Gareth Barry: An Underrated Gem

Ismail AyubCorrespondent IJuly 31, 2008

Gareth Barry's transfer to Liverpool is one being greeted with large amounts of animosity. Liverpool fans don't think he's Liverpool quality and that Xabi Alonso is a superior player. They also say Liverpool already have a strong central midfield.

I always hear of how great "Stevie G" is and I agree, he's a damn good player, but I put this to you: Gareth Barry scored two less goals and made two less assists then Steven Gerrard in the Premier League last year. So, how is he not up-to Liverpool standard?

Imagine the number of assists Barry would have had, had he played in Liverpool last year with Torres getting on the end of his crosses. Also Stevie G, is one year older then Barry and maybe with an extra year of playing under his belt, Barry would be even better.

Another thing that makes Barry a worthy addition to this squad, is that he's a natural left-footer, and so would give Liverpool's midfield some balance. Also his versatility is amazing, he can play at Left-Back, Left-Midfield, Defensive-Midfield and Central Midfield.

Then we come to Barry's England performance. He hasn't received three man-of-the-match awards for nothing. He has been a consistent performer, and again, gives Liverpool's midfield a natural left-footer.

One match that comes to mind is England vs Russia at Wembley. I remember seeing Steven Gerrard taking a free-kick and a corner, and nothing came of them. Then I remember Barry's free-kick and the resulting goal for England. Then Barry, took the next corner, displacing Gerrard who was standing over the ball. What happens next? You guessed it... another goal for England.

Barry's left-foot is amazing with dead balls, and he can put in-swinging balls in from the right side of the pitch, thus causing troubles for keepers and defenders alike (as you've seen with my example above.)

Another arguement I hear is that Barry is older than Xabi Alonso, but the difference is only a year. Steven Gerrard is 28, and I don't hear anyone harking on about his age.

Gareth Barry is a quality player with years of Premier League Experience under his belt(which is another thing which would make him a great signing). I don't think he deserves some of the things said about him by upset Liverpool fans.

What do you think?