Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has been lavishing praise on midfielder James Milner this weekend. Speaking ahead of Saturday’s game with West Ham, the boss described Milner as ‘exceptional’ and a ‘proper man’.
Milner, who has played the full 90 minutes in all three of our league games thus far, has certainly thrived whilst playing in his natural centre midfield position – something which he was regularly prevented from doing at Manchester City due to the wealth of options at Manuel Pellegrini’s disposal.
He took the captain’s armband for the game against Arsenal, following an injury to Jordan Henderson, and will do so again today at Anfield – with his fellow midfielder still not fit to return to the side.
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Rodgers has been delighted with the impact the 29-year-old has had, particularly following the departure of the talismanic Steven Gerrard, who joined LA Galaxy earlier this year. Milner has certainly helped fill the void left by our former captain’s departure and Rodgers hopes that he will continue to do so for many years.
“James Milner’s been absolutely exceptional,” said Rodgers, in quotes taken by the Daily Mirror. “You know he’s a good player, but you don’t realise how good until he comes into your club.
“He’s a proper man, in terms of how tough he is, but he’s also an outstanding footballer and he’s added massively to this squad in terms of mentality. He’s a winner and his work with the players has been outstanding. If you look at what we have now, we have a team — a team that can cope with whatever the game can throw at them.
“We can play football and the football will get better, but I’d like to think that all of my teams will have a certain element of steel and that’s important because there are different ways to win a game. In the games we’ve had, there have been different questions asked, mentally, physically and tactically, and we’ve answered them.
“But for sure this team will not lose out for fight and steel and commitment, there’s no doubt about that.”