Gareth Barry has revealed that Ronald Koeman didn't want to see him leave Everton last month but the midfielder felt it was the right decision for the twilight of his career.
Barry left Goodison Park for West Bromwich Albion towards the end of the transfer window and will break Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record when, as expected, he lines up for the Baggies against Arsenal on Monday evening to play his 633rd game.
The 36-year-old was expected to pass that milestone as an Everton player but he was allowed to depart the Blues despite Koeman wanting to keep him around to bolster the numbers in midfield.
“He wasn't happy with me,” Barry said of Koeman. “He wanted me to stay around and felt I was going to get enough game time, which I possibly might have done with European football and the cups.”
“But for me running out on a Saturday afternoon in the Premier League is what I've always enjoyed doing and I just didn't feel I was going to be close enough to the action at Everton.
“It might be harder at West Brom but I didn't want to slowly go down that road of fizzling out. I could have still achieved this record and would have still got enough appearances at Everton, they even offered me another year but that wasn't the reason. I wanted one last challenge.”
Signed from Manchester City by Roberto Martinez in 2013, Barry made 155 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees and will go down as one of the Catalan's most successful acquisitions.
Reader Comments (22)
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1 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:46:27
Congratulations on the record though. Massive achievement that is thoroughly deserved.
2 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:48:36
3 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:22:29
4 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:36:26
He's an attacker, all of his qualities are about getting the ball in the back of the net, either himself, or to play someone else through. We would lose too much of this by dropping him deep, just because no one else can hit an accurate 40-yard pass (including Schneiderlin himself, right now, I should add).
5 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:59:04
6 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:14:41
Maybe he saw the writing on the wall and bailed. Whetever, Gaz Baz, we will miss your handsome jaw and wind-tunnel tested hairdo as much as your experience.
7 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:27:23
8 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:49:29
9 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:54:56
As for sentimentality, it's not, there's no-one in the side now who can hit long forward passes from deep and create chances. He is a big loss.
Yes, Spurs last season showed how much his legs had gone, but West Brom are showing that if you surround him with energetic players, it's not as noticeable. Barry and Davies would be a good combination for us, right now.
10 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:01:49
633 apps is some achievement. Don't think I'm being over sentimental to say I wish he'd have achieved this milestone with us.
11 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:09:55
Let's get real here, he was slow, gave away lots and lots of possession and free kicks, and after a great first season, began to go downhill so fast that for me his first name started to begin with the letter F and end in L.
12 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:51:55
13 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:04:37
14 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:59:34
I'm not a Koeman basher either, but I think in this case it was probably a case of a mature agreement made between the club and a fairly old player who has served the club well.
I was gutted that he left, but reading that quote about running out on a Saturday says it all. West Brom are a club that are going to play most of their matches on Saturdays, a few Sundays, and not very many mid-week games due to no Europe. At a certain age, you just want to do your 40 hours without the extra shifts and travel.
15 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:08:21
A good time to leave us as I don't think that his legs would cope with RK's 3 Number 10s and 2 holding midfielders. Let's face it, if a system like that is making Schneiderlin and Gueye look poor, Barry would have no chance.
16 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:26:21
Must be the life and soul of the party, you.
17 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:40:24
18 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:37:24
19 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:55:43
Koeman should have assured Barry he would start at least 25 Premier League games plus a handful of Europa League games. It was a poor decision to sell him; one we, and Koeman are already regretting.
20 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:23:01
Who the hell is in charge?
21 Posted 25/09/2017 at 20:15:12
22 Posted 26/09/2017 at 06:59:37
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