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Barry joins Manchester United legend Giggs in history books

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Gareth Barry‘s fourth appearance for West Bromwich Albion is a big one.

The Hawthorns is just about the only place where Barry is the new guy, as the 36-year-old midfielder is making his 632nd Premier League appearance with a start versus West Ham United on Saturday.

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Oddly enough, Barry’s played more matches against Giggs (27) then he had against any other player besides Wayne Rooney (28). Frank Lampard, Jermain Defoe, and Michael Carrick have also played 27 times against Barry.

Those are mostly unhappy times for Barry, whose teams lost 21 of those encounters, only winning four times.

Some other stats:

— Giggs drops down the list when it’s limited to PL-only matches (22). In this case, Defoe’s 27 tops the chart.

— The first came with Aston Villa on May 2, 1998, a 41-minute run-out in a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday.

— The next one was a start, and 365 of the 632 came for Villa. He scored 41 goals in that 11-year senior tenure.

— In 2009, Barry moved to Man City. He’d make his next 132 PL matches there, scoring six times.

— Barry left City on loan in 2013-14, heading to Everton. Thirty-two PL appearances came during the loan, with another 99 after he permanently joined the Toffees.

West Brom bought Barry for an undisclosed fee in August, after the midfielder had pitched in during a pair of Europa League qualifiers for Everton.

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Championship Focus: Bluebirds flying, Villa second-last

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The wild 46-game slate that is the Football League Championship is already howling, with all 24 teams three matches deep into their campaigns toward Premier League promotion (or avoiding relegation to League One).

The three clubs relegated from the Premier League last season all sit within the Top 8 after three match days. Sunderland is unbeaten with a win and two draws, while Hull City is 1-1-1.

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Middlesbrough has two wins from three matches, three points behind three sides who’ve started a perfect 3-0.

Wolves and Ipswich Town are two of the three, and Cardiff City leads the way. Owner Vincent Tan has seen his club score six goals without conceding once in defeats of Burton Albion, Aston Villa, and Sheffield United.

Burton is 0-3, while Steve Bruce‘s Villa is just one point better and sits 23rd.

As for individual superlatives, Bristol City’s Bobby Reid has four goals to lead the league while familiar names Lewis Grabban (Sunderland) and Abel Hernandez (Hull City) are among a quartet of players to score thrice.

Meanwhile, PL transfer target Jota of Brentford continues to impress with three assists through three matches. Will he remain in the second tier by the close of the transfer window?

John Terry named Aston Villa captain

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Former Chelsea defender John Terry has been named captain of Aston Villa in his first season at Villa Park.

The club confirmed Terry’s elite status in a social media post, saying he would wear the armband in their friendly today against Shrewsbury Town. Terry replaces former captains James Chester and Tommy Elphick as the man to lead the team out of the tunnel.

The 36-year-old signed on this summer on a free transfer from Chelsea at the expiry of his contract. Terry served as the Chelsea captain for 13 years, first being named as such by Jose Mourinho in 2004. He was also the captain of England for most of his nine-year international career.

While it’s incredibly unusual for a new player to come to a club and immediately be handed the armband, John Terry is clearly the exception to the rule, as one of the most experienced captains active in world soccer.

Last season featured a similar situation for Villa. Elphick began the year as the club captain, having just signed from Bournemouth that summer. The 29-year-old, however, lost his place in the starting lineup after an injury and Villa’s poor start to the season. Fellow new signing Chester took the armband with Elphick out of the side, and captained the club from mid-October on.

Aston Villa finished 13th in the Championship last season, and will be looking for a return to the Premier League yet again following relegation two seasons ago.

WATCH: John Terry sings “Stand By Me” to Aston Villa teammates

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New Aston Villa center back John Terry was not spared the new boy hazing, giving a rendition of Ben E. King’s classic “Stand By Me” to his new teammates on Wednesday.

Villa winger Andre Green is 18, half the age of his new peer, but that didn’t stop the youngster from sharing part of Terry’s performance.

[ MORE: Rudiger to Chelsea? ]

Terry signed a one-year deal with the Villans, putting him in position to play his first club match in a jersey other than Chelsea’s for the first time since a loan to Nottingham Forest in 2000.

As for the performance, it’s actually not bad by footballer standards. Decent rhythm, and not the absolute worst karaoke voice we’ve heard. Score it a C+?

John Terry signs for Aston Villa on one-year deal

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John Terry is no longer a one-club man.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights

After spending 22 years at Chelsea the 36-year-old center back has landed at Aston Villa after his contract with the reigning Premier League champs expired over the weekend.

Seeing JT in claret and blue will be strange, but his main aim is to propel Villa back to the PL after their relegation from the top-flight in 2016.

Terry has signed a one-year deal at Villa and here’s what he had to say about signing the deal.

“I am delighted to join Aston Villa,” Terry said. It’s a club I have admired from afar for many years – there are fantastic facilities at Bodymoor Heath, Villa Park is one of the finest stadiums in the country and there’s a good group of players here, with an experienced and successful manager in Steve Bruce. I can’t wait to get started now and look to help the squad achieve something special this season.”

Sending out a message via his Twitter account, Villa’s outspoken chairman Dr. Tony Xia had the following to say about Terry’s imminent arrival at Villa Park before it was confirmed later on Monday.

It has been reported that Terry could earn up to $5.5 million if Villa gained promotion to the Premier League this season, while it is also believed that Terry will not have a coaching role at the club but he will continue to complete his coaching badges alongside playing.

The finer details are also said to be close to completion as Terry will drop down to the Championship despite reported offers from PL clubs including Swansea City, Bournemouth, West Brom and West Ham among many others.

Terry had a very brief stint in the second-tier back at the start of his career as he played six times while on loan with Nottingham Forest in 2000.

After becoming the most successful captain in PL history as he led Chelsea to five PL titles, plus won five FA Cups, three League Cups, a UEFA Champions League and Europa League trophy during his glittering Stamford Bridge career, Terry is now chasing another trophy: the Championship and promotion to the PL.

The competitor in him wants to prove he can still play week in, week out and at Villa he will do that under Steve Bruce, a manager who knows all about transitioning from a Premier League title-winning captain into coaching and playing as a center back in the second-tier. Bruce has worked his magic to convince Terry to drop down a division but Villa’s potential is limitless as the Birmingham giant aim to rebuild and they’re among the favorites for promotion to the PL in 2017-18.