Milner sees Villa as the ones to break up the big four
Monday 15 September 2008
James Milner is confident the domination of the Premier League by the big four can be broken and he believes Aston Villa have as good a chance as anyone of doing the breaking. Milner became the latest young English player of potential to join Martin O'Neill's Villa revolution when he made the £12m move out of Newcastle a fortnight ago.
The 22-year-old could make his first start in tonight's match at Tottenham since spending the entire 2005-06 campaign on loan at Villa under the then manager David O'Leary. And Milner recognises the vast strides the club have made since his initial spell, as they look to improve on finishing sixth last season and qualifying for the Uefa Cup via the Intertoto Cup.
"The top four is tough to get into but a club will get in there at some point," he said. "It can't stay the way it is for ever and Villa are in as good a position as anyone to challenge that. I can really see how far Villa have come since I was last here.
"You only have to look at the first game of my two spells here. Three years ago we were beaten 4-0 at West Ham on my debut. This time we drew at home with Liverpool and it could have been better. The lads were disappointed not to get three points."
O'Neill looks likely to be again without midfielder Steve Sidwell after he suffered a knee injury but defender Carlos Cuellar, signed from Rangers for £7.8m, could play after coming through two reserve games following a calf problem.
Craig Gardner has signed a new four-year deal that will keep him at Villa Park until 2012.
Latest in Sport
World Indoor Championships: Chris Gayle offers untimely reminder of absent friend
Ashley Cole and Luke Shaw rise to the bait to deny they are the rumoured 'gay England footballer'
Former British tennis No 1 Elena Baltacha told she has liver cancer
West Bromwich Albion v Manchester United: Is Wayne Rooney really in Robin van Persie’s way at United?
Robin van Persie: Manchester United manager David Moyes a 'little bit surprised' after striker plays 90 minutes for Netherlands day after being sick
- 1 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 2 Academy members voted for Oscar-winning 12 Years A Slave 'without watching it'
- 3 Orgasm machine to deliver climax at the push of a button
- 4 Liam Neeson turned down James Bond role to marry Natasha Richardson
- 5 Livr: A social network only for drunk people
Apple's Tim Cook: Business isn’t just about making profit
Thousands of young people forced to go without food after benefits wrongly stopped under 'draconian' new sanctions regime
Ukraine crisis: New navy chief 'defects' and surrenders Crimean HQ as Putin claims ultranationalists forced intervention
Britain's top vet sparks controversy with call for ban on slashing animals' throats in 'ritual' slaughters for halal and kosher meat products
Ukraine crisis: Russia dismisses '3am ultimatum' as 'total nonsense'
If you're horrified by a flame-roasted dog, you should be shocked at a hog roast