Milner joins exclusive 500 club, but where does he rank in list of legends?

first_img Sol Campbell was dominant in his prime Jamie Carragher was a no-nonsense defender Gary Speed was a consummate professional Milner in the Premier League Leeds United (2001-2004)Newcastle United (2004-2009)Aston Villa (2005-2006 – loan)Aston Villa (2008-2010)Man City (2010-2015)Liverpool (2015-present) Rio Ferdinand played with style and grace Steven Gerrard is one of the best midfielders in Premier League history 13 13 6. James Milner (Leeds United, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, Manchester City, Liverpool) – 500 gamesThe latest inductee into the ‘500 club,’ Milner first came onto the scene as a 16-year-old at Leeds and was the then youngest goal scorer when he netted in a 2-1 win against Sunderland. In the 50 games in which he has hit the target, Milner is yet to be on the losing side – a Premier League record. Just one of four players in top-flight history to play 100 matches for three different clubs, only now is Milner getting the appreciation he has always deserved. 13 David James rebuilt his career at Portsmouth 13 13 Emile Heskey was not prolific but was vital to his teams 2. Frank Lampard (West Ham, Chelsea, Man City) – 609 gamesA prolific goalscorer of the highest order, Lampard was the ultimate central midfielder and had his best years in a Chelsea shirt. Superb passing, supreme fitness levels and and knowing exactly where the net was, meant it was not long before he was rightly considered world class. Voted Premier League player of the decade between 2001-10, the 40-year-old is now in charge of Derby County and received a hero’s reception when he returned to Stamford Bridge in October when he led his side out in the League Cup. 13 13 1. Ryan Giggs (Manchester United) – 632 gamesGiggs enjoyed a trophy-laden career with Man United and his 13 winners’ medals are the most of any player in the Premier League era.  A once pacy winger, the Welshman began his career giving full-backs plenty to think about, before converting into a deep-lying midfielder in his later years thanks to his football brain – his 162 Premier League assists in the league, a record, is testament to that. It is unlikely we will see the longevity, let alone the silverware of Giggs’ matched anytime soon, if ever. 7. Gareth Barry (Aston Villa, Manchester City, Everton, West Bromwich Albion) – 653 gamesHis appearances put him ahead of Ryan Giggs for Premier League games played and Barry played 20 consecutive seasons in the top flight before suffering relegation with West Brom in 2018. One of the most underrated players; he possessed a superb range of passing and delivery from set-pieces and in his later years, developed into a composed, calm midfielder capable of dictating the tempo and pace of a match. 13 Frank Lampard was a goal-scoring machine 13 13 Ryan Giggs won 13 Premier League titles 13 13 5. Sol Campbell (Tottenham Hotspur, Arsenal, Portsmouth, Newcastle) – 503 gamesLife in management may not been quite as straightforward as defending for Campbell, who made it appear so easy in his prime as player for Tottenham and Arsenal. A powerful and formidable centre-back, Campbell was a nightmare for strikers and slotted effortlessly into the role of Tony Adams’ successor at Highbury. He was part of the Gunners’ famous invincible season of 2003/04. 13 11. David James (Liverpool, Aston Villa, West Ham, Manchester City, Portsmouth) – 572 gamesIt was during his spell with Liverpool where he cruelly earn the nicknamed ‘Calamity James’ and it stuck with him for the remainder of his career. While high profile errors frequented his time in the Premier League, James rebuilt his career and reputation, particularly with Portsmouth, as a solid goalkeeper capable of world class saves on his day. With 169, only Petr Cech has kept more clean sheets than him in the Premier League. But where does he rank compared to the other players who have joined the 500 club?13. Mark Schwarzer (Middlesbrough, Fulham, Chelsea, Leicester City) – 514 gamesThe Australian enjoyed an 11-year spell with Middlesbrough, helping them to win the League Cup in 2004. Famously, he secured them a place in the UEFA Cup, when he saved a Robbie Fowler penalty against Manchester City on the final day of the 2004/05 season. He is the first and, to date, only non-British player to have appeared more than 500 times in the Premier League. James Milner burst onto the scene with Leeds 3. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) – 504 gamesHis lack of a Premier League winners’ medal has been bizarrely used to taunt one of the finest players to have graced the game. Gerrard was a complete midfielder and could dominate a match like no other in his heyday and was responsible for much of Liverpool’s success domestically and in Europe. His powerful runs and long-range strikes allowed him to make an impact at the highest level for nearly 20 years. Gareth Barry has made the most appearances in Premier League history Mark Schwarzer in action for Middlesbrough Liverpool’s James Milner is now part of a very exclusive Premier League club.The midfielder is now the 13th player to reach 500 appearances in England’s top flight, achieving the feat during the Reds’ 4-0 thrashing of Bournemouth.Milner, who will turn 33 in January, is the second youngest player to reach the mark after Gareth Barry. Phil Neville enjoyed a successful career in the Premier League 10. Emile Heskey (Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Aston Villa) – 516 gamesNever prolific for any of the clubs he played for (scoring roughly one in five games), Heskey earned an unfavourable reputation during his career for his inability to find the net. He was, though, deemed vital thanks in part to his physical attributes and selfless contributions to the team, earning praise from the likes of Robbie Fowler and Michael Owen for allowing them to shine. 12. Gary Speed (Leeds United, Everton, Newcastle United, Bolton Wanderers) – 535 gamesDescribed as the consummate professional, Speed was known for his dedication and fitness, rarely picking up injuries or suspensions that allowed him to play in the Premier League for three different clubs. The majority of his appearances came while at Newcastle where he became a fan’s favourite even after departing for Bolton in 2004. 4. Rio Ferdinand (West Ham, Leeds, Manchester United, QPR) – 504 gamesWith one more appearance than Campbell, Ferdinand complemented his England team-mate with his own brand of slick defending to form one of the nation’s best ever partnerships. A confident, composed player, Ferdinand was not the archetypal British centre-back. His ability to read the play and make crucial interventions, as well as his distribution and technique helped him win six Premier League titles with Man United and a place in the PFA Team of the Year on the same number of occasions. getty 8. Jamie Carragher (Liverpool) – 508 gamesCarragher has taken his ultra-competitive nature as a footballer into the Sky studio where he battles Gary Neville most Monday nights, but he was a solid defender for 17 years at Liverpool. Chelsea legend Didier Drogba paid him the ultimate compliment when he named the Bootle-born leader as his toughest ever opponent. 9. Phil Neville (Manchester United, Everton) – 505 gamesWith his attitude, willingness to play anywhere and high work-rate, Neville made the most of his ability to forge a highly respectable career with both Manchester United and then Everton. Able to operate as a full-back or midfielder, he won six Premier League titles at Man United between 1994 and 2005.last_img read more

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