Milner Felt Undervalued – Pays Tribute To Keegan

James Milner completed a reported £12M move to Aston Villa today, and said he always felt undervalued at Newcastle.

James Milner felt undervalued at Newcastle
– pays tribute to Keegan

One word on the fee, £12M is probably the highest amount reported, and it varies anywhere from £9M to £12M with Newcastle getting 80% of the fee, and Leeds, who had a sell-on clause with James, getting 20%.

Milner became frustrated at Newcastle’s failure to offer him a new contract over the summer, which was continually being reported in the press, which James felt would better reflect his worth to the club.

In order to try to push the situation James handed in a transfer request last week, but Newcastle seem to have basically granted the transfer, and no contract negotiations ever took place over the last 10 days.

Villa moved swiftly to agree a fee for the England Under-21 winger, who has now signed a four-year contract which ties him to Villa until the end of the 2011-2012 campaign. But he was tied to Newcastle until 2011 yesterday.

Milner spent the 2005-2006 season on loan at Villa from Newcastle and came close to signing for them in August 2006 before Newcastle pulled the plug, at the very last minute, which was hardly the way to treat a 20 year old.

Milner said after signing for Villa today:

“I enjoyed every minute at Newcastle. It was a fantastic club. I enjoyed working with the manager and they are a great bunch of lads.”

“But I knew offers had come in over the summer and the club had turned them down and the valuation of me wasn’t reflected in the deal I was on.”

“Speaking to them, I felt it was the right thing to put in a transfer request to show how I felt, seeing as they didn’t think they were on the same wavelength as me and they then made the decision to sell me.”

“It was Newcastle’s decision and now I am at Aston Villa. A new contract was never discussed. That was a source of frustration.”

“I nearly signed two years ago. That was a tough time for me and Villa as well. It obviously threw their plans into turmoil. That was a tough time.”

“You learn from that and you move on and, two years later, I am sure I am a stronger character and a better player for those experiences.”

“The fee had been agreed. I came down here to the training ground and got into the manager’s office and he said he had a phone call to say Newcastle had changed their mind.”

“At first I didn’t know if it was the manager’s humor and whether he was joking with me but it wasn’t a joke. That is in the past and it is how you react to those sort of things.”

“The best way I know is to get my head down and work hard. I went back to Newcastle and did as well as I could.”

Milner then paid tribute to the Newcastle manager, Kevin Keegan:

“He has been fantastic with me all the way through. I had a great relationship with him, learnt a lot and wish him every luck.”

“We talked a few times and last night, once the fee had been agreed, he wished me every luck in the world and that is it basically.”

“Things change quickly in football. All I know is the offer has been accepted and I’m a Villa player now and the Newcastle chapter is ended.”

James is such a mature man for his age, and he was one of our favorite players at Newcastle.

But James has been class right to the end, and we can tell Aston Villa fans, that not only are they getting a very good 22 year-old player, but he’s most of all – a fantastic lad.

We wish James all the best at Villa.

Comments welcome.

1,048 comments so far


    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:23 PM

    Comment #1

    Can we now close this milner stories? I’m fed up, he was class but is already gone. Good luck and bye bye – end of story.

    Now bring the really important stories about our signings!!

  • 35yrsofhurt

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:28 PM

    Comment #2

    He was a good player but not great.
    I personally wish him well.
    The End…….

  • Martin

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:29 PM

    Comment #3

    aii…can all the fans who were ready to boo him please read this and not act as fickley as you were planning – I wish him well (as long as we do better obviously!)

    Many other players have done the same thing and receievd good receptions – both Nobby, Speed and Sibierski felt under-valued by the club and left…can’t hold it against Jimmy the Brazilian!

  • Jinal

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:30 PM

    Comment #4

    Thanks for everything James. Best of luck.

  • wolfhound

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:31 PM

    Comment #5

    sign someone please sunderland are looking like they have a billionaire owner not us come on ashley you could stil be a hero

  • Irish John

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:32 PM

    Comment #6

    goo dlad , pitty about crossing and shooting skills…If he had them he would be staying..Im sure off that…

    We will be a better team without him.

  • natedawg

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #7

    any one no who the two lads behind joey barton in the photo on the toon in training for arsenal match on

  • beyethegreat

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:33 PM

    Comment #8

    i hope he has a good career but not too good

  • seb larrson as a replacement would be good, cheaper too, prob bowt 6 mill anyone else want him? and he can cross a ball

  • beyethegreat

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:36 PM

    Comment #10

    wolfhound i am starting to wonder whether the scum have a few billionaire owners hope not

  • Bobby Ollox

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #11

    Keegan or Ashley did the right thing. If they had reworked his contract to keep him, on Monday morning there would be a queue outside his office, all bleating that they were worth more

    He didnt want to play for us any more, he’s gone – end of.

  • liquid ice

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:37 PM

    Comment #12

    irish john dont forget the speed skills!!

  • danuneek

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:38 PM

    Comment #13

    Well im happy that KK has come out said it was his decision to sell Milner. I think its a good deal for the amount been specified.

  • smithio

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #14

    Good luck to him. It was good to see him get head down when it fell through last time. It’d be interesting to know what pay rise he’s getting. Shame Smith, Duff Barton and Shola aren’t gagging to get away to get first team football….wonder why??£££????££££

  • Kash

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:40 PM

    Comment #15

    I’d take Seb Larrson but not for £6m. Maybe £3m or £4m.

  • Estechco

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #16

    natedawg: Think one is new youngster Nile Ranger (sub on Tues). Other could be the Danqueh (reserve) lad?

  • King-Habib

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:41 PM

    Comment #17

    Nate Dawg – It’s Kamil Zayatte and Nile Ranger I think.

  • toon lad

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:42 PM

    Comment #18

    good luck to milner great player.think that should be the end ofpeople going out .move on to the important matter our signings

  • beyethegreat

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #19

    smithio milner wasnt gagging to get away for first team football he wanted to get away for a pay rise

  • Birketts

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:43 PM

    Comment #20

    I dont post often put read all, james milnes is an ok player not great 2goals nd 3assits last year prove that, i just hope we sign a replacement, also am sick ov reading all these post by fans slagging MA, leave the guy alone if it werent for him there wouldnt be a NUFC

  • LBToon

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #21

    While most will agree that Milner has come into his own and some will say we should not have let him go, the club could not pass up the valuation Villa put on the player. 9 to 12 million is too good to pass up. Smart move from corporate, now show support to Kevin by backing his move for a quality replacement.

  • natedawg

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #22

    k werent sure , thanks

  • magpieranger

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:44 PM

    Comment #23

    spotty git

  • Michael

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #24

    What a load of rubbish from the mail. They are already saying Colo is a bad signing and is bad in the air. He’s only bean beaten once in the air (that I can remember) and it was because the player got a run on him.

  • whitey

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #25

    refreshing to see a player act with dignity and integrity over the move instead of going to the press or having an immature strop. milner has been a credit to the toon shirt since he signed. dont know the contract ins and outs, but i bet hes on and was asking for a fraction of some of our bigger earners. weve lost a really good valuable young player who will only get better. sure hell sniff around a couple of full caps in the future.

  • Marty

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #26

    Good luck

  • Tom

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #27

    Good luck James. Don’t score against us yeah??

  • ToonBoy

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:45 PM

    Comment #28

    The lad signed a four year contract. He then decided he wanted more money. He banged in a transfer request to really blackmail the club. It didn’t work and now he’s gone. Its about time a club made a stance against the greed of these players. The PFA should be ashamed. Milner should be ashamed. He obviously didn’t really care about the club.

  • Gallowgate31

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:46 PM

    Comment #29

    To me it sounds like Milner is a thoroughly decent talented, young, gifted, canny


    Thanks for your efforts and goodbye.

    KK showed his side, and Milner has now showed his.

    Shame but lets move on now lads !

  • Whitt

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:47 PM

    Comment #30

    i have to agree that his contract hardly reflects the clubs own valuation of him…for example, they paid about 6M for Smith and Barton each, and they are on double what Milner was on, yet the clubs asking 10+?

    in the end, Milner was one of my favorite players, but getting 10+M for him is good business. hope we reinvest immediately though.

  • steve

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #31

    Good words from Milner – was good for newcastle but not great and 9-12 million is over the odds for him so a good deal for toon.

    Think it’s fair enough that he wanted parity with taylor (he aint that great either), with the club refusing to open contract talks he obviously thought that slapping in a transfer request would force the issue which it did although probably not the outcome he thought would happen.

    Good luck to him at Villa but lets move on

  • iain

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #32

    its why so many of us keeping banging on that getting rid of smith/shola/duff is just as important as signing good players.

  • Tom_Toon

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:50 PM

    Comment #33

    Natedawg – Ranger and Danquah.

  • Egar

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #34

    Best of luck, James.

  • Ian

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #35

    Milner is ok, leave him alone.

    I am just grateful Martins doesnt feel that way too.

    I am expecting KK to make some brilliant signings and two of them to be strikers, one really good one.

    I get the feeling Owen has tried to overplay his worth with KK and he will sign a replacement.

  • Gallowgate31

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #36

    He will get a good Cheer when he plays against us which will then turn to Boo’s whenever he touches the ball.

    Quite an affectionate tradition towards a player we once liked.

    What happens when his first corner against us goes straight over everyone, or little Zog heads it away !

    He will get jeered…… ( if we have a good replacement anyway ! ).

  • sweendog

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #37

    Milner .. unfortunately showed his true character looking a pay rise instead of working and waiting to get a pay rise .. a couple of very good performances doesn’t mean he’s worth big money ..
    Unfortunately a good player has left us but we currently have better players at the club as wingers and we have better strikers .. so he is not needed and we can get better for 10-12 mill.

  • neeraj

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:52 PM

    Comment #38

    thats what we are saying it was a good business

  • Shola Ameobi

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #39

    Im gutted like. The squads so bare at the moment, milner was an asset just becouse he can play in a few different positions. The fact he plays week in week out and gives everything for our club, yet still ends up on less wages than barton or smith is a joke. Really got no idea who we could get at this point who is as good or better than milner. It took us months to sign Jonas and Collo, anybody who thinks where going to get 4 players in essentially one day (match tomorrow, nothing happens on sundays) is being silly. Wev got the talent, but not the numbers to even think about competing with sides like villa.

  • Marguerite

    Aug 29, 2008 at 4:53 PM

    Comment #40

    Good luck Milner.

    Just so long as we beat the Villa home and away!

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