Date: 15th December 2011 at 9:00pm
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Stewart Downing arrived at Liverpool with a hefty £20m price tag and many expected him to be the immediate solution to Liverpool’s problematic left midfield conundrum. However, in 16 appearances for the Reds, he has failed to score a single goal and his performances haven’t been of the same high standard as last season, when he was Aston Villa’s player of the season.

With Downing’s pinpoint crosses, it was hoped that Andy Carroll would finally begin to thrive in a red shirt. It’s fair to say that Carroll’s Liverpool career has been unequivocally poor so far, and while Downing has performed better than his fellow England international from the north-east, he hasn’t been able to replicate his scintillating form from last season.

Kenny Dalglish has publicly backed all of his big-money purchases, but markedly left out the £75m trio of Andy Carroll, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing when Liverpool triumphed at Stamford Bridge. His decision to leave Downing on the bench in favour of Maxi Rodriguez may suggest that Dalglish doesn’t trust the former Middlesbrough and Villa winger in crucial matches.

Nonetheless, Downing’s Liverpool career almost began with a bang. His mazy dribble and thunderous shot against Sunderland after just half an hour of the Premier League season would have been a goal of the season contender had it not cannoned back off the crossbar. Against Fulham, Mark Schwarzer somehow managed to tip his swerving drive onto the post. And as recently as Saturday, Downing forced three QPR defenders to back pedal before being thwarted by the imperious Radek Cerny.

Downing has also played a crucial role for England in 2011, playing all nine internationals in the calendar year. Even though he is yet to score for the Three Lions, Downing provided crucial assists in wins over Bulgaria and Sweden.

It’s only a matter of time before Downing finds his feet at Anfield. There is no doubt that he is a talented footballer, but he needs to prove that he can consistently perform at a high level. Perhaps all he needs is a little bit of luck. So little, in fact, that it may just be the width of the crossbar at the Anfield Road end.


5 responses to “Down(ing) on his luck”

  1. true says:

    The fans want him out – December and yet zero goals – not good enough to lick John Barnes boots

    • STEVE says:

      Hmmm I think only you want Downing out?? I think most fans are more frustrated with Carroll than Downing.

      Yes Downing was overpriced but since we don’t offer champions league football our options are limited. We should get a striker who is mobile, has a physical presence and can convert in January. (Yes this descriptions sounds like that Chelsea’s number 9 but I’m not referring to him.) Anyone that has these 3 qualities will fire us up in to the Champions League spot.

  2. Jimbo says:

    True, u must be deranged !! Downing has been playing well but has just been unlucky. None of the fans I know want him out so you speak for yourself.

    • peter says:

      I totally agree. He has been unlucky himself and his performances are getting better each game. He has created a few chances that should have been put away, which isnt his fault. The strikers just arent scoring. I like him and I think he will come good.

      • STEVE says:

        No. I thought he played better in the first 3 or 4 games but faded away. It’s only recently when he was benched then he played better when he came on.

        But something that frustates me is that he doesn’t really get a lot of time with Carroll on the pitch. I would like to see their partnership develop. I thought the whole point of getting Downing was for his crosses so that Carroll can head them into the goal.