Stuart Downing appears to be foolishly talking his way into a move away from Liverpool, irrespective of his claims of wanting to stay at the club to prove himself.
It was manager Rodgers that struck the opening blow with a less than supportive public statement, "Stewart is a good guy and a good lad who came here for an awful lot of money, but it hasn't quite worked out for him as he would want it. The big challenge for him now is that commitment to the cause and to show fight."
Rodgers quite accurate assessment stems from the harsh actuality that Downing has been truly pathetic whilst wearing the red of Liverpool. It was Aston Villa that first took a risk on the potential of the injury prone winger, prizing him away from Middlesbrough for £10m.
It proved a wise move as Downing produced perhaps the best form of his life, scoring 9 times for Villa. Subsequently his head grew obese and self praising, when Liverpool came calling he acted difficult and talked himself into a move away from Villa Park for £20m.
That amount of money looks absolutely absurd now when you consider Downing’s form for Liverpool. The winger has failed to score in 39 games for the club and has barely registered a cross let alone an assist. He has since lost his place to the young Sterling, who in just a handful of games has shown more promise, threat and potency than Downing has during his entire Anfield career.
Downing’s reaction, to Rodger’s assertions, comes across as less than inspiring for any Liverpool fan reading. Strangely it seems that the England midfielder doesn’t consider ‘tackling’ to be an important asset to his game. "Bravery is a lot of things - it's not just about tackling," he said. "That's not my game. My bravery is about taking the ball when you are losing a game and trying to create things, which is what I try to do.
"You will have to ask the manager exactly what he meant. I was surprised that he came out with what he did. I have spoken to him on numerous occasions when I wasn't in the team and that was private.
"So, of course I'm upset, but I'm not going to go running around tackling people because that's not my game. I've got three years left on my contract and I'm going nowhere."
His comments would perhaps make more sense if he was providing some sort of attacking menace. As such it would appear that Downing has simply managed to further alienate himself with Liverpool fans and make himself look like a simpleton.
With that sort of talk it’s hard to imagine who would be interested in paying for Downing’s services during January’s transfer window.
image: © dannymol