Midfielder brings 'Continental' qualities to EFC
Roberto Martinez is convinced new Everton signing Gareth Barry can win back his place in the England squad given the “unique” Continental qualities he offers the national team.
Martinez swooped on transfer deadline day last Monday to sign Barry on a season-long loan after the 32-year-old was deemed surplus to requirements by Manchester City.
Barry this week declared himself fit enough to be thrown straight into the starting line-up when Everton resume Premier League hostilities after the international break by hosting Chelsea on Saturday evening.
The midfielder has been consistently overlooked by England manager Roy Hodgson since a groin injury ruled him out of Euro 2012 on the eve of the tournament.
And Martinez is convinced Barry’s measured game and experience can make him an asset not only to his club, but also once again to his country.
“The youngsters in the squad need competition but also a bit of know-how around them and Gareth will bring that,” said Martinez. “He has won the league and FA Cup.
“Normally in England you get the box-to-box midfielder, but Gareth brings a more continental approach. James (McCarthy), Ross (Barkley) and every youngster here will benefit from playing alongside him.
“He also has an ambition to play for England and that's very important too, not just for the future but for the games now because at 32 I consider him at his peak.
“I see him getting back in the England team because there are not many like him. His role is very specific and usually filled by a foreign player.
“It's not the type the English game usually produces well, so if he reaches his best level with us he will be a massive asset again for England.”
Even in the brief time he has worked with Barry since his arrival, Martinez has been impressed by the midfielder’s attitude and application.
And while he admits the player will have to become accustomed to his new surrounds, the Spaniard is eager to tap into Barry’s knowledge.
“It will be different for Gareth (from at City) because our aims are different and the football club is different,” said Martinez.
“Each player has his role, but I just want him to enjoy his football and bring his highest standards to the side.
“Just working with him for two days has been fascinating to see how he works and his know-how. I've always admired Gareth because he is a unique midfielder in the English game.
“You don't get many midfielders like that in the English game with his tactical awareness to his play.”
Asked if he was surprised that Everton were able to sign Barry for the season, Martinez added: “It's been well documented he was available so I would not say surprised, but we were well aware and very happy to conclude the deal because it was not an easy one.”
Fellow new boy James McCarthy, meanwhile, says he is “gutted” Giovanni Trapattoni has resigned from his role as Ireland national team manager – but would welcome Roy Keane as a replacement.
Trapattoni ended his five-year reign after Ireland’s hopes of World Cup qualification were all but extinguished by defeat in Austria last Tuesday.
And McCarthy said: “I’m gutted that he’s gone to be honest. Trapattoni did a magnificent job, I don’t think anyone can fault how well he’s done for us.
“I got on well with him, he’s such a nice man. He’d talk to me now and again in broken English and was good to me. He gave me my debut and I’m thankful to him for that.
“A few names have been thrown around – obviously Martin O’Neill, and Mick McCarthy maybe. It’s up to the FAI and I’m sure whoever comes in will do a good job.
“Roy Keane? That would be great to work under him but I’m not sure what’s going to happen.”