Gareth Barry admits place under threat from Jack Wilshere
Gareth Barry admits he could be vying for one England midfield slot against Wales this weekend after conceding that Jack Wilshere's form means the 19-year-old is likely to start the Euro 2012 qualifier.
Barry was a first choice under Fabio Capello up to and including the 2010 World Cup which he played in after battling to overcome an ankle injury. But the rise of Wilshere and the re-emergence of Scott Parker means Barry's place - and that of Frank Lampard - are under increasing threat for the Cardiff clash.
Capello hinted strongly last weekend that Arsenal starlet Wilshere was now one of his first-choice players and Barry agrees his form is worthy of a major role at the Millennium Stadium.
The Manchester City player said: "There is a good chance Jack will be involved with the way he is playing.
"The more he has played this year, the more his performances have grown and his confidence has grown.
"I've seen a lot of Arsenal's game and Jack has been putting in some great performances. There is a very good chance he will play in the game.
"You always want to play alongside the best players and, at the moment, Jack is playing well.
"It is great for England that he has come through so early and hopefully he can just keep improving.
"It will be great for the country."
Barry is reluctant to talk up his own chances of starting against Gary Speed's side.
He said: "As with any other game, I'll be going into it not knowing the team etc, not expecting to play but sort of hoping.
"We've got four central midfielders vying for two places if it's 4-4-2.
"I am hopeful I can be involved but I'm aware there are some very good players vying for places as well.
"All four of us are slightly different players and the manager has got options. If he wants to change it, the players are there to do it."
Parker impressed during the second half of last month's 2-1 win in Denmark in what was his fourth cap under four different England managers.
Barry said: "I'm surprised Scott has not played more for England
"A player like that should have picked up more caps over the years. But, for whatever reason, he has not managed to do so."
Barry came in for criticism for his performances in South Africa last summer and has tried to respond in a positive manner.
He said: "You take criticism as a learning curve. Every player is going to get it throughout a career.
"At a World Cup, it is going to be more high profile because of the stage you are on.
"I've come back this season, trying to learn from what happened in the summer.
"Sometimes that can make you a better player.
"That's in the past now. I've learned from it and I'm looking forward to the future."
Barry is adamant the captaincy issue has been put to rest with the reappointment of John Terry in place of injury-prone Rio Ferdinand.
Capello admits the way the armband was passed from one player to another in Copenhagen last month after stand-in skipper Lampard was substituted helped make up his mind to reinstate Terry.
Barry said: "It was the manager's initial decision to take it away from John.
"In the players' minds, they probably didn't feel it was down to them to give it back to John (on the pitch in Denmark).
"So the only way it should have been done was for the manager to reinstate John and that's what's happened and now we are ready to move on."
Barry added: "The players were asked if they were comfortable with it and everybody has been. No one has spoken to the manager to say they weren't happy.
"We feel for Rio, how unlucky he has been since being given the captain's armband with the injuries he has picked up.
"The general sense of the players is we are really comfortable and we know that John Terry is a great leader.
"He did a good job before and I'm sure he can continue that.
"Now the decision has been made, the lads are really comfortable with it and respect the decision."
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