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Milner's Multiple Uses

Yes Milly is an odd job man for Villa thesedays, the only position he doesn't play is goalkeeper but maybe that's because in that position he can't run much?

Speaking on the official site tonight, in a desperate desire maybe to ignore the fact that we've slipped to 6th Place in the league and now need Everton to help us to even finish 5th, after prioritising a Top 4 place at the expense of taking a European Cup competition seriously, Martin O'Neill has praised the versatility of young James Milner.

Sorry am I rambling?

Milly for those who weren't there, or missed or decided to miss Match of the Day was played at right back today....apparently it seems our former makeshift right backs who have filled in, Reo, Cuellar, Doris the Tea Lady weren't up to it today????

But yeah on the official site, apparently, just like disgracing fans by throwing a Cup tie...well to be fair, not giving it the respect it deserves nor the respect we deserve and expect as fans...O'Neill would make this choice again.

'I thought James did brilliantly overall.

'He was having a tough time early on obviously but he was just adjusting to the position. It is the first time he has played right-back properly from the start.

'We went with an attacking side because we really felt we had to win the game. We put as many attacking players in there as we could.

'Now, it doesn't always work - with some players having to play out of position - but it hasn't affected the Wayne Rooney's of this world - the top players - so I thought we would take a leaf out of their book.'

Few questions if I may.

Has Milner ever even trained at right back?

Should we be proud a winger should have started his first match at right back 'properly from the start'?

We went with attacking players, one of which at right back?

Wayne Rooney has played right back has he?

I know Milly did well today, he's done well since he signed for us, he did well when he was onloan with us. This is not a criticism of Jimmy the Milly Milner.

He was told to do a job today and wasn't that bad, he gave his all as always. It's what you expect from the man, and it's what you always get.

BUT on no planet should praise be heaped on him for starting his first match as a right back when he's a wide player. On no planet should the words 'taking a leaf out of their book' when used with 'Wayne Rooney' be used as an excuse for playing a winger at right bloody back.

This kind of thing should only happen in emergencies, ie David Platt ending up in goal!

This shouldn't be how you enter a game.

Yes Milly deserves all the praise he gets after todays team selection...however such praise should never and should not be at the expense of explaining how he ended up in that position.

O'Neill had no 'hesitation playing the wing wizard out of position' using the official sites own words, so if we are on a PR offensive where is the article praising Emile 'barn door' Heskey for doing a job on the wing?

I give in, I give up.

The club and manager make Top 4 everything, we lose that so as fans we have too high an expectation. We are battling for 5th place as an improvement over last season, yet we still get players out of position and slip to 6th Place.

Tomorrow I confidently expect to be rehashing an official site story about how 6th place is a 'consolidation' of our achievements last season and that in itself should be a success.

And yes it would be. Nobody can deny that, Top 6 finishes in two consequtive seasons should not be sniffed at.

It can't be sniffed at, we have done well, we have done fantastically well to consolidate our position this season whether that be 5th or 6th.

But sorry I'm a traditionalist, if consolidation was our aim - fine - tell me at the start of the season.

Don't build up Top 4 with all the 'Gareth will leave unless we get Chumps League' chatter. Don't have players talking about making the Top 4. Don't have the manager 'prioritise' the Top 4 and throw a Cup tie. Don't then have him in the press talking about our best chance in 25 years to break the Top 4 FFS!

Say it at the beginning....because unless you do then claiming fans have wild expectations is a total insult to the lifeblood of this club.

I'm fed up of spin. We get enough of that from the idiots in charge of the Country. State a position and stick to it, and when things go wrong don't make a story out of 'effort' which Milly gives everyday of the week, to ignore failings. Don't blame fans for cheering eventual subs, don't blame fans for holding aspirations that you yourselves have played on, built up and encouraged.

Cause that is pathetic.

We will be back next season, at our own expense. Can we make next seasons aims serious this time?

We'll support regardless so why not give us something to support genuinely, and then anything else would be a bonus. Don't play the ultimate claim and then not expect people to believe it.

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The Journalist

Writer: Mike Field Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday May 17 2009

Time: 2:27AM


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