Milner Looks to Follow Gareth Barry Lead

James Milner will play in any position for club and country. That’s not surprising to any Newcastle fan because we know James just loves playing football and it seems the more the better.

While James’ 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-21s’ 1-0 win over Montenegro recently and he has taken heart from Gareth Barry finally breaking into the full national side. James said today:

”It is encouraging for all of us to see Gareth break through,” “He 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.”

”I would not begin to compare myself with him but I am happy to play in any position the gaffer asks me.”

“There’s a few lads in that squad(England) who have been in the Under-21s, and now Gareth Barry. Everyone knows his quality – I’ve been on loan at Aston Villa and seen exactly how good a player he is,”

“There is a lot of quality in England and sometimes you’re going to have to bide your time and wait your chance – with the quality of the players, if they keep performing then they’re more than likely to stay in the team.”

”It’ll be interesting to see if he keeps his place because he’s done brilliantly. He’s shown it can be done, and the younger lads such as Micah Richards and Ashley Young.”

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 didn’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.

Comments welcome.

4 comments so far

  • Bill F

    Oct 16, 2007 at 11:45 AM

    Comment #1

    I hate being the first to comment on a blog, however I reckon that Barry is the classic case of an ugly duckling becoming a Swan. Milner hasn’t become a bad player just isn’t quite sparking, hopefully this will change soon and he returns to his best form.

  • Bill F

    Oct 16, 2007 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #2

    And the last by the looks of things.

  • Stocksy

    Oct 16, 2007 at 8:40 PM

    Comment #3

    I agree….a good player who isnt reaching the heights of last season, but he keeps going and trying his best.

  • ToonKing

    Oct 16, 2007 at 9:34 PM

    Comment #4

    Milner just scored for the U-21’s, nice..


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