James Milner will have the honour of leading his country out as captain after it was announced that he would be wearing the captain's armband against the Netherlands. The Liverpool midfielder started Roy Hodgson's first game in charge against Norway nearly four years ago and earns a chance to lead tomorrow.
Milner has captained England before but only in the final ten minutes in an international friendly against France in November 2010 after both Steven Gerrard and Rio Ferdinand were substituted. This is an opportunity for Milner to impress against decent opposition and possibly stake a claim for a starting berth at Euro 2016.
We can confirm that James Milner will captain #England against @OnsOranje tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/P9iHvLKB2Q— England (@england) March 28, 2016
This is welcome news after Milner admitted that he would be possibly considering his international future after this summer's Euros. It's a reward for his diligence, dedication, and professionalism in a lengthy career. While this is not intended to be a backhanded compliment, there is no better utility player in English football than our the former Manchester City, Aston Villa, Newcastle, and Leeds midfielder. Roy Hodgson was confident in what Milner can and will bring to England.
"As far as I’m concerned we’ve always known that James is a very good midfield player in central areas, capable of playing wide but also central areas," Hodgson said in a press conference ahead of the game."The way we’re trying to play at the moment and the way that Liverpool play, that’s right up his street. That’s the type of football he plays and it’s great he’s got the opportunity tomorrow to play in a position he’s very comfortable in – but also to do it as captain of his country."
Also, Daniel Sturridge is set to start in a game that will feature a tribute to the late and great Johan Cruyff. The Liverpool striker is a formidable force when fit but didn't look fully sharp before the international break. After the goalscoring heroics of Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy against Germany, Sturridge will be determined to put in a good performance in his first England appearance since September 2014.
Adam Lallana, Nathaniel Clyne, and Jordan Henderson were involved in the comeback against the world champions, but the two other Liverpool players in the squad will get their chance to shine.