Thursday, August 11, 2022

A Boring Rant On Boring James Milner | Liverpool’s Clark Kent, The Best Full-Back In The League

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Jon Depp (JD)
Eccentric writer, effervescent blagger. What he lacks in cheekbones, he makes up by being cheeky. The footballing Jack Sparrow pompously navigating the high-waves of journalism. 2015 International Football Blogging Award Finalist, the pin-up boy of The 4th Official.

The fecking temerity of it, I tell ya’. That Juergen fella’ didn’t go out and get a fecking left-back when he ought to have had. I’ tell you what, lads. It’s gonn’ show. We are gonn’ get targetted there, we would. Just ya’ wait. That’d be our Achilles’ heel. The bulls-eye on Liverpool’s pin the tail on donkey. That donkey’s gonn’ have to be James Milner.

I mean, lad, can you believe it? He’s a midfielder, for fecks sake. How’s he gonn’ do the donkey-work, that donkey? He’s a 6 on 10 across the board, bang average he is. Bang, av-ridge! Rodgers that fraud, he got in him, never had a clue. That season we finish second, yeah, that was just Luis Suarez working his magic. That fecking beast of a player, the best we’ve had, I tells ya’.

Anyway, be driftin’ from the point here. I mean, I got nothing against him, James, he’s probably a top, upstanding citizen of a person. He may have the virtuous mental fortitude of Sir Galahad, but that doesn’t make him a player we needed. He just runs a lot, and pops in for the odd penalty, here and there. He is just a utility man, really, and playing him central showed his limitations, that’s why he got moved around so much, not having just enough skill to make any position his own, the guy. He’s like the Nicolas Cage paradox. He doesn’t take up good roles, often enough, for us to finally figure him out.

As I reach the mid-way point of the rant, my opinion feels more cohesive and informed all of a sudden, 7 matches in. Surprise, surprise. I mean, how certain I must have been that James Milner would fail, and fail miserably enough to define Juergen Klopp’s season.

Oh, he’ll define his season, alright. But in a way, I couldn’t have envisaged. James Milner has scored 4 goals since then – pivotal ones at that. Since, then James Milner has created 13 chances – 6 more than the second best left-back in the list, with a passing accuracy averaging 87%. Since then, James Milner has been Liverpool’s mild-mannered, Clark Kent. Unassuming, anonymous, until he puts on the red of Liverpool. The same Red that made Ron Yeats look like a colossus, fits James Milner’s broad shoulders, snugly, where he has carried the responsibility of Klopp’s trust with poise and panache at left-back.

The biggest compliment, I as a football fan can pay to him, is that he’s made hard man humble again. Never underestimate a sincere man’s capacity to surprise.

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