In Defence Of Stewart Downing

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He is s***e’, ‘Overpriced c***’ and ‘He offers nothing except for crosses’ are some of the phrases used by some sections of the Liverpool fans to describe Stewart Downing. The £20m winger has indeed found the early part of his life at Anfield a bit difficult, thanks to some of the ‘fans’, and more importantly, the media.

Downing had a bright start to his Anfield career with a string of good performances in his first few games but that has quickly changed with a run of disappointing games in the Red jersey. Obviously, having played 15 games and 1139 minutes, without scoring a goal or making any assist doesn’t help either but when looking at those stats, one should consider that he has been quite unlucky as well. The England international has hit the post on 3 occasions (Sunderland, West Brom and Fulham) and has also seen strikers miss sitters from his crosses (Kuyt vs Man Utd, Carroll vs Swansea and Suarez vs QPR). Had luck been on his side, he would have had 3 goals and 3 assists already and everyone would be praising him.

Looking at some of the stats, Stewart Downing has a passing accuracy of 80%, attempting an average of 36 passes per game, which is only bettered by Lucas Leiva and Charlie Adam in the Liverpool squad. Moreover, Downing made 78 key passes last season, ahead of the likes of Gareth Bale, David Silva and Nani. This season, he has already made 32 key passes and he stands in 6th position. So, it is clear that he is making chances, but if those chances aren’t being converted into goals, it’s clearly not his fault.

Most of the criticism aimed at Downing is because of his hefty price tag. Yes, he isn’t a £20m player but its not his fault Kenny paid that much money for his services. We aren’t in the Champions League and to lure top English players to your club without European football, you’ve got to spend a premium.

Liverpool have lacked natural width for a long time, and that is why Kenny was tempted to pay so much money for him. He definitely has a lot of pace as well which Liverpool have lacked for quite a while now. People often forget that last season, we had Milan Jovanovic and Joe Cole on the wings, so its definitely a big improvement from that.

All in all, Stewart Downing isn’t a David Silva or a Nani, but he has his own attributes which make him a top player. Lets hope he makes his amends against his former club on Sunday to silence the doubters.

You can follow me on Twitter: @UmarKhurrum.

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  1. shouldnt NEED to defend Our players against our “fans” mind U, some of the so-called Lfc websites, blogs and even redmen encourage insults against our players , these ppl need educating into what the HOLY trinity means…!! u need to do more @ EOTK too!!!

  2. His career would have taken off if his first shot for lfc had hit the back of the net. However the club’s poor luck has affected everyone. That said I feel he has not been used to the fullest. He seems to be given the role of only of supplying crosses and not recieving a few passes while he runs into the box. At villa he would find himself acres of space in the far post, making a run to finish from low crosses etc. I can recall him recieving a breathtaking cross from luis suarez against bolton. And that led to a jordan henderson goal. Thats the last I can remember. So he has to be given freedom to do what maxi does so well-to find packets of spaces, and not just supply crosses.
    Secondly, he is pacy, but not alot as you are suggesting. He is able to give certain defenders nightmare and doesn scare many. He doesn need to be nani for this. . I feel he doesn really put his mind to some creative thinking to outsmart the fullbacks. He runs,gets to place to cross and crosses,more often than not they are blocked. He should nt resort to the obvious at every instant. And this could again be attributed to the role he has been given as discussed above. Overall , I agree with you. He could have done things differently, but there is far too much criticism directed towards him by impatient fans. Sadly he is now inflicted with serious drop in confidence. Hopefully He can get that luck he deserves at villa park and the stick from the opposition spurs him On. . I strongly feel given the time, I can start performin On a regular basis.
    Lastly-Nicely written article.

  3. Downing IMO is a really good player,i enjoy watching him play,all he needs is time and he will surely deliver! YNWA!!!

  4. clearly a player of quality. I am suprised fans would doubt his ability. Price aside, definitely a worthwhile addition to the squad

  5. Interested to know how many times Downing has put the ball into Carroll territory when Carroll hasn’t been on the field. Everything is close to coming together nicely. Those crosses will soon turn into goals which in turn means praise and assists for Ste. YNWA

  6. Villa’s fans booed Downing just now when he touched the ball resulted in corner kick and also when he took the corner which resulted in a goal ^_^ sweet…

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