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In quotes: Football figures hail Gareth Barry

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In quotes: Football figures hail Gareth Barry

After reaching 633 Premier League appearances and breaking the all-time record against Arsenal, we've been reflecting on Gareth Barry's achievements during his time at Villa Park.

Here we look at tributes from those who know him best and played alongside him, as well as those who have wanted his signature and the lucky ones who got it.

Steve Bruce

He's been a great player over the years. 

The way he looks after himself, conducts himself and how fit he is – it's a great testament of what you can achieve.

He's been a very good player all his career – one of those players as a manager you can hang your hat on. 

Well done to him – it's some achievement to be the all-time Premier League appearance holder. 

READ MORE: Blogservations – Is Gareth Barry our GOAT?

Ryan Giggs

It's a credit to him.

I don't know him well but you can see from the outside that he's a good professional and a good player to have within a team.

He's not even that old – I think he could go on for another two or three years.

He could maybe get to 700 appearances – you never know.

I remember him as a 17-year-old at Villa when he was a left-back. 

He was a talented young player who ended up become a regular Premier League one.

GBPetrovMainWebStan Petrov

He has everything – he can pass it, he can read the game, he can score and he can defend. 

You don't see many midfielders who can do everything as well as that these days.

If you look at others you say: 'he did well in the final third' or 'he did well protecting the back four' or 'he did well creatively'. 

But Gareth has everything.

He even played as a centre-half and as a full-back in claret and blue.

In my opinion, he is the best modern-day Villa player.

WengerBarryArsene Wenger

We were interested in him when he moved from Villa to City, but at the time City was the big investor so their financial potential was superior to ours.

He is a player who is intelligent, determined, strong in the challenge and has a good technical quality.

I personally always rated him highly. 

He was a bit unlucky with England because he was in the period of Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard so didn’t get the number of caps he deserved

It’s an exceptional achievement.

Roberto Martinez

It’s an incredible achievement and something I don’t think is ever going to be broken in the future. 

He’s got incredible standards, a brain on the football pitch.

He will be a manager one day, I’ve got no doubt about it – he inspires others.

It’s down to his professionalism, the way he looks after himself and the way he's been flexible enough to understand how football has changed in the last 20 seasons.

I feel privileged to have worked with him – he's a special human being and the figures tell you he's a special footballer too.

Mark Hughes (when signing him for Manchester City from Villa in 2009)

Gareth was always someone I had admired from afar. 

I looked at his qualities, and the amount of games he had in the Premier League, and the amount of quality performances he had produced over a long period of time.

He has a huge range of passing, can be constructive and destructive at times and I felt he was a player we needed to bring to the club. 

Gareth understood what we were trying to do here very quickly, and that we were able to get one of the key men in the England set-up to come to us really helped our strategy of acquisitions.

Those types of players are invaluable, he just comes in and gets the job done on a daily basis. 

You can hang your hat on Gareth Barry, he’s able to produce performance after performance and that is invaluable to any team.

GBExtraPixMainWebIan Taylor

I definitely remember Gareth coming through. 

He trained with us a youngster and I thought, ‘who is this lad?’ 

He was so cool, calm and collected on the ball – his quality was there for all to see from day one.

The gaffer John Gregory had no hesitation in putting Gareth into the team because we saw it day in, day out in training.

He led by example on the pitch, which is why he was later made captain at Villa. 

He was ‘Mr Reliable’ and never let anyone down.

Tony Pulis

It's a wonderful achievement.

We've only just had him and I've always rated him as a player but I don't think you realise how good he is until you actually work with him.

Managers who have had him for longer periods will be better placed to talk about Gareth than me but he's been absolutely fantastic for us.

He's a great lad off the pitch, he's mixed in really well with the lads and he's been our best player in all of the games we've played this season.


Dan Connor
By @danconnor 26th September 2017