Former Aston Villa hero Gareth Barry has revealed that the worst part of his career came when there was speculation surrounding a high profile move to Liverpool in the summer of 2008, with the huge uncertainty of which path to take making the whole situation difficult to deal with.
Ultimately, he stayed at Villa for one more season before eventually joining Manchester City in 2009, but credits the whole 2008 saga as being an important 'learning curve' in his career.
"It was a really tough decision, and the speculation towards the end of that 2007/08 season when I nearly joined Liverpool, that was the most uncomfortable and the part of my career I didn't enjoy," Barry explained to former Villa colleague Ian Taylor in an interview for Sky Sports.
Barry had been a Villa player for 10 years at that point, making his debut as a 17-year-old in 1998 after joining from Brighton's youth team just 12 months earlier.
But having never really been through a proper 'transfer', he wasn't sure how to handle it.
"I wasn't sure what was happening, wasn't sure what decision to make, and looking back now it's a learning curve, but one I found tough at the time. I'd been at Villa so long and didn't really understand what happened with transfers and speculation," he said.
"I got my head down and stayed another year at Villa, and probably played my best football under Martin O'Neill. To be fair to Martin and Aston Villa, they promised me if I got my head down and worked I could leave the club the next summer and challenge.
"In the end I chose Manchester City, and in hindsight now it was a fantastic move, I had four great years there."
36-year-old Barry equalled Ryan Giggs' Premier League appearance record of 632 games when he took to the field for current club West Brom last weekend and then extended it to 633 when the Baggies faced Arsenal on Monday night.