Date: 2nd June 2008 at 9:50am
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ASTON VILLA PLAYER Gareth Barry won his 20th cap last night in the 3-0 England win over Trinidad & Tobago and managed to score his first international goal. To add to the joy he took over in the second half as captain as David Beckham was brought off.

Gareth, who some say is now returning to England to decide his Villa future (the decision lies with the club last time I looked, but I get the reports drift!) said on the official site:

‘It is a fantastic way to end the season for myself. To get my first international goal and then lead my country out in the second half made it a fantastic day all round and one that I probably will never forget. We have to be realistic and say that it is still early days but we are learning under Fabio all the time and that is the important thing.’

Meanwhile Alan Hansen, the BBC pundit and former Liverpool defender, praised Barry to high heaven at half time and at the end of the game. He said ‘Barry did remarkably well.’ Adding, ‘The great thing for him is that he has given the manager a problem. It is great for the manager if he has options, but even in qualification Barry played particularly well and I think he is there to stay.’

And on the Liverpool link he said: ‘I think he would be great for Liverpool, there is a real partnership developing there with Steven Gerrard. But, in my opinion, he is not what Liverpool need. What they need is a wide player with tons and tons of pace.’

Former Newcastle legend Alan Shearer was also full of praise saying he looked comfortable in the team, passes the ball well and ‘he looks at home there.’

Just shows, with Ashley Young also making an appearance and Gabby Agbonlahor on the bench, you can be at Villa AND make the England team. Think on Gareth before you make a jump to a club in turmoil!