An interesting report in the Newcastle Journal today, that suggests Kevin Keegan may start using James Milner in a central midfield role.
Â James Milner – new central midfielder?
Certainly James looked very good in that role on Saturday, and will be a box to box midfielder if he is played there, he is just such a fit lad.
Necessity is the mother of invention, and right now, as Kevin said on Saturday, we have lots of wide men, but we are short of good central midfielders – so step forward James.
That is probably where it’s come from, and Keegan, being the great coach he is, wants to get the very best out of the players at his disposal right now. While we expect a central midfield signing before the end of August, we think James has the making of a good future in that position.
Apparently both the player and his manager have discussed the possibility of James playing in the middle during pre-season training, and it seems like Keegan believes Milnerâ€™s fantastic work-rate and great fitness level â€“ which the manager rates as among the best he’s ever seen, make James an ideal candidate for a holding midfield role.
Keegan said today:
â€œI know James can play on the right but heâ€™s got so much energy â€“ heâ€™s the fittest player at this football club and one of the fittest football players Iâ€™ve ever seen when I played or since Iâ€™ve been in management,â€
â€œBut if youâ€™re out wide you have to wait for the ball to come to you whereas in the center you have a bit more chance to go and find it.”
â€œI thought he did well at Hartlepool.â€
Good thinking by Kevin, as usual.
Milnerâ€™s future has been the subject of speculation during the summer, and even recently reports have been in the press that Aston Villa still want him, but Newcastle don’t want to lose the lad, and his price is Â£10M, if they want to pay that, which we assume they will not.
Milner looked too good on Saturday, plus the fact he’s been the most consistent player at Newcastle over the last couple of seasons, and now it seems Keegan wants to use more of that football ability that Milner obviously has in abundance.