Why it is not his fault that Liverpool are not scoring more goals
However, despite the negative light these stats could put on Downing I feel there is a much better explanation for his season statistics so far – it is more-than-likely that the very large 0’s next to Downing’s name are symptomatic of Liverpool’s impotency in front of goal. Because while it came as a great surprise to me that he had notched up zero assists, I have seen him set up dozens of chances for his team-mates but they won’t ever count and will be consigned to history, no matter how impressive his build-up play; it is only the end-product that is remembered.
If they had scored just 5% more of those 154 opportunities we’ve created Downing’s assist column would look far healthier. So while he drastically needs to improve his chances-into-goals ratio (much like the entire rest of the team, as I’ve pointed out twice recently) his assists statistics will start to improve naturally, once his team-mates starts putting away some of the excellent chances he has been creating for them week-on-week.
It is just a shame for Downing that his position sees him judged on goals created and – to a lesser extent – goals scored, as if it wasn’t for the whole squad’s profligacy in front of goal, his promising start to the season would have instead become an excellent start to his Liverpool career.
Article courtesy of David Tryer from Live4Liverpool