I have to lay my cards on the table, I think he’s the most ignorant and obnoxious pundit on any media platform in British football. It isn’t so much that everything he says is wrong, it’s the arrogance he says it with, like what he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.
In fact, at times I’ve found myself wondering if he’s actually employed just to agitate and get clicks on websites, like a kind of more sinister and calculated, less comedic Paul Merson.
I’ve also long suspected he doesn’t really like Newcastle fans, going back to when he was sent off for stupidly kicking out at former teammate Craig Bellamy whilst playing for Norwich. He had a shocker that day and we let him know it when he was making his way for an early bath.
This is the man who has recently confidently exclaimed that Sheffield United are a long ball team, that Kieran Trippier’s move to Atletico Madrid was risky as “he may slip off the radar” (I mean you tell me) and that Newcastle fans have too high expectations, because getting 55,000 fans every game (yep, 55) doesn’t give you a divine right to be in the top 6 every year.
It’s almost like he bases everything on past preconceptions without current knowledge then speaks with authority about it.
Anyway, he’s been speaking about Miguel Almiron once again, saying this about the Paraguayan:
“I gave him a little bit of stick when he first came arrived, I didn’t know too much about him, was he the answer for Newcastle, was this going to be the stellar signing they’re looking for, is he going to score enough goals?
“I think he started off really well, had three or four games where he looked great and I got all sorts of abuse from the Newcastle fans but look, not so good now.
“That’s the problem, he’s working very, very hard but he’s in the team to be creative, he’s in the team to create chances and to score goals. He’s not doing it. To work hard is normal, to work hard is mandatory. That’s the very, very least every player should be doing.
“You get put in a team as a defender to stop the opposition scoring. You get put in as a defensive midfielder to break things up, you get put in as a striker to score goals, you get put in as a creative midfielder to create chances and score goals – he’s not doing that. If you’re not doing that then as hard as you are working and as much as the fans appreciate that, sometimes you need more.”
Now, Mills claims he’d never heard of Almiron. He was the star man for the champions of a popular league that’s televised in the UK, hardly beyond the reach of a professional pundit, it’s not like we plucked him from the Czech second division. I mean if he thinks signing for a team like Atletico Madrid puts you in danger of slipping off the radar, maybe it does make sense.
Sadly, no one can argue with what Mills says about him not scoring, on that front I’m starting to believe the poor kid is cursed, but anyone who watches us and understands football can see how important Almiron is to us.
Last season he revitalised the team, we started creating so many more chances and scoring more goals than before he joined us, and it certainly lasted longer than the 3-4 games Mills proclaims it did.
As for this season, and the first few games, fair enough, most of the team were poor. His performances in the last few weeks however, since Saint Maximin came back into the team, have been excellent, and while he hasn’t registered a direct assist, to say he isn’t creating chances and being involved is nonsense.
What about his sublime pass that started the move for Longstaff’s goal against Man Utd? Or him winning the free kick for Clark’s opener at West Ham? Or his cross field pass to Saint Maximin for Yedlin’s equaliser last weekend?
If this was just a fan of another team looking at Almiron, and our team, from the outside I could totally understand the criticism. Every team in the world has at least one player that only fans of that team appreciate fully, because they watch them week in week out. Mills on the other hand is a professional pundit, and is paid to not be this ignorant.
So, when Wor Miggy dances through the Aston Villa defence on Monday week, and pings one past Tom Heaton into the top bin, let’s all send Danny Mills our regards.