However, one man who certainly stands far and away from this category is the great Gareth Barry, who has earned high praise from nearly every club he has played for.
The midfielder currently holds the accolade for most Premier League appearances (with 653) and the record-breaking Englishman featured prominently for West Brom as he tried to help them avoid relegation, albeit to no avail. However, he did record a solid SofaScore rating of 6.74 during the 2017/18 campaign.
The following season, the dependable cult hero stuck around to try and help them back up. He again featured heavily, but they fell short, finishing fourth.
Despite this, Barry remained an unflappable presence in their midfield. He had an exceptional tendency to always be in the right place to snuff out danger, but then possessed the quality to play his way through.
To think that in his place now is Jake Livermore, who is part of the mess that has seen the Baggies fall as low as they are. He has just a 6.70 average SofaScore rating this season, and can only muster a 78% pass accuracy. He has also managed just 0.7 tackles a match and 0.3 clearances, worse than that of the aforementioned Barry over four years ago.
Tony Pulis made an incredibly shrewd signing when bringing the experienced ace to the Hawthorns, and with a bit more quality around him, they might have stood more of a chance at survival.
After all, they did have, as Steve Madeley labelled him, a “legendary” midfielder in their hands. He continued by calling him a “Premier League great”, citing his “fabulous career” that came to a close in 2020.
To bring in this kind of calmness would certainly help out Steve Bruce now, who is struggling to steer what seems like a sinking ship. As they sit 21st, with just one win from ten, they could do with a man like Barry to replace Livermore in the holding role.
His experience and quality would serve them well with their aspirations of a return to the Premier League. It’s just a shame he isn’t still around to offer qualities that Albion are quite evidently craving.