Mens Team

Marwood: Gareth Barry was a City game-changer

Marwood: Gareth Barry was a City game-changer
Brian Marwood has paid tribute to the key role played by Gareth Barry in helping elevate Manchester City into one of English football’s most successful clubs of the past decade.

Marwood has enjoyed a fascinating and highly successful career; first as a player with England, Arsenal and Sheffield Wednesday before he then entered the world of business with Nike and subsequently joined City in 2009.

Having held a number of crucial posts at the Club, Marwood currently holds the key position of managing director of global football for the City Football Group and is widely respected throughout the game.

He also played a vital role in the recruitment of a host of top-quality players for City in the years following our transformative takeover by the Abu Dhabi United Group.

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And in the latest edition of the official Man City Podcast, Marwood reveals how the signing of Barry from Aston Villa in the summer of 2009 served as one of the pivotal moments in helping transform City from also-rans to trophy winners.

Former England midfielder Barry was a vital part of the City side that won the FA Cup in 2011 – our first trophy in 35 years – and then the Premier League title a year later.

Marwood also reveals how listening to a football radio phone-in show when Barry was preparing for his medical served to perfectly illustrate the focus, desire and passion to succeed that the player helped inject into the City dressing room.

“One thing we needed was better quality in the club,” Marwood recalls in the Podcast.


                        KEY ROLE: Brian Marwood has garnered widespread respect for his role at Manchester City
KEY ROLE: Brian Marwood has garnered widespread respect for his role at Manchester City

“So how we were going to get better quality in the club?

“It was a club that hadn't succeeded.

“So, if you wanted top players, we needed to show them, we needed to get them to buy into what our vision was for the club.

“And they were taking a big risk because they were having to believe in the things that we were telling them.

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“I remember Gareth Barry was one of the first signings that we made.

“And Gareth the previous summer had been courted by Liverpool and very nearly went to Liverpool and then they wanted him again that summer.

“I remember taking him for his medical. Gareth was with the England squad at the time so we took the medical at Bushey Medical Centre, as the national squad were staying in around that area, preparing for the game.


                        ON TARGET: Gareth Barry helped City to lift both the FA Cup and Premier League title in his time at the Club
ON TARGET: Gareth Barry helped City to lift both the FA Cup and Premier League title in his time at the Club

“We were in a car going to the medical and we had TalkSport on and people were absolutely slaughtering Gareth (for) choosing Manchester City over Liverpool.

“It was: "He's only gone for the money and he's no ambition" and "Who are Man City compared to Liverpool?"

“And I remember saying: "You want to turn this off" and Gareth said: "No, I want to listen to this."

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“I said: "Why do you want to listen to this?"

He said: "Because I'm going to prove these people wrong."

He said: "Actually, Liverpool are offering me more money, but I want to come here because you've sold me about a vision, you've sold me about trying to create history.

“So, I'm really determined to make this work."

“It was that type of character that we wanted in the football club. He was terrific, you know.


                        ACTION MAN: Brian Marwood pictured during his playing days with Arsenal
ACTION MAN: Brian Marwood pictured during his playing days with Arsenal

“It's people like Gareth who was an unsung hero. You only realise how important they are I think at times when they're not there.

“He was a big, big player for us.

“This was the type of person that we needed in the dressing room.

“The strength of character, the determination, when things are not going well, who were the players that are going to get you out of that?

“So, signing players like that began to transform who we were.”

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Over the course of a fascinating and revealing hour-long discussion, Marwood also highlighted the importance and impact of Carlos Tevez in driving the team’s mindset and desire.

The Argentine’s arrival at City from Manchester United in the summer of 2009 made worldwide headlines.

But Marwood tells the Podcast how Tevez’s arrival proved to be another game-changer for the Club.

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“Carlos was a huge signing for many different reasons at that time,” Brian recalls in the Podcast.

“Because he was a Manchester United player, we got a lot of criticism for that, but he was just a born winner.

“It was his fight; his determination and it was his appetite for the game.

“It was truly remarkable.

“I've never seen anybody that put as much as him into every match.”

To subscribe to the official Man City Podcast, visit https://www.mancity.com/podcast

You can subscribe for free in all the usual places, including on Apple PodcastSpotify and Google Podcast.

Alternatively, you can also listen directly on mancity.com, here.

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