Stewart Downing; Admittedly of all the wingers we were linked with, he was not my number one, or two, or even three. That end of season goal against us aside, he never really and truly impressed me as a Villa or even an England player, let alone good enough to pull on a red shirt in a team we want to see challenging for major honours.
So for £12million, hmm, a bit steep, £15million? Do me a favour, surely a smokescreen to get Mata? £20million, blimy. This fella must be something special?!?! So what has convinced the board to delve deep once again?
1. Downing is English. Fits in perfectly with the new ‘home grown’ rules for both Premiership and European regulations.
2. He’s an international. Regardless what you think of the national team, he has had exposure against some top players and did ok.
3. He’s young enough (27 next week), to have a reasonable resale value should he not settle.
4. He has had years of Premiership experience.
5. He has ‘friends’ in England teammates; Gerrard, Carragher, Carroll, Johnson.
6. He is consistent in his performances. Carroll needs a supply from more than one or two sources.
7. He doesn’t get injured, much. Hopefully it isn’t the kiss of death for him but he obviously looks after himself.
8. Aston Villa’s 2010/11 player of the year.
But it is amongst the murky world of the, (hated by me), Opta index, and Damien Comolli’s statistics that we can really see where Downing comes into his own.
So what about Downing statistics? The Opta index certainly makes for good reading. Downing has averaged well over 30 appearances in the last 5 seasons. He has also managed to complete 135 successful crosses in the last 3 seasons. That’s more than any other player in the league. Only four players, some of the best ever Premier League midfielders, (Stevie G, Giggs, Fabregas and Lampard) have created more Premier League chances than Downing since 2004.
Comolli’s influence is hard to quantify, but the first signing of Luis Suarez wasn’t too bad was it! The way forward with new transfers it would seem is the statistical influence of the player.
I’ve always tried to give every Liverpool player a decent go of it. Remember that Jamie Carragher was getting some stick not so long ago, (unheard of now). Downing may not have enthralled me in the past, despite being their player of the year, but he was a Villa player then, he’s a Redman now and with no disrespect to Villa, a bigger stage with hopefully Champions League football to showcase his talents.
Kenny perhaps see’s Downing’s league experience to bring on the raw talent of Jack Robinson on an all new Liverpool left side. That is unless we are to strengthen in that area also (Aly Cissoko/Jose Enrique?). Downing, with a £20 million price tag, like Jordan Henderson will be under pressure by many to justify the outlay, but if he can replicate his Villa stats on the fields of Anfield Road, then he will most certainly become a big fan favourite.
So what three wingers would you prefer? And how did you find out the fee was £20m? Are you just repeating made up ‘facts’ (like the Henderson fee)?
mata, young, and santi i’m guessing
How did you know the money is 20m. Forget media reports and do me a favour leave downing alone.
I always wanted Downing over Young who is a whinger and diver. Villa fans weren’t too bothered about loosing him. Downing however was well liked. He works hard. Is an excellent crosser and scores a decent amount. Liverpool have bought a very good winger. Mata likes to come inside more which is not what we want. I think a big beneficiary will be Dirk. Dirk is master at coming in from wide and scoring at the far post. Carroll will take defenders away leaving a big hole behind them.
The stats are only good (e.g. assists) if the striker that Downing plays with is clinical. You have to ask if he has played with World Class Strikers…. Bent? No. Carew? No. He is now playing with Carroll and Suarez, so i am sure he is going to be a great signing.
Strange how previous liverpool managers also wanted Downing (Houllier and Benitez… let’s not forget Capello. Forget his bad experience with England — it is the egoistic English players who are to blame for their poor performance). That should tell you are well-regarded he is.
I don’t really understand the criticism that has been aimed at Carroll, Adam and Henderson. When Carroll was fit for the Geordies last season, he was simply unplayable. He will be fighting fit this time. Adam was brilliant for Blackpool and was also their captain — i think a successful team always needs more unofficial captains in the team (e.g. Dalglish, Hansen, Souness, Whelan, Grobbelaar etc). What about Henderson? Well, I can only say to those who saw Gerrard playing between 18 to 21… he was raw, running around like a headless chicken at times, diving into nasty tackles… look how he turned out in the end? Henderson reminds me of a young Gerrard and his first cap is at the same time as Gearrd. He has stamina, good passer, can score from outside the box. Reminds you of anyone?
Has everyone forgotten where Barnes, Aldridge, Houghton and Beardsley came from? Watford, Oxford and Newcastle United respectively. I’m puzzled about all this clamour for players from exotic sounding clubs like Villareal and Valencia. Mata is good, but he will need some time to settle in if signed. Do you know why Man Yoo keeps winning? Because they have British players fired up by Fergie’s anger and passion.
I think we need three more players to be challengers for the title. A solid leftback, central defender and a right winger who could play striker too. Hopefully we sell Ngog.
Benny well said mate.
So many fools commenting on blogs would infuriate ya.
You should join our LFC discussion group mate.
Happy to do so Will. How do i join?
Find me on fbook