James Milner not only remained as the backbone of the Liverpool gameplay throughout the last season but also showed his prowess in spot-kicks. The 34-year-old star converted 19 spot-kicks in Reds jersey. Besides, he only missed just two occasions. Interestingly, his last penalty miss came long back in November 2017, around three years ago.
However, Mohammad Salah recently took the charge of spot-kicks and replaced the veteran midfielder. But during the last Boxing Day match against Leicester City in 2019, Milner was again seen in his usual position while scoring for the Reds. Moreover, Liverpool maintained their position in the Premier League while securing a 4-0 win against the foxes with that match.
Jurgen Klopp believes James Milner is the Number 1 penalty taker for Liverpool
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While talking about Milner, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said, “James Milner is No.1 penalty taker, but when James is not playing then it’s Mo. When Millie is on the pitch then he can decide,” Klopp said on Saturday.” He added, “How it is always, sometimes you don’t feel 1,000 percent or you think, ‘He’s scored two already’ and this kind of stuff. That didn’t change, we didn’t speak about it for a long, long time.”
The manager said, “Most of the time, probably Millie was not on the pitch but I think I remember at least once when Millie was on the pitch and gave it to Mo.” He then expressed that scoring is way more important than the players while saying, “For me, it is only important that the ball is in the back of the net after whichever player from my team shot the ball.”
James Milner | The Unsung Hero
Jurgen Klopp said, “Millie gave us a pretty impressive number of penalties he finished off and Mo as well. So, that’s for me both fine and that’s how it is in the moment, that’s how the decision is.” He further added, “As a club, we have nothing to do with it. It’s not that we have any hand in the decision. It says something nice about the Liverpool people, probably. We had early mass testing four or five weeks ago, maybe longer than that. I am not a specialist, so I don’t know exactly how influential that was.”
The Liverpool manager said, “How I said, I wish everybody could experience it. I don’t see it as a massive advantage, but it’s just nicer. I understand that everybody else wants to have in the best possible way and if we have 2,000 and nobody else has 100 or whatever then, yes, I can imagine people will talk about that.”