Date: 9th December 2005 at 12:58pm
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David O’Leary has tipped Gareth Barry to gatecrash the world cup party with England if he keeps up the level of performance he showed at Newcastle. Barry, despite missing a penalty that would have sealed the 3 points for Aston Villa, put in a man of the match performance.

O’Leary told the official site: ‘Gareth was our best player at Newcastle. I don’t think we see enough of that. That’s the standard we want to see from him. I was asked a question about Gareth Barry when I first came here two-and-a-half years ago and I didn’t see the best of him for a long time. Now I’ve seen patches of that. Gareth is a great lad that trains every day, gets on with it and is no problem. But that’s the standard he’s got to set himself. That’s the standard I’m looking for.’

Adding: ‘If he does that consistently, that’s the standard that will take him into the England team as a left-sided player. He can’t do it as a one-off but, if he’s doing that consistently, he’ll do it in the England team.’

Meanwhile Barry said: ‘Am I back to my best form? I think I can still play better. There are a lot of players in the team that have been playing well in recent league games. I’m just trying to play as well as I can.’

So, we though we would ask the question in our poll. Is Gareth Barry the answer to England’s left sided problem? For me he is, I think he is quality and would be even better in a quality and in form team.