Downing looks the part in his new role

Downing and Noble

Stuart Downing struggled to fit in at Liverpool despite a lot of promise and some would say the same of his time at West Ham because he hasn’t really got involved much at times and his crossing left a lot to be desired.

However, the manager has had the winger playing in a slightly different role, down the middle, with a bit more freedom to roam round the pitch-finding himself tucked nicely behind the striker. This new role saw him completely take Steven Gerrard out of the game. which in itself is a great feat. When on the ball, Downing also looked a lot better; he was linking up play, providing defence splitting passes, was involved in all three of our goals, and covered a lot more ground on the pitch.

He looked like a new player, one that gave his previous employers a lot of headaches on the day, and the England boss some food for thought. He looked fantastic and had a big smile at the end of the game that showed us how much his performance meant to him.