19 Nov 2011

Liverpool legend JOHN BARNES must surely be exaggerating about this...?

Liverpool legend John Barnes is my favourite footballer of all time. No other player has given me as much joy and excitement over the years, and he always has compelling views on football. However, I have to disagree with Barnesy's recent assessment of Stewart Downing's impact for Liverpool.

When asked on LFC TV about Downing's form for Liverpool this season, Barnes piled on the hyperbole:

"He has been Liverpool's most dangerous player. Suarez has scored the goals, and that goes without saying, but from an attacking perspective...I think he's been fantastic.

"There's a lot of pressure on him with the price tag, and if you look at Carroll, himself and Henderson, and he's probably been the best and the most consistent.

"Even for Liverpool, when they haven't been doing well, he has been the bright spark. And in the last couple of games when Liverpool haven't been on form, he has really come to the fore".

I personally feel this is slightly overstating the issue. Praising a player to increase their confidence is one thing but going overboard is, IMO, counter-productive as it can make the player feel they're doing as well as they can be, and don't really need to push themselves.

It was the same in Kenny Daglish's press conference on Thursday; when it was suggested that Downing's form needed to improve, Kenny completely refuted the idea, arguing that he had been brilliant from day one, and everyone at Anfield was delighted.

How can Dalglish et al be 'delighted' with a return of no goals or assists in 15 hours of football. How is that an acceptable return for a Premier League proven creative player in the prime of his career?

Several ex-players have had the honesty to tell it like it is: Downing needs to deliver on a consistent basis; That's what he's paid to do, and that's what he should be doing.

As always, Barnes was humble about his own impact at Liverpool:

"It's much harder for him than it was for me; I can into a top team, the best in the country, and it worked straight away, and because of the nature of the team, I was able to move around more, play central sometimes".

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. again again again... how is it downings fault that players simply arent putting his chances away?

  2. At what point do you stop blaming it all on other players? At what point does Downing have to take personal responsibility? You are simply allowing the player to coast along without taking responsibility for his end product. It's not as if he has created clear-cut chances every single game; it's not like he has been dominating games for Liverpool.

    As premier League proven international player in the prime of his career, the bare minimum we should be expecting is the creation of a few chances; that's his job!

    He needs to start contributing to the cause in terms of goals and assists.

  3. I totally disagree with you Jamie. Stewart downing has created many chances that just haven't been burried by the other players. His delivery is consistent. It would be nice for him to score a few goals though, that's where I would say his gameplay needs to be improved.

  4. a goal or two will do him the world of good.

  5. I've never rated him highly..average at best. However a goal will do him the world of good and to be fair, he was unlikely a few times having hit the post early in the season. Unfortunately theses are the type of players we have become a custom to since the days of barnesy and mcmanaman, who must get nose bleeds when they see the lack of quality on the wings at liverpool.

    We have missed out on players like young,silva and adam johnson and settled for 3rd best!!

  6. Rob how can you say Downings 3rd best, last season he was Villas player of the year a team which included Young and for Jhonson he,s never played regular so you dont know how consistent he would be. 

  7. i dont disagree he should be doing better, ive said that to you many many times, however you keep beating him with the he hasnt any assists stick, when assists ALWAYS WITHOUT FAIL RELY ON PEOPLE FINISHING HIS CHANCES he cant deliver the ball AND put it away himself. i can think of at least 10 occations where (including himself hitting the woodwork twice) that as a direct result of one his passes or crosses the person on the end of it has either hit the woodwork or the keeper has made an absolutely world class save, if the people on the end of his balls had done a little better he'd have maybe 5 assists to his name already(cant expect every single ball to be finished off).... yes he should be doing better i agree, cant argue, but u cant beat him with the lack of assist stat when that stat has to rely on other people, lack of goals? yes absolutely you're right. but lack of assists, downing has simply been unlucky by the people who arent putting them away.

  8. Downing should be doing his job that's for the praises he's getting. Barnes has played under Kenny and he knows quite well what task downing has to do. Kenny knows what downing has to do. And the problem with downing is that there is a wastage of goal scoring opportunities and he's been unlucky. He would have 3 goals and 1 assist from what am remembering. Goals against sunderland(hit crossbar),bolton(assist from suarez),against norwich or swansea(hit sidebar),assist to carroll hit crossbar. His movements are good. But the problem is actually with the team, suarez is a bit too greedy with the ball, and kuyt acknowledged that earlier. A quartet of bellam,kuyt,suarez and downing would a real pleasure to watch.

  9. One good season at villa does not make u a great player, at his age and with all the exprience behind he should be doing alot more. By the way ashley young's goal ratio was much better than downing hence man utd came in for him...u need to look into the facts which dont lie my friend. how come man city bought johnson instead of him. Liverpool again made a panic buy coz we missed out on young and paid over yhe odds for an average player at 28. Im a winger myself and if ur talented u will constantly deliver with goals and assists and not keep having ur back to the opposing gosl playing 5 yard passes. Dont get me wrong...we have paid alot of money for him so i hope we can more out of him.

  10. Jaimie, Is it true you promised to give £500 to Hillsborough charity but are now refusing??


  11. If you use the argument of judging downing solely on the number of assist u can say that suarez is shit because his shot coversion rate is shit

  12. i agree.in the first 6 games he was one of the brightest looking players. i agree he has tapered off the last 4 games or so and doesnt want the ball enough. enrique is demanding the ball from downing more than he should. but downing will improve and thats what we all want.