Although James Milner is dissatisfied with the workload put on star players, he is confident that Liverpool will be a title contender next season.
James Milner is confident that Liverpool will again be a title contender next season, and he has urged the authorities to address the “ridiculous” workload that is impeding prospects for success.
When the Reds finish their Premier League season at relegated Southampton on Sunday, Milner is set to make his 332nd and final appearance of an incredibly successful eight-year stay.
Injury-plagued and out-of-form, Jurgen Klopp’s team finished fifth and missed out on Champions League qualification for the first time in seven years in a disappointing season.
Milner, who will leave the club on a free transfer after winning six awards there, is adamant that he is leaving a Liverpool team that has the potential to recapture its threat from earlier campaigns.
The 37-year-old replied, “Yes, there’s no question about that. Look at the players right now, especially the younger players, and consider the manager’s prior accomplishments as well as his current success. Along with the club, its level of support, the dressing room’s winning culture, and its history. That is consistently the largest. Together, they have received trophies.
“Obviously, this year has been challenging. the number of wounds we have sustained. I believe that hasn’t helped, as this must be the season with the most injuries ever. This season has been impacted by a number of factors, including trying everything last year, the World Cup break, some bad luck, and perhaps not handling those situations as well as we could have.
“But the recent form, the altercation in the locker room, and the string of successes are all visible. Although I am aware that we fell short of our goal of making the Champions League, Trent’s new position allows him to choose a different style of play. There is no doubt that Liverpool will be flying again next season with the right players and manager.”
Milner has refuted claims that the Reds have lost their hunger for victory over the past 12 months and has instead chosen to concentrate on the relentless demands of the fixture schedule. By the end of the day on Sunday, Liverpool will have participated in 115 competitive games over the past two years, in addition to qualifying games for the UEFA Nations League, the World Cup, the European Championships, the Africa Cup of Nations, and other major tournaments.
The midfielder stated, “I believe the hunger has always been there.
Football is very intense.
Now, it lasts the entire year. When you observe athletes, you will notice that they are vying for spots in the Olympics or the European Championships, which are held every four to two years.
“It’s impossible to perform at your best all the time, no matter what, and what matters is how you handle the times when you are not quite there or your physical levels are not quite there. You or some of the other players are just slightly out of shape.
“The team that does that best (handles it) wins the title or trophies and is successful. This season, we haven’t handled those circumstances as well as we would have liked, but last season, we came so close and may have lost some momentum when we were so close to sweeping the board.
“That’s football, and given that it’s now played year-round, it’s sometimes forgotten about. It’s absurd to the international boys. They play games in the summer rather than taking a break because there are international tournaments. The most difficult part of it all is that.”
When asked if the workload on players today was unfair, Milner responded, “Yes I do. I’ve made 856 club appearances in my career and earned 61 England caps.” Milner retired from international duty in 2016. There shouldn’t be an international competition every other year, and players should undoubtedly have the entire summer off. The intensity and quantity of games make one wonder how long this can continue.
“That’s something I would do for sure – every other summer off and then you can go as hard as you want over the season but give them a break. If not, in what direction is everything going?”