Writer: J P Fear
Date:Saturday February 11 2006
Aston Villa midfielder (and sometimes left back!) Gareth Barry is set to chalk up his 300th game for the Lions this afternoon. He actually played his 300th v Boro last week, but one of the games he featured in was deemed null and void so this is his official 300th (did that bore you to read as much as it bored me to type it?!).
The former England U21 captain, who recently said he might have a chance of breaking back into the England team once Sven 'too blind to see we have a talented left sided midfielder at Villa Park' Goran Eriksson leaves after the world cup, will have to help new boy Craig Gardner who makes his full Villa debut today against Newcastle United.
The 24-year-old said: 'We're going to have to take a long look at ourselves. This is a game where we have to take control and you try to lead the younger players beside you. They are going to need a lot of guiding. We've got to take a lot on our shoulders and try and help players around us. Craig Gardner is going to need a lot of help before and during the game. Me and the experienced players around him realise he is going to need that, and during the game there are likely to stages when he is going to need a little talking to, with the right words said to him.'
Barry told the official site about his highlights as a Villan: 'Obviously, there was my debut. That's still a big one. Then there's the Cup Final, and the semi-final (against Bolton) at Wembley when I scored in the shoot-out. There was my first goal for the club, against Nottingham Forest. Scoring a brace up at Newcastle last season, in a game full of incident which we went on to win. I've also scored two at Wycombe in the League Cup.'
Looks like he isn't the sort to look too far ahead though, asked about 400 games he just says 'I can't look at that' adding 'You certainly take one season at a time. I've got two and a half left and hopefully in that time there might be 100 appearances there and who knows from there?'
Lets hope his seasons form finally gets noticed, he should be looking at a World Cup place if we'd a manager who understood the need for a left sided player, he might not have a great pace, but he has bucket loads of quality.
He finished: 'I've always felt settled at Villa- apart from that one stage out of the team. I've always been picked and have very rarely been left out. That makes it easier to settle but there hasn't really been a stage where I haven't felt comfortable.'
Date:Saturday February 11 2006
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