Villaman - I agree with you (I must be getting old)! The only point I would make is that Barry IS that important to the team. We'll never agree about liking Barry but the team does revolve around him. Quite simply - without him the team loses shape, the same as the England team.
So it's not about being held ransom by Barry but needing a player of his class, and there are very few about. I thought the way MoN handled the Raffa saga was excellent. We managed to keep Barry and he has given his best this season.
Whatever happens we need half a dozen top players and they won't be cheap. If Randy doesn't open up his wallet and MoN doesn't do some serious buying in the summer, this is as good as we will ever be. Losing Barry would in my opinion mean that we won't be seeing another season like this, however bad things have been recently.