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Barry On England - Pearce On Gardner

Barry On England - Pearce On Gardner

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.'

Writer:J P Fear
Date:Sunday September 9 2007
Time: 2:58PM


Craig Gardner will be a top quality midfield player. Experience with U21 will do him the world of good, either in midfield or atright back. Is Gary Cahill stil eligible for U21? Also, what about Curtis Davies when fit, is he still eligible? Soon, watching Villa will be just like watching England. How many Premier clubs could put out a competetive team of English players? Carson/Taylor...Davies, Knight, Cahill, Barry...Gardner, Reo Coker, Osbourne..Agbonlahor, Moore, Young.
09/09/2007 16:31:00
Bloody hell, forgot Marlon Harewood...sorry!
09/09/2007 16:34:00
We've certainly got quality in the current squad, and its pleasing to see the international managers giving credit where credits due. We're on the verge of something big, of that I'm convinced.
10/09/2007 00:58:00
McClaren will unfortunatly drop Barry once a player from the MLS or Spurs is fit enough to return to the side.
10/09/2007 19:20:00
Sadly Col, you could well be right. It will be very interesting to see whether McClaren has the balls to continue with Gareth on Wednesday night should Owen Hargreaves be fit.
10/09/2007 20:55:00
As fortune would have it Hargreaves (according to the BBC site) is unfit for Wednesday which means that Barry should surely get the nod. Come on McClaren!
10/09/2007 21:31:00
Yep - as usual McClown gets lucky again in that he has the tough decision made for him, rather than having a big enough nutsack to make it himself. Seize the chance again Gareth - another solid game in there against Russia and you will really give yourself a chance. Proving yourself against Israel is one thing, but Russia something entirely different - you can do it old son!! UTV
11/09/2007 06:27:00
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