In this era of instant gratification and short-lived careers, players like Barry are true throwback to another era. Even at 36, he still has the distinct ability to make his mark on a game. He might have lost a yard or three in his running, but often makes up for it by acutely anticipating where the ball will be and cutting the angles.
Everton manager Ronald Koeman reluctantly let him leave the club this summer when Barry wanted assurances about game time. But that in no way diminished how highly he regarded the midfielder.
Last season when Barry was about to make his 600th Premier League appearance, here’s what Koeman said at the time -
“He’s still an important player for us because he is a clever player and those type of players will always have respect and be important. You have to minimize the training intensity a little bit across the whole week to keep the player fit to play.
“I’m very happy that he’s still part of our Everton team.”
Phil Jagielka added -
“Gareth is cool, calm and collected. He doesn’t speak too much but, when he does, people listen. It’s more of a case of showing people how to do things right on the pitch and off it. He is so professional and if you watch him play he is definitely a great role model.
“We are delighted for him to keep breaking as many records as he can.”
Barry has made 632 appearances in the Premier League to date, for Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton and West Bromwich Albion respectively, scoring 52 times and picking up 50 assists since the 1997-98 season.
He played in a total of 155 games for Everton, scoring 5 goals, including in his 600th game for the club too. He also collected 12 assists in that time, while extending his record on top of the table for the most Premier League yellow cards as well.
Here’s a collection of the top five goals he scored out of those 52, including two for the Blues.
The crew here at Royal Blue Mersey would like to congratulate Gareth Barry on his incredible achievement, and wish him well on all his future endeavours!