UPDATE: Barry will wear the #18 jersey at Everton
After Everton picked up veteran midfielder Gareth Barry in the transfer window, we spoke with sonics097 of SB Nation's Manchester City blog Bitter and Blue, who only agreed to give this interview on condition that we pass up on this year's traditional City-beatdown at Goodison. The English international has failed to find a regular spot in the starting squad at City, and will be hoping to get some playing time at Everton with the World Cup fast approaching next summer. Barry was at Aston Villa for 12 years before making the switch to City in 2009.
Birth Date: Feb 23, 1981
Birth Place: Hastings (English international, 53 caps)
Height: 5' 11" (1.80m)
Weight: 178 lbs (80.6 kg)
RBM - Tell us about Barry's style of play?
B&B - Barry is a traditional, old-school CDM. You won't see him doing anything flashy and thankfully he never tries to do so either. He'll get up and down the pitch primarily shielding the back line and breaking up attacks through the middle with efficiency. He's also got a good engine on him and I can't remember any games in which we needed to sub Gaz Baz out due to lack of stamina. He's a hard worker.
RBM - What are his strengths?
B&B - His strengths lie primarily in mental skills, and raw defensive ability. He reads the game extremely well and thus is hardly ever out of position. He's got a good eye for anticipation and isn't overly aggressive. A yellow card here and there, but that's the nature of the position I suppose. Though he's average in the air, he'll win a ton of 50-50 ground battles throughout the match. Perhaps the most underrated aspect of his game is his distribution out of the deep midfield; he recycles possession quite well and is a good short-range passer of the ball.
RBM - How about his weaknesses?
B&B - His biggest weakness is pace. With aging legs, he won't keep up with the faster attacking players. He also won't offer a whole lot in the final third of the pitch. Given City's possession-based style of play, we are often camped out in the opposition's half of the field and Barry will typically go about as far up as 18-30 yards out- it's rare to see him make an appearance in the box. His long range shooting is OK, as are his technical skills. He'll retain the ball well but not do much in the way of creativity.
RBM - Any off-the-field issues we should know about?
B&B - This is a player that comes with absolutely zero baggage. He's a genuinely nice, quiet guy. Judging by the behind-the-scenes videos put up on City's website he gets on with just about everyone in the team and is a helpful hand whenever necessary.
RBM - Your closing thoughts?
B&B - Everton fans might not realize how lucky they are in getting Barry for the year just yet. This is a loyal servant whom City fans miss already, and it's barely been 24 hours. Without a doubt he has been one of the most vital pieces of City's puzzle over the last 5 seasons and he has never gotten the praise he deserves. He is a player that operates in the shadows of the game and does the team's dirty work, the seemingly boring link in the middle that often gets overlooked for not being the most stylish of players. But he just gets the job done. Game in, and game out. There is no endorsement that I can come up with that is more telling than the fact that David Silva voted for Barry as the club's player of the season in the year we won the title. He might not play for us anymore, but we're still rooting for him.
Thanks go out to sonics097 for answering our questions about Barry. Feel free to drop us a line in the comments with your questions regarding Barry, and we'll go back to him for some answers.
More from Royal Blue Mersey:
- Marouane Fellaini thanks Everton fans after Manchester United move
- Marouane Fellaini and Leighton Baines - Replaceable vs. Irreplaceable
- Gareth Barry joins Everton on loan from Manchester City
- Victor Anichebe leaves Everton for West Brom
- Everton sign James McCarthy from Wigan