• World Cup

Milner laughs at 'boring' tag

ESPN staff
June 3, 2014
England have a lot to look forward to

England midfielder James Milner insists he can laugh off the 'boring' tag handed to him by a parody Twitter account.

While some footballers take umbrage at such accounts and try to get them shut down, Milner has taken it in his stride.

Milner v Boring Milner

Can you tell the two apart? © PA Photos
  • James Milner tried to track down the ghost behind his parody Twitter account. But is the Manchester City midfielder as boring as his alter-ego?
  • See if you can spot the difference

In fact, Manchester City midfielder Milner will scan through the timeline of @BoringMilner throughout the World Cup as he finds the account rather amusing.

The spoof messages have earned a cult following due to tweets about such dreary subjects as making tea and eating toast. Nearly a quarter of a million people follow it.

Milner has tried to find out who the author of the messages is but does not hold anything against the person who set up the account. He just wishes that his foundation's account, promoting youth sport participation, had more followers.

"It's not doing badly, whoever it is,'' Milner said. "My foundation has 15,000 followers. I wish it had as many [as the spoof account]. It's good fun. I've read a few of them, and some of them are very funny.''

Milner had suspicions that someone inside Manchester City may be behind the account, which was set up last August. "We went through this [at the club] wondering who it was,'' he said. "There were a few tweets about Asda so I was asking the masseurs where they shopped. I don't think it's at the club, no. Who knows? It's good fun.

"I've never got close enough [to finding out who is behind it]. I thought I had but I realised they didn't have enough banter.''

Milner may be the butt of jokes on social media, but to Roy Hodgson the midfielder is by no means a figure of fun. He will field Milner for the 20th time during his reign on Wednesday when England take on Ecuador at the Sun Life Stadium in Miami.

Milner's selection will be greeted with groans in some quarters due to the perception that when he takes to the field, England play defensively. He is generally seen as a player who can be introduced to firm up the midfield and stifle opposition.

His goals record backs that up, having scored only once in 46 international appearances, but he argues the two Premier League titles, one FA Cup and one League Cup he has won with City show a different side to him.

"Look at the number of goals I've created in the Premier League in my career. I'm sure I'd be quite high up there,'' Milner, who was credited with 10 assists in 67 appearances, said. "I can create goals but also do a job for the team defensively.''

The main reason why Hodgson is considering selecting Milner for England's World Cup opener against Italy on June 14 is his phenomenal work rate. The 28-year-old feels part of the reason behind his almost limitless energy is because he is teetotal.

He said: "It's not like I'm against alcohol. It's just a decision I made and, if you've never had it, you don't miss it. I might [have a drink if England win the World Cup]. That's one moment where I might."

James Milner insists he is not simply a defensive player © Getty Images
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close