England winger Stewart Downing has hit back at criticism of his lack of assists at Liverpool last season.
Since signing for Liverpool from Aston Villa for 20 million pounds in July 2011, the 27-year-old has failed to notch a goal or an assist in 36 English Premier League appearances.
The winger’s selection by England manager Roy Hodgson in the Euro 2012 squad has been widely questioned, but Downing insists the statistics do not tell the whole story of his season.
“I’ve constantly set up chances, as I did at Aston Villa and Middlesbrough and have done at Liverpool, season in and season out,” he told 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.”
Downing did concede, however, that his goal-scoring record has not been good enough.
“The goal thing is (embarrassing), the fact that I didn’t get enough goals,” he said.
Despite his disappointing record at club level, Downing has a return of one assist every 185 minutes for England, the best in the Euro 2012 squad.
And he has blamed poor finishing at Liverpool for contributing to his below-par domestic return last term.
“Stats have taken over the game: he doesn’t score this, he hasn’t set up that,” he said.
“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.”
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!