England midfielder Stewart Downing has hit back at critics that have called him out for his lack of assists and goals for Liverpool this past season. The winger finished the 2011/12 Premier League campaign with a grand total of zero goals and zero assists, and has come under criticism for his lack of statistical output.
The former Middlesbrough man, however, insists that statistics can be deceiving, and has pointed out his ability to create chances for teammates.
“The assist thing? I’ve constantly set up chances, as I did at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and have done at Liverpool, season in and season out,” Downing was quoted as saying by The Independent. ”I can’t be criticised for not creating. I’m in the team to do that and I’ve done that throughout the season. I’ve just been unlucky that we’ve not finished the chances.
“Stats have taken over the game: he doesn’t score this, he hasn’t set up that… You can read into it as you like. If you look at what I did at Aston Villa, those chances got put away. Last season I was on a par with that, but at Liverpool they didn’t [get put away]. It seemed to take us four or five chances to score a goal.”
Was Hodgson right to choose Downing over the likes of Manchester City’s Adam Johnson? Have your say below!