As the season got off to a shakey start James Milner quickly became the lightening rod of criticism and abuse from many parts of the Liverpool fan base and media alike. A lot of it was unfair in my opinion.
He joined on a free, and has gained a vast amount of experience in other clubs both winning competitions and playing at international level. He supposedly received a great deal to join with a high wage packet. People seem to forget he was a free and as a result used this to lambast him.
After Jürgen Klopp joined Liverpool and started to get his way of playing across to the players it became evident Milner was an important part of his plan for the remainder of the season and as such as the season progressed Milner grew into his role. Frequently receiving man of the match shouts and he started to supply assist after assist not to mention goals also. By seasons end he was rightly so acclaimed as one of the club’s best performers over the season. This turnaround if that’s what you call it, I don’t by the way, I prefer bedding in period; was obvious as a result of time on the pitch under Klopp and combined with a work horse attitude and complete professional attitude was why the club paid the wages to get him..every coach he has played under always had glowing things to say about him.
More importantly in my opinion his treatment early on shows the fickle nature of a section of fans that think he was going to come in and win the title for us alone just because he was getting big wages. He’s one player I really hope stays this summer, we will need his experience and maturity in trying to bring a host of new and young players that Klopp seems to be lining up for play time this season. He will only get better this season as I expect his performance level to be right up there this year from the start of the season and for him to really have a telling season for us in the engine room and along the flanks when asked to do so.
Milners season should be a lesson to all supporters these days that even with vast experience a player needs to be sure what his role within the team is and given enough time to show he can produce in that role. Klopp knows this I think and showed his vast experience as a coach in allowing Milner the time to get to grips with what he was being asked to do and that is a huge positive in a coach that I’m not sure is always appreciated enough in a time when fans think spending big automatically guarantees instant success.. This Liverpool fan looks forward to a really energetic and dynamic midfield this season being able to supply for the front men the ammo and assists they also need.
Written by Stephen King (@stephenking75)