I’m not sure why they have done this. I do not see the logic behind it. It seems like whatever minutes could be given to Barry could be given to a younger player without much of a performance drop off and that would at least develop something for the future.
Fortunately for Everton, West Bromwich Albion has offered Barry a contract twice as long as the one offered by the Toffees, and here’s hoping he takes it. For a club as utterly lacking in ambition as West Brom, a serviceable veteran like Barry will work just fine.
Even at his advanced age, Barry completes 70% of his attempted tackles, and even though he is dribbled past 1.3 times per 90 he’s one of the smartest players in the league at when to take tactical fouls/cards. He completes a respectable 79% of his passes and is pretty solid hitting long balls.
There’s simply nothing against Gareth Barry, it’s just who Everton is as a club has exceeded who he is as a player. Barring a catastrophe, he won’t get anywhere near his minutes total from last season, so unless he merely wants to be along for the ride as Everton vies for a UEFA Europa League title he’s really not serving much of a purpose.
Gareth, thank you for your service, we’ll applaud you when you come back, but man, it’s time.