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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1 Posted 18/09/2016 at 08:53:59
2 Posted 18/09/2016 at 09:32:19
Up the Blues!
3 Posted 18/09/2016 at 10:17:05
4 Posted 18/09/2016 at 10:53:37
5 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:38:41
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.
6 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:42:43
7 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:54:54
8 Posted 18/09/2016 at 11:55:40
I think the frankly ridiculous cover that Idrissa provides allows Barry to play that commanding role to perfection. Amazing pairing.
9 Posted 18/09/2016 at 13:43:50
10 Posted 18/09/2016 at 14:01:00
Well done, Gareth, on your 600th.
11 Posted 18/09/2016 at 14:14:12
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.
12 Posted 18/09/2016 at 15:52:27
13 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:26:41
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.
14 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:44:20
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.
15 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:50:39
16 Posted 18/09/2016 at 16:59:45
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.
17 Posted 18/09/2016 at 17:22:10
18 Posted 18/09/2016 at 18:13:25
19 Posted 18/09/2016 at 18:53:40
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".
20 Posted 18/09/2016 at 18:55:40
22 Posted 18/09/2016 at 22:43:29
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.
23 Posted 19/09/2016 at 07:17:05
24 Posted 19/09/2016 at 07:31:47
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!
25 Posted 19/09/2016 at 09:54:57
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.
26 Posted 19/09/2016 at 13:32:02
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