4 Oct 2014

Slammed: Angry £20m LFC flop slates BR for 'slagging' him off & 'tarnishing' his reputation

Soon after he arrived at Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers publicly criticised Stewart Downing, suggesting that he lacked the necessary 'fight' and desire to succeed at Anfield. At the time, Downing admitted that he was 'shocked' by the comments, but a year later, he left the club (seemingly) on good terms, with LFC's boss claiming he didn't want to sell the winger too West Ham. Well, a year after leaving Liverpool, Downing has lifted the lid on his true feelings about Rodgers, and it 'aint pretty!

In September 2012, Rodgers made the following veiled criticisms of Downing:

"You have to work hard, you have to fight for the shirt and if you don't do that then longer-term you won't be here. It is as simple as that really. He [Downing] is under no illusions that he has to fight"

Downing still feels a lot of resentment over (what he perceives to be) Rodgers' questionable man-management, and in an interview today with the Daily Mail, he scathed:

"Rodgers is the one manager I had problems with. To come out in the papers and basically slag off your player by saying you don’t try - that was poor.

"I don’t understand why some managers do it. You can lose the player completely. If fans read that you don’t try, it gives the wrong impression. That kind of thing can tarnish a player’s reputation".


I totally agree with Downing, here. As I've argued consistently for years, I'm against public criticism of players and/or gross overpraise, and in this case, Rodgers' attempt to motivate clearly failed.

To be fair, during his final season, Downing performed consistently well, and became an integral part of the team. In fact, along with Jordan Henderson, he was arguably the club's most improved player. However, he just didn't do enough to justify being a regular starter for the 2013-14 season.

An attacking player's primary role is to score/create goals, and Downing just didn't do that on a consistent enough basis. Prime example: in his final season:

* 5 goals/6 assists in 43 apps.
* Only 2 goals in the final 22 games of the season.
* 2 assists/no goals in last 7 games of the season.

Another example: Downing's final 5 Premier League games = four draws and one victory. That was 8 vital points dropped, and someone of Downing's experience should've been making a game-changing difference in at least one (if not two) of those four draws.

If he had, then the Reds might have qualified for Europe, and overhauled Everton in the table. Downing may have improved, but his output still wasn't good enough for an experienced senior player.

In all honesty, though, he would've made a decent squad player, but taking the money - even at a loss - was the right thing to do.

As for Rodgers - a couple of weeks ago, he publicly criticised Dejan Lovren for his performance against Aston Villa, which, in my view, was totally unnecessary, and counter-productive.

Let's hope the Croatian is not harbouring similar resentment...

Author:



69 comments:

  1. If Stuart Downing, a perceived nice guy reacts to public criticism like that, you can only imagine how Mario will react. Brendan is taking a hell of a risk.

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  2. BR's comments abt how Origi is a class player..blah blah, then he says he had to bring mario cauz of unavailability of other strikers..then he says he's calculated risk....I think BR should just shut up for a while..we all know he's under a lot pressure....and saying things like that abt your own players will not do good

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  3. Downing cannot get a game for England, I rest my case.

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  4. The point is not about Downing's ability. It is about the managerial relations with a player. Nobody cares about Downing but we do about Lovren and Balotelli and we do not want this to have a negative effect on them.

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  5. I think this is a situation we have seen with most of our managers. Fowler and Houllier, Bellamy and Rafa and many other instances.


    If Downing was scoring or creating goals on a regular basis for LFC then maybe he would have had a strong case. Not good enough.

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  6. If fergie have said that, it would have been fine... But rodgers????? And im a diehard lfc fan who hates mancs

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  7. The key quote is this after Brendan Rogers stated that he wasn't trying hard enough ...Downing said this in the Daily Mail article 'I got my head down, worked hard and got back in the team'.
    I think that justifies Brendan's accusation of Downing and tells you all you need to know about him as a player in training.
    Furthermore, he's technically limited and for a supposed attacker doesn't offer enough GOALS & ASSISTS. Thats why he's no longer being selected for England and thats why he's no longer playing at the highest level.

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  8. As highlighted, Downing's performances actually improved, so maybe Rodger's criticism of him went some way to having the desired effect, no? I don't think there's too many question marks over his ability to man manage; I've always maintained that this is one of the better facets of his managerial ability and I stand by that. He has a good track record in drawing improvement from young or underperforming players or even those with questionable mentality. Sterling, Sturridge, Henderson, Skrtel, even Suarez and Gerrard to some extent. Last season's team spirit was there for all to see and you don't foster that kind of atmosphere with poor man management. But public criticism is a dangerous route to take, that much is true. In the end, Downing didn't improve to the required level and Rodgers got rid. Can't see him losing too much sleep over Downing's bitterness.

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  9. Mario Balotelli is in the last chance saloon.
    If he doesn't try or adapt NO OTHER BIG CLUB will ever take a risk on him again.
    He's already out of the Italian National team, if he doesn't change or adapt he'll be sold by Liverpool at the end of the season (We have Origi to come in) and I doubt we'll see him a CL side again.
    Batlotelli is s a stubborn *******, it may take him to hit rock bottom before he realise he's days are numbered. That having been said I see more effort from him, he may be able to change his attitude.
    However, I think with Balotelli it's more STICK than CARROT.

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  10. But that was because he had time to work with each of those players individually. Now, he has to manage so many new faces and egis to play to his ways. It is difficult for any manager to do this. Anyways, didnt Rodgers criticise Hendo as well in public. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not.

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  11. Last season in our opening 9 matches in all competitions we conceded 8 goals. This season we have conceded 12.


    As for goals scored, last season 15 and this season 12.


    As it stands, we are struggling to score goals and we are conceding goals. Fact is that if we are not going to start scoring goals then chances of us winning matches are very slim.

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  12. We always knew that we were not going to reach the heights of last season in goals terms but we were banking on the defence to sort itself out and it is not working ipso facto you have the slump.

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  13. Playing two upfront will see our attack score goals but our manager thinks Balotelli up on his own will see us cause problems for the oppositions defence. It has not done so once this season. The mind boggles.

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  14. I think Rodgers should show some balls and play Lambert with Balotelli. Rodgers succceeded because he made ballsy decisions and should continue. Substituting Suso for Hendo after 30 mins, playing Sterling against Norwich when the world wanted him dropped and the diamond formation. He has to show he is the man.

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  15. colonel cocknocker7:19 am, October 04, 2014

    I guess I'm with everyone else really, not so bothered about Downing I
    wouldn't expect him to be pleased he didn't make it at Liverpool and him
    sounding off now that he's found a bit of form was to be expected, and
    it goes to show that Brendan's words stung quite a bit. I guess this is a
    good thing if he gets a rocket up him. Every player should be clear
    they need to give everything in every game.
    However it's pretty
    quick for Brendan to be putting basically a do or die message out to
    mario - i thought we didn't bring him in to replace Suarez? If so it's
    not really any fairer to expect him to lead the line on his own than it
    would be rickie or Fabio. It's obvious to everyone now that Mario needs
    someone up next to him, Certainly until he's found his feet, the guy's
    got enormous pressure and scrutiny on him, in which case brendan should
    take some of the responsibility for the lack of goal threat and help him
    out a bit rather than essentially blaming him for not scoring like
    luis. Just my two cents.

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  16. Rodgers can play either Balotelli/Borini, Balotelli/Lambert, Balotelli/Sterling and even Balotelli/Markovic.


    We have loads of attacking options but our options are being wasted playing in a system which is totally ineffective.


    We need to go either 4-3-3 or 4-1-2-1-2/4-3-1-2 with one holding mid and two pushing forward like we did last season.


    We are going to concede goals irrespective of what formation we play so the only way out is for us to score goals. Wake up Brendan!

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  17. Such a disgrace now we will have to fight each other, name whos a true fan whos not, whos optimistic whos pessimistic, whos Over optimistic( got a lof of unfortunately) etc. We have waited like 25 years to finally challenge for the title properly and we go on like that every year. We did had one now we're back to where we were in the last two decades more or less. Frustrating disappointing anything you like but its so unlucky and unfair for these fans.

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  18. Well maybe it's just true and maybe Downing can't handle the truth. Whether it was lack of trying or pure lack of talent, we can hardly deny he wasn't even worth 20% of his transfer fee.

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  19. Alright, we get it! We realise you know their respective ages!

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  20. Does anybody know if Drownings balls have dropped yet!!!

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  21. Any news on Sturidge fitness?

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  22. Your posts are longer than articles, Makes them hard to read...

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  23. He is not going to start the match today.

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  24. Team will only be available an hour before kick off.

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  25. That situation is well strange. BR said he was very close to play vs everton, he didnt. Then he said he should be ok for Basel, he wasnt even on bench. I think sturridge is fit enough to play today undoubtly but BR is fearing Roys calls him soon as he sees him playing today. So probably he wont be involved at all again today just to save him from england duty so he could get another stupid injury, thats my view on it. Though it will harm us bad today, we simply cannot win without him.

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  26. Thanks, thought there arre some news about making the squad at least,,

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  27. Well I read BR said he won`t play for England regardless of Liverpool playing time, and Woy concurring... Hope he`ll get a half time today, that should be enough..

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  28. We can win without Sturridge but not with our current setup.

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  29. I disagree about the last part of that comment. He was by no means a 20M player, but after his good seasons for Villa, he was certainly a 10M player and quite possibly, had he have been bought for 10M, he would have had less pressure to succeed. I don't however blame him for his pricetag, I blame Dalglish and Comolli and the transfer committee that spent that much on him. Henderson was treated in a similar way when Rodgers came in, trying to offload him in the deal to bring Dempsey in, however, Hendo wanted to stay and prove himself and with hard work and determination, he has not only become a vital part of our side, but is now also the vice captain.

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  30. Should we try Lambert alongside the so far useless striker?

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  31. Origi is a class striker, but by buying him from Lille, part of the deal was to send him back to Lille for the season on loan, so, yes he was unavailable. Balotelli is a calculated risk.

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  32. Bellamy and Rafa or Benayoun and Rafa?

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  33. Stuart Downing is a big fish in a little pond at westham he couldnt make the grade at liverpool simply as that im not saying is hasnt got quality as he has shown at westham he has but he is more suited to teams like westhams style of play theres no pressure on him there .

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  34. I reckon Super Mario will knock in a few soon he is not scoring but playing ok i think he will turn out a valuable asset.
    No i cannot see Lambert lining up with Balotelli unless its off the bench.

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  35. It is not like Balotelli has had any service mate. It is Rodgers who is to blind to see that one upfront is not working for the team.


    We have made 98 crosses this season in all EPL matches and only 15 have been successful.

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  36. And he should have scored from at least one... Just wandering what you think of Lambert in the line up, cuse I know you think we should play 2 upfront..

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  37. Agree to a point. Balotelli is a player who likes to drop deep and pick up the ball, he isn't an in-the-box type of striker. But yet we don't really have that type of striker. What Balotelli doesn't have yet that the other strikers do have is that he doesn't help out in defence that much and that is only because at his previous clubs, he hasn't needed to, I don't blame Balotelli for that. On another note, I read an article today where we agreed to a gentlemen's agreement to sign Benzema for 38M in January, I hope this is true as Benzema is exactly the type of striker we need, willing to work hard and has the reputation of being more of a team player than Balotelli.

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  38. I agree, but everybody see and speak about poor form of all the others, yet somehow, Mario has a song, it doesn`t matter he is not scoring(others are to blame) and it is ok he is not applauding to the fans after the match...

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  39. Not all of those crosses would have been aimed at Baoltelli. Our midfield has done f all for our attack of late. Our football from back to front is completely disjointed.


    I just want to see us play the way we thrashed Spurs. Not going to happen with our current setup unfortunately.

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  40. Fair enough i am a little critical of Marios finishing ATM but must say he is finding positions to score and putting in some hard work.
    You need to sometimes be patient with new players i reckon it took Crouchie about 9 games to score but he turned out ok thats by memory i could be wrong.

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  41. It was actually 19 games before Crouch scored. Balotelli has scored one already. More will come but only if he gets some help.

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  42. Frankly, Valdes (and by the way, it is Valdes with an S and not a Z) isn't all that great a keeper. Reina is still a better keeper than Valdes ever was. He just had the benefit of being in one of the best sides ever. He has never been considered a world class keeper though. And by the way, if we had bought Reus this previous window or the next window, he will cost more than 25M, Aubamayeng isn't worth 25M. If we are going to get a DM, I would rather take a look at Axel Witsel at Zenit, he is 25 and is better than M'Vila and Tiote. He would cost more, but would be value for money.

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  43. I think its just like everyone in life every case is different and getting a response may work on 1 but be detrimental to another.
    At the end of the day its hard to be loved and admired by all.

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  44. Interesting how Rodgers is fast to call out players in public, but fails to admit to his own deficiencies. Repeated failure in the transfer market, failure to address our inadequate midfield, failure to address our defensive inefficiencies, suspect tactics at important moments.


    Rodgers has done better than I thought he would and you just have to respect that. However, if you choose to call out your players in public then you should be prepared to admit your own faults also. He's walking a fine line with some of the players. With morale low at present, alienating even just a few of the players will destroy team spirit even further.


    The Ballotelli situation is intriguing. Is Balotelli playing much differently for us than he did for his previous teams? Is it not the job of the scouting team to realise that he would not fit our system? Having decided to buy him anyway, iI it not Rodgers job to play to Balotelli's strengths? Indeed Balotelli needs to do more, but he also needs a period of adjustment and should not be used as a scapegoat for a team that is lacking cohesion, confidence, and compared to the best sides in the world, quality..

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  45. I think you're spot on.

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  46. At last, a civil voice.

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  47. Nevergonnacrackthecode11:41 am, October 04, 2014

    Whats angered me most this year so far is jaimie carragher commenting on raheem sterling
    he is not part of liverpool anymore and has no right to make such a comment especially as it ca be viewed as a liverpool point of view

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  48. See, my view on the topic is that Balo is not to blame for our frailties and just because he is an easy target, most people, even Rodgers, are making him the scapegoat. He has great link up play and one of the only players who cans tring three passes together. He is agressive and at least wants to tackle. Also, he is a good defender contrary to popular belief. I have seen many cases where we have 9 men behind the ball and the opposition is still passing it around and Balo has to make the interception. He is not the problem.

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  49. Jaimie Carragher is not apart of Liverpool?!? Are we talking about same guy and the same FC?

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  50. He is not unless our Jaimie and him do something together.

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  51. Jainie can hoof and Jaimie can poof.

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  52. Nevergonnacrackthecode11:59 am, October 04, 2014

    no buts its irresponsible coming from him
    he is still highly respected and should not be making comments on things that dont relate to him like sterlings contract

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  53. The way I see it he is the right man to say the RIGHT thing.

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  54. Spot on BR is blaming everyone but himself, the way he's doing it just lacks class. In public!!! Ballotelli is playing the same way he has, to expect him to be a replica of Saurez is plain daft.
    I think Downing has a point about character tarnishing, now look at the LFC old boys laying into Ballotelli less than 10 games in!
    The fact remains over 100 mill spent & we look no where near challenging for the title.

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  55. You obviously have not seen what Bellamy has had to say about Rafa in his autobiography?

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  56. Its Habit and used to doing it, some people don't know their ages.

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  57. Valdes(32) is three times the player S Mignolet(26) is.


    Most true fans on here knew P Reina(32) was much better than S Mignolet(26), but due to Reina's huge weekly salary/wage, his poor inconsistant form over the last three seasons he was at club and his letter he sent to club and us the fans on his loan move to Napoli.


    There was no way that B Rodgers was going to give him another chance at the club if he was still at the club. The only way P Reina(32) had chance was if B Rodgers left or was sacked by owners. And that was not happening last season

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  58. Frankly it's a pretty poor show that you cannot even be bothered to look up their ages.:-)

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  59. The good news is that they have now dropped but the bad news is they are not attached to his body.

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  60. We don't really care about their ages :D

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  61. haha I've just been reading Bellamy's comments.

    Sometimes strikers like to do finishing at the end of a session but once
    the whistle was blown at the end of training, Rafa would personally
    collect the balls and put them in the bag and no one was allowed to do
    any extra work. He was a total control-freak.

    loool

    Bellamy: But gafa I wana do some extr.......
    Rafa: IN AND SHOWER!

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  62. The problem with Balo is we are playing him upfront alone, I think having him as a CF with sturridge and sterling may work (433). I remember his days at inter, his work rate (at least in the games I watched) was at dirk-kuyt level. Not sure what happened between then and now. But BR is right, this might be Balos last chance with a big club if he does not start getting goals.

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  63. Agreed but that also suggests that had Downing showed the same attitude that he had not been sold. What I meant was that he didnt turn out to be value for money. At any price. Of course he cant be blamed for what we paid

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  64. I am in complete agreement with your entire paragraph.

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  65. Who is this Brenda Rogers?
    and didn't Downing prove a point against Liverpoo recently?

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  66. I think Liverpool may be on the verge of imploding this season

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  67. What Downing seems to forget is that his form greatly improved after Brendan slagged him off and dropped him.

    That doesn't necessarily make what he did right (I disapproved at the time) but his improved form suggested a causality that vindicated Rodgers.

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