Gareth Barry has endured his fair share of criticism over the course of this season, but Thursday night’s 4-1 Europa League win over Young Boys was a prime example of what he can still offer Everton.
It’s no secret that Barry endured a poor start to the campaign after arriving from Manchester City on a permanent basis following a successful season-long loan, with most fans seeing the more mobile Muhamed Besic as his much-needed replacement.
However, the midfielder’s form has taken a noticeable upswing since returning from a brief period out with ankle ligament damage in November, with his performance in the first-leg of the last-32 tie at the Stade de Suisse standing out as perhaps his best of the season.
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While diligent in defence, the former England international also showed what he can provide going forward, chalking up two first-half assists – the first a neat chipped ball in for the equaliser – to help Romelu Lukaku bag his hat-trick.
In addition, he misplaced just two of his team-leading 62 passes all night to keep things ticking over in the centre of the park and prove that, even at 33, there's little reason to start preparing for his demise.
The veteran is suspended for the weekend's visit of Leicester after picking up a late red card in the 1-0 defeat at Chelsea but, given manager Roberto Martinez's trust in his experience, he shouldn't be out of the line-up for long.