7 Jul 2015

Top Transfer? £150k-a-week playmaker reveals 5 'reasons' why he's signing for Liverpool

It's official: James Milner is a Liverpool player. Ever since the Reds announced the deal in June, I've been praying for an 11-hour snag to arise and derail the transfer, but, alas, it wasn't mean to be. Milner rejected a contract extension at Man City to join LFC, and in his first interview for the club, the midfielder explained why he made that decision.

Speaking to the official Liverpool website today, Milner offered five main reasons why he chose Anfield:

* Increased game time: "I just thought it was the right thing for me to hopefully go and get more game time".

* Central midfield: "I want to play more centrally, and that's where the manager said he sees me playing"

* Hunger to succeed: "There is a hunger there [at LFC], I can feel that, and that's why I also wanted to come to the club".

* Trophies: "I'd like a trophy cabinet full of medals, to be honest. That's one of the reasons why I've come here".

* Mentoring: "Hopefully I can bring [my] experience to the squad and help the younger guys along".

So, what can we glean from this:

* Milner seems to see himself as an everpresent for Liverpool. He made 42 appearances for Man City last season, so to get 'more game time', he'll have to exceed that number, which basically means featuring in most, if not all, games.

* Rodgers has clearly promised Milner that he'll be played centrally, which probably puts the stoppers on any further central midfield signings.

* With Henderson almost guaranteed to start most games, it seems likely that Milner will play a holding role for Liverpool. Based on his career to date, that's not his best position, but given Rodgers' penchant for square pegs in round holes, it won't make any difference.

* Re trophies: Milner's contention that he's come to win trophies doesn't ring true. Liverpool rarely win trophies, and he'd have more chance of silverware at Man City.

To add insult to injury, Milner is taking the coveted number-7 shirt, graced in the past by infinitely superior players like Kevin Keegan, Kenny Dalglish, Peter Beardsley, Steve McManaman, and Luis Suarez. Jesus wept.

As a squad player (like he is at Man City), Milner would be an astute acquisition, but it's clear (especially from the alleged £150k salary) that Rodgers sees him as some kind of saviour, and mainstay of the team who - like Gerrard - will play most games.

If Milner is such a major asset, why was he a perennial bit-part player at Manchester City? Simple: he doesn't contribute enough to be a regular starter, and a wily manager like Pellegrini is intelligent enough to know that he won't win the title with huff-and-puff British footballers starting every game.


Milner does not have the game-changing quality, or end product to truly elevate a team, but Rodgers seems to think he's exactly that type of player. Indeed, he suggested as much last season, when he raved: "James is a wonderful player. He's an outstanding footballer, and has been since I saw him at Leeds as a young player".

So, what exactly will Milner bring to the team? Industry, stamina, running, tackling, physicality, and fight. These are all well and good, but that description applies to Jordan Henderson (who scores even fewer goals than Milner), and even with those aforementioned qualities, Liverpool still only limped into sixth place in the league.

Just consider this: Man City paid £26m for Milner, and this is what they got for that money:

* 19 goals/45 assists in 203 games.

* Goal every 11 games | Assist every 4.5 games.

Objectively, and without bias, did Man City get value for money in any way, shape, or form? Adam Lallana also cost £26m, and if he ends his Liverpool career with only 19 goals in 5 years, will you be happy with that?

If so, then it just shows how low your standards have fallen.

Of course, I'm happy to be proven wrong, and I hope I am, as it means Liverpool will be doing well. I just can't see it, though.

Author: Jaimie K



86 comments:

  1. I am looking forward to Milner to be honest. I think he's a good player and will add experience to a young squad now that Gerrard has gone. for a free transfer it cant really be that bad. I know his wages are high but we didnt pay a penny for him. I dont think he will get to play every game, allot of his statements are just talk and what he has to say in public. I hope he works out well at LFC.........

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  2. Were his 203 games, 90 minutes, ? if not your stats are incorrect, based on minutes, how many games did he play, this stats thing again.
    BR is walking the plank this season, and bet your life on it, there will be no sentimentality, you dont perform you wont play, this is last chance Hotel for BR, I really expect us to be better than last season, even without Sterling.
    I am happy enough with the deals we have done so far this window, but we still IMO need a striker, DM, and left back as cover or to play.

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  3. I'm please that JM is at LFC , think he will add alot to a young bunch of players with his good attitude and work rate .

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  4. 5MIL signing on fee.

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  5. No Jaimie he actually has to play 15 full matches to get more playing time. And he said hopefully.

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  6. I really doubt Lallana will last unless he pulls his socks up he wont be at Liverpool to get 19 goals in 5 years/
    My standards havent dropped at all i get home every afternoon hoping to see we have signed Messi and Ronaldo.

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  7. Name one other Professional player on the planet
    of Milners ability,
    that you could bye for £5m,
    I wont hold my breath waiting for the answer, if thats OK.

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  8. Still at least we stood firm with the "Merc" who is an exciting flair player at the start of his career and spent the money (that might have kept him at Liverpool) instead on a solid player nearing the end of his career.


    I think the Milner signing is a good one but I know who I would rather see wearing the previously illustrious number 7 shirt for Liverpool ;-/

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  9. Why when we already have Milner and Henderson? That would be madness of biblical proportions (?) to buy them and have them sitting on the bench.

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  10. Well he and Hendo can form a box-to-box high pressing double pivot, as do Modric and Kroos, their stamina, work rate and tackling could be exactly what we need; last season we were terrible at pressing in the middle Hendo and Milner could change that. And then put in Can behind the two for matches with the teams from top four positions... Easy...
    Mignolet
    Clyne-Lovren-Sakho-Moreno
    Can
    Hendo-Milner
    Coutinho-Firmino
    Benteke

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  11. in those 203 games he played 12306 minutes which would equate to about 137 games with a goal every 7.2 and an assist every 3. (unless my maths are wrong :P) so if milner was to get 42 games again this year and played the full 90 we'd be looking at 6 goals and 14 app from our central midfielder which isnt too bad IMO for a free transfer. but in reality im going to assume these numbers are gonna be quite different

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  12. I never knew Jesus Wept wore the number 7 shirt.

    Impressive player, always nailed on to put in a good performance.

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  13. Thanks for the homework Matt,,
    financially he is a good buy, as you say,he is free. His wages are about what someone of his standing and experience would expect.

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  14. Based on the last 2/3 seasons, Skirts would be No 1, when I choose my back 4, otherwise it looks tasty.

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  15. Frankie Fletcher9:00 am, July 07, 2015

    I can think of a few games off the top of my head where he changed a game. The best example was when Man city were 2-0 down away against bayern munich, Milner changed the game in the second half and even bagged the winner.


    He will be a good addition to the team I'm sure maybe not with measurable stats but bringing in some experience and some guidance for the younger players.

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  16. I think Milner is probably the most under-rated player in the league and I personally think it's a very astute signing from the club

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  17. This is the season of truth, :) for many players, Wisdom, illori, Marko, Lallana, Allen, Lucas, Can, Lovren, even Moreno and Mig, probably many more I cant recall,

    Just let the action begin, Stoke away, I could not have planned a better fixture to see if we have moved on.

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  18. What a player! Remember that goal he scored against that team? Ooo, such a sweet finish.

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  19. Mr. Point Of View9:20 am, July 07, 2015

    i guess main reason is 150k for 29yo

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  20. I'm thinking my favourite will make a stunning comebck this year, and let's face it, the crowd loves a big comeback ;)

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  21. This is ridiculous, frankly.

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  22. Thats exactly the team im expecting to see. Not much wrong with that considering our resources

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  23. Hendo will play holding, Milner Box to Box....

    I still don't quite understand how you can miss the obvious advantages of having a player like Milner, and for free...Milner is a plaer that gives his all, all the time... Something Liverpool need, and something that was seriously lacking last season...

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  24. I was suprised to see Milner get that number... Thought maybe he would get the number 8, unless of course Hendo is getting that.

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  25. Gonna throw it out there and say if he hadn't thrown is dummy out the pram, Sterling.

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  26. That the kind of ruthlessness we should have as a rule, not as a last chance saloon scenario...But like you, I'm relatively happy with the signings so far, but would be happy to see a DM and not Benteke....

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  27. Yeah... I can'tsee Brendan giving guarentees, just strong indications that if he makes himself undroppable, he will play every game like Hendo.

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  28. Ilove your optomism... I'll be joining you in oping he turns it round this year and wins a place in the team of the season.

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  29. Couldn't agree more. He'll add bags of energy to previously static areas. And it's his experience too, he even said it himself; "hopefully I can bring experience to the squad and help the younger guys along". With Gerrard leaving and other senior players like Johnson, the trophy-winning experience of a fully-fledged International like Milner could prove to be very important to what is basically a young squad.

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  30. Against Roma I think...

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  31. City offered more.

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  32. Now now Stan play nice ;) I have soft spot for the guy, and a gut feeling we will have the last word when it comes to trophies this year, I can almost taste it :)

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  33. How many goals or assists does Xabi Alonso provide? How about Matic? Not every midfielder exists to score or assist goals or would you also say that midfielders like Mascherano (when he was one), Gattuso, Matic et al would be considered value for money. I am NOT saying Milner is the messiah but "objectively" what role a midfielder is required to play will determine his value to the team not just goals or assists which most deep lying midfielders don't heavily contribute towards. If our goals conceded number drops by 10 or more in the league because we have an energetic midfielder who will run all day and get stuck in then I (for one) will judge him to have been a smart purchase. But endlessly writing him off as a waste of money or pretty much useless before he has kicked a ball for us sounds unfair in my opinion.

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  34. Smicer and Kewell wore 7 too :-) Milner playing centrally would definitely be a bad idea imo but it seems exactly like something Rodgers would do. I don't think he'll play him holding though because his passing range is not something Milner is known for. But like you said, it's Rodgers, anything is possible. With the names of Illaramendi and Pjanic flying around for over a month, it's a depressing thought that our only big remaining transfer may be Christian Benteke. It was Gerrard who last year separated us from the rest in regards to stature. With him gone and no class player coming in, we will be no better than Spurs, Southampton or Villa themselves.

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  35. Just reading that it appears Borini has rejected a move to Lazio after failing to agree personal terms.


    Seems it would have been a perfect opportunity for him, and a good shot at resurrecting a stalling career. Never mind, another year on the Liverpool bench (if he's lucky) beckons.

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  36. Plus I think Hendo is massively over-rated and has achieved nothing. Milner has played at a consistently higher level than Hendo for years and has been a contributor to a title winning team.

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  37. Hendo could't press a shirt :-)

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  38. Milner ACTUALLY played regularly (42 appearances as posted by Jaimie) for a top 4 and previously title winning team. Would have him in my team over Henderson any day of the week. Henderson is massively over-rated. I would not let him anywhere near a corner, penalty or free kick and he is not even fit enough to wipe the ar5e of a peak Gerrard. Would not get a starting role in any other top 4 team. In fact not sure apart Coutinho (and Milner who this thread is about) who would be a regular feature in any other top 4 team. Am assuming Sterling is a goner so excluding him. Maybe Firmino would get a bit of game time and perhaps a fully fit Sturridge. I do think we are lacking quality across the board so really is down to the manager to make the sum greater than the parts which is not impossible but genuinely (and depressingly) I think we are playing for 5th - 7th again and the 2nd place of 2013/14 was a 1-off due to the unbelievable exploits of the SAS. Be interested to hear if anyone else thinks we have say 4-5 players in our first team who would be in the first or starting 11 of any other top team?

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  39. Winston Bogarde in the making...

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  40. JK...you read my mind.....why would rodgers saddle us with players ...like those he had at Swansea....Even when at Swansea he rarely beat us...and whenever he did it was celebrated as if they had won a trophy or qualified for the finals of something prestigious....

    James Milner taking the number 7 shirt at Liverpool smacks of the greatest disrespect shown by Rodgers to the history of our club. It shows that he doesn't even understand a thing about football in any sense...

    his transfer's are totally questionable and moreover,i am willing to bet a 100 pounds that Firmino,wont play in his natural role and that Rodgers wasn't privy to his transfer to Liverpool.

    This said James Milner, isn't the solution we need..and Rodgers exit is the solution we require..

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  41. They are bountiful and its the transfer department that should be held responsible ....OK

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  42. Yes..having Milner in the team is an advantage, but as a aquad player, to provide competition for Henderson not as guaranteed starter. If he's good enough for the first eleven he'll have to beat Henderson and take his place in team. Personally for me there's not much difference between Milner and Henderson.

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  43. Most of the players in you list are DM's whose role is not to score goals and it is understandable. In 210 apps for Liverpool, Xabi scored as many goals as Milner from a deeper position ( milner was deployed either on the wings, as an attacking mid or even a striker) but never as deep as those players you mentioned so his goalscoring is pretty poor.

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  44. I am fine with Milner as a squad player as Jaimie rightly mentions but he has obviously come in as a bona fide starter which is not right. If he was a squad player for CIty, it should not be any different for us. Another issue I have is we have no clear cut DM apart from the injury prone and sadly unfavoured Lucas. I am pretty sure he is leaving this season because BR is too afraid shall we say in selling Allen. Can is not a DM and neither are Milner or Hendo. Either all three perform defensive roles which is difficult to maintain or one of the above plays as a DM both of which are not feasible options for me.

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  45. Yeah but Henderson and Milner can't pass, shoot, keep possession or control a game like modric and Kroos, they are in a completely different level than these two. Barca has a weak defense but there's no or less pressure on defense as its incredibly hard to take the ball from the three guys playing in the midfield. We need someone like Kovacic

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  46. I would agree that Milner is not a bad signing but at the end of the day he is no Steven Gerrard. He doesn't give us allure. Neither does Firmino. Neither do Henderson, Sturridge or Coutinho.

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  47. That's fair but is Milner being signed to score goals or to get around the park and free up others to score more goals and also to shield our defence. Lets face it our defence needs some serious shielding

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  48. And Milner cannot control a midfield like Xabi Alonso, he's no way near the quality of Xabi

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  49. stan, i would like to know..of these two players(milner/henderson) who will distribute the passes like Gerrad/Alonso?


    The reason Man city(YAYA/SILVA) /aresenal(CARZOLA/RAMSEY)/ etc win trophies is thaT they have caliber players who can control games from deep inside their own halves...Luca Modric is Doing so for Madrid,rakitic and Busquest for Barcelona...etc....


    this role is not for stagnant players its for gifted players ....and James Milner isn't just it...even Henderson is just make weight...

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  50. I don't see any difference in Henderson and Milner terms of quality or playing style.

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  51. TELL THEM ...BEFORE THE HYPE BUG ...OVERTAKES EVERYONE'S SENSE OF REASONING...WELL SAID KNIGHT

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  52. I have some sympathy with Borini. I don't rate him but we bought him and he was one of Rodgers first signings and yet he was nbever given a chance or a proper run (not that he deserved it). But it's not his fault that we bought him and then try and dump him to Sunderland. He signed for LFC not Sunderland so can't be held against him if he does not want to play for a club in the ar5e end of nowhere that is perenially in a relegation battle. The fault is in the recruitment not in the player - even though we all agree he ain't good enough.

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  53. We now have three midfield players who has bags of energy and run around the field for 90mins without any end product. Lallana, Milner and Henderson, these players are good squad players let them fight for a place in the center of the midfield.

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  54. I think he could be a top DM.very good defensively, he's strong,quick and a good tackler. He also has a very cool head for such a young lad.I'm not saying he couldn't also play further up the field as he is an excellent runner with the ball but I'd love to see him tried in front of the back four.

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  55. As much as it pains me, we are clearlly not looking to play with a DM.... Our game is probably going to be high intensity pressing game, which kinda removes the need for a bonafide DM...Rushed players in possession are just as easy to dispose as being tackled by a crunching steam roller.... Last season, and the season before, we excelled when playing the high intensity game, it's just a litttle confusing that BR would change the style to a stand off style that would ultimately cause us problems... I don't know why he did this, but he did it time and again.... I think, with a high intensity pressing game, you only need one or two players pressing a player at a time, cutting the passing lanes and forcing a mistake... This way it gives players an easier transistion to full attack rather than setting yourself up defensively and finding your position everytime for the DM situation to work.... Not only that, more attacking players means more outlets to creat goal scoring opportunities..... I think that is what Brendan is going for... In a better team, it would probably be more successful over a season, but you need more players, or extremely fit ones.... I would advocate the signing of a dedicated DM... But Unfortunately, I have no sway over Brendans decisions....

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  56. No No, I am one person crying out for a dedicated DM, hence numerous mentions of Johannes Geis before Schalke bought him... Just know Brendan isn't going to do it....We're just not going to see a DM under Brendan, ever...

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  57. We may have excelled offensively but we have been a shambles at the back even when we finished second.the only time we look decent at the back is when Lucas plays in front of the back four(IMO)

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  58. I am playing nice mate... I genuinely hope he pulls it together... We need him to.

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  59. Agree all day long...

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  60. Can was bought because he was a highly rated youngster with extremely high potential... I don't know that Brendan had a real plan for his position just yet... Though thats just me being cynical..

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  61. I know you do, I was just tryin to be funny for joke's sake :) Clean slate for Lovren it is then :)

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  62. Clarify please? Guy has a tremendous work rate and engine and can throw a fantastic tackle as well so?

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  63. Well they can offer relentless pressing, chasing of the ball and hounding of the opposition, winning the ball high up the pitch and distributing it quickly in the way Rakitic and Iniesta do it for Barca. Quick transition is the key and verticalization of the play, which would mean that Couts and Firmino operate in the opposition third and can turn on their magic. The point of the formation is the reliance on the high work rate and big engines

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  64. How can anyone mention Henderson & Milner in the same breath as Modric & Kroos. "box-to-box high pressing double pivot" sounds very sexy but you are comparing chalk and cheese when it comes to the quality of those pairings

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  65. as a famous and successful manager once said he runs funny or words to that effect. He will never be a top player

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  66. I would like to see the following in the midfield
    GK
    Defense
    Hendo
    Can Milner
    Attack



    I like the dribbling of Can and his box-to-box runs he is not too bad at passing. I also like this formation would enable us to defend from deep with the high pressing of Milner and Can. Not sure if Hendo has the discipline though.

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  67. Glen Johnson of course

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  68. I agree you would think if you had faith in your own ability you would be keen to go out and prove it. Perhaps that is a clue as to why he has not made it at Liverpool

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  69. He was not very popular though. They used to crucify him

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  70. Yeah, I prefer the idea of using Can in a freer role than DM would allow... He is good coming fro deep.

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  71. That is why we have Can. Allure will be the name of his own brand of mens' hair products

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  72. Ah yes, I remember he used to shy away from crosses. Can't imagine why.

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  73. So, I suppose if Sakho has an awkward gawk that he is not a top lplayer? Please, that's just plain ignorant

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  74. I was thinking of high pressing and vertical delivery of the ball to Couts or Firmino. Nothing fancy just win the ball back and give it to the two magicians.
    I was using Modric and Kroos as an example of tactical set up

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  75. Jesus wept alright....at your constant repetition.
    Young players are no good and Milner is rubbish. Yeah yeah yeah *yawn*

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  76. Pirlo. Oh no...he is a galaxy away for JM7...

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  77. Hes about as underrated as Lucas and Allen are unlucky with injuries..

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  78. Lucas has scored 6 goals for Liverpool. But in no way shape or form should Milner get the number 7 shirt.

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  79. In fairness, to me, it seemed like he always had a touch of Maradonna in him....mainly the Hand Of God, but the way he moved, sometimes it just looked like he could walk on water.

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  80. It's not often a Champions League regular, title-winning, experienced player can be signed (for free) with so much degradation. While I am in no way enamoured with Milner's signing I think it is an experienced, tactically and technically sound signing. Vastly under-rated technical ability solely because he has a great engine and etc etc as well.

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  81. This is the same mistake we made in the season we finished second. We were all high press and rushing the opposition into a mistake not realizing we never had a proper DM ( Gerrard was essentially a bystander) leaving our defence vulnerable and exposed leaking so many goals. In the pressing style, you need everyone to play a part and you still need to have a DM. Barca are the masters of the pressing style but their key component to this day remains Busquets who shields the back four. Last season, our run came when Lucas was playing and when he got injured, we played shakily and had a lot of lucky games and eventually imploded. Imagine if we get a DM better than Lucas or more mobile, that will make us a tough team to beat especially with a settled defence and keeper behind.

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  82. F@#k off you bloody utd supporting vagina.

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  83. Not really sure what you mean by that...

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