Ronald Koeman has paid tribute to his evergreen midfield general Gareth Barry who will make his 600th Premier League appearance when Everton face Middlesbrough on Saturday.
The manager was asked about Barry's longevity in his press conference at Finch Farm this afternoon and he confirmed with a smile that the 35-year-old would be in the team when the newly-promoted side come to Goodison Park for the late-afternoon kick-off.
“It's amazing,” Koeman remarked. “I think he's the third player behind [Ryan] Giggs and Frank Lampard to play 600 Premier League games. I think it's 19 seasons in a row… that's fantastic.
“And still he is an important player for us because he is a clever player and clever players, even at his age, can be important for the team.
“Of course you have to minimise the intensity of the training sessions a little bit over the whole week to keep the player fit.
Asked if there had been any thoughts about extending his contract beyond next summer, Koeman said that would be a discussion for another time.
“We will speak about that not today, not next week but of course if he's still a player that we need then we will start talking about next season.”
Reader Comments (42)
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1 Posted 15/09/2016 at 18:03:50
2 Posted 15/09/2016 at 18:31:02
He is an absolute legend as a professional, the way he reads the game, consistency, intelligence (clever bookings!), role model, team player you know what, sorry Kanchelskis and Bracewell, you're binned, I think Barry is my new life long bromance!
3 Posted 15/09/2016 at 18:43:47
4 Posted 15/09/2016 at 18:51:17
5 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:03:53
6 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:08:11
I don't know. Might be wrong of me, but I kind of like that fact.
600 games in the top flight is some achievement. Season before last, I thought he looked like he was either on his last legs, or had been hopelessly overplayed, and would soon settle into the role of squad player. He's been the model of consistency since then and seems to cover more ground than ever, so shows what I know.
7 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:30:02
Didn't clever bookings play for West Ham once upon a time?
8 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:36:13
9 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:40:29
10 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:41:23
He is certainly an amazing veteran who plays with the gusto and enthusiasm of a 20-year-old.
11 Posted 15/09/2016 at 19:48:26
12 Posted 15/09/2016 at 20:08:28
13 Posted 15/09/2016 at 20:13:01
14 Posted 15/09/2016 at 20:16:02
Going off topic, it was also interesting to hear RK say that Tom Cleverly was fit last week but didn't make the 18. This means RK has young Tom Davies ahead of Cleverly in the picking order, such a thing would never have happened under our last few managers.
I'm almost thinking things are a little too good to be true at the minute. Performances on the pitch, progress off it, straight talking manager, faith in youth and prompt subs when things aren't going our way. Surely this can't last! ... Can it?!
15 Posted 15/09/2016 at 20:23:58
16 Posted 15/09/2016 at 21:13:35
What I like is his calm approach and solid manner. He's essential to our midfield and will be difficult to replace.
17 Posted 15/09/2016 at 21:22:48
I was made up when Liverpool failed to sign him. Benitez wanted him badly, would have completed his line-up, they would have gone very close to winning the league if they had signed him. Liverpool's loss was Man City's gain... and eventually ours.
18 Posted 15/09/2016 at 21:48:08
How long can Barry go?
19 Posted 15/09/2016 at 21:50:42
20 Posted 15/09/2016 at 22:32:26
21 Posted 15/09/2016 at 22:40:58
As regards the captaincy, I think he is one of those professionals, like Ray Wilson, Colin Harvey and Peter Reid, who have such a high standing within the squad that they can influence performances around them without holding the title of captain. In any event, shouting the odds has never been part of his makeup. If we have needed that sort of captain in the past couple of seasons, he would probably not have been suitable for the role.
22 Posted 16/09/2016 at 00:46:30
Much like John, above, I always thought he was decent at other clubs. I had the 'Ozil incident' imprinted on my brain when we signed him and worried he was past it.
Couldn't have been more wrong. He's a terrific player and someone every manager would love. From the moment he pulled on a Blue shirt, he always seemed to have more time on the ball than anyone else. That's a trait synonymous with a fine player.
I think he only had one serious dip in form. And, for once, I think Martinez did the right thing by sticking by him. Sure enough, experience and hard work turned it around for Barry.
My lasting hope is that McCarthy can learn from him. Barry's nous with McCarthy's lungs, would be some player.
23 Posted 16/09/2016 at 01:15:55
24 Posted 16/09/2016 at 01:57:15
In all the time watching him in a royal blue jersey, I think I could count on one hand the number of "stupid" yellows he's taken.
On the contrary, most of his cards are engaging in a tough, tough tackle, or supremely "intelligent" fouls to stop counter-attacks or danger.
I think he may be one of the most underrated, intelligent footballers I've seen in my admittedly short decade of viewing.
BBS sure got this one right. And as time passes and we can get over all the "phenomenal" press conferences, we might have a much rosier view of Martinez.
Delo, Rom, Barry, Holgate (I think, right?), Besic who I believe will still come good once over injury, and McCarthy who was outstanding for us for a year or two depending on who you ask. Did he sign Galloway as well? Can't remember. And I know he was a flop, but when Eto'o came to us I was thrilled we signed such a big name - even if it was a bit past his prime. All of this without "Money Moshri" backing...
Sure, there were some busts, but that's a decent list of players.
Barry is gold.
25 Posted 16/09/2016 at 02:04:39
If he's still a player that we need then we will start talking about next season
No one can sit back and put it on cruise control under him. He's ruthless. No romantic notions of hanging on to players past their prime who won't contribute to the cause.
Perform, or there will be no need for you.
26 Posted 16/09/2016 at 04:53:14
27 Posted 16/09/2016 at 08:23:27
Barry was not the most exciting signing at the time. I was more enthused by McCarthy and in fairness during his first season McCarthy was amazing. However Barry has grown on me so to speak, and BBS's adulation has been more than justified.
I also loved the way he stood toe tot toe with that bruiser Costa. OK it was a sending off to follow but he gave him a simple message; just don't fuck with me... And in fairness to Costa, I think he respected that.
Yes, Gareth Barry is one of a rare breed, pure class.
28 Posted 16/09/2016 at 08:32:46
29 Posted 16/09/2016 at 08:38:28
Plus the Reds were up in arms as it was Rafa wanting to get rid of Xabi Alonso, who they really rated (I think they were about to sell him to Juve for around £10m or so, which was nuts when you consider he joined Madrid for £30m the following season). I'm pretty sure they booed Barry at Anfield when he played for Villa for that reason.
Bit daft like, but what can you expect?
30 Posted 16/09/2016 at 09:05:52
You've got to love having a player on our side that gets under the skin of opposition fans that much, especially that lot.
Hope GB stays at the club after he hangs up his boots. I reckon he'll be a great coach.
31 Posted 16/09/2016 at 11:13:22
32 Posted 16/09/2016 at 13:40:35
He was excellent last season in an under performing team & so far he & Gueye have been top drawer in the centre of our midfield & long may it continue. I can't honestly see McCarthy getting back in there unless heaven forbid something happens to one of them.
34 Posted 16/09/2016 at 13:59:24
36 Posted 16/09/2016 at 14:16:23
38 Posted 16/09/2016 at 16:29:14
At least he was until the reporter corrected it to Gareth Batty.
39 Posted 16/09/2016 at 17:40:23
41 Posted 16/09/2016 at 21:50:50
Since he came to Everton , he's been our best player in so many matches. The thing is, are the the other players/young ones watching and can they learn?
I think Barry will be a very good coach/manager when he retires so let's hope he will be at Everton for a long while.
42 Posted 16/09/2016 at 23:21:05
43 Posted 17/09/2016 at 00:41:31
"Our very own Pirlo" you're having a laugh I hope!
44 Posted 17/09/2016 at 06:55:50
Leaving Barr for a moment, just watched Chelski vs RS and please can anybody explain how bloody Gary Cahill gets picked ahead of Jags for England? He was useless last night, caught out of position any number of times, beaten to the ball consistently and literally gifted Liverpool their first goal.
45 Posted 17/09/2016 at 07:38:40
46 Posted 17/09/2016 at 11:53:13