has gone the other way in transfers between Liverpool and Everton.

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              18.10.2000 04:44
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              The most shocking thing in today's mirror (apart form the crapness of the paper itself) was the news that Nick Barmby is earning £45,000 a week at Liverpool. Naturally, like most footballers he was prepared to swap a first team place to sit on the bench for more money, but how were Liverpool so stupid as to offer him that much, Sure, he's a decent player who scores a few goals and creates some chances, but he's nothing special. To warrant spending that much money on wages, you would expect to be getting a truly world class player. If this is the goign rate for half-rate England players, then expect to see Phil Neville transfered to Inter Milan for £45m in the near future. Considering Liverpool have been looking so promising lately, you would hate to see them blow it all and turn into a club like Newcastle who are £70m in debt as a result of paying stupid fees and stupid wages for half rate players. On the whole, Houllier has been truly excellent, but he could do with a few less transfers like this if he is going to turn Liverpool into a wrold class side.

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              23.09.2000 01:36
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              The recent signing of Nick Barmby from across Stanley Park will prove to be a fantastic buy for Liverpool. He is exactly what we lack, someone to put balls through for the likes of Owen, Fowler and Heskey to finish. He is extremely creative and is just reaching the peak of his career. The transfer will cause great uproar among Everton supporters, however. He has made a great start to his Liverpool career, combining very well with other players, especially Smicer. Last season, we really did not have this creativity from midfield, so this season, I think we have a great chance of qualifying for the Champions League. Well done Gerard Houllier for another great buy!

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              16.09.2000 19:10
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              What a good buy for Liverpool is Nick Barmby, he has improved immensely since his Middlesbrough days, and even since his Everton days. He has fitted in to the team with ease. His performances have been excellent, especially in the European match the other night in Romania, his runs up and down the wings were excellent, and he is a great crosser of the ball. What about the goal he scored it was made by Michael Owen and finished with skill and precision, by the young man on his European debut for Liverpool. Keep up the good work Nicky!!!!

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              09.09.2000 04:09
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              Nick Barmby in my view has improved remarkably over the last season, he has become an excellent player. I, think we have a player other than Paul Scholes who can run into the box and score goals from midfeild. If he continues to play like this I can see him playing for England for a couple of more years yet. Against France, he was one of England's best players. He had the best opportunities in the first half, a header which was destined for goal, but was brilliantly saved by the french goalkeeper. In the second half, he continued to cover every inch of the pitch, and made an excellent run into the box, only to be let down by his first touch. Barmby has finally given Keegan, a bit more balance to the side, with Barry and him, on the left hand side, things are finally looking up. He is with a good club, and will improve as a player, even more.

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              06.09.2000 01:55
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              Well I thought Nick Barmby was nothing more than an average player, not doing much in his first season at Everton and some tough injury problems, but he’ really come back well. In his early days he was tipped widely to be a real talent and he was until some injuries and bad transfers took their hold upon him, he didn’t seem to have that passion, but my it’s back now. His last season at Everton was a blinder, he seems to have regained the sharp edge and passion to his game, he once again uses his intelligence to play his skills when they are needed and his off the ball play has improved. He’s moved to Liverpool now, quite a tough move as they have a lot of good midfielders, but I have no doubt he’ll make it there too, especially if he continues his super form. My only concerns at club level are whether the Liverpool will accept an Everton player into their ranks and whether he avoids injury. He’s going to be a prize for Liverpool and England and can even play on the left, however I still fear an injury could halt his career again.

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              04.09.2000 00:07
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              I hope Nick Barmby plays consistently well for Liverpool as it will help Liverpool both in Europe and in the league, I do sympathise with Evertonians when he left but remember Peter Beardesly and Gary Ablett they left Liverpool to go to Goodison, so Everton fans over time might learn to forgive Barmby for moving across Stanley Park. However, I can understand why he left Everton probably to enhance his chances for playing regularly for England and to play for a side that is involved in European competitions and for a side that challenges for the league in contrast to Everton where survival is the main priority and whatever came next is a bonus. Barmby is a player who runs into the box from midfield and has the ability to score goals, he plays on the left which can help Liverpool but he also can play as a striker which might come in handy considering the fact Liverpool had so many of their top striker's injured last season. My only worry is that he may not feature in every game once Liverpool has have a full fit squad as their are many player's who can play in that position most notably Patrick Berger. So Barmby may at times have to settle for a place on the bench.

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              17.08.2000 04:36

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              I highly rate gerrad Houllier as a manager but i really do think that he made a wrong choice with nick barmby! 6 million is what he paid for him. I am sorry to say wwhy the hell did he bid so high when everton only wanted 4 million? And i dont even hink that nick barmby is that good a player anyway! If he really was good then i wouldn't mind him spending that amount of money on him! Oh well lets just see how well it pays off! I am keeping an openn mind on nick ba

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