I'm going to be writing a feature on why James Milner is one of the best central midfielders, just looking for some comments and opinions from Villa fans who have seen Milner play and develop as a player and how they think he is performing at Liverpool in recent years
A true professional, both on and off the field. A proper team player who puts the needs of the team first, and someone with no little ability. Underrated because he is not a show pony, unlike certain others who take an eternity to run up to take a penalty! His longevity at the top is testament to him, and I doubt that you would find any fans or team mates of the clubs that he has played for having a bad word to say about him. I think every team needs a James Milner.
The thing that he will always have my utmost respect for is his last game for us.
Everyone knew he was off to Man City and it would have been the easiest thing for him to not play for fear of injury or something , but not only did he play , he put in a fantastic display and scored a very good goal.
Great attitude from a great pro and he deserves all the praise he is getting now.
Losing Milner was the beginning of the end for Villa. It’s true that we lost Barry, Young, Carew and others in and around the same time, but for me, Milner was the leader by example on that squad. He was still a youngish player at the time but had the maturity of performance of a veteran and attitude that rubbed off on everyone... I was in Cape Town in 2010 when England put in an abysmal performance against Algeria. Five minutes after the final whistle and there was Milner doing sprints on his own in an empty stadium.
Losing him, Young and Barry in consecutive seasons and miserably failing to replace them is something we've never really recovered from. He only played 1 season at Central midfield for is but he was excellent there. Always thought he was an incredibly average winger who wasn't tricky or quick enough but once he moved onto the middle he shone.
Milner was in mho one of two squad players that gave 140% every time he was on and off the pitch and many have said he was not recognised for it until he left .
( some my disagree with this but the other player was Carew )
JM is out of contract at the end of June and strangely theres been no sign of Liverpool attempting to negoiate a new contract with him. Maybe his age is against him, he's 32 now, 33 by the time a new contract would become active.
He's the ideal player to have, has always looked after himself physically, extra fitness and ball control training.
He has played in whatever position the club have needed him to, from leftback to, central midfield to, wing.
A vastly under-rated player.
Then he went back to Newcastle before MON going and signing him permanently.
On Milner . Some fans are weird. Could never work out how Milner (who was with us 2 years) got a great reception when he came back yet 10 years of exemplary service from Barry was greeted by a chorus of boos from some .
I didn't begrudge either going. Couldn't blame them . They were right as they now have premier league winners medals.
I do recall that when he was playing on the wing there were those (no names!) who were quite critical of him. I always rated him as I felt that he was always looking for work and I'd be certain that it was on my recommendation on here that MON (he and I went to the same school, don't you know) moved him into the centre.