Barry’s injury may upset ‘nice guy’ squad balance

With the domestic season officially coming to a close yesterday in the wake of Crewe’s League Two play-off victory, all footballing attention turns to England’s bi-annual, summer humiliation on the world stage Euro 2012.

As is tradition before any major tournament involving England, rumour and speculation is rife about individuals who have suffered injury setbacks in the lead up to the respective tournaments and whether they’ll be fit for the (delete according to your own preference) ‘big kick-off’, ‘festival of football’ or ‘tournament’.

In 2002 we had Becks’ metatarsal, fast forward four years and it was old Wazza and his metatarsal-knack too, another four years down the line and it was Rio’s dicky back (and eventually his knee) and this year we have…ummm… Gazza (Barry) and his groin. Not quite England’s most important player in the squad suffering an injury scare, but hey, there’s plenty more time for accidents to happen yet.

Anyway, the problem occurred in Saturday night’s 1-0 ‘cure-for-insomnia’ win over Norway where Barry came on as a substitute at half time, only to leave the pitch with a more ‘limpy’ walking style some 20 minutes later.

Now, there is a sliding scale for the seriousness of Barry’s doubt over his participation in Poland and Ukraine ranging from the BBC’s angle of he is just having a scan before further assessment, to the Guardian’s story that he is “a doubt” before finally peaking with the Telegraph’s full on “Barry fears he will miss Euro 2012 finals” (which, when read, goes on to say that Barry said he was unsure about the seriousness of the injury but scaremongering is good remember).

Should the worst news happen, Barry could be replaced in the squad by the same man who replaced him on the field last night, Jordan Henderson who is on the back up list, which would not exactly be a like for like replacement aside from the fact that they both seem quite nice blokes.

Which, in a way, is a key element of Barry’s presence in the squad as he ensures the ratio between pleasant and unpleasant human beings in the squad is kept at a manageable level; a situation Henderson could aid as his niceness is very close to world class (as an outsider looking in), certainly more world class than his football.


Meanwhile, thanks to Mancester City’s in-house TV sation, here’s Barry showing that he’s something of a football anorak like you (possibly) and me (certainly).


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