View from the Kop

Downing: Left Back, Or Left Back In The Changing Rooms?

Image for Downing: Left Back, Or Left Back In The Changing Rooms?

I FEEL sorry for Stewart Downing.

There, I said it. It might make you spit your drink across your monitor over these very words, but I do. His performances have generally attracted a lot of criticism, and I wrote an article late last season questioning his mentality.

It’s fair to say that he has answered the questions I posed.

He doesn’t remotely have the mental strength to play for Liverpool. He is a craven coward who is thought so lowly of by the manager that he is now back up left back, and Jose Enrique (who Rodgers also doesn’t rate) plays left midfield ahead of him.

But after getting a bit of a panning from the fans for his performances in both the Swansea City and Spurs game in the past week, I think you have to feel a bit sorry for him. Downing, who is clearly heading for the exit either in January or next summer, in my opinion the former, was being asked to play left back.

His previous experiences in that position have been in Europe against (in theory) inferior opposition such as Hearts. But as Rodgers shuffles his pack following injury to Andre Wisdom, he has seen fit to play Downing at left back in two pretty important games. After our slow start every game is fast becoming important. Especially an away game against Spurs – our rivals for European football.

I don’t think Spurs are all that and the fact we carved out so many clear cut chances against them just reinforces that opinion – we just weren’t able to take them. However, Spurs are dangerous themselves going forward and leaving Downing up against either Bale or Lennon was grossly irresponsible of the manager.

The first Spurs goal was all down to Downing not tracking his man or being alert – but it’s hard to blame him. It’s not his game. I don’t know what exactly his game is meant to be these days as he isn’t the player we signed from Villa, but I can tell you now that he isn’t supposed to be a left back. And he isn’t very good at it.
[ad_pod id=”liverpool-tees” align=”center”]
Downing either needs to play on the left of midfield or not at all. I can understand the manager trying to make changes here and there but can’t put my finger on why he stuck with the winger at left back in the Spurs match. He should have just moved Enrique back and not picked Downing in the team if he doesn’t want to play him in midfield.

Is this to put the £20m man in the shopping window? I hope not. We don’t have time to do that. It’s December soon. We aren’t an insurmountable amount of points behind those chasing the coveted 4th spot and Europa League places. I’d rather play Glen Johnson at left back if that’s what we need to do. We need to get ourselves on a good run of form.

I think Downing is beyond help at Liverpool now. At a team with far less pressure he may thrive again but he hasn’t the mindset to play for a team where the fans expect a win and good performances every week. He has been a disaster and he needs to be shipped out. Rodgers clearly has no time for him, proven by the way he effectively torpedoed him earlier in the season by bringing Suso into the squad at the expense of the winger. We need to move him on, get a good fee (£10m is about what we should have paid and we’ll probably receive a sum similar to that) and start again.

But Rodgers needs to learn his lesson. Downing is either a winger or not in the team. He isn’t capable of defending against quality opposition, as was proven at White Hart Lane. Worth an experiment but the signs were there at Swansea. He needs to be taken out of the firing line, for both his and the manager’s sake.
[ad_pod id=’DFP-MPU’ align=’right’]
Live4Liverpool is recruiting columnists. For further info contact the site editor at live4liverpool@snack-media.com

Follow us on Twitter here: @live4Liverpool and ‘Like’ us on Facebook

Share this article

I'm a fully trained journalist who shunned a career in the profession due to my disillusionment with the tabloid press, instead hoping to become a professional author. I've written for The Liverpool Way for 7 years and am a regular on the forum using the name Agt Provocateur.

A passionate member of supporter group Kop Faithful, I've been a season ticket holder of 8 years and a regular match goer since 1995.

When not criticising diminishing refereeing standards in football, I can be found at Langtree Park, the home of St Helens Rugby League Club being highly critical of non existent standards of refereeing in Rugby League. I'm is also a massive Lancashire and England cricket fan.


  • JONESEY says:

    DROP DOWNING AND PLAY CONOR COADY – USELESS REPLACED BY BRILLIANT – I realise its not a straight swap but Henderson and Downing MUST GO

  • wesker says:

    I feel sorry for Downing too , its not fair asking to excel in a position hes never played b4 . He is not and never will be a left-back

    Just yet another example of idiotic management by our very own David Brent

  • J757 says:

    If we had someone to score the goals to win games other then Suarez would the fans have it in for Downing and Henderson so much?
    The failure of Rodgers in not buying another experienced goal scorer is why we are in this trouble.

  • Borris says:

    LFC are in this trouble cos they have bought a load of pap at very high prices cos theyre run by idiots. hahahahaahaha!!

  • dave says:

    I felt sorry for you liverpool fans for the way your club has fallen but then the writer of this blog is inviting trouble. Not around the fact that Downing is terrible but more around liverpool being in the same class as spurs. Spurs are challengers for europe, liverpool are not.

    Smell the coffee boys.

    • Micah says:

      To be taunted by a Spurs fan, that’s only had a good run for merely the past three seasons, a bloody shame really. But that’s how miserable BR has turned this club into. it won’t be too long before we start competing with the likes Fulham and Sunderland for the holy grail of mediocrity, that illusive 10th place finish.

    • J757 says:

      Spurs have already lost 5 times this season nothing to get to excited about!

  • KB says:

    Spot on article

    Rodgers is putting him and Henderson in the shop window and i don’t like it. Enrique should be left back with Assaidi or Suso playing up top both of whom will do a better job and create more balance.

    Sahin or Shelvey should be in ahead of Henderson every time.

    Note how Rodgers has dropped Suso after he signed the contract.

    He needs to play the best team full stop.

    • Micah says:

      I know, it really is surprising, Suso is full energy and offers so much than these flops. And when was the last time Sahin even played. BR keeps playing his little pet game after game when clearly his 5’6 frame is not suited to be playing DM.
      He needs to drop that tool and give sahin a run, i had enough of that midget.

  • kirbyking says:

    What do u people expect ? Correct intelligent decisions from Rodgers ? well it wont happen . At every opportunity the guy has fked it up

  • You heard says:

    It is sad how BR is making our beloved Reds play. To have Downing at left back is down right awful. To have Enrique in the midfield is pathetic and to play allen or hendo over shelvey angers me. WHAT IS HE DOING?

    Please stop this BR… you cant be this lost? can you?

  • dave says:

    Brendan has been rodgering liverpool all season. It’s quite funny for fans from other clubs.

    I personally hope he gets a five year contract.

    • simon says:

      You see ? Only other fans want us to keep this fool rodgers . No true liverpool fan would want him to stay

  • Andy , durham says:

    I think Downing and Henderson while not good enough for LFC – have been treated disgracefully by bull#hit brendan

Comments are closed.