Writer: J P Fear
Date:Sunday September 9 2007
Gareth Barry was happy with his game for England yesterday but will be even happier if it has kept him in Steve McClaren's mind for the next match.
The Villa captain, who made an outstanding contribution yesterday setting up two of the three goals for England said: 'It probably was my best game for England. It was my first 90 minutes in my preferred position - central midfield.'
Hadn't realised that was his preferred place, so there you go, you learn something every day. Having played on the left of midfield for so long for Villa, not to mention at left back, I thought that was the side he favoured.
On the game he added, 'People will say that Israel were poor, but I got a lot of the ball and enjoyed it out there. Playing alongside Steven Gerrard made life so much easier for me. The way Stevie takes the game to other teams certainly helped me settle.'
He also says he thought his chances of an England career were over at times having been ignored by Sven.
Meanwhile England U21 boss Stuart Pearce says Villa midfielder Craig Gardner gives him even more options after playing him as right-back in the 3-0 win over Montenegro.
'His natural position is a midfield player and he gives me options. We looked at him in the friendly against Romania and we felt that his strength was his passing, without a doubt. He's got a great eye for a pass and keeps possession well and like many in the squad it's about getting minutes on the pitch.'
Adding on the squad, 'The beauty of this squad is how adaptable it is. Theo Walcott can play anywhere across the front four, if Craig can play in the midfield or at right-back then it's helpful to me. I thought he had a decent game against Montenegro, and I think he'll only improve with the more games he plays.'
Date:Sunday September 9 2007
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