James Milner: Manchester City and England player has now played in every position except in goal and centre-back

Milner started up front for City against Crystal Palace

Click to follow
The Independent Online

James Milner started up front for Manchester City and has now played in eight of the traditional 11 positions as a professional.

LIVE - Follow all the action from the Etihad

The only positions he is yet to play is in goal or at either centre-back position.

Milner started his career on the wings at Leeds but made the move to central midfield during excellent spells at Newcastle and then Aston Villa.

When he was bought by City it was with his versatility across the three midfield positions that was part of the attraction, but he has since been asked to play at full-back also.

Roy Hodgson even started him at right-back in the pre-World Cup friendly against Ecuador in Miami, while he finished the 1-1 draw against Chelsea earlier this month at left-back.

pg-68-attack-defence-reuter.jpg
Milner started at right-back against Ecuador in the pre-World Cup friendly

He has also played in a number of other positions depending on tactical variations - such as at the base of a diamond midfield or as an advanced winger in a 4-3-3.

The 28-year-old is yet to play in goal or at centre-back at the top level but there is still plenty of time.

Joe Hart even admitted earlier this year that Milner is "always" asking him for a turn in goal.

"James Milner always wants to have a little go in goal, but he just wants to cover every position on the pitch," Hart told FourFourTwo magazine.

"We joke about it; he does end up playing a lot of positions. He’s not bad at it - he’s as you’d expect James Milner to be."

It wasn't the most successful first outing as a striker for Milner, however, despite City eventually winning 3-0.

Milner did his best to link play, with a couple of decent passes and crosses, but failed to have a shot on target before being substituted with just under 10 minutes left.

One shot was blocked while another well wide from close range.

Comments