Gareth Barry to Arsenal? Really?
Arsenal fans likely woke up this morning and wished they could go straight back to bed when they read the news the club was interested in signing Gareth Barry.
The Sun claim an exclusive on the story - possibly because nobody else would dare put their name to it - quoting an Arsenal insider as saying:
"It looks like Arsenal are just weighing things up at the moment and they do have other priorities. But they know Gareth would do a good job for them.”
So they are not exactly beating down Manchester City's door for his signature, but it sounds like he could be a back-up at the bottom of their shortlist.
A number of Arsenal fans have taken to Twitter to voice their upset over the rumour, and ridiculing The Sun's story. After all, with all the talk of the club 'spending big' this summer and having a £23 million bid for Lars Bender rejected, it would be entirely underwhelming if they signed Gareth Barry for 10 per cent of that fee.
The 32-year-old would also have to take a substantial cut on his £100,000 per week wages you imagine, with Arsenal said to be shying off offering Marouane Fellaini the same amount.
But would Barry be that bad?
We decided to take a look at the data of the 2012/13 season and look at how he compares with Marouane Fellaini, linked at approximately 10 times Barry's prospective price tag.
Barry made 62 tackles at a ratio of 2.1 per game on average which pales compared to Fellaini's 82 at 2.6 per game.
Barry made more interceptions than Fellaini, making 44 at 1.4 per game on average compared to the Everton man's 37 at 1.2 per game.
Fellaini who has accused referees of picking on him due to his hair made 80 fouls, compared to Barry's 38, which equally shows he is more than prepared to mix it with the opposition.
Fellaini made 65 clearances at 2.1 per game compared to Barry's 49 at 1.6 per game.
Fellaini made 40 key passes leading to goalscoring opportunities compared to Barry's 36.
Barry comes off superior in this area, completing 86.3 per cent of his passes, compared to Fellaini's 79.3 per cent.
Barry made just six dribbles last season compared to Fellaini's 18.
This is where Fellaini truly dominates, scoring 11 goals to Barry's one. It should be remembered though that Fellaini often played in a more advanced role, but he offers a goal threat to any new side which Barry simply does not.
Fellaini comes off superior in nearly all departments, which isn't surprising, it's only what would be expected for a player priced at more than £20 million who is also seven years younger.
Apart from the goal threat, Barry is not too far behind the Everton man in other areas and even ahead of him in interceptions and passing accuracy.
There may well be Arsenal fans going into mourning if the club do decide to do the previously unthinkable and sign Gareth Barry, but on a short-term basis, it doesn't have to be that bad.
Arsenal fans what do you make of the Gareth Barry rumour?!
image: © nicksarebi