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The Mirror today have an exclusive report by Ralph Ellis claiming that Villa midfielder James Milner needs to add more goals to his game to get into the full squad and push for a World Cup place.
Milner is the most capped England U21 player ever and recently helped England to the U21 Euro Championship finals… sadly losing to Germany in the final… arrggghhhh!
The paper have interviewed former England and Villa midfielder Steve Hodge who says both Milner and West Ham’s Mark Noble could be knocking on Fabio Capello’s door. Not literally I hope, they should be a bit too old for knock and run now?!?!
Hodge, now involved at Nottingham Forest does add that the gap between U21 level and World Cup level is ‘huge’ adding of the current U21 crop, ‘People say this group will be in Fabio Capello’s mind after doing so well in Sweden, but I think the ones aged 25 or 26 who are on the fringe, like Scott Parker or Michael Carrick, have more chance when push comes to shove.’
‘But somebody like Milner, or Mark Noble – who I rate very highly – has got to do a lot to get their name up in lights and make an impression in midfield, where the competition is so tough. They both barely got half a dozen goals in all competitions last year and they’ve got to do more to show the manager they are in good form.’
So Villa’s gain could prove also to be England’s gain? Start banging them in James!
So what do you think? Will any of the U21 lads make the jump up? Or can you see other players likely to push their World Cup credentials further this year? Who else is on the fringe realistically?