Barry: We are not the best – but we can live with them

Midfielder says defeat of world champions and success of youngsters is firing England's belief

Gareth Barry reflected yesterday that England's emphatic stride towards next summer's European Championships does not disguise the fact that Spain are "a better team" and served a reminder that the summer of 2010 proved the perils of getting carried away.

"You can look at it very deeply and say Spain are a better team," Barry said. "They probably showed that when we played them the other day. But the fact we did beat them showed that on our day we can beat anybody. We can't say we are going into [next summer] as the best team in the tournament because we know we are not but ... we can beat them. Everyone knows the way we qualified [for the World Cup] last time, the expectations went through the roof. We flew through the group, didn't concede many goals and played some great stuff. When it comes to the business end, the tournament, that is where you need to perform and get that winning habit. At the minute we've got that, but we've got to try and take that all the way to the tournament."

The draw for the Poland/Ukraine finals, to be made at 5pm on Friday 2 December, could be sobering. With England in the second group of seeds, the worst-case scenario for Fabio Capello is a group stage, minus Wayne Rooney, in which his side must face Spain, Portugal and France. At best, Poland, Sweden and Denmark could lie in wait.

But Tuesday's 1-0 win over Sweden reinforced the sense that the resources at Fabio Capello's disposal are certainly far greater than in June 2010, when the state of Barry's ankle briefly become a source of national obsession. Barry accumulated 123 minutes on the field against Spain and Sweden, suggesting that Capello does consider him an important prospect for next summer, though Barry admitted there was far more competition now. "With the way these games have gone, no one has let themselves down, there have been some great performances," the 30-year-old said. "All the young lads that have come in have adapted well in training and in the games done well. Probably you've got to look [most of all] at Phil Jones, playing out of position, he looked as if he has played there all his career. It is not his natural game.

"The manager has got plenty of options to bring different people in to play against different opposition. Spain was a completely different game to Sweden but we got over the line in both of them. The way you adapt and play against different teams and different styles is going to be important. It was great we did do that."

Jack Rodwell said that the header he placed against the outside of a post from Stewart Downing's cross would torment him. "I'll be going over that all night," he said as he left the stadium. "It's one of them – nine out of 10 I'll put it in the back of net. I take the positive that I got in the right position." Indeed, the threatening positions he took up when bursting into the box made his 57 minutes against the Swedes a genuinely good launchpad. His manager David Moyes sees him ultimately as a centre-half, though Rodwell said this offensive role suited him. "I've played all over to be honest; centre-half, defensive midfield, attacking midfield. I have been playing box-to-box more for Everton so I have felt comfortable in that position but anywhere across the midfield I can play. I felt like I should have scored the header. I took a knock as well in the first half but, all in all, I'm pleased with my performance."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement