Barry: It was a great day

18 September  25 Comments  [Jump to last]

Gareth Barry was all smiles after yesterday's win over Middlesbrough which marked his 600th Premier League appearance, only the third player behind Ryan Giggs and Frank Lampard to surpass that milestone.

The veteran midfielder also scored a vital equaliser, his second goal in four games, which helped turn the match in Everton's favour after Boro had gone ahead in hugely controversial circumstances through an own goal by Maarten Stekelenburg.

The 3-1 victory leaves the Toffees in second place after five matches with four wins and a draw, the club's best start to a league season since 1978.

“It's a fantastic start to the season,” Barry said in a post-match interview alongside Ross Barkley. “That's four wins in a row and that's hard to do in this league; it's a tough game every week and we're delighted to keep the run going.

“It's great to get a goal. Obviously the win is more important than that but to get on the scoresheet as well made it an even more memorable day.

“It was a fantastic effort from Everton giving the fans some flags and, obviously, the gaffer's looked after me there at the end with a standing ovation so it capped off a great day.”

Asked if he felt that Everton could surprise people in a similar way as Leicester City last season, Barry wasn't getting too carried away but he said there was no harm in the players aiming high at this early stage of proceedings.

“We've got to have that attitude of ‘why not',” the 35-year-old replied. “It's a similar sort of changes [have taken place]. We've had a new owner and a new manager come in over the summer so it's a bright start for everyone and we've got to set our targets high.

“At the minute we'll take one game at a time but why not?”

Barry's manager, meanwhile, was full of praise for the former England international with his own comments after the game.

“It's fantastic,” the Dutchman said. “He showed once again today that he's an important player for the team, the key player.

“[He has] that cleverness in football and, of course, it was a very important goal to come back in the first half.”

 

Reader Comments (25)

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Brendan Fox
1 Posted 18/09/2016 at 08:53:59
Congratulations to Gareth on reaching the 600 club! Like a fine wine, he just gets better with age. Hope he continues to make things tick in the midfield engine room this season and surpasses Lampard and Giggs as he's the glue that holds the team together.
Oscar Huglin
2 Posted 18/09/2016 at 09:32:19
Can't get enough of this season. If we keep these performances up against higher quality opposition, making the top 4 is no longer a pipe dream. Hard not to get carried away at the moment!

Up the Blues!

David Chait
3 Posted 18/09/2016 at 10:17:05
The word 'Phenomenal' has been forever ruined but would be very apt in this regard...
Geoff Williams
4 Posted 18/09/2016 at 10:53:37
A true professional who deserves a new contract. Everton will be the poorer once his career comes to an end. I sincerely hope he beats the appearance records of Giggs and Lampard (and as an Everton player).
Dave Ganley
5 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:38:41
Fair play to the man. Barry has been a great player down the years; I remember thinking I was glad when he didn't go to the RS as he was a top player. Hopefully he can carry on for another couple of years yet.

I thought he had had his time season before last when he was struggling but he has proved me – and quite a few others, I think – very wrong. He will be very hard to replace.

Paul Black
6 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:42:43
Oscar, get carried away!
Eric Myles
7 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:54:54
I was sceptical when Martinez signed an ageing Barry, thinking he would only be a bit part player and last a couple of years. But he has proved he still has the desire and ability to play at the top level and it's difficult to see who can replace him, if he ever stops playing.
Aidan Wade
8 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:55:40
Dreading the day he retires... just cannot replace his game reading and intellect. He lifts the whole team.

I think the frankly ridiculous cover that Idrissa provides allows Barry to play that commanding role to perfection. Amazing pairing.

Victor Jones
9 Posted 18/09/2016 at 13:43:50
I hold up my hands, and fully admit that I was wrong about Barry. But I suppose my thinking was because I never rated this playing two DMFs every bloody game.(sometimes three). I never rated the tippy tappy crab like passing game,that Martinez favoured. Most players would struggle to look good , under Martinez's guidance. Barry and Gueye are DMFs. But they are now finding a forward pass. They are now pressing further up the pitch. No coincidence that Barry is flourishing under our new management. Everyone seems to be. Who's going to replace Barry? McCarthy? Besic? Gibson? Cleverley? Just hope that Walsh can uncover another gem like Gueye. Full kudos to Barry yesterday. Hope his legs hold and we get another few seasons out of him, it's going to be difficult to replace pure class.
Bob Parrington
10 Posted 18/09/2016 at 14:01:00
Irreplaceable – perhaps not. But I hope he stays on in the coaching staff as he is a 'man apart'!

Well done, Gareth, on your 600th.

Paul Thompson
11 Posted 18/09/2016 at 14:14:12
Every now and again, a real professional with great attitude and skill comes along and Barry is one of them. A pleasure to watch and listen to. I think he is good for one more season after this, though not necessarily every game.

As Aidan (#8) says, having Gueye alongside him has made a real difference to how Barry can play his game. I can't see McCarthy getting much of a look-in.

Stan Schofield
12 Posted 18/09/2016 at 15:52:27
What a cracking player Gareth Barry is. He's got Everton written all over him.
Joseph Mullarkey
13 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:26:41
Did he ever retire from international footy?

Henderson or Barry?

There is no contest in my mind, He should have got an England recall a couple of seasons ago, Especially over the dead hard redtard.

Then he should have told them to stick it.

Dave Abrahams
14 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:44:20
The thing that impresses me most about Barry, apart from his great performances, he is so down to earth and grounded. No nonsense or bullshit, just gets on with it, the good and the bad.

He doesn't expect any plaudits; most of all, he seems to enjoy playing football. Mind you, that comes easy to him, because he knows how to play the game, and what it is all about.

Dave Pritchard
15 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:50:39
Joseph, 13. No chance of him returning for England and that is good news for Everton.
Joseph Mullarkey
16 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:59:45
15 Dave,

I know that mate, I was pointing out the fact that we have better English players being overlooked in favor of media glamour boys.

As I said, if he was asked A COUPLE OF SEASONS AGO he should have told them where to go.

Stan Schofield
17 Posted 18/09/2016 at 17:22:10
Meant to say @12, he's also a gentleman in the manner of Labone and Kendall.
Peter Morris
18 Posted 18/09/2016 at 18:13:25
Gareth says he thinks he can go on for another five years. He is an intelligent and considered individual, not prone to platitudes and bluster, so I tend to believe him. He knows his body best and he will adjust his game further as he ages. Just look at Pirlo. And with Idrissa Gueye besides him, who knows?
Tony Draper
19 Posted 18/09/2016 at 18:53:40
Congratulations Gareth.

600 Premier League appearances. I'm very, very glad that you were marking such a rare milestone at "The Old Lady", as Everton Vice-Captain and opened Everton's scoring.

Sincerely hope that you go on to set a new record and that you do so in "The Royal Blue Jersey".

Mike Berry
20 Posted 18/09/2016 at 18:55:40
Gueye and Barry compliment each other perfectly. Barry a far better role model than Giggs!!!
Jamie Crowley
22 Posted 18/09/2016 at 22:43:29
Mullarkey @ 16,

I don't see why he shouldn't be in the England midfield – right now.

He'd fit in well with a fat Sam set up: tidy on the ball, rarely gives it away, and he's tough as nails.

Someone name an English midfielder who's in better form at the moment?

Were I English, and actually cared about my national team, as so many Scousers apparently give two fiddler's farts for England, I'd be calling for Barry to start. I don't care how old he is – and surrounded by younger players he might actually be a calming influence.

Russia is two years away. Normally, you'd never want a 37-year-old trotting out in midfield. But Barry is in sublime shape and continually performs at a stupid high level. So why the hell not?

As someone said previously – Henderson or Barry? I might be biased but Henderson is overrated – Barry has been gold for Club so why not for country?

Anyway, I'm thrilled he had such a fantastic 600th – dude deserves it completely.

Alan J Thompson
23 Posted 19/09/2016 at 07:17:05
Congratulations and long may we be of assistance.
Paul Conway
24 Posted 19/09/2016 at 07:31:47
Jamie Crowley ( #22 )

I have to agree with you 100%. He has a superb engine and at the moment a full 90 minutes. He seems fitter than a lot of players who find pre-season hard going.

Maybe he is just exceptional and at the moment age doesn't count for him... So why should it count for national team coaches!

Joseph Mullarkey
25 Posted 19/09/2016 at 09:54:57
Jamie (#22),

I would have him in my England team.

Like I said in both #13 and #16, it is not gonna happen because it seems players are not picked for England on recent form but for other reasons, such as media exposure and whether or not they play for one of the bigger clubs.

I think it's true that the English side have not represented the best we have to offer for a long time.

Barry is awesome, so glad that Everton have him, He will be difficult to replace.

Stan Schofield
26 Posted 19/09/2016 at 13:32:02
With Barry's positional awareness and finesse on the ball, I could well imagine him going on for quite a few more years yet. Particularly these days, with all the sports science stuff that top teams (and especially us with Kluitenberg and that guy from the US Olympic team) use to keep players' performance at optimism levels.

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