Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard starting in the central midfield with David Villa at striker.
That could have been New York City FC’s lineup had Gareth Barry chosen to join the MLS after his last campaign at Everton.
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Barry remains at Goodison Park, a seasoned veteran with over 500 Premier League appearances. In a piece from The Telegraph, the 33-year-old Barry said he wasn’t ready to “retire” from the game.
America was an option and there was a conversation about it but when I spoke to the coaches here they said, ‘If you are going there, you are retiring.’
That was in my head. Obviously I did not agree it was retiring but I sort of agreed it would have been going to a league that is up and coming and not as big as the Premier League so I could see their point.”
In the midst of the war of words between Jurgen Klinsmann and Don Garber, it is interesting to get the take of a current player as well respected as Gareth Barry on the state of the MLS.
After signing a three-year extension with Everton, Barry is now looking to regain a place in the England side.
“It’s good to see so many young players in the squad, but that is not to say you feel you still cannot do a job. I’m not hung up on it now. The manager made his decision and I was overlooked. I still feel I could do a job, it’s just that time has moved on and others are getting their chances.”
Barry has earned 53 caps for England, but has had a mercurial international career after breaking into the first-team as a 19-year-old in 2000. As Roy Hodgson continues to usher in a new generation of young English talents, Barry’s window of opportunity may be closing.
While the defensive-midfielder is trying to earn an England call-up as a 33-year-old, he believes his lack of consistent international appearances have helped him stay fresher, as balancing club and national team duties can take a toll on a player.
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“I think playing international football burns players out, but I was in and out of the England squad so never felt that.
It must be tougher for a young player to take it all in now then it was when I was 17. There are so many sports scientists around now giving their opinion. They were not there when I was 17. You had a doctor and physic and that was it.”
Roberto Martinez will hope Barry’s fresh legs can help Everton, who sit just two points clear of relegation.