Milner grateful for Barry influence at Aston Villa
2009-12-07 - Added by
Aston Villa midfielder James Milner has thanked former team-mate Gareth Barry for helping him develop his game and become a regular in Fabio Capello's England set-up.
The 23-year-old has impressed in an unfamiliar central midfield role over the past week, playing an instrumental role in Villa's 3-0 win over Hull City on Saturday as well as their 4-2 Carling Cup triumph over Portsmouth in midweek.
The former Newcastle and Leeds man has switched from his customary wide berth to pull the the strings for Martin O'Neill's men in the middle of the park alongside Stiliyan Petrov to accomodate the inclusion of Stewart Downing.
And Milner has reserved a special mention for ex-Villa captain Barry, who has become a hate figure amongst many Villa fans for his decision
to move to big sending Manchester City in the summer.
"I have learned massively from watching Gareth. You've got to learn all the time from the top players and Gareth was a top player," he is quoted as sayng on skysports.com.
"With England, there are Frank Lampard and Steven Gerrard and there aren't many better players in the world to learn from there."
The Three Lions hopeful admits he is enjoying life in a more central role as it allows him to dictate the play.
"I've played in central midfield for Leeds once or twice and for Newcastle on occasions. If the manager decides to keep it that way then I'm happy playing there. You can get involved in the game," he continued.
"Sometimes if you're out wide you're waiting for other people to bring you in, but in the middle you can go in and start things yourself so it's a bit different."