Hungry for success

Determined to be part of the England squad for next summer's World Cup finals, Gareth Barry adds a wealth of experience to Everton's young side and by leaving Manchester City on loan in search of regular action, he has proved he still has the motivation and appetite. By Andrew Mcdermott.

Gareth Barry has been playing in the Premier League since 1998 but his new manager Roberto Martinez believes only now is he at his peak - and that could spell good news for both Everton and England.

The midfielder's deadline-day move to Goodison Park was overshadowed by more high-profile moves but it may prove to be one of the shrewdest pieces of business.

Determined to be part of the England squad for next summer's World Cup finals, Barry adds a wealth of experience to Everton's young side and by leaving Manchester City on loan in search of regular action, he has proved he still has the motivation and appetite.

He proved that beyond doubt with his performance on his Everton debut when he played a crucial role in the 1-0 victory over title hopefuls Chelsea.

THE 32-YEAR-OLD WAS excellent throughout, reading the game brilliantly and producing one perfectly- timed block to prevent Samuel Eto'o rolling the ball into an empty net after goalkeeper Tim Howard's attempts to pass sideways out of his six-yard area succeeded in only picking out Chelsea's Andre Schurrle.

Steven Naismith was the goal-scorer but he acknowledged the part that his new team-mate played, saying: "Barry was brilliant. He brought experience and calmness in the middle of the park, which is one of the hardest things to do.

"When you are under pressure he takes the pressure off. When we win possession back it is those first couple of crucial passes which he is excellent at: he'll put someone through and we're in behind their midfield and on their back four.

HE ALSO GIVES GUYS like Ross Barkley the freedom to go and play and do what he does best in the final third."

Martinez believes Barry is the best Englishman in the business in that role.

"I have been a big admirer of Gareth over the years," said the Spaniard. "He is very unique as that profile of midfielder doesn't exist in English football. You get a lot of foreign players coming in and playing that role very well but Gareth senses danger, he gives you great composure, is full of good decisions and establishes good relationships all over the park.

"He is a pristine professional who works extremely well and I hink he will be an incredible infiuence to James McCarthy and Ross Barkley."

LIKE HIS BLOCK TO DENY Eto'o, Barry's move to Everton was a lastgasp affair and it was not until after the summer window had closed at 11 p.m. that the Toffees confirmed the deal had gone through.

Barry admitted he had been starting to "fear the worst", knowing that staying at City would mean very little competitive action as he slipped down the pecking order.

"I think when you get into that last hour and there are still a few snags between the two clubs, with not everything sorted yet, you do fear the worst and start thinking you might be going into training with Manchester City," he said. "But I'm grateful it all went through."

BARRY'S CONTRACT WITH CITY, who he joined from Aston Villa in 2009, comes to an end next summer and he had been told by the Etihad Stadium outfit that he could not be guaranteed firstteam football in the 2013-14 campaign.

He added: "It was important for me to make that decision - whether I was happy to see out my last year at Manchester City and not really feature at all.

"That was never something was going to be comfortable with think. I have been lucky enough play regularly throughout my career.

"So I want to try to establish myself in the first team here, get regular spot in the team and try get a consistent run of games and good form together.

"Virtually straight away at the end of the season and at the start of pre-season it was made clear that I wasn't going to be guaranteed regular first-team football (City).

BEING 32 IN A BIG SQUAD with a lot of players, I could have dealt with that. But as pre-season went on and then the first games came, was pretty clear that I wasn't going to feature in squads and that was going to have to wait for couple of injuries. So that's when started thinking it could be time start looking elsewhere for regular football."

His performance on his debut suggests he will not struggle for regular football at Everton.

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