Alex Rogers compares James Milner to Kevin Großkreutz, who was a man of many purposes under Jurgen Klopp at Borussia Dortmund.
James Milner has been give the nickname of “Mr Reliable” by a lot of Liverpool fans for awhile now, and his performance on Saturday only strengthened this nickname that he’s earned.
Scoring two penalties against Hull may not seem like a great achievement because, you know, many players can score a penalty. But to score two against the same keeper in the same match, to outfox him twice, that’s what’s impressive here.
But penalties aside, Milner yet another had a very solid game playing at left back, a role he did play in an injury crisis when he played for Newcastle, but a role you wouldn’t say he may be good at. But yes, he did all the things you expect a modern day full back to do, as he’s done in previous games. He complimented attack well and defended reasonably solidly
Having adapted to his new role so well and so quickly says a lot about Milner and his hard working nature and the coaches to teach him how he may perform better at left back.
Many people, myself included, were practically BEGGING for a new left-back during the summer transfer window, and when we didn’t get one many people were left disappointed. When Moreno was dropped from the starting XI, it seemed that not signing a left back would come to haunt us. And when people found out that Milner would be playing left back over Moreno, it was hard to think Klopp made a mistake not signing anyone.
There was a lot of talk about James and his new found position, some people saying that it was stupid, some people saying that his insanely high work rate would definitely help him down the left side. And it seems it has.
It seems that Milner has turned into a utility man, a player of multiple positions. This is not a bad thing. When Klopp was at Dortmund, he managed a player called Kevin Großkreutz, who was also the “utility man”. Many of you reading this may already know who he is but those of you that don’t know him, here are the positions he played while under Klopp.
Großkreutz has played left back, right back, left wing, right wing, central midfielder, striker and one game in goal under Klopp and if that isn’t the definition of “utility man,” then I don’t know what is.
Now I’m not saying that Milner is now Großkreutz 2.0, but I’m saying that he’s being used in a very similar manner to what Großkreutz was. Again, this is not a bad thing.
Either way, I’m glad that Milner is having a great spell at left back as he had some doubters that didn’t think he would do well there. And the extra competition to young Alberto Moreno may be the best thing for him. Keep it up, James.
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