Manchester City | Gareth Barry
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Gareth Barry

Number Number 18

D.O.B.

23 Feb, 1981)

Birthplace

Hastings

Height

6ft (1.83m)

Weight

12st 2lb (77.1kg)

Nickname

Not Known

Position

Defensive Midfield

Signed

July 2009

Fee

12m

Former Clubs

Aston Villa

International

England, 53 appearnces, 3 goals

Pen Pic

by Skoorb

Definition of a water carrier in football
n
a football player who is regarded as hard-working and competent but is not a star player

They're the much maligned players which no truly successful team can do without.

Every successful manager knows that for every Charlton you need a Ball. For every George Best you need a Nobby Stiles. For every Michael Laudrup you need a John Jensen. For every Zinedine Zidane you need a Claude Makelele.

Manchester City are known for having plenty of skilful, attack-minded players. From Sergio Aguero and Carlos Tevez to David Silva and Samir Nasri, there is no shortage of forward intent in the City ranks. But it is sometimes easy to overlook the foundation upon which this attacking threat can deliver. He may not form the 'spine of the team` (Hart-Kompany-Yaya Toure-Aguero), he is not part of the principal defensive 'unit' formed by Hart, Zabaleta, Kompany, Nastasic & Clichy but since joining City from Villa in 2009 Barry has evolved into City`s own 'water carrier'. The unsung hero whose work often goes unnoticed except when it's not being done properly.

Unspectacular, low key & quiet Barry does a little bit of everything. He tackles, he passes, he'll roam forward when needed but most of all he tidies things up when they get messy. He does it all without much fanfare and his contribution can at times be overlooked in favour of the exquisite passing of David Silva, the work rate of Carlos Tevez or the commitment of Pablo Zabaleta. But with a pass completion rate amongst the highest in the City midfield (at 86.4% he is actually ahead of Silva) and with tackling and interception rates of 2.1 and 1.4 per Premier League game he demonstrates an ability to protect the back four by breaking up opposition play, regain possession & allow City to restart attacks.

Looking forward, the arrival of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho coupled with the potential offered by Jack Rodwell (IF the young man can stay fit) will put Barry's role and position in the team under scrutiny. They can certainly offer more in terms of pace which, even allowing for Barry's age, has never been his strong suit. But he is a seasoned professional and I suggest that he can still offer a lot to the team across a season especially if they manage to remain involved in multiple competitions.

Every team needs their water carriers to paint the background canvas upon which the artists can express themselves. Barry knows where the materials are kept and as an astute veteran presence in the dressing room he can still do a job for City. Manuel Pellegrini (or perhaps Txiki Beristrain) might be wise to keep him around for a little while longer.

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