Everton

Reasons to Believe Gareth Barry Can Maintain His Form Next Season

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - APRIL 20:  Gareth Barry of Everton in action during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park on April 20, 2014 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Matt CheethamCorrespondent IJuly 14, 2014

Everton began their summer spending with the key capture of Gareth Barry.

Presented with more lucrative terms elsewhere, Roberto Martinez managed to convince the midfielder to remain on Merseysidehelped, undoubtedly, by the fact he was offering a three-year contract.

Multi-year deals and seasoned veterans are rarely football's most prosperous marriage; having signed a lengthy final deal, there's suddenly little incentive to push as hard as before.

In Barry's case, however, there's every reason to believe he's one of the few exceptions.

Clint Hughes/Associated Press

First of all, Barry plays a role that carries longevity, often performed best by those with greater experience.

Andrea Pirlo and Xavi both play similar passing roles in possession-based systems; both are older yet still considered two of the best in the world.

Paceone of the few qualities missing from Barry's game—is a minor need for his position, and there's no other key asset that will suddenly decline.

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 14:  Gareth Barry of Everton scores his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Everton and Fulham at Goodison Park on December 14, 2013 in Liverpool, England.  (Photo by Paul Thomas/Getty Images)
Paul Thomas/Getty Images

His touch, vision and passing will remain just as strong, meaning Barry's game should stay in a similar state over the next three years.

Whether he remains as consistent will therefore come down to motivation and hunger.

A three-year contract suggests Martinez is completely convinced about this, and sieving through Barry's recent comments, it's easy to see why.

Most quotes highlight a player with a serious amount of unfinished business, primarily with England.

Barry mentions his national team in several different interviews. To Chris Beesley of the Liverpool Echohe describes how he watched every England game at the World Cup and, poignantly, felt he could have made a difference.

Elsewhere, to the Daily Mail's Simon Jones, Barry reiterates his desire to once again pull on an England shirt. 

Unlike many others of a similar age, he has no ambition to retirevia Jones:

As a kid, you always dream of playing for England. That’s why I am still here; I’ve not been capped for a couple of years, but I’ve not retired.

To realise that ambition, Barry must obviously produce high standards, which is certainly good news for Everton.

His attitude is something of a rarity in modern footballa refreshing take that makes his three-year deal a little easier to fathom.

The final key to Barry's production will then come down to his manager.

Learning a new style, Everton were heavily reliant on Barry last season, winning just once—and looking far from convincing—in the six games he missed.

The 33-year-old produced an outstanding year but began to tire a little during the final few months.

In a campaign bolstered by the Europa League, Everton are likely to pass 50 games and cannot use Barry throughout.

Judging by transfer rumoursincluding talk of an imminent move for Muhamed Besic, per the Daily Mirror's Alan Nixonthis is something Martinez has taken on board.

Besic is a young player with similar qualities to Barry, making him an ideal prospect to bring in alongside him.

If Martinez can balance Barry's involvement, there's nothing to suggest the 33-year-old won't remain just as influential next season.

Given his role, he can remain key for the Toffees and continue to excel throughout his current contract.

 

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