Not sure what you qualms with that particular post are Neil? It might not be the most articulate but he more or less has Downing's performance in that game and the season as a whole in a nutshell. The lad has been worse than poor this season. For all the shit that Carroll has taken he is at least a young player who came with the massive baggage of a 35m price tag and a stop-start beginning to his career here and at least it looks like he might be starting to turn it around. Downing on the other hand while he came with a big price tag should be well able to deal with it, he's an international after all who had a few decent seasons at a mid-table team and should be hitting his peak. 0 goals and 0 assists in the league is a shocking return, worse than Pennant, Riera and even Gonzalez and he's frankly fucking lucky that so much media attention has been focused on Andy Carroll and for me Henderson, Shelvey, Maxi and Bellamy are all more deserving of a starting berth at the moment.
He couldn't be further from having Downing's performance in that game in a nutshell! Most of the season until the New Year, perhaps, but this is my problem - give credit where it is due.
Downing struggled first half on the left, was poor, didn't use the ball well, and a part of that was because he received no support whatsoever from the struggling Agger at LB. Our entire left side looked dysfunctional. But Downing did not impress.
However, in the second half ahead of Glen he was good, absolutely ragged Baines, one of the best LBs in the league, doing him for pace, one time from a way behind, and putting in two very good crosses, both of which had great assist written all over them.
That absurd assessment says "when he’s on the right wing he’s far too predictable, taking the ball down the line before checking back so he can use his trusted left foot to either cross the ball or lay off a simple pass.
"Even when he swapped with Jordan Henderson his contribution was minimal, the danger he posed to Everton too limited. Leighton Baines and Phil Neville hardly broke into a sweat against him.
The only time he threatened was early in the second half when he beat Baines on the outside and crossed - unbelievably - with his right foot. One meaningful contribution in 84 minutes. Big deal."
Which is monumentally thick. Let's start with the first sentence. One, he put in two very good balls on his right foot by beating his man on his outside, not cutting in. One was a perfect ball and if Carroll nets the sitter of a header Downing has made a massive contribution and got an assist. Fucking minimal? "Baines hardly broke into a sweat"?! The lad was getting murdered! Everton ended up doubling up to protect Baines. And because Downing had his number, Baines couldn't get forward, and his often Everton's most potent attacking threat. He was scared he would get done by Downing's pace on the counter and Downing nullified him. The only time?! What about the second run and very good ball in to Suarez, which Luis missed? That again could have been an assist.
If a winger beats a top fullback twice and puts in two very good crosses, both of which should or definitely could lead to goals, then he is doing his job effectively.
I'm sick of Downing getting stick after good performances because our strikers don't convert the chances he creates. He should have at least five or six assists in the league at least from sitters we have missed.
Downing has improved overall in the last couple of months, especially when deployed on the right which he prefers, and he is working hard to try and get better. That buys patience and respect from me, despite my doubts about his ability and my concern that we paid far too much for him. I hope we keep playing him on the right with Maxi or Bellamy on the left.