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Gareth Barry miffed at being labelled a dirty player

by 23/09/2017 20:14:00 0 comments 1 Views
  • West Brom face Arsenal away on Monday night at the Emirates Stadium
  • Gareth Barry will pass Ryan Giggs' 632 Premier League appearances on Monday
  • Barry has received the highest amount of yellow cards in the Premier League 
  • The 36-year-old English midfielder claims he is 'definitely not a hard man'  

By Joe Bernstein for MailOnline

Published: 20:14 EDT, 23 September 2017 | Updated: 20:14 EDT, 23 September 2017

West Brom's Gareth Barry will be delighted to break a positive Premier League record on Monday night having been previously been best-known for receiving the highest amount of yellow cards.

Barry, 36, will rightly receive plaudits when he passes Ryan Giggs' 632 PL appearances at The Emirates but he's still miffed at being labelled a dirty player because his 121 bookings for Aston Villa, Manchester City and Everton is far higher than anyone else in the league's 25-year history.

'I’m definitely not a hard man. I would like to go through the bookings and see what they were actually for. I don’t think there were too many crunching tackles in there, more tactical fouls I think,' said the midfielder.

Gareth Barry will pass Ryan Giggs' 632 Premier League appearances when he faces Arsenal 
Gareth Barry will pass Ryan Giggs' 632 Premier League appearances when he faces Arsenal 

Gareth Barry will pass Ryan Giggs' 632 Premier League appearances when he faces Arsenal 

'I think the collection of yellow cards will come from a period of time from the end of my Villa days to leaving Everton last summer. If I'm in a expansive, open, attacking team, you are out there as a defensive midfielder to make these tackles.

'It depends on what team you're in. I've not collected a booking this season at West Brom. When you're in a compact side where the opposition has less space, you don't need to get the yellow cards.'

In Barry's defence, his record of a caution every 5.3 matches is the cleanest in the list of 10 most-booked players which includes Lee Bowyer and Wayne Rooney.

Barry is sure to get a big ovation from both sets of fans for a remarkable achievement, though Giggs also played 40 times in the old First Division.

After making his Villa debut at 17, the most successful spell of his career came at City where he won the FA Cup and Premier League, vindicating the decision to join them instead of Liverpool.

Barry has picked up 121 bookings during his time playing in the Premier League
Barry has picked up 121 bookings during his time playing in the Premier League

Barry has picked up 121 bookings during his time playing in the Premier League

Not surprisingly, his stand-out moment was clinching the championship with a 3-2 win at QPR, watching from the bench as his replacement Edin Dzeko equalised before Sergio Aguero scored the title winner in injury-time.

'I was on the bench next to James Milner saying "We've blown this, we can't get back into it". But at the same time, when you work with world- class players like Aguero, Mario Balotelli and David Silva, something can always happen.

'To be involved in that moment that will go down in history is fantastic. The final whistle was a bit of blur, everyone going ballistic. You feel drained but relieved. The link between Silva, Aguero, Carlos Tevez, Yaya Toure, it was a great mix and I enjoyed playing in that City team.'

Barry moved to Albion in the summer rather than see his 19-year career 'fizzle out' as a bit-part player at Goodison.

He could stay on at The Hawthorns beyond his current one-year deal and manager Tony Pulis thinks his record might stand forever.

'It is a remarkable achievement, I don't think it will get beaten. Certainly, I think he will hold it for a long time and he deserves it.

Tony Pulis has hailed Barry as a 'fantastic player' ahead of Monday's match against Arsenal 
Tony Pulis has hailed Barry as a 'fantastic player' ahead of Monday's match against Arsenal 

Tony Pulis has hailed Barry as a 'fantastic player' ahead of Monday's match against Arsenal 

'I've thought from a distance what a fantastic player he's been. Now being around him, I can see why other managers and supporters have taken to him.

'Ryan played in the First Division as well so I think he's still in front, but don't tell Gareth I said that, I am sticking up for a Welshman! Gareth is so down to earth, he will be probably be looking forward to all this attention being over.'

Pulis has confirmed midfielder Jake Livermore is available again after being rested for Albion's last two matches. Pulis had previously stated the 27-year-old midfielder was 'mentally tired' but now says he regrets the choice of words given Livermore has previously suffered bouts of depression following the loss of his baby son. He later tested positive for cocaine as he struggled to come to terms with the tragedy.

'Everthing is fine,' said the West Brom boss. 'He just needed a break, a couple of days off to dust himself down and clear his mind. The thing with Jake going away in the summer with England, it was all new and fresh. He did look tired and his stats showed he was a little bit jaded and there was nothing else to it.'

Pulis has never won at Arsenal and will make checks on Chris Brunt, Nacer Chadli and Oliver Burke before choosing his line-up.

 

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