15 Nov 2011

Liverpool's STEWART DOWNING admits: "I'm disappointed..."

Despite being the club's second-highest shot-creator, Liverpool left-winger Stewart Downing has failed create or score goal in over 15 hours of football this season. It's a concern, especially for an an International player in the prime of his career, but the former-Aston Villa midfielder is the first to admit that things need to improve.

Downing, who played a part in England's victory over Spain at the weekend, rued his bad luck in front of goal this season:

"I'm disappointed I haven't put one away yet. I've been unlucky not to score - I've hit the woodwork, and had one disallowed at Arsenal too.

"Against Wolves, I thought I could've done a little better when I had a on-on-one, but credit to the keeper too as he made a good save.

"Although I haven't found the net yet, the pleasing thing is I'm getting into good positions and I think the goals will come.

"It's obviously great when you do score, but I always think the team is more important. Once it's doing well, I don't mind if I'm not scoring. Goals are a bonus, but the main thing for me is to provide".

Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique has quickly become a fan favourite, and Downing is positive about their partnership:

"I'm really enjoying playing with him [Enrique]. He's a footballing full-back; he likes to get forward and he gives me lots of options because we can link up. I think we've clicked quite well. To be honest, I think we all have".

I think the partnership has potential but I wouldn't say it has 'clicked' really well. To be an effective partnership, there has to be some kind of specific end product, and so far, Downing and Enrique have contribued only one assist between them.

Liverpool legends Jan Molby and Steve Nicol have both recently highlighted Downing's lack of end product, with Nicol arguing that his return is 'just not good enough'. Hopefully, it's just an extended barren spell, and if Downing can score or create a goal or two against Chelsea and Man City, I'm sure it will be quickly forgotten.

Jaimie Kanwar


  1. If we had no access to stats at all and just judged Downing on how we felt about his performances during and after games I would be forced to agree that he has been disappointing, even though the shot assists stat suggest he has been somewhat effective

    You said

    "Despite being the club's second-highest shot-creator, Liverpool left-winger Stewart Downing has failed create or score goal"

    In my opinion this sentence is inherently unfair, surely some culpability lies with the forwards who haven't converted the chances he has laid on and if they had, this article, or main thrust of it, doesn't exist.......

  2. That sentence is factual: Downing has not, as a matter of irrefutable fact, scored or created a goal. Yes, there are mitigating circumstances, but when it gets to 12 games with no end product, the excuses have to stop. It's not always someone else's fault, is it?

  3. Jaimie, When it comes to creating a goal, you can't blame Downing, it's very much down to the lack of finishing ability of those that get on the end of his passes or crosses. You can certainly say he's not scoring, which is down to him. 

    No one's making excuses, the team as a whole need to be more clinical, including Suarez. 

    People's expectations were too high at the start of the season, with all the money spent people over reacted. Fact is money needed to be spent to stop us from falling further away from the top pack, more signings will be required in January and then in the Summer to take us closer to them. 

  4. I'm not overly fussed about stats - as far as I'm concerned they are used to support arguments rather than make them. And as far as I'm concerned, Downing has not been effective in the final third whereas Enrique has.

    The expectations placed on them may play some small part in my perception, but imho I see Enrique putting the ball into dangerous areas far more consistently than I see Downing accomplishing this.

    Hopefully this will not play out like the situation Benitez with Crouch, where the manager stubbornly stuck with the failing player to prove himself right, and only began to drop him once he did start to add some end product to his play...

  5. People's expectations were too high??

    As far as I remember most people expectation's were just that we'd be a top 4 side again. After spending +£100m to revamp a squad that was already largely accustomed to finishing in the top 4 previously...

    Expectations were too low, rather than the other way around as far as I'm concerned. but just as is per usual with LFC, even those low expectations are quickly downgraded to ensure that there is no pressure on anybody to actually deliver results, and instead we can look to 'next season'. Even though it's only flipping November still!

    It's no wonder that Ferguson and Man U have wiped the floor with us in recent years...

  6. You're spot on mate, some people just thought as kenny's back we will win the league.....purely running on emotion which is important but some fans were starting to leave in a fantasy world.  This will take time, patience and effective transfer dealings over the next 12-18 months period.  No panic buys hopefully and work in progress. 

    Downing - when i first heard we were going for him I was thinking please do not let this happen and then we paid 20m for him.....my head was in my hands.  I just wanted to be proved wrong and unfortunately he has so far lived upto my expectations.
    Average player at best, should have stayed at villa where he only has had one good season.  There's a saying ever dog has his day and he's just not good enough for a big club like Liverpool.  I just hope Daglish can get something out of him before he's shipped out.  I play on the wing myself and when majority of the time you got ur back to the opposing goal and just playing 5 yrds passes back to your team mates thats a sign of someone with low self belief and confidence in their own ability.  Its obvious we are going to have trouble attracting the best due to our current situation without CL, I just hope we can still bring in the quality on the wings which will compliment Suarez who is the new Mr Reliable in Gerrards place.  We have for too long relied on 1-2 players as oppose to many more.  

  7. Just what exactly is Downing doing on the pitch? Enrique defends and still finds the time to be more effective in the final third than Downing. Look no further than the game against Swansea, Downing's abysmal performance made Dyer (who?) look world-class.

    Yes, he puts in the most number of crosses but he doesn't have the confidence nor the bag of tricks to take on defenders. The Swansea wingers were terrorizing our full backs when they counter attacked; conversely, I could almost feel Swansea's relief every time Downing got the ball. He talks way too much and he needs to put in those dribbles, assists and goals where his mouth is.We sorely need an effective dribbler or someone who carries the ball effectively into the final third (a la Stevie or Benayoun). Against Swansea it was as if no one besides Enrique, Suarez, Lucas and Agger wanted to win. Henderson is clueless with the ball and Downing's uninspired running at the defender is reminiscent of Babel.Even King Kenny can't turn Downing into David Silva. We need more luck in the transfer window if we're to win anything.

  8. No it isn't always someone elses fault, but it is sometimes

    The sentence is actually an indictment of the forwards, Downing is 2nd highest chance creator yet no one has converted a chance he created

    This isn't about Downing but the clear contradiction in the statement that shouldn't go unchallenged

  9. downing has the potential to be a great winger for us and on his day he is top player but he has to improve to lfc standards

  10. uhh...has everyone forgotten the club was sucked dry by the two cowboys? a lot of the money was pumped into the team to build depth. yes, i'm somewhat disappointed with the performance too so far but hey, at least we have a decent squad. above all, after all the poor performances, we still manage 6th position and 3 pts away from top 4. all the ideas are present, just lacking the execution.

    we are still a club in transition, basically everything from top to bottom are in transition. it takes time, mancashter city spent hundreds and hundreds of million pound with oil money, yet, it takes time to settle. it took ferguson 6 years to build his empire. if we keep sacking managers, we will get relegated like newcastle, they had like 8 or 9 managers in 10 years

  11. I'm happy with Downing altho' I'll be happier if he plays like Enrique. Downing's presence should not be underestimated 'cos I am confident that he'll rediscover his old form, like the rest of the new signings, to score or play like he used to.

  12. Statistics clear the things: in terms of assists & crosses nobody can deny that Downing is working out for the team.
    He plays in a wide position and any game He provide at least one perfect assist that our strikers, especially Carroll, will miss it.
    The lack of finishing touch is not up to him.
    Meanwhile fans should appreciate the honesy of Downing, instead of using the opportunity of a self blame to attack him.

  13. agree from jan to end  of last season look how many points we got 2nd only to man utd i think then we add players in close season surely expectations should be sky high , top four finnish good enough it is,nt its like going away with priority not to lose wrong go away priority should be to win as we all know win 6 say draw 6 18pts draw 12 12pts , i still think main problem is lucas him in team means one proper footballer not in team , could go on but wont but i am right , so no replys telling me he,s a good DM ( nice catchphrase by the way ) we need good footballers and he is,nt one

  14. i actually meant win 6 lose 6 18pts obviously but you know what i mean less fear

  15. That performance for England yesterday is more like what I expect to see from Downing on a consistent basis for Liverpool - I accept that he doesn't he have the flair to showboat or beat a man like other elite wide men, but he consistently used his movement to get to the byline and played the ball into dangerous areas which were difficult to defend.

    Even if he didn't manage to get an assist then he still would've had a good game imo as he was clearly displaying a level of creativity that he hasn't shown for Liverpool; stats be damned!

  16. It's not only a question of Downing himself, but it's about Liverpool tactical set up. Downing is not a star but He's a good team player Who potentially can provide to Liverpool something They're lacking: pace, assist, flair and crosses in the box area. In my view We need another top class right winger (for example Mirko Marin of Werder Bremen), or We need to employ Graig Bellamy on a regular basis on the opposite right wide area, to force opposite defenders to play in a more uncomfortable and unfamiliar areas, so We can allow Downing to remain wide and find the spaces to provide more crosses. In fact, Capello's England yesterday played with Theo Walcott on the right side: that allowed Downing to find the spaces and going on inside and outside, driving into the defence. Downing has the skills to play good football, but He's a kind of player Who needs a team 100% in a good shape. Another problem is our striker pair: Carroll is still to static and He accomodates himself to sit behind the defenders, while Luis like getting the ball for keeping the head high, as Downing needs strikers Who like pushing through the defence and finding the gaps. For me, squad needs more additions in January to keep the top gear. I expect at least a right wing (Hendo is far to be a traditional right winger) and another option up front to bolster our game and give some variety to our style. Sometimes I really hope to see a more determined Stewart Downing, I would like to see a Player Who tries to do something his own, but unfortunately Downing is not that kind of Player (although He had the quality to make his own).

  17. Working 24 hrs a day to pretend more & more, to pretend instant success, it's counter productive because it's something that makes the atmosphere around the players, so depressing...

  18. your right we dont have that top quality striker that will be prolific in front of goal. suarez is great but he is more like a striker who is clever on the ball and will create opportunies out of nothing but without a goal scoring striker he wont be that effective

  19. the two cowboys sucked the club dry but how many players were lost from the team that came second?? And you're trying to tell me that +£100m wasn't enough to replace those players and have the club back up to those standards under a competent manager??

    I'm not sure why people keep going on about City as if they were in the same position as Liverpool prior to their money fuelled ascension up the league. If Tottenham were given £100m to improve their squad they'd be expected to compete for the title, in spite of the fact that they haven't even qualified for the CL this year. In contrast if Wigan were given £100m they still wouldn't even be expected to qualify for the Europa League.

    Liverpool simply do not have time to mess about with long term plans because the longer that the club is out of the CL, now that ffp is in place, the harder it will become to get back in.