New Contract Would Have Kept Milner At Newcastle

Aston Villa manager Martin O’Neill has said today that James Milner wanted to stay at Newcastle, but the club would not offer him a new contract, and instead elected to sell him.

James Milner – wanted to stay on Tyneside

Martin O’Neil has spilled the beans on how we lost James Milner to Villa as he talked about James today:

“My own view is that if James had been given a new contract at Newcastle I think he would have stayed.” “James had played a lot of games for Newcastle and if they were stalling on a new contract we had a great opportunity to get him in.”

“The offer from Villa was too good for Newcastle to turn down and James is worth every penny of the fee.” “I think he is doing very well for us. He conjured up something from nothing for the second goal against Blackburn Rovers on Wednesday. It was fantastic.”

“James working hard for a football team becomes second nature to him as it does with the likes of Ashley Young.” “He has good energy, great determination, good skill and will definitely improve.”

“I have no doubts about James. As a character he is top class.” “It says a lot for James that after telling him there were offers on the table for him he still wanted to play for Newcastle in their Carling Cup game against Coventry and he was brilliant.”

“What I find terrific about both James and Ashley Young is that they will work back for you.” “They can pick up the ball and having done that they are prepared to gallop 40 yards forward and that is terrific.”

This is probably the event that started Kevin Keegan having second thoughts about the plans and ideas of the Newcastle Board and owner Mike Ashley, as Kevin had made it very clear he didn’t want to lose James Milner, whom he called “a gem of a player.”

And we heard that James was surprised when he heard Newcastle were willing to let him go, just before the end of the transfer window, since he always talked very well of the Tyneside club.

And he had one of his best ever games for the club in that fantastic extra time win over Coventry in The Carling Cup, which turned out to be his last appearance for Newcastle.

Why we cannot hold onto young players, who love the club, and are only going to get better, is completely beyond us.     🙁

Comments welcome.

180 comments so far

  • seetow

    Nov 2, 2008 at 10:46 AM

    Comment #1


    lucky we sold him quick, 12 mil for a lad who can’t cross and had a total of 2 assists last season for a right winger is a great deal

  • scotty

    Nov 2, 2008 at 10:49 AM

    Comment #2

    agreed – only if we had purchased a better quality winger – which we didn’t.

  • Roby

    Nov 2, 2008 at 10:54 AM

    Comment #3

    those 12 milion pounds went to Ashleys pocket…not for us… so telling that we sold him for 12 milion is good deal,is madness….we didnt get any money for new signings…those 12 milion went to mike ashley who spent it in casino.

  • AlexW

    Nov 2, 2008 at 10:55 AM

    Comment #4

    bollocks, he had a raw talent and no matter how much money we got for him, money doesnt win football games, its players like milner who does, players who play there heart on the sleeve and when you look at our current team there aint many players who are playing with the grit and determination of milner

    he shouldnt of gone and thats that

  • Ausgeordie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:22 AM

    Comment #5

    We have a lot of dead wood at the club. He was not dead wood he was young. enthusiastic and hard working.

  • Leo

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:24 AM

    Comment #6

    if we could have kept him it would have been brillient, very useful, but with gutierrez we have a better right + left winger

    we are just short on quality

  • bri

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:34 AM

    Comment #7

    what martin oniel fails to mention is that milner signed a contract less than ten months ago. He heard what villa would offer him and tried to hold the club to ransom.

  • MickMack

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:36 AM

    Comment #8

    Alex W – post 4 –

    You are 100% Bang On.

    The Premiership of today needs playes that can cover vast amounts of turf per game. Milner was second to none at working hard for the team – he covered every blade of grass for us, yet he gets stick for not having an end product or good final ball. With Milner he would double up with Beye and we would have a strong right hand side both attacking and defending. He could also do the same down the left. Yes we have Jonas who can do that and Duff can play on either side, Nzogbia doesnt play on the right, but who have we got if they are injured – Geremi?

  • beyethegreat

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:48 AM

    Comment #9

    ok milner lacked an end product

    but imo he was still one of our best there were times when only he was the one trying

    though what concerns me with milner is he hasnt got an end product

    but i cant help but think that in a few years that would change

  • Timmers

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #10

    Oh my what a strange time to release that statement Martin O’neil, a day before we play you at home. Just like Ferguson always trying to play mind games-wonder what his defence will be we he drops Aston Villa for United in 2 years time!

  • Ally

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:53 AM

    Comment #11

    I hope Joey breaks his legs on Monday

  • Ally

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:54 AM

    Comment #12

    i mean milner legs i dont want barton to break his! lol

  • Bart

    Nov 2, 2008 at 11:55 AM

    Comment #13

    I think 12 mils was a great deal depends on his current abilities(no goal, cant cross, draging the ball for too long and eventually comes out with nothing).
    I dont how will him develope into, but i doubt he is showing anymore potential to be a great great player.
    He played alot of matches and i think he already showed us what he got.
    By the way, sad to see him left.
    All the best james.

  • Toon_Ksk

    Nov 2, 2008 at 12:01 PM

    Comment #14

    The thing is, he didn’t deserve a new contract at that time.

  • dougnufc

    Nov 2, 2008 at 12:06 PM

    Comment #15

    Jonas looks hell a lot better than James Milner.

  • Bill F (Original)

    Nov 2, 2008 at 12:16 PM

    Comment #16

    Good , bad or ugly, he was the catalyst that pricipitated our present situation. I am waiting now to see what comes from the hints and insinuations about what “Really” happened according to JK. If there is any “Truth” out there it could change a lot of opinions.
    Probably a bit like politics though and we will never get the full story.

  • Sav

    Nov 2, 2008 at 12:20 PM

    Comment #17

    Roby and Alex W.
    Well said.
    We didn’t have any problem hanging onto this particular youngster.

    Ashley chose to sell him for profit.

  • Sav

    Nov 2, 2008 at 12:26 PM

    Comment #18

    If there were any hidden ‘truth’ about Keegan, it is certainly not JFK’s place to be revealing it. Ashley or ‘Silence of the Llambias’ are well able to issue statements and speak through the media. So far though, (their ‘It is a fact’ statement a case in point) such efforts have been less than impressive.
    JFK probably knows less about what went on than the average fan. Remember even the likes of Bez got sacked after KK left for speaking out and he was here during the whole thing.

    Don’t get involved, Joe. No-one likes a ‘Smithers’.

  • capt. darlin

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:06 PM

    Comment #19

    Ashley deserves a lot of credit. Everyone knows what he s done on the money side of things, the debts etc. After sacking Big Fat Sam he wanted Arry Rednapp, who ultimately turned them done no doubt after seeing the negative press from the MOB not wanting him. So Ashley turned to the MOB wanted in Keegan. And look how it all ended. Keegan the bottler walking again!!!! Ashley has only the clubs best interests at heart which to him is a 250m investment, not a 500 quid season ticket you can choose not to renew instead of supporting the team!!!

  • capt. darlin

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:10 PM

    Comment #20

    Look at Rednapp, now!!!! 7 points in three games against the arse, liverpool and bolton, nuff said….. i tank you

  • capt. darlin

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:11 PM

    Comment #21

    Ah and an FA cup winners medal last season!!!

  • Michael12

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:14 PM

    Comment #22

    The man is provoking you! Why disclose this on the eve of the big game? To unsettle the fans and get them barking down Ashley’s tree. When the fans are not at the game the team does not perform and what O’Neill is trying to do is create that unrest among our fans.

    I certainly do not see Milner setting Villa alight, do you?


    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:33 PM

    Comment #23

    This milner story is already over long time ago…we have more than good wingers and he would be 3rd or 4th choice…no need for him!

    And the money we got for him was absolutely unbelieveable…no, Mr. O’Neil, he’s not worht that much money!! a very good young player, but absolutely not worth this awfull lot of money!! But that’s football these days. Story end.

  • Sav

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #24

    We’re 3rd from bottom. Villa are top6. I doubt he’s resorting to mind-games, do you?
    Just setting the record straight so a young lad who always gave 100% doesn’t get an unfair barracking tomorrow night. That’s all.


    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:36 PM

    Comment #25

    YES MILNER ALWAYS TRIED HIS SOCKS OFF-but that doesn`t win you very many games.
    Countless times he would run up the line with no finished product,he was an absolute pain in the ass to watch play….glad we sold him.
    We got great value for him

  • Turkish magpie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:37 PM

    Comment #26

    shame we spent his money on

    Xisco and gonzalez

    Xisco -never plays

    Still 6mil or something left

    All we need is a disapointing player(Nacho,Xisco etc) to have a magnifacent game in any match and it will benifit us in 2 ways

    .Boosts the price
    .Helps us win?

  • 51times

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #27

    capt. darlin – Well go and support the Yids then you daft wanker.

  • Turkish magpie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #28

    and i would have jonas in rm instead of milner anyday!


    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:38 PM

    Comment #29

    SPIDEY is 3 times the player

  • Craigg

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:42 PM

    Comment #30

    Please tell me what would it achieve Barton breaking Milners legs ?

    Barton banned and maybe back in jail and a good honest kid who gave his all to our club crippled, Great

    Rob Lee, Pop Robson and Antoine Sibierski to name but a few left over contractual issues would you like them to get hurt aswell ?

    Milner shouldnt have been allowed to leave nor should Faye as the manager didnt approve either and was let down by a uncaring chairman and a few overpaid nobodys in totally pointless roles.

    I get so annoyed at people throwing those stats in, 2 assists last season not great, OK how about Milners previous 3 seasons where he notched 30 assists and 11 goals, now include this season where he has got 3 assists and a goal already not bad for the “average” player as so many people accuse him of being.

    We will regret his sale when he is playing in the Champions league and in England squads because this kid will improve under a quality manager like O’Neill and we suffer under Our fat Irish/Cockney interim joker with his new Fash up front.

    And one more thing to Kinnear please stop trying to win favour by badmouthing Keegan because some of us have seen through you already lardo.

  • Turkish magpie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:43 PM

    Comment #31

    but i do think we sold milner to the wrong club

    we should of rejected 12mil for these reasons

    .might make them put the price up
    .Selling him to a foreign club would make us never face him
    . He might not want to move to a foreign club which will make him stay or get sold for more

  • Rasko a.k.a Hadji

    Nov 2, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    Comment #32

    Big clubs dont sell their best players thats why we’ll never ever compose a great team cos everytime someone turns out to be a high quality,we immediately sell him.
    If we kept our players this could have been our team.




  • ed_speed

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:00 PM

    Comment #33

    john scatman = ledgend.

    end of.


    p.s ‘mon the lads

  • TJ

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:01 PM

    Comment #34

    At least we got G Jonas who is far a better player than milner.

  • ed_speed

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:04 PM

    Comment #35

    Our team should leave the field to “I’m a scatman”, by john scatman.

    ‘mon the lads

  • Turkish magpie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:09 PM

    Comment #36

    hadj- spot on mate 😀

  • ed_speed

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:13 PM

    Comment #37

    evening turkish mag, how are you keeping?


  • Turkish magpie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Comment #38

    evening ed i’m fine

    Turkeys great

    Hows the us?

  • Turkish magpie

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:18 PM

    Comment #39

    sorry ed i didnt mean the u.s

    I was watching american football on turkish tv!

    regards Turkish mag

  • Craigg

    Nov 2, 2008 at 2:21 PM

    Comment #40


    The question should be why wasnt Bobby given money to spend when we finished 3rd in 02-03.

    He signed Bowyer on a free and the money raised by Champions league qualification was given to Souness to waste.

    If Shepherd had given that money to Bobby to get the players he wanted at the time, this team would have been ours.


    Subs: Harper, Taylor, Carr, N’Zogbia, Milner, Ameobi, Mpenza

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