Player: Gareth Barry #18
Games Played: 44;Games Started: 44;Goals: 0;Assists: 3;Shots: 21;Shots On Goal: 8;Fouls Committed: 77;Fouls Suffered: 47;Yellow Cards: 13;Red Cards: 1
With the 2014/15 coming to a close, RBM writers will be reviewing each player’s season over the next couple of weeks. To continue from Sean Ferguson's review of Aaron Lennon, today we look at Gareth Barry.
After impressing on loan in the last campaign it seemed a no brainer to sign the 34-year-old on a free transfer last summer. In particular the partnership he had built with James McCarthy in midfield was something that manager Roberto Martinez will have wanted to carry on. With the signing of Muhamed Besic it was also thought that some of Barry's experience could rub off on the Bosnian.
What He Did Well
Well, for the first two thirds of the season there was little that the former England international could do well, but that will be covered later.
In the latter stages of the campaign the midfielder has picked up his form somewhat, helping us steer clear of a relegation battle. Also, although few fans will admit this, the midfielder never shirked responsibility when the chips were down.
While others, mentioning no names Kevin Mirallas, started to talk about transfers and how disappointing we had been, Barry continued to make press appearances and at least pretend to be positive. He also played a part in the uninspiring but hard thought losses to Arsenal and Chelsea in February. It is not his fault that the forward players were unable to help the hard worked back line.
What He Could Have Done Better
Now, back to those first two thirds of the season. While the Toffees' fortunes spiralled downwards a lot of the blame was placed at some terrible performances from Barry, and not without good reason.
It would seem that over the summer the ex-Manchester City man lost all of his pace and much of his positioning skill, with the latter only coming back in the last few months. While we knew this would eventually happen when signing a then 33-year-old, the suddenness of his downfall was shocking. That Barry suffered a seemingly terminal loss of form at the same time didn't help either.
The midfielder also seemed to sum up our side's inability to play attacking football during those dark days. Too many sideways and backwards passes were seen from Barry, resulting in the Goodison Park crowd getting on his back and demanding some forward movement. Only three assists all season isn't really good enough for a centre-mid.
We will adopt the A+/A* grading system as the highest mark. An ‘A’ would be for those few who have had a great season, ‘C’ being midway and ‘F’ would be for those the Blues would have been better off without than with. After picking it up in latter weeks has Barry done enough to avoid being branded a failure this season?