Milner Needs More Goals to his Game


Newcastle’s James Milner, our 21-year-old winger, holds the record for the most number of Under-21 caps – currently standing at 32.

That number is also likely to increase since James, like captain Steven Taylor, are eligible to play for England Under-21s until the final of the current European Under-21 tournament, which end in the summer of 2009.

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James Milner – only goals missing from his game

Newcastle’s manager Sam Allardyce has told James to concentrate on his club form so as to make an impression on current England manager Steve McClaren, who takes in quite a lot of Newcastle games, from his home base in Middlesbrough.

Big Sam talked to the Sunday Sun today about James:

“It would be a shame having been an England Under-21 cap record-holder if James doesn’t progress to the full England squad,” “There’s still time for him.”  “The only reason you play for your country is because you play well for your club, and the more your club is successful, the more chance you’ve got of playing for your international side.”

“That goes for anybody who plays international football worldwide. If players aren’t playing well at club level it’s very rare that they’ll get selected for their international team.

“They’ve got to want to be on top of their game for Newcastle United, and for us to be successful, but every player wants to play for his country.  “If they want to do that they have to be successful for us, and get the national coach to pick them for their country.”

We think James is good enough to make the full England side, but he needs to add more goals to his repertoire. Certainly the 5 goals he has scored in the last two seasons have been just outstanding individual efforts, but more goals are needed from him at this level.

We also have to say we are completely mystified why Big Sam plays Milner on the left and N’Zogbia on the right when they both play together. Sam had them on opposite wings again yesterday. Anybody who has any logic for this switch – we’d certainly like to know.

We’ve already heard the one about trying to make them both complete wingers so they can play on either side. But what we need right now are players playing where they play best. It seems that N’Zogbia is a natural left winger – so why don’t we play him there?

Comments always very welcome.



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23 comments so far

  • ToonKing

    Nov 4, 2007 at 5:31 PM

    Comment #1

    I don’t know about Milner, he getting very frustrating lately, he needs to learn to let go off the ball.

    I don’t know if he’s got what it takes.

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  • joshi

    Nov 4, 2007 at 5:56 PM

    Comment #2

    same here, he doesn’t have the pace or skill to take players on, so why does he do it? he should become a precise passer.

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  • wsq

    Nov 4, 2007 at 5:59 PM

    Comment #3

    too bad we don’t have solano. there’s no real competition for his place.

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  • joshi

    Nov 4, 2007 at 6:00 PM

    Comment #4

    I dunno, im sick with the team at the moment. I don’t mind losing and i don’t mind the defence playing like shit because they are all new, i just would like us to play the ball around a bit and create some chances. Its just depressing looking forward to the match and being able to watch us play football and then we don’t. It frustrates me.

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  • valle

    Nov 4, 2007 at 7:39 PM

    Comment #5

    Besides the fact that 2 wingers who can switch during the game is a good weapon, u also need to consider the fact that Sam likes to take a very detailed look at the oposition. Milner and Zog is certainly very different in their play and it might be a tactical decision to cause their direct oponent the most problems. U must also consider that our tacs where undermined in 12 minutes by a stunner of a goal and 2 personal errors. Our game plan died then and there folks, as the players got way to direct to make up for that start (3 goals down when they havnt even played 15 minutes is bound to cause panic), so chances are quite good, that u never got to see the play that Sam had prepared… U can be sure of one thing, Sam didnt do it just to annoy the fans and he didnt do it without trying it in training first… As i have said many times now, Sam has new ideas and tacs that our players need to learn and understand, while at the same time they also need to learn and understand each others play, as well as learning the language for many of them. Things will go wrong many times before they get right…

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  • valle

    Nov 4, 2007 at 7:51 PM

    Comment #6

    While we’re talking about Milner, Sam really needs to teach the boy to lift his head when he gets past his man. He keeps on looking down at the ball and dribling when it has no meaning whatsoever. A very usual picture is him giving the ball a touch past his oponent then turning when he gets past him and then turning AGAIN, and at that point, any oponent with a little sense will have figured out what he will do and we lose posession at a crucial place… Sure it can make a fool of the oponent and lift the fans if its done right, but its really annoying and frustrasting when it dosnt work (which in Milners case is most of the time). He would be better of by making the one touch and then lift it into the area.

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  • Leo

    Nov 4, 2007 at 8:56 PM

    Comment #7

    valle you have a good point about the fact that the game plan may have worked if it hadnt been for a monsterous 12minutes.

    i heard that after the 1st goal that alardyce went down to the dugout to change things, and by the time he had got their it was 3-0 to pompey…

    i am disapointed but, we can take positives from this… it cant get worse haha

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  • Dirk

    Nov 4, 2007 at 9:10 PM

    Comment #8

    i think milner has got what it takes to be a greta player the same for zog and if these 2 are nurtured right then we could have a fiersome wing set to our name, we have a good team full of great players they just need more pushing to get that extra someting and possibly more time to work with each other, o and i think it would be good for cacapa and enrique to learn english to help out.

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  • valle

    Nov 4, 2007 at 9:47 PM

    Comment #9

    Leo… Yah, and Sam himself said that the players started to throw more long balls at em and get more direct, whitch in his words just made things worse.

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  • Bobby Ollox

    Nov 4, 2007 at 10:48 PM

    Comment #10

    there have been games over the last couple of seasons where Milner has been the only player trying, and he has been successful too – it is not about counting his goals, he sets them up for others to f&*ck up -thats where the problem is – not with milner

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  • ToonKing

    Nov 4, 2007 at 11:14 PM

    Comment #11

    A nice little chat in the on Sky Sports about Newcastle, and they do make some good points.

    http://www.skysports.com/video/0,20285,12606_2848331,00.html

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  • ToonKing

    Nov 4, 2007 at 11:37 PM

    Comment #12

    It’s the one in the middle : Magpies must follow Toffees’ example………….

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  • joshi

    Nov 4, 2007 at 11:57 PM

    Comment #13

    Well it certainly sheds some light on the MA situation, seems like they don’t rate him at all. I definatly agree with them about the stability issue, we should let sam have time and mimick everton and blackburn. I knew i had heard something about Sam not being first choice had MA been owner at the time of appointment. Sam will hopefully be good, if we start to play football and get a few solid players in we will be fine.

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  • indian toon

    Nov 5, 2007 at 2:32 AM

    Comment #14

    solano’s on fire at westham… top draw player..

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  • Ru

    Nov 5, 2007 at 2:56 AM

    Comment #15

    Ed- Milner and N’Zogbia may have been deployed as they were in order to take advantage of their ability to come inside and shoot. I found it odd too, and this is the only reason I could think of.

    Getting their heads up will come with good coaching and experience- as it looks they could be getting healthy doses of both for the forseeable future!

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  • malaysian youngster

    Nov 5, 2007 at 4:26 AM

    Comment #16

    please give big sam time. please. we must back him. all he need is just time. come on this is just his first season. and the early good form make us put high expectation to him.we really need to give him time. he is intelligence person.and good in man handling. see how the players like playing under him. that is a great example of a good manager. please dont call for his head.

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  • malaysian youngster

    Nov 5, 2007 at 4:29 AM

    Comment #17

    and he can get good bargain in transfers.look at martin o neil. he also need at least 1 season.i really think big sam is the most suitable person.

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  • indian toon

    Nov 5, 2007 at 6:46 AM

    Comment #18

    yeah we’ll give him time… if at the end of the season we dont get into europe then mike ashley will give him a very loooong time off…

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  • joe

    Nov 5, 2007 at 10:07 AM

    Comment #19

    we can and SHOULD get into europe, indian toon. Given the players that we have plus the magnitude of our club, that should be the very least expectation year in year out. We have the stadium, fan base, location etc to be a “big” club, unlike everton or tottenham, who will ALWAYS live in the shadow of liverpool and arsenal respectively. But imo sam is THE man to bring us forward, and even if we dont get into europe this season we definitely will the next, IF we keep him.

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  • ssdd

    Nov 5, 2007 at 10:58 AM

    Comment #20

    ya, i agree we need to give Sam time
    i will give him 1 season
    at least top 10 for us

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  • Rich

    Nov 5, 2007 at 11:35 AM

    Comment #21

    I think Milner was the only player who done ok on Saturday to be honest!Taylor is shite, hel never be the player people expects him to be, he wants more money he has to earn it,! Next game wont be for a long time.

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  • Obafan

    Nov 5, 2007 at 2:30 PM

    Comment #22

    Rich – C

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  • Obafan

    Nov 5, 2007 at 2:37 PM

    Comment #23

    Rich – How can you say that Milner was quite okay on Saturday? The only thing you can say about him is that he is willing to fight but that’s it. For the rest:
    – he can’t give descnet crosses; too much they are to wide or into the keepers thier hands (a few times he is lucky, but not enough as a winger)

    – I hate it when we have a free kick and he rushes to the spot to ask the ball to shoot the free kick; come on we’ve got Emre, Barton, N’Zogbia, Geremi their shots are more precise and have always more danger than the powerfull Milner kick that would give only points in a rugby game.

    – his dribbling is awful, he tries to dribble 4-5 times the same defender instead of crossing the ball whe he has the time ans space. When he starts dribbling 98% of the time he ends up not knowing what his position is and then he kicks a wild cross into nowhere’s land

    – he has never heard of a short pass or combination football; he prefers to make things very difficult by running with the ball

    ATM he isn’t at a Premier League level, more a Championship level and if he doesn’t work to improve all his weaknesses (and he has a lot of them) then he will end up in the Championship.

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