Zero assists for zero goals - Why West Ham should be pleased they haven’t gone for Downing

Downing Liverpool

West Ham were linked with a move for the Liverpool winger last week. But he never had a good partnership with Andy Carroll at Anfield.

Earlier in the week West Ham were strongly linked with Liverpool’s £20 million winger Stewart Downing - which would have completed the double signing of two former Liverpool players who cost the Anfield club a combined £55 million for a largely reduced cost.

But just a day later and the assistant manager at West Ham Neil McDonald distanced the club from a move:

"A player of that calibre and West Ham being involved would be great, but it's all paper talk at the moment."

On paper, just as it seemed at Liverpool, the combination of Downing and Carroll had goals written all over it.

For many years now the former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa winger has been widely revered as one of the finest crossers of the ball in the English game; it was those characteristics that first helped him achieve his lofty price-tag as well as 34 appearances for his country.

Andy Carroll is on the other hand considered one of the best attacking opponents in an around the six yard box; in particular with his head. Think of that header against Sweden at Euro 2012.

But for some reason it just did not click between the two.

OK on the one hand blaming the two as a pair may not be fair; blaming both of them for being equally as bad is more telling.

The fact is that Downing, for whatever reason, never managed to field and assist for the giant Geordie centre forward.

It is a tough one to call; was Downing simply off form or for whatever reason was the chemistry between the two just not there?

Well last season was vastly improved from Downing at Anfield. Given a rocket up the backside by Brendan Rodgers he ended up with figures of seven assists and four goals last campaign - a vast improvement on his king pair the season previous.

Without Carroll Downing’s performances improved.

For West Ham you have to feel they would be wise to give Downing a wide berth. At 28-years-old and the price being quoted they could do better. Plus the likes of Matt Jarvis, Joe Cole and new signing, attacking full-back Razvan Rat, will all be able to offer just as deadly a delivery for their £15 million new-boy.

Leaving the zero assist to zero goals partnership well and truly apart.

image: © dannymol

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch