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Results tagged “match of the day” from Birmingham Mail - Aston Villa

James and the Giant Speech

By Mat Kendrick on Oct 30, 09 12:24 AM

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IT'S amazing what a bit of England recognition can do for a player's profile.

Don't get me wrong I don't begrudge James Milner winning plaudits for carrying out the defensive duties which have so impressed Villa fans for such a long while.

But would the Match of the Day pundits really have spent so long eulogising over the former Newcastle winger if he wasn't in fashion with Fabio Capello's Three Lions squad?

And why did it take Alan Hansen more than 160 words to describe a simple example of Milner's willingness to track back against Wolves last weekend?

"It's a bit technical in as much as if you've got a full-back on one side taking a corner kick on the other side, beforehand you'll designate somebody to go in the full back's position," said Hansen.

"So you've got a full-back on one side taking a corner kick on the other side so you designate somebody to go in that position.

"But a lot of the time when the ball breaks down the person, whoever it is, might get sucked into the play, might follow the ball.

"I've seen it hundreds of times where they just forget.

"Whereas James Milner is so reliable it's just untrue. Warnock is taking the corner kick from the opposite side on the right.

"What happens is Villa get possession and then it breaks down and watch Milner. He doesn't forget.

"He goes back, he goes back, he goes back, he goes back and ends up in what you'd describe as a perfect left back position and who wins the ball on the other side? The guy that's taken the corner kick."

Like I say, it's commendable that Milner's qualities are being highlighted by the 'experts' on national telly.

And in fairness Hansen did also add that he had been won over by Milner's attitude and ability and now rated him as a top class player.

But he could have summed up all of his waffling above by simply saying: "When left-back Stephen Warnock took a right wing corner, James Milner covered and tracked back diligently - like he always does."

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