Sean Clansey discusses why James Milner will be important for Liverpool this season.
So as you already probably know, James Milner retired from international duty with England this weekend, racking up a respectable 61 caps over the space of 4 major tournaments.
Now that news didn’t cause much distress amongst England’s following as Milner isn’t considered the most valuable of players around the England camp.
But don’t worry James, us Liverpool fans acknowledge and cherish your true worth.
Granted, he may not be the most desirable number 7 we’ve ever had. I mean he stands no chance in a list including Suarez, Daglish and Keegan. However, James Milner deserves a lot more credit than he’s given.
The man gives 110% each game and tirelessly runs the midfield. Not to mention his responsibilities as vice-captain too.
Milner notched up 5 goals and 11 assists last season for Liverpool and was fundamental in Liverpool’s 2 cup final runs. And something tells me he’ll be even more vital to the Liverpool side this season if success is what they’re aiming for.
James Milner, technically a centre midfielder, can play anywhere behind the striker, which offers Liverpool a tremendous amount of strength in depth in those 3 positions.
Milner can also occupy both wings which fully utilises his excellent crossing service to the striker.
Along with this, Milner is also very comfortable playing defensive midfielder, which may not be his best position, however, a position he can adjust to easily.
And most conveniently for Liverpool, Milner can also play either fullback role. A skill we’ve just discovered and one that could come in very handy for the upcoming season.
With Liverpool’s fullback crisis and injury curse very much apparent, having James Milner around could prove to be vital in Liverpool’s aims this season.
He can cover near enough every outfield position and the thought of making Milner a make-shift fullback or attacker doesn’t fill me with dread; because believe it or not, he’s actually pretty solid in every position and does what’s asked of him comfortably.
Now that last bits important because we all know James Milner to be the type of guy who’ll get his head down and work his hardest, regardless of whether he agrees with the situation or not.
You could lash anyone into a make-shift left back but will they do it with the right attitude? Not every player is fond of being played out of position. Milner, on the other hand, will soak it in and give it his all. The man is as professional as they get in the footballing industry.
He also adds a lot of, much needed, experience and guidance to a very young Liverpool. Klopp can make a team of the youngest most talented, sought-after talents in Europe but the thing is: you’re not getting anywhere without experience and leadership.
“You can’t win nothing with kids”: a phrase thrown around football very often with regards to talented youngsters. Unfortunately, 9 times out of 10, it turns out to be true.
And that’s why Milner’s guidance and experience is crucial to any hope of success we have going into the new season.
I mean, he’s not vice-captain for nothing!