West Brom midfielder Gareth Barry plans to play on for as long as possible after equalling the Premier League appearance record.
The 36-year-old started in the Baggies’ 0-0 draw against West Ham on Saturday to draw level with Ryan Giggs’ mark of 632 games.
Barry will beat Giggs’ record if he features at Arsenal on September 25.
He made his debut as a second-half substitute for Aston Villa in a 3-1 win at Sheffield Wednesday in May 1998, and the former England man is eager to continue.
He told the BBC: “I hope so. I’ve spoken to a lot of my old friends who have retired and no-one has said, ‘What are you doing still playing?’ Everyone said, ‘Play as long as possible’. You stop when you stop enjoying it and I’ll know when I’ve had enough and can’t keep up with the boys.
“It’s a huge number when you think about it. It’s gone so quickly, I’ve been lucky to keep fit through the years. It won’t be until you look back and have hung your boots up when you realise how big a number it is.
“When you think of what’s happened in between, there’s so much which has gone on. It has gone quickly as I remember that moment (debut) well.
“In today’s game there’s nowhere to hide, everything’s recorded. It can help the older players because back in the day when you got to a certain age you were too old no matter what you did. Now if a 36-year-old is running more than a 21-year-old it’s there.”
Meanwhile, West Ham midfielder Pedro Obiang believes the Hammers are on the up after their point at The Hawthorns.
Obiang hit the bar with an ambitious 45-yard effort in the first half as the Slaven Bilic’s side clinched their first away point of the season.
They remain in the bottom three after Saturday’s results but Obiang believes, having collected four points from two games, the Hammers are improving.
“We’ve come through a difficult moment and we won the last game (against Huddersfield on Monday),” he told the club’s official site. “We needed another point to start to moving up to the middle of the table.
“Maybe this result is enough for us. We are a big team and we needed that point. We can take one point. We’ve played difficult games where we’ve conceded many goals but we’re starting to play better, and play together.
“We just need to score more goals now.”
Published at Sun, 17 Sep 2017 09:23:57 +0000