Tuesday 01 October 2013
Everton loanee Gareth Barry became the 10th player to make 500 Barclays Premier League appearances as he helped the Toffees in their 3-2 victory over Newcastle United on Monday night.
At 32, the midfielder is the youngest player to reach the milestone in the competition’s history. Since making his top flight debut as a 17-year-old academy graduate for Aston Villa at the end of the 1997/98 season, Barry has made more than 30 Barclays Premier League appearances in each campaign since, with the exception of an injury-affected 2001/02 season, in which he played 20 times in the league for Villa.
Barry played his first 365 Premier League matches for Aston Villa and helped the Midlands side finish 6th on four occasions and register top-half finishes in nine of the 12 seasons he spent at the club as a professional. He also played in Villa’s 1-0 defeat by Chelsea in the 2000 FA Cup Final.
The England midfielder, who has been capped 53 times, moved to Manchester City in the summer of 2009. He played 132 times in four league campaigns and helped the club win the Barclays Premier League title in 2012. He also won the 2011 FA Cup with the Citizens.
In a bid to gain more first team football with the 2014 FIFA World Cup on the horizon, Barry joined Roberto Martinez’s Everton side on a season-long loan and made an instant impact as he excelled in a 1-0 victory over Chelsea at Goodison Park on his debut for the Merseyside club.
John Gregory, who gave Barry his Barclays Premier League debut as a 17-year-old in Aston Villa’s 3-1 victory over Sheffield Wednesday in 1998, told Everton’s club website: about that time.
“Gareth was 17 years old and had been training with the first team for a few weeks," Gregory said. "He seemed totally comfortable in the surroundings and nothing seemed to fluster him at all. He didn’t look out of place and everything came so naturally to him.
"Because he does everything so efficiently, he is one of those players which the average fan doesn’t really notice"
“He was obviously strong on his left foot but he was such a great passer as well. For a 17-year-old, he had tremendous composure and was exactly the same then as he is today. It’s rare in football to see someone who never has an angry face – but that’s Gareth.
“Nothing has changed today. I still look at him now and see this fresh-faced teenager who goes about his job and gets on with it with no fuss. What Everton fans see now is what I saw when he was 17 years old.
“Because he does everything so efficiently, he is one of those players which the average fan doesn’t really notice. He just goes about his business in such a consistent manner. He very rarely gets booked and I can’t ever remember him getting sent off in his life. He never has a flare-up with opposition players and is just a great guy to have in the team.
“For the first time, the Everton fans will have watched him against Chelsea with a critical eye now that he is one of theirs – but they would have looked at his performance and not found anything to criticise him about!”
|No.||Name||Barclays Premier League Clubs||Appearances|
|1||Ryan Giggs||Man Utd||623*|
|2||David James||Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Man City, Portsmouth||572|
|3||Frank Lampard||West Ham, Chelsea||557*|
|4||Gary Speed||Leeds, Everton, Newcastle, Bolton||535|
|5||Emile Heskey||Leicester, Liverpool, Birmingham, Wigan, Aston Villa||516|
|7||Phil Neville||Man Utd, Everton||505|
|8||Mark Schwarzer||Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea||504*|
|9||Sol Campbell||Spurs, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Newcastle||503|
|10||Gareth Barry||Aston Villa, Man City, Everton||500*|
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