Two of these and you're out, buddy. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Oh Jamesy boy, you had a chance to be a Villa hero. Don't you remember what happened with Gareth Barry? His head got too big for his cheekbones, he demanded a move and now he is vilified by Villans. And what happened? He went to Manchester City and had a not-so-shiny season. James, do you even know how many midfielders City have on their books? Do you honestly think you'll play every week?
Yes, as almost all of you will know by now, James Milner wants to leave Aston Villa. While I typically support the right of any player to leave a club, I wish that they wouldn't do it by basically pissing on the club they're leaving behind. Martin O'Neill put a lot of faith in bringing James Miner to Aston Villa. Moving him to central midfield allowed him to flourish and to attract the notice of England and of other clubs. It was the nurturing of Aston Villa--combined with his immense talent, of course, I'm not going to put it all on the genius of Villa--that got him where he is now.
And now he wants out. Which, again, is fine. But have a little class, Milner. Aston Villa finished sixth last year. The club went to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and the finals of the League Cup. It's not as though you were wallowing down in the depths of despair, playing for a pittance for Wolves. You're leaving to go to a club that finished one slot ahead of us in the table. Yes, a pay raise is fine. We all get that. We'd all love one. But you don't make it so clear that you want out.
What happens now? I'd imagine City will put forth another bid. Even though it's been made clear that Milner is for sale, Villa still aren't going to accept under £20 million for him. Sky Sports says Villa want £30 million, but that seems a bit high. I did find this BBC quote from Roberto Mancini amusing, though:
"When Manchester City want to buy a player, other clubs ask much more than is normal," stated the Italian.
Well, Mancini, if you didn't open up your pocketbooks and flash your stacks of hundred pound notes, we might not be driving up the price. Cough up a few more bucks for Milner and you can have him. At this point, I think many of us are happy to see him go. We all saw what happened with Barry when he wasn't able to leave City. We don't need another player unhappy with the situation in our starting lineup. You give us the cash, City, and we'll figure out how to use it. Then we'll laugh when we see you with a squad of 30 prima donnas who still can't work together to score a goal. Truth be told, I may even laugh when I see Milner on the bench.