Liverpool’s season kicks off on Sunday and while there might still be a few incoming and outgoing transfers to be made, there was one tiny piece of housekeeping that still needed to be completed before the team sheets were confirmed against Stoke City: the identity of Liverpool’s new vice captain.
Brendan Rodgers’ choice? The delightfully inoffensive new boy, James Milner.
“James is someone I admired from the outside for a long time,” Rodgers explained. “He has played at this level since he was 16 years of age. He went to Man City and did a great job there. When there was a possibility he might be available you’re surprised but you're hoping you can get him to come to your club.
“He works tirelessly at his game. He's in here at 7.45am in the morning making sure he's prepared for training - getting all his food supplements correct. That's two and a half hours before we train. He will be the vice captain. He will be a great ally for Jordan. He leads by example. He's a wonderful footballer with a big personality in the dressing room.”
It’s unsurprising that Rodgers has gone with a player who exhibits a work ethic similar to Jordan Henderson, who has in the past been noted for also putting in an extended shift at Melwood so that he can improve his game. Though some fans might feel that the likes of Martin Skrtel, Lucas Leiva, or even Mamadou Sakho were overlooked for the position of Hendo’s deputy, it’s been theorized previously that part of Milner’s agreement to personal terms revolved around being given formal leadership duties such as these.
Jordan Henderson rarely misses a match, so Milner’s role certainly comes with less pressure than it did when Henderson played it. That should prove to be just fine for Liverpool fans, who are likely already eagerly anticipating an inevitable Kop Kids interview in which we get to learn more about James Milner and his “big personality.”
Congratulations, HAMEZ THRILNER!