A moment please, to reflect on the majesty of James Milner #PORLIV
— bob mortimer (@RealBobMortimer) 14 February 2018
JAMES Milner has never let Liverpool football club down.
There are times when a certain player’s career in the red shirt can hibernate in your subconscious when they’re gone. Like some kind of nostalgic childhood accompaniment you’ve long since abandoned, but been reminded of when rooting through your old box room in your parent’s house one day.
This could possibly be the case for Liverpool’s current number seven. A player who has been the career epitome of no fuss and complete efficiency on every level. When Milner came to Liverpool he was considered a solid investment. No transfer fee, tons of experience and the medals to boot. A born winner. Tonight shows that, since he first kicked a ball in efficaciousness for this club, he has been nothing but a constant positive contributor in whatever form he has arrived in.
Tonight, Milner was a class above; passing with purpose, nipping in, tactically fouling when needing to. You feel at times he is more then just a number on the teamsheet. He has been a screen, a second caption in the Jamie Carragher mould. An embodiment of “been there and done it” that you simply don’t get from the others, but simultaneously mirrors the effervescent nature of the side with the versed presence he provides.
The fact Milner has now notched six assists in the Champions League this season while not figuring in our minds as any form of a consistent figure says everything about what he does, and what he can mean to this team going forward for the rest of this campaign.
Tonight was a game for Milner and his teammates to laud the hat trick of the much-talked about Sadio Mane. This has felt like a game we’ve all hoped was coming for the Senegalese forward who you’ve felt has just maybe needed to find a way to be completely at home with himself again for the goals and type of display he showed to come to the fore.
Tonight is a night to admire, to come let us adore them. To revere in every bit of Mo Salah’s improvising of Daniel Sturridge’s goal away to Stoke City in 2013-14. To savour everything even faintly related to what Roberto Firmino is doing in a Liverpool shirt every time he steps on to the pitch.
But tonight belongs in the shadows, beyond the headlines, to the weathered Yorkshireman at the heart of Liverpool’s midfield who is everything you wouldn’t expect from a Liverpool number seven, yet every inch of the player you want to uphold the prophecies of such a revered jersey.
He, and the rest of us, go to bed tonight knowing this Liverpool side are the business. That a player supposedly out of form can score three goals in a Champions League last 16 tie. That there are bars and bodegas all around European towns and cities filled with locals talking with a feverish anticipation about the look of Jürgen Klopp’s Liverpool.
We can be diplomatic, humble and gracious, yet this tie looks all but done for after one match, one away first leg. In a few weeks we get to watch these lads tie up the formalities at Anfield and welcome the Portuguese supporters to our great city with a warm smile.
Up the forever young, James Milner Reds, and all of their efficient spontaneous beauty.
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— The Anfield Wrap (@TheAnfieldWrap) 14 February 2018
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Love that we have James Milner. May he play on forever.
Amen to that brother
Spot on. I was bloody fuming when the interviewer after the match asked Mane what it was like to play in a team alongside Firmino and Salah. I thought what an insult that was to Milner who was stood next to him.
I know, Lineker was at it all night as well. It’s as if they’re loathe to admit that our midfield is often a ruthless machine. Let them underrate us, I remember in the early/ mid 80’s when we were utterly dominant, the press and pundits used to bang on and on about United’s midfield as opposed to ours.
Let them under rate us.
Our front 3 have been kinda flying under the radar for much of the season but I think last night was the end of that.
Was listening to a different podcast (soz) and they were asking who’s been the best player this season de Bruyne or Kane? I was inwardly pleased that Salah wasn’t even in their consciousness as he “creeps” towards 40 goals this season!
Fools! Ahah ahaha. :)
I’m sure Sade had this Millie performance in mind when she sang “Smooth Operator “
Tonight he was as good as you could want…
But it depends on what you mean by Never Let Down?
He has had plenty of bad games as well…
I used to dread the thought of Jimmy Milner and Hendo’ in the same line up, but under Klopp they make up a serious and (wonderfully) underrated midfield. They’re both absolute professionals and no-nonsense, get stuck in, old school types on the pitch. Milner at his best, is a great compliment to the chaos our forwards and fullbacks can invoke ahead of him. At 32, he’s so fit, he’s probably got another few years at the top, and if that’s being the 2016-20 version of Gary Mac’, then so much the better (plus, for some weird reason he really annoys City fans, so it’s all good to be fair).
When the midfield was announced before the game there were murmurings online of a lack of creativity. However, what this game has proven is that if Henderson is somewhere near fully fit and Wijnaldum is prepared to really get involved there is plenty of creativity when the pair are joined by Milner. There’s a lot of lazy characterisations made about these midfielders but when they’re fit and in form they’re a match for most teams in the Champions League. It’s about time we acknowledged how good some of our less popular players actually are.
Thanks for this article. I have been an admirer of James Miller since before Rafa tried to bring him to us, back when he was a key part of that Leeds team. He’s had an outstanding career and while I wish he’d had more of it as a Red, I’m very happy he’s finally with us now and still playing so well. An unsung hero for many games and a great leader, I really hope he can stay in our squad for a few more years. He may not be Scouse but he is at least from the north of England and it’s great to still find some room in our cosmopolitan club for the best of British. Still wish we’d got him earlier though!
I echo the above. It would have been great to have have had Milner earlier in his career.
The third goal though. It’s Milner who breaks down their attack on the edge of our box, and then joins the counter attack – he’s in their penalty area as Mane knocks home the rebound.
And people say he’s slow!
It’ll be interesting to see the names of those jumping on Milner’s back (and other midfielders) when things next don’t go to plan as I dont recall of any you jumping to Milner’s defence when he’s been getting pelters on here in the past.
School XCountry champ Milner had the advantage pre-match, of looking out at the pitch in the rain and going ‘ Dragao’s got a feel of Wortley about him’. Iron man Action Jackson.
Wortley! Played there a few times!
I thought we were great in the tackle, loads of nibbling challenges, right in their faces – and Milner was the most relentless. tactical fouls and borderline stuff was first rate.
James Milner is Mr. Consistency. Totally reliable when called upon which should be more regularly!