Everyone likes James Milner.
I mean, he might not be the name on the back of the Liverpool shirt you get, but come on, can you imagine anyone with a bad word against James Milner? Wouldn’t happen. Couldn’t happen.
He’s been obviously great in talking about the big Premier League title win.
“I always thought how special it would be to win a league title”, Milner told the Mail on Sunday. “That was the one. To win the Champions League was fantastic but we knew everyone was desperate for this: how long it had been; how close they’d been; the context of great Liverpool teams.
“It’s been great for us to enjoy it as players but think how long the fans have waited. Younger generations had only seen it on videos or online. Driving around the city, seeing all the flags outside houses, I know how much it means.”
Milner, of course, arrived at Liverpool on a free transfer from none other than second placed Manchester City. And he was happy to bring up this, too.
“I like the fact people thought I was making a mistake,’ he added. “It’s one of the things that drives you.
“City is a great place but this was Liverpool, a hugely successful club but without that recent history of winning. They’d had the near miss in 2014 and I could still see the hangover when I came in — ‘We nearly won the league’. That had to be got rid of.”
Of course, everyone outside the club will be waiting to see if a collapse comes. But the number seven doesn’t think it’s on the cards.
“This isn’t a team that would ever go into autopilot,’ Milner explained. “We don’t have those characters or that attitude. Having said that, this is a new situation. We’ve shown we can bounce back after disappointments. It is a new challenge to go again when you’ve been successful.
“I don’t see [relaxation] happening because of the manager and the way we do things. If you saw the tempo every day in training, even the players who aren’t selected for a game — the pressure they put on the boys when we’re doing shape is incredible.
“We know this will hurt Man City. They will come back firing. Other teams as well. I know from experience how difficult it is to defend the title. We were never at the races. Being as good next year won’t be enough because when you are right at the top, everyone wants to take it away from you.”
Here at The Liverpool Offside, we’re still just in celebration moment. But we’re delighted that James Milner is already thinking about next season. That’s why everyone likes him.