James Milner reveals what really happened between him and Graeme Souness at Newcastle United
James Milner has revealed what really happened between him and Graeme Souness at Newcastle United.
The 32-year-old made 134 appearances for the Magpies across four years on Tyneside, although spent the 2005/06 season on loan at Aston Villa after Souness decided he was not apart of his plans.
Milner, who scored 11 times for Newcastle, left to join Villa permanently in 2008 which announced the start of Kevin Keegan's feud with owner Mike Ashley.
The midfielder admitted his spell at Newcastle was tough at the beginning when Sir Bobby Robson was sacked four games into 2004/05 campaign before his Newcastle career was brought to a standstill by the appointment of Souness.
However, Glenn Roeder took caretaker charge as Souness was relieved of his duties in February 2006 - that allowed Milner to reignite his Tyneside career.
Milner, sitting down in a big interview with FourFourTwo, opened up about his relationship with Souness but first reflected on his favourite and worst Newcastle moments, admitting he 'saw both sides of things' in his time at the club.
"The 2005 FA Cup semi-final in Cardiff – we lost 4-1 to Manchester United, but the drive in was incredible," said Milner
"It took us ages to get to the ground – the streets were black and white everywhere; there were fans on lampposts.
"The next time I saw something like that was coming into Anfield on the European run with Liverpool. I saw both sides of things at Newcastle, but when things were going well it was an amazing place to go and play football, with great fans."
Souness once said 'you don't win anything with a team of James Milners' but Milner revealed the former Blackburn Rovers apologised and didn't mean it.
Milner said: "Yeah, it did (hurt me), 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.
"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."