James Milner will play in any position for club and country. Thatâ€™s not surprising to any Newcastle fan because we know James just loves playing football and it seems the more the better.
While Jamesâ€™ favored position is right wing, he has also played at left wing, full back and as a center forward in recent seasons.
Let’s take a look at what James has been saying and make a quick recap of what happened to Gareth in international football.
James Milner - capped over 30 times for England Under-21 team – Barry had 27 caps
Milner played on both wings and as a central striker in England Under-21sâ€™ 1-0 win over Montenegro recently and he has taken heart from Gareth Barry finally breaking into the full national side. James said today:
â€It is encouraging for all of us to see Gareth break through,â€ â€œHe has shown his versatility throughout his career and the quality player that he is it will not faze him to play in any position now.â€
â€I would not begin to compare myself with him but I am happy to play in any position the gaffer asks me.â€
â€œThereâ€™s a few lads in that squad(England) who have been in the Under-21s, and now Gareth Barry. Everyone knows his quality â€“ Iâ€™ve been on loan at Aston Villa and seen exactly how good a player he is,â€
â€œThere is a lot of quality in England and sometimes youâ€™re going to have to bide your time and wait your chance â€“ with the quality of the players, if they keep performing then theyâ€™re more than likely to stay in the team.â€
â€Itâ€™ll be interesting to see if he keeps his place because heâ€™s done brilliantly. Heâ€™s shown it can be done, and the younger lads such as Micah Richards and Ashley Young.â€
We think Barry will keep his place because tomorrow night in Russia becasue he forms a much more effective partnership in midfield with Steven Gerrard than Frank Lampard ever did. You need players that play well together in a team and complement each other – not just the best players in each position.
Gareth Barry was a precocious young 19 year-old when he made his England debut as a substitute against the Ukraine in May, 2000. At that time it looked like Gareth was going to be an England regular for years to come. But once Sven Eriksson took over the England manager job in 2001 that all came to an end.
For whatever reason, Sven didnâ€™t rate young Barry and slowly but surely he was left out of the England squads completely. He continued to play well for his club Aston Villa, whom he joined from Brighton in 1997 when a 16 year-old. From 1998-2002 Gareth played 27 times for the England Under-21 side but it is only very recently that he has been recalled to the England squad.
But Barry has made the breakthrough in recent months and it looks like young Milner is looking to follow his lead. James will be in action tonight, alongside team-mate Steven Taylor, when the England Under-21s play in their European Championship qualifier against the Republic of Ireland in Cork.