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Manchester City 2014/15 Player Ratings: James Milner

A 5th and final credit roll for Milner in sky blue

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James Milner (32 PL + 8 CL appearances): 8/10

All in all, a good final season for Milner. Having asked for more playing time in 2014/15, the Englishman responded by notching his highest goals (5) and highest assists (7) totals in a season for City. What he didn't get, however, was his wish to be played more centrally. The campaign saw Milner restricted mostly to wing/attacking midfielder play, as we have come accustomed to seeing over the years.

And reasons like that, of course, are why he's off to Merseyside for the next few years. There was never much chance that he would lock down a CM position (let alone one in the starting XI) given the names ahead of him in the pecking order and the amount of money spent to get them there. So perhaps it is best to judge Milner's season, and by extension the vast majority of his City career, with the asterisk that he was never quite played in the position he felt most comfortable in. Being the utility knife that he is, we never found it too strange to see him standing in at right-back or up top all by himself. He played wherever we needed him, and that's something that can't said about most players be it at City or some other club.

His play on the field was positive as well. His WhoScored rating of 7.02 was tied for 10th on the team with the mythological creature that is Marty D., and his 7 assists tied for 3rd on the team alongside a certain magician named Merlin. When you take into account the fact that Milner was on the pitch for 917 minutes less than Silva, it paints an odd picture. Obviously the Spaniard is a better player, but perhaps Milner's season deserves more praise than it gets when you consider his company in the charts.

The England international's playing style stayed just about the same through the season as well. He continued to be a two-way player with a high-octane engine, gifted with more smarts than arts. Given the debate surrounding Pellegrini's tactics throughout the season, it was imperative to have a guy like Milner around who would give 100% regardless of his where he was on the pitch. Whatever he lacked in instinct, he made up for in grit; whatever he lacked in creativity, he made up for in tactical discipline, etc etc.

This isn't to say he doesn't have his limitations, because he certainly does. With a guy like Milner, he's good at a bunch of things but not particularly great at any of them. In an ideal squad you'd probably have someone who specializes in some department over him, but in City's relatively subpar 2014-15 season you'd probably want him in over the myriad of players lost in an abyss of poor form.

As we bid Milner farewell, we should look back at some of his finest moments in a City shirt. For me, his performance in the 6-1 mauling of United still stands out as a career highlight. This season, the match at Swansea late on may have been his best of the campaign. As for a lowlight, Barcelona at home probably takes the prize.

Bet you didn't know: he started as many CL games this year as the last 3 seasons combined.