Manchester City midfielder Gareth Barry offers nothing to England

Sharethematch.com questions the benefit of England's friendlies and criticises Gareth Barry's value to the Three Lions

steven gerrard
Steven Gerrard picked up a knock against the Netherlands at Wembley PA Photos

steven gerrard

Time to end Gareth Barry’s England career

Gareth Barry disappeared as soon as the whistle blew for the start of England’s game against the Netherlands.

Right from before the eyes of over 76,000 people, the 31-year-old performed his greatest vanishing act yet, which includes the 4-1 mauling by Germany in the World Cup.

What did he contribute on Wednesday night? Say what you like about Scott Parker and his lack of top-level experience but he put in a committed performance.

The Tottenham Hotspur midfielder could not have made himself any more visible, and although not everything came off for him you could never fault his effort.

Steven Gerrard may have limped off after half an hour but still found time to knock half a dozen of his mandatory Hollywood balls in an attempt to create something to get the Three Lions roaring.

But Barry, who we are told does the little things so well, who we are told is having a stand-out season for title–chasing Manchester City, who we were told would make all the difference when he returned from injury at the World Cup, did nothing.

Well the game is up, he’s a fraud and last night only served to as a reminder of his limitations at the top level. For 45 minutes last night he coasted through a game that England needed to grab by the scruff of the neck.

Friendlies cause more damage than good

If ever there was an advert for the uselessness – and more crucially the costliness – of England friendlies then Wednesday’s injury-filled nightmare was it.

Three defensive lapses in the 90 minutes gave England and Stuart Pearce much to think about but it is the Premier League managers who were no doubt more angry than the temporary boss last night.

Perhaps calling Chris Smalling’s sickening head collision, Steven Gerrard’s hamstring tweak and Daniel Sturridge’s swollen toe an injury crisis is a little extreme.

But with the Premier League title battle about to come to a head no doubt Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was far from pleased, quite rightly, to see Smalling leaving on a stretcher.

The debate will no doubt rage on and in the past players and managers have been lambasted for lacking commitment to the friendly cause.

Smalling certainly couldn’t have had that levelled at him last night, and at what cost?

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