Koeman was reluctant to let Barry go

Friday 22 September 2017  22 Comments  [Jump to last]

Gareth Barry has revealed that Ronald Koeman didn't want to see him leave Everton last month but the midfielder felt it was the right decision for the twilight of his career.

Barry left Goodison Park for West Bromwich Albion towards the end of the transfer window and will break Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record when, as expected, he lines up for the Baggies against Arsenal on Monday evening to play his 633rd game.

The 36-year-old was expected to pass that milestone as an Everton player but he was allowed to depart the Blues despite Koeman wanting to keep him around to bolster the numbers in midfield.

“He wasn't happy with me,” Barry said of Koeman. “He wanted me to stay around and felt I was going to get enough game time, which I possibly might have done with European football and the cups.”

“But for me running out on a Saturday afternoon in the Premier League is what I've always enjoyed doing and I just didn't feel I was going to be close enough to the action at Everton.

“It might be harder at West Brom but I didn't want to slowly go down that road of fizzling out. I could have still achieved this record and would have still got enough appearances at Everton, they even offered me another year but that wasn't the reason. I wanted one last challenge.”

Signed from Manchester City by Roberto Martinez in 2013, Barry made 155 appearances in all competitions for the Toffees and will go down as one of the Catalan's most successful acquisitions.


Reader Comments (22)

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Steve Ferns
1 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:46:27
Right now, I'd start him ahead of Schneiderlin. We have no replacement for Morgan without him. His winning mentality and experience is a big loss for us. I doubt we'd have been beaten so easily in those 4 consecutive games if he'd had a chance to play.

Congratulations on the record though. Massive achievement that is thoroughly deserved.

Brian Hennessy
2 Posted 22/09/2017 at 18:48:36
He would be a million times better than the rubbish our midfielders have served up so far this season (with the exception of Davies).
John Crawley
3 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:22:29
Steve, do you not think Rooney could play the Schneiderlin role?
Steve Ferns
4 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:36:26
No. He showed that he cannot play deep when playing for United.

He's an attacker, all of his qualities are about getting the ball in the back of the net, either himself, or to play someone else through. We would lose too much of this by dropping him deep, just because no one else can hit an accurate 40-yard pass (including Schneiderlin himself, right now, I should add).

Peter Anthony
5 Posted 22/09/2017 at 19:59:04
Top player, top pro, top man. Well played Gaz Baz and good luck at the Baggies, except against us of course.
Tim Greeley
6 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:14:41
I get it, but I don't get it. He even admits that there was probably enough playing time at Everton with the Europa League, Premier League and cups – yet, adios. He played 33 games in the Premier League with us last season. I don't see him as an automatic starter with West Brom either so that's where I kinda get lost with this decision.

Maybe he saw the writing on the wall and bailed. Whetever, Gaz Baz, we will miss your handsome jaw and wind-tunnel tested hairdo as much as your experience.

Anthony Hawkins
7 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:27:23
The team misses a player with Barry's abilities and willingness to put himself about. Rooney is no defensive midfielder and is an attacking midfielder.
Lenny Kingman
8 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:49:29
All the sentimentality about Barry moving on is misplaced. The question should be: If he was so good at his advanced age, why didn't a big club such as Everton secure his services at an earlier time when he may have been more useful to the cause?.
Steve Ferns
9 Posted 22/09/2017 at 20:54:56
Because, Lenny, he was playing for the Champions, and we had to wait for him to fall out of favour before he would drop down to our level.

As for sentimentality, it's not, there's no-one in the side now who can hit long forward passes from deep and create chances. He is a big loss.

Yes, Spurs last season showed how much his legs had gone, but West Brom are showing that if you surround him with energetic players, it's not as noticeable. Barry and Davies would be a good combination for us, right now.

Charlie Lloyd
10 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:01:49
Although at an advanced age for a Premier League midfielder Barry still performed at a decent level and could put many of our current midfielders to shame with his eye for the simple forward pass.

633 apps is some achievement. Don't think I'm being over sentimental to say I wish he'd have achieved this milestone with us.

Jeff Armstrong
11 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:09:55
I don't get this "Barry was a master of the long forward pass" etc. Everytime I saw him hit a long forward pass, invariably it was far too long a pass and went out of play or to the other keeper. It was as bad as a Phil Neville "floater".

Let's get real here, he was slow, gave away lots and lots of possession and free kicks, and after a great first season, began to go downhill so fast that for me his first name started to begin with the letter F and end in L.

Drew O'Neall
12 Posted 22/09/2017 at 21:51:55
I'm not a Koeman-basher but the top managers wouldn't have let him go if he had a job to do.
Andy Crooks
13 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:04:37
Steve # 4, spot on, Rooney is an attacker. I have wondered what he would be like dropped deep, because he can find a pass. I just don't think he has the energy for that role.
Roman Sidey
14 Posted 22/09/2017 at 22:59:34
Drew, I thought his contract was up as he originally signed on for three years after his loan season. However, we got a fee from the Baggies for him so he must have signed an extension at some point.

I'm not a Koeman basher either, but I think in this case it was probably a case of a mature agreement made between the club and a fairly old player who has served the club well.

I was gutted that he left, but reading that quote about running out on a Saturday says it all. West Brom are a club that are going to play most of their matches on Saturdays, a few Sundays, and not very many mid-week games due to no Europe. At a certain age, you just want to do your 40 hours without the extra shifts and travel.

Rob Dolby
15 Posted 22/09/2017 at 23:08:21
A model pro who never let us down. He could play for another couple of seasons with the way he plays the game.

A good time to leave us as I don't think that his legs would cope with RK's 3 Number 10s and 2 holding midfielders. Let's face it, if a system like that is making Schneiderlin and Gueye look poor, Barry would have no chance.

Kim Vivian
16 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:26:21
Jeff (#11). You're entitled to your opinion but I cannot agree with one word that post.

Must be the life and soul of the party, you.

Will Mabon
17 Posted 23/09/2017 at 08:40:24
"that for me his first name started to begin with the letter F and end in L."


Paul Thompson
18 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:37:24
A smart player and a pleasure to watch. A defensive mid who could actually move the ball quickly and intelligently forward. We miss him, particularly an ability to bring on later in a game and keep it tight. Many congrats to him on passing the Giggs's record.
John Raftery
19 Posted 23/09/2017 at 10:55:43
Even at the back end of last season, we were still better with Barry on the pitch. There is no evidence Gana and Schneiderlin will ever form an effective partnership.

Koeman should have assured Barry he would start at least 25 Premier League games plus a handful of Europa League games. It was a poor decision to sell him; one we, and Koeman are already regretting.

Alan J Thompson
20 Posted 23/09/2017 at 11:23:01
Koeman didn't want him to go but he did anyway.

Who the hell is in charge?

Phil Smith
21 Posted 25/09/2017 at 20:15:12
Congrats to him tonight. Just wish he would have broke the record with us. Think we've been missing him of late but totally understand why he left. How many central midfielders did we get in this summer???
Will Mabon
22 Posted 26/09/2017 at 06:59:37
Phil – congratulations seconded. Pulis raves about him.

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