MEN: Milner an unsung success story
- 09 September 2013 09:15
- Posted by @porter_mcfc
Ahead of England’s crunch game against Ukraine on Tuesday night, James Milner has come in for praise from his manager and journalists alike.
Roy Hodgson has earmarked the City man to play an important role in Kiev, especially in the absence of the suspended Danny Welbeck. The England boss said: “The game in Kiev is going to be a game where we need the experience, the strength and the quality ... Milner is not a winger, but the qualities he brings could be very useful for us.”
He writes: “Milner should be lauded for what he brings to England, and to City, rather than disrespected because he is not Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo.
“One thing is for sure, if the 11 men who go out against Ukraine all have Milner’s mind-set and commitment, England will win the game and be ready to book their hotel rooms in Rio de Janeiro.
“Many column inches have been dedicated to poring over new FA boss Greg Dyke’s brutal assessment of the state of the national football team, something which needed saying after years of ridiculous hyperbole and ludicrous expectation.
“With English players as rare as rocking-horse droppings at the sharp end of the Premier League, Milner is a success story.”
If you’re already looking towards City’s next game on Saturday rather than relishing the international break, Rob Pollard has written of the importance of Jesus Navas to the Blues for the Bleacher Report.
The speedy winger has been shining for Spain this week, coming off the bench to set up Alvaro Negredo for La Roja’s second and crucial goal against Finland.
“Pellegrini's 4-2-2-2 formation certainly plays to Navas' strengths, too,” Pollard explains. “He will be allowed to take up the position high on the right-hand side, with the remit of doing as much damage as possible to the full-back. It’s a simple yet incredibly effective tactic that allows Navas to demonstrate everything that's good about his game.
He adds: “The signing of Jesus Navas was clearly important to the new manager and the way he wants City to play. It instantly sorted the club’s chronic lack of width and added blistering pace to an attack that had a tendency to be too patient.
“He brings a direct approach that should cause opposition defences sleepless nights.”