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17 Feb 2015

Surprising? 51% of LFC fans reject signing of 'outstanding £15m attacker, but 49% still want him

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Recent reports claim that James Milner is currently 'considering' offers from both Liverpool and Arsenal, but what do Reds fans think about the prospect of the Manchester City midfielder turning out for LFC?

Last week, an alleged exclusive from the Daily Express:

* Liverpool and Arsenal have submitted official offers for Milner.

* The 28-year old is actively 'considering' the offers.

Brendan Rodgers recently hailed Milner as an 'outstanding' and 'wonderful' footballer, but do Liverpool fans agree?

Over the last month, I conducted a site-poll asking fans whether Liverpool should sign Milner:

* 11750 visitors (approx - poll still ongoing) participated.
* 51% of participants voted NO to signing Milner.

Clearly, fans are split on the prospect of Milner signing for Liverpool, but based on Rodgers' typically gushing overpraise, if there's any chance whatsoever of sealing the deal, he'll almost certainly take it.

Milner's creative stats over the last 4 years:

* 2014-15: 4 goals/8 assists in 33 apps (so far)
* 2013-14: 2 goals/15 assists in 44 apps.
* 2012-13: 4 goals/7 assists in 35 apps.
* 2011-12: 3 goals/5 assists in 37 apps.
* 2010-11: 3 goals/8 assists in 42 apps
* TOTALS: 16 goals/44 assists in 191 apps
* Goal every 11.9 apps | Assist every 4.3 apps.
* Goal/Assist every 3.1 apps.

Milner's assist-stats are okay, but Liverpool already have too many goal-shy attacking midfielders. This season, for example:

* Henderson: 3 goals in 37 apps (1 every 12 games). No goals for 19 games.
* Lallana: 5 goals in 27 apps (1 every 5 games).
* Allen: No goals in 19 apps.
* Markovic: 3 goals in 27 apps (1 every 9 games)
* Coutinho: 3 goals in 35 apps (1 every 11 games)
* Combined Total: 1 goal every 10.3 games (collectively)

This is simply not good enough for a team with genuine ambitions of regularly challenging for the league title, and with these stats, it's no surprise Liverpool are 7th in the table.

It's simple: when a team has a set of midfielders who score one goal every ten games, there's no chance of consistently finishing in the top four. Right now, the Reds are exactly where there deserve to be, and Henderson et al are partly to blame for not doing their jobs properly.

This is why I have major reservations about Milner; he averages 3-4 goals a season over the last 5 years, and I can't see that changing at Liverpool. He'll just be another industrious midfielder who'll fails to score goals when it really matters, and that is not going to push the Reds to the next level.

Forget hard work, pressing etc - Liverpool have enough workers, but where has that got the team? Out of the Champions League in the group stage, and struggling to make the top four. Liverpool need midfielders who will consistently contribute 12-15 goals a season, and Milner 'aint it.

All those fans happy for LFC to sign Milner are ignoring the reality outlined above: attack-minded midfielders need to score goals, and deeper-lying midfielders (such a Allen) need to contribute every now and again with the odd-goal/assist.

With very few exceptions, teams with goal-shy midfielders rarely win the league (in England, or any other league), and if Liverpool sign Milner, that will continue.



  1. I don't think he was ever an attacking midfielder in the usual sense of that phrase. He was and is the man for the job, whatever the job is. City has loads of creativity. he usually gives them defensive and positional advantage on the field but if the occasion arises he has very precise cross and shot. The best team for him is the one with many creative players which doesn't require him in the line up all the time.
    Yeah, City...

  2. Agreed to the hilt on this one. Paying over the top for average British players must stop.

  3. Therefore we dont need him. We have Allen, Hendo, coutinho, Marko , Lalana who will fit into the same stats bracket.

  4. He would be free as his contract with City finishes in the summer.

  5. Yes. But his wages coming for free?

  6. I actually think that Hendo, Markovic and Lallana have more creativity in them than we think, though they are excellent defensivelly. Specially Hendo's creative stats will go up when he stops looking where is Steven...

  7. Nicolas Chamberlain4:56 pm, February 17, 2015

    Well Milner is a versatile midfielder who proved himself on the highest level. You can't compare his style with Lallana or Coutinho. You could compare him with Henderson. We could definitely use a very experienced, internationally proven midfielder. Especially considering the fact we are going to lose Gerrard. A no-brainer for me.

  8. True. But for now attacking midfielders should be banging in 10 to 15 goals a season in all competitions. Milner is definitely not an upgrade to our young lads.

  9. Nicolas Chamberlain4:59 pm, February 17, 2015

    Milner is not avarage. Just like Lallana isn't avarage. Just because we paid crazy money for Downing and Carroll, who are both pretty avarage, doesn't mean that every British player is an expensive flop. Hate the game not the player(s).

  10. I agree we do not need him, though I rate him highly...

  11. Nicolas Chamberlain5:00 pm, February 17, 2015

    We need experience when Gerrard is gone.
    Milner is not an attacking midfielder; he is an allround midfielder. And one that we can definitely use.

  12. Whether he's average or not is irrelevant. Like Hendo and Lallana, he doesn't score enough goals.

    If Liverpool had midfielders who scored goals regularly, the Reds wouldn't be 7th right now.

  13. I will never hate the game. and I don't hate players either. It;s either you are good enough or not to wear the Red shirt. And Milner is not the answer.

  14. Yes but next season we'll have Can and hopefully Lukas in DM, 'free' Hendo, Lallana, Couts, Sterling, Lazar and Ibe in midfield and they all should be higher in the pecking order than him. If he agrees on the same part role he has in City than yes, but doubt it...

  15. In order for mids to score(or assist) you have to have good stable formation and good attackers infront of them- we had neither for the good part of the season

  16. These are just excuses. If Liverpool finish outside the top four this year, do you think FSG will care about such excuses?

    Attack-minded midfielders need to score goals consistently. End of story. The reasons why they fail are ultimately irrelevant. It's the manager's job to ensure this happens. When Liverpool lose £50m+ by failing to qualify for the Champions League, mewling about how LFC didn't have a 'stable formation' for much of the season isn't going to cut it.

  17. All I am saying it was Rogers' fault, not players'. If we fail it will be time to sack him. But he improved it in last months so that won't be neccesary.

  18. We haven't had midfielders that can score consistently for a long long time now(except Gerrard) and that has been our problem, now we are going to lose that player. Will be hard to replace.

  19. Nicolas Chamberlain5:20 pm, February 17, 2015

    The game is a metaphor for the fact that domestic transfers are out of control.

  20. If we only just miss out on top 4 I don't think Rodgers will or should be sacked. Last season we had some world class quality but no real depth. This year we've got depth but we're lacking just a little bit of cutting edge quality. It would be madness to start again rather than just learning the lessons the last couple of years have taught us and making the necessary tweaks.
    With regards to transfers, we finally have the squad depth that we can concentrate our transfer efforts on a couple of players to take us to the next level. We are close to being a very good team and I think FSG will realise that and give Rodgers at least one more season where there isn't loads of new players to integrate.

  21. I like milner a lot but I have to agree.we definitely need a lot more goals from midfield. .

  22. Have you left the assist out and sterling out to make the stats lol ok worse than they are 😂

  23. I actually agree but.. Top 4 finish was/is really achievable this season and if we do not it will be down to his poor tactical decisions during the first half of the season so... Still, if I buy the club by August and we are not in CL, I probably won't fire him...

  24. Also left gerrard out he's bagged a few too we are on an upwards curve and your nit picking

  25. I agree, some of his decisions at the start of the season were quite baffling at times but we're back on track now and I don't think changing the manager at the end of the season would do us any favours

  26. Reading the other comments, I realise that I forgot about Manquillo, Flanno and Wisdom.

  27. I knew -phew- has few meanings so I looked it up to see what Saint Google has to say about that.
    Phew-expressing a strong reaction of relief, or of disgust at a smell. Hope you don't think I stink or I will be forced to release all your favourite players and won't get those you suggest when I buy the club!

  28. You have obviously never owned a Boxer. They are known for flatulence. Luis just happened to let one go as I read your comment

  29. And you just can't seem to get enough of Luis nanana...

  30. Good luck with that

  31. He didn't forget sterling he left him out he also left the assists out as they don't look half as bad think Lallana hasn't had a real decent run of games and he's got goals and a few assist Henderson has been playing deep but has a number assist coutinho has been magnificent but we all no he needs to work on his finishing allen will never score or create many as for the bit about the pace up front and stretching the teams with sturridge I agree completely but jaimie will completely dismiss it as excuses and most probably delete this comment like he always does when someone has the audacity to disagree with him

  32. To be fair he hasn't deleted the last few I have put up.....I am trying to draw him into a debate but he knows better I think ;-)

  33. no wonder sterling wants 120g if this guy wants 160g .....sterling is better and has vastly more potential

  34. No not 51% of Liverpool fans just 51% of visitors to this site. I sometimes wonder if a large number of them have ever even seen LFC play

  35. They're probably going to cup-tie Ibe, too.

  36. First sentence explained in the srticle. Second sentence is just nonsense.

  37. Lallana has produced a goal / assist every 160 minutes. Not bad in an injury affected first season in a team that struggled so badly for the first 3 months of the season.

  38. I think FSG will ask why on earth it took Rodgers half a season to figure out how to use his players after he spent over 100m in a summer.

  39. Deleted my comment about sterling gerrard n assist not being there again

  40. I'm amazed so many signings have adapted so quickly and I think FSG will be happy they didn't do anything knee jerk and replace Rodgers, as many on these supporter websites want or wanted. We all get fed up at times, but not too many people are that worried about Gerrard leaving now and I don't think there's much chat about missing Suarez, because the team is playing great football and full of potential. I'm really excited about the future of our club.

  41. "It is good, though, to see Rodgers getting personally involved with transfer negotiations. This is something I've called for many times in the past"

    Yes but you also regularly bemoan Rodgers' involvement in transfers, as if he is solely responsible for all transfers (player choices and fees), you can't really it have it both ways.

  42. My issue was not with the signings. With the increased schedule, there's no doubt that we needed more quantity (and quality).

    But how Rodgers spent the better part of 4 months trying to figure out what was wrong was truly beyond me.

    As an example: He wanted a pressing style and stuck Mario Balotelli or Rickie Lambert up top by themselves? I have no skills as a manager and even I could see that would never work.

    The one pass Rodgers gets from me is the Sturridge injury. There's no way you plan for a player to be out for 5 months.

  43. Aquilani was misused, he was a quality player if a little bit injury prone.

  44. I agree it took a while for him to work out we needed sterling's pace up front to unlock Coutinho and lallana, but I think his biggest issue was having the balls to drop Gerrard and play Lucas. I'm just happy with where we are now and that we seem to be going in the right direction. Losing Suarez, the injuries to Sturridge and Gerrards rapid decline were always going to hurt us, but we are still in with a reasonable shout of achieving our objectives.

  45. Have you met Twist?

  46. Agree wit u mate...

  47. Not sure he has the distribution we wish for, probably the reason we are even interested in Pjanic. Whoever it is we buy, he better be agile in the middle of the park. We don't need another Allen or Lucas type player.

  48. I hope not I'm betting on him scoring the goal that lifts the cup

  49. Which begs the question why Rodgers did not stick to last seasons tactics???

    If it is working now then why could it not have worked from the start of this season?

    Drum roll...

  50. Or to give up on use useless system of play which saw us have our worst start to a season in half a century.

  51. The shame is that he knew what he wanted all along. Yet he didn't put players in positions and strategies suited to their strengths.

    And he overplayed Gerrard and Sterling. He went out and bought several players and didn't use a rotation.

    The only major significant injury we had for the first four months of the season was to Sturridge, and we knew going in that Sturridge was not going to be available all season given his injury history. The close second would be Lallana who's been in and out. But with that in mind, Rodgers had no plan B for four months.

  52. Watching PSG. 8 million is about 16 too much for Lavezzi

  53. A different take...

    Here's top midfield scoring for the Premier League.

    Eriksen - 9
    Hazard - 9
    Yaya Toure - 7
    Silva - 7
    Oscar - 6
    Gerrard - 6

    That's in the top 27 scorers in the Prem.

    In other words, 6 of the top 27 scorers in the Prem are midfielders (22.2%).

    So with this in mind, take away Hazard and Gerrard who see a bulk of PK opportunities for their teams.

    Now we have Eriksen, Toure, Silva, Oscar. 4 out of the top 25 (16%). And what do all four of those guys have in common: A bonafide striker leading the charge (Kane, Aguero, Costa).

    In other words, our top scorer this year is a 33 year old midfielder who gets his goals primarily from PKs and free kicks. All that tells me is that our strikers have not been doing their part (as I think everyone here will agree).

    Sure we can focus on midfielders not scoring, but the fact of the matter is that the problem has been our strikers lack of scoring.

    With Sturridge back, things should change.

  54. If Liverpool had strikers who scored goals regularly, we wouldn't be in 7th right now.

  55. I'm pretty sure I saw a press conference where Rodgers was asked why he stuck with his unsuccessful formations for so long and his smiling three-word-answer was: "Just... For... Logan".

  56. Please don't paraphrase me unless you're actually going to be accurate. I've never 'bemoaned' Rodgers' involvement in transfers - I've criticised his transfer choices, which is a totally different thing.

    I've always argued that he has final say, and that he should be more involved, i.e. meeting prospective players pre-transfer, and not leaving it to Ayre to persuade players to sign.

  57. Wait is making a choice not being involved? How very odd.

  58. Stop sniping; you are moaning for hell of it rather than trying to promote constructive debate.

    You stated that I 'bemoan Rodgers' involvement in transfers', which is categorically 100% incorrect.

    If you can't paraphrase fairly/accurately, then don't bother in the first place.

  59. It's not a snipe it's a valid criticism on your style and content.
    If you put your work in the public domain, you should expect that.
    And for the record you are categorically 100% incorrect in your assertion in your above reply.
    You have on numerous occasions made complaints about the fees that are paid for "Rodgers' choices", similarly on the choices themselves. If having a hand in the choices and fees is not having an involvement in the transfers then what is?
    If Rodgers is not involved in the fees and then the majority of your criticisms of "Rodgers' transfers" are mostly invalid.
    As for just the definition of speaking to players/pre-sign work Rodgers has done that, with both Costa and Miki, neither came off.
    Not to mention as other people have pointed out you were critical of Rodgers for going to Italy, while we were prepping for the 5th round, so this is an example of hypocrisy.
    Further in this very article nowhere does it say Rodgers spoke to the player so "selling the club to the player" isn't even a valid point.
    You should learn to accept and deal criticism without having resort to using the term sniping or banning posters when this happens.

  60. hahaha another industrious, not much end product player

  61. Yeah, I agree with that.

  62. We can offer him a lot more playing time and, if he's as good here as he has been there, he could have a team built around him. Something that chels and city can't offer. As for turning down bayern or the two Spanish teams, well, not much we can do on that front .
    I do think we need a player who can walk into the team as a replacement for Ste, not one for the future, or worse, one we can triple our dough on.

  63. The vultures have been circling right enough...

  64. Rodgers made a comment about Coutinho not needing to be a 15-20 goal a year player. And Coutinho is our MOST advanced midfielder. Sure, they all need to improve but I'm not sure this is a personnel problem, more that the team has been pretty poor and it took time to find the right system. Liverpool's best football came when we had two strikers banging in the majority of our goals. I'm not so sure that's a bad model to go for. Suarez is gone but Sturridge will continue to be the main goal scorer.

    Without Suarez I'd say we're probably a 80-85 goal a year team and that's generally good enough for a consistent top 4 finish. Here's how I'd see that breaking down when it's all working well:

    Sturridge - 20
    2nd striker - 15
    Sterling - 12
    Lallana - 12
    Markovic - 10
    Coutinho - 8
    Henderson - 5
    Gerrard/Midfielder "X" - 5

    That's 87 goals for the season. If defenders chip in with a few from set pieces and other players get a handful then we're pushing 100. And I don't think any of the above numbers are unrealistic. It's just that the priorities are different. I see our goals coming from attacking midfielders and strikers, not necessarily Henderson and whoever might come in the summer to play centrally.

    Lallana, Markovic and Coutinho are below par so far this season but that's a symptom of the team struggling, not that we have too many players who are fundamentally incapable of scoring. Everyone needs to improve but most importantly they need to do it as a team with effective tactics and systems that get the best out of everyone.

    Adding Milner into the mix isn't going to be a problem. He'll simply slot in wherever required. He's on track for 6 or 7 goals this season which puts him in between Henderson and Coutinho. I think that's what he's capable of. He can also play in those wider areas which by my numbers requires more contribution but it would be up to Rodgers to decide if he thinks the player is capable of doing that. His history is interesting but consider that he has developed quite a bit over the years and may be reaching his peak only now. In fact in order to hold down that regular spot perhaps the challenge would be to him to lift his game to the next level and take on a goal scoring responsibility for Liverpool. If he doesn't live up to it then he won't play. We then have a utility player on the bench who can cover pretty much any position on the pitch.

  65. You can't bully a Bosnian. I dare you to try.

  66. He's got confetti knees, it seems.

  67. Seems to suit our style more. Pjanic is a fabulous player though. Not quite at his best lately though, it must be said.

    I don't think I'd be willing to pay £37m to get him either.

  68. Thanks for posting the stats and details about Pjanic, JK.

    Could you do us all a favour from now on and tell us, for every player we get linked with, if they can speak Luxembourgish?

  69. What did we expect a man of olden day football to do? Kenny was stuck in the 90s surprised he went for Carroll and didn't ask shearer to come play for us

  70. Certainly a prerequisite from now on.

  71. B Rodgers should forget Pjanic(24) and bring in M Veratti(22) Of PSG for £26-£30M not only is Veratti(22) awesome on the ball, he is like a little pitbull in the centre of the park who is fearless and he gets stuck in. He is not just a luxury player he is a grafter without the ball also.

    This summer B Rodgers should sell J Headless Chicken Allen(24), Sell L Leiva(28) to either Inter Milan or Napoli and hopefully Malaga sign L Alberto(22) permanently.

    And then B Rodgers or the new manager should replace the three players above with these three top class midfielders and an upcoming DM Lynchpin in the making:

    1: M Veratti(22) Of PSG for £26-£30M CM
    2: Nainggolan(26) Of Roma for £20-£25M CM

    Both those players would help the club Replace S Gerrard(34)

    3: L Bender(25) Of Bayer Leverkusen or M Schneiderlin(25) Of Southampton for £16-£22M DM

    4: G Imbula(22) Of Marseille for £10-£12M

  72. ha ha no doubt...

  73. Sorry mate, I speak only basic English. Could you post that again in Luxembourgish for me?

  74. Adding Milner is a waste of time and money unless we want to add size. We have tons of other mids that don't score...........much rather use IBE who has size and seems to have a nose for the net......

  75. We need a second legitimate striker whose last name doesn't start with a B. Surely they are out there if we can only break through the infamous committee.....

  76. well said as always Stu...........

  77. Logan,
    you and Isle are spot on!!!!!!!!!!...............