Saturday, August 13, 2022

An Appreciation Post On This Liverpool Defender: The Best Full-Back In The League?

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Prasoon Sur
Prasoon is a law student who lives in the North East of India. Wildly innovative, football is more than a passion for him.

Prior to the summer transfer window, the Liverpool fans discussed the loopholes in the squad, including the crucial left-back slot which needed to be addressed (read: a left back was to be bought). At the end of the transfer window, Jürgen Klopp assessed his side, saw James Milner and wore a confident and mischievous grin despite not signing a left-back. He knew what he was up to.

Liverpool fans were crying for the aforementioned personnel and despite reinforcements being the call of the hour, Klopp laid enormous faith in his industrious gladiator, James Milner. Here was a player who puts the needs of the team ahead of his personal glory which fulfilled Liverpool’s necessity of a reliable, matured and grounded player at the back, which they got all together in the 30-year-old Englishman.

Ever since being deployed in the new role, the right-footed left back has been producing a series of stupendous performances which has forced us to admit that he has commenced on a new phase in his career. A lot of eyebrows were raised, which have since being restored to their normal position, now that the fans have seen the glimpses of Milner’s ability. The manager’s wit and wisdom have reaped the desired wonders so far this season as Milner has fitted in the backline with an aura of majestic perfection (!).

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The output from six league appearances has given Milner a respectable stature: four goals (taking penalties requires a cool head), the creation of thirteen chances and an assist has painted a colossal portrait of Liverpool’s no. 7. Post the Steven Gerrard-era, Anfield had been screaming for a true leader, which fortunately Milner has catered to. 314 passes with a splendid pass accuracy of 87% is a telling stat of his involvement in the red shirt and the way he has gelled so well.

The former Manchester City midfielder has been absolutely flawless in the way he has been cutting inside to slow the game down when the opposition is in the ascendency and defending on his wing which has clearly vindicated the German’s faith. Sheer work ethic mirroring a tireless engine, making offensive jolts from the back (remember, he is in his thirties) and tracking back in the blink of an eye with a calm head has revolutionised him from a ‘Jack’ to a ‘Prospective Master’ for the full back role.

James Milner seems to have repaid the trust put on him by the former Borussia Dortmund manager and suddenly the task of adapting to a new position doesn’t seem hard, all thanks to Milner. But people do appreciate the level of professionalism and dedication Milner has applied to make this job look easy to us.

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