James Milner reveals Graeme Souness’ hurtful comment at Newcastle United – and how it helped him join Aston Villa

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James Milner has revealed the ten biting words spoken by Graeme Souness during his time at Newcastle United.

The former Aston Villa man was sent on loan to Villa Park by the Toon Army, before eventually joining on a permanent basis.

The ex-Leeds United utility midfielder would enjoy a fruitful career in Birmingham, before moving to Manchester City.

He is currently at Liverpool, where he is enjoying a brilliant start to the 2018-19 campaign.

However, the ex-England international has revealed how Graeme Souness – his then-manager at Newcastle – delivered the most hurtful sentence of his career.

When asked in a new interview, Milner revealed how Souness had identified him as a weak link of his Magpies squad.

Milner revealed to FourFourTwo : “I think it was more like: “You don’t win anything with a team of James Milners.”

“Yeah, it did, reading it as a young lad.

“But he apologised, said he’d got misquoted and that he didn’t mean it.

“Newcastle was tough – the manager who’d signed me, Bobby Robson, got sacked three games into the season, so a new manager arrived and I ended up going on loan again, to Aston Villa.

“I think the first time I finished a season with the same manager who started it was Martin O’Neill at Villa, probably five seasons into my career.”

James Milner (£12m) from Newcastle - August 2008
James Milner (£12m) from Newcastle – August 2008

He added: “When someone has an opinion, even if it ends up misquoted, people jump on it.

“But as a player you love the chance to shut people up.

“Any time that you’re criticised, it drives you on and you try to prove people wrong.

“That’s what I did in that part of my career.

“But I get on with Graeme – there’s no beef.

“When I won the Premier League title at Manchester City, he was covering the game and he came over to congratulate me.”

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