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Stewart Downing

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8 hours ago, bluebruce said:

Well, I'd been starting to think and say that we should only extend his contract if he would take about half his present reputed wage, due to his increasing age and a few signs of slowdown at the end of the season. Then I saw the stats in this article:

https://www.lancs.live/sport/football/football-news/blackburn-rovers-downing-contract-transfers-18670814

Stats don't tell the whole story, but...

Highest number of accurate long passes of any Rover

Second highest short passes (first was Lenihan, mostly easy passing in tons of space at the back)

Highest assists (8, which is 2 more than Arma who was second, and is the same as Benrahma and Eze

More than TWICE the 'key passes' of any other Rover (again Arma second)

94 accurate crosses - the second highest was only 20!!

All whilst shunted around different positions (although that's the Mowbray Mantra). I bet his experience has been valuable behind the scenes too. Makes me wonder if it might be more important to secure another year from him than I thought. I definitely think he started to lull after Jan though, and again, he could become a liability at a moment's notice because of his age. There's also the argument people have made, which I think at times is true, that he slows our play. This possession based stuff isn't working as far as I'm concerned, so maybe we don't need somebody who keeps that ticking, I don't know. The key passes and accurate crosses are two things we already don't do enough of to break teams down though, and he absolutely dominates those stats.

It's an interesting one. If, as believed, he is on about 20k a week, I'm not sure we can afford the risk at that price (plus whatever signing on fee), but still. Best thing would certainly be if, in the current climate, he accepted his wage needs to drop dramatically and re-signs more affordably. He probably doesn't really need the money anymore and surely wants to finish his career playing as much football as possible?

Ya, this is why it perplexes me when some posters here play down what he does. I wonder do they get football at all 🤷‍♂️ We actually have a player who keeps the ball and passes it accurately, what do people want? Lowe, Williamson or any other number of plodders we have had over the years? 

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2 minutes ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Ya, this is why it perplexes me when some posters here play down what he does. I wonder do they get football at all 🤷‍♂️ We actually have a player who keeps the ball and passes it accurately, what do people want? Lowe, Williamson or any other number of plodders we have had over the years? 

They must have seats facing away from the pitch, Downing is quality, must be kept at all costs.

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9 hours ago, bluebruce said:

Well, I'd been starting to think and say that we should only extend his contract if he would take about half his present reputed wage, due to his increasing age and a few signs of slowdown at the end of the season. Then I saw the stats in this article:

https://www.lancs.live/sport/football/football-news/blackburn-rovers-downing-contract-transfers-18670814

Stats don't tell the whole story, but...

Highest number of accurate long passes of any Rover

Second highest short passes (first was Lenihan, mostly easy passing in tons of space at the back)

Highest assists (8, which is 2 more than Arma who was second, and is the same as Benrahma and Eze

More than TWICE the 'key passes' of any other Rover (again Arma second)

94 accurate crosses - the second highest was only 20!!

All whilst shunted around different positions (although that's the Mowbray Mantra). I bet his experience has been valuable behind the scenes too. Makes me wonder if it might be more important to secure another year from him than I thought. I definitely think he started to lull after Jan though, and again, he could become a liability at a moment's notice because of his age. There's also the argument people have made, which I think at times is true, that he slows our play. This possession based stuff isn't working as far as I'm concerned, so maybe we don't need somebody who keeps that ticking, I don't know. The key passes and accurate crosses are two things we already don't do enough of to break teams down though, and he absolutely dominates those stats.

It's an interesting one. If, as believed, he is on about 20k a week, I'm not sure we can afford the risk at that price (plus whatever signing on fee), but still. Best thing would certainly be if, in the current climate, he accepted his wage needs to drop dramatically and re-signs more affordably. He probably doesn't really need the money anymore and surely wants to finish his career playing as much football as possible?

Like anything in life you pay for what you get. Downing is class and unfortunately it took until he was 35 before he walked through our doors. You don't represent England that many times if you are a plodder.

I'd keep Downing around so long as it doesn't interfere with a potential signing. If, for Downing's wages, we can sign a centre half and actually invest all of the money saved from Downing into him, then for me it is a no brainer. A player like Downing is a luxury, one which we may not be able to afford given the gaps we have currently.

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19 minutes ago, Gav said:

They must have seats facing away from the pitch, Downing is quality, must be kept at all costs.

I agree he was quality up until Christmas but there were signs he was beginning to struggle after that. I would keep but definitely not at all costs.

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Versatile, can cross, good range of passing (and accurate), gets the odd goal and is a model pro to boot. Yes his form dipped but you could say that for quite a few players during the lockdown period. Another year is a bit of a risk but at the right price its a gable worth taking. Watch TM sign him up on a 3-year deal though.

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1 hour ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

Ya, this is why it perplexes me when some posters here play down what he does. I wonder do they get football at all 🤷‍♂️ We actually have a player who keeps the ball and passes it accurately, what do people want? Lowe, Williamson or any other number of plodders we have had over the years? 

Nobody here is knocking his ability. It's his age that's the issue. He could fall off his perch football wise at any point. Maybe he already has. Can we afford to take the gamble ? Look what happened with Whittingham, one minute apparently a class act, the next minute he couldn't get out of the centre circle. Sometimes it's as rapid as that, you get out on the pitch and the spark has gone. If Downing was 30 or even 32 we wouldn't be having this discussion.

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11 hours ago, bluebruce said:

Well, I'd been starting to think and say that we should only extend his contract if he would take about half his present reputed wage, due to his increasing age and a few signs of slowdown at the end of the season. Then I saw the stats in this article:

https://www.lancs.live/sport/football/football-news/blackburn-rovers-downing-contract-transfers-18670814

Stats don't tell the whole story, but...

Highest number of accurate long passes of any Rover

Second highest short passes (first was Lenihan, mostly easy passing in tons of space at the back)

Highest assists (8, which is 2 more than Arma who was second, and is the same as Benrahma and Eze

More than TWICE the 'key passes' of any other Rover (again Arma second)

94 accurate crosses - the second highest was only 20!!

All whilst shunted around different positions (although that's the Mowbray Mantra). I bet his experience has been valuable behind the scenes too. Makes me wonder if it might be more important to secure another year from him than I thought. I definitely think he started to lull after Jan though, and again, he could become a liability at a moment's notice because of his age. There's also the argument people have made, which I think at times is true, that he slows our play. This possession based stuff isn't working as far as I'm concerned, so maybe we don't need somebody who keeps that ticking, I don't know. The key passes and accurate crosses are two things we already don't do enough of to break teams down though, and he absolutely dominates those stats.

It's an interesting one. If, as believed, he is on about 20k a week, I'm not sure we can afford the risk at that price (plus whatever signing on fee), but still. Best thing would certainly be if, in the current climate, he accepted his wage needs to drop dramatically and re-signs more affordably. He probably doesn't really need the money anymore and surely wants to finish his career playing as much football as possible?

That's pretty damning for the rest of the squad, especially the full backs as this should be a key attribute for them both.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Nobody here is knocking his ability. It's his age that's the issue. He could fall off his perch football wise at any point. Maybe he already has. Can we afford to take the gamble ? Look what happened with Whittingham, one minute apparently a class act, the next minute he couldn't get out of the centre circle. Sometimes it's as rapid as that, you get out on the pitch and the spark has gone. If Downing was 30 or even 32 we wouldn't be having this discussion.

People are knocking his ability, saying he slows things down. It must be a shock to see someone actually try and pass the ball rather than hoof it up to DG or out of play! 

He looks fit as can be and with all due respect to Wittingham, he was never the player Downing was. 

It's a gamble I would definitely take. 

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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2 hours ago, Tyrone Shoelaces said:

Nobody here is knocking his ability. It's his age that's the issue. He could fall off his perch football wise at any point. Maybe he already has. Can we afford to take the gamble ? Look what happened with Whittingham, one minute apparently a class act, the next minute he couldn't get out of the centre circle. Sometimes it's as rapid as that, you get out on the pitch and the spark has gone. If Downing was 30 or even 32 we wouldn't be having this discussion.

Spot on and there were signs for me post-christmas that his legs are starting to go, I saw it in Danny Graham when it started happening and said so on here. Once your legs have gone at that level it doesn't matter how good a passer you are.

I'd offer him a reduced wage or say 'thanks and good luck' to him. 

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13 minutes ago, oldjamfan1 said:

Spot on and there were signs for me post-christmas that his legs are starting to go, I saw it in Danny Graham when it started happening and said so on here. Once your legs have gone at that level it doesn't matter how good a passer you are.

I'd offer him a reduced wage or say 'thanks and good luck' to him. 

I agree Andy. Age seems to catch up on players really quickly. Mulgrew is the best example I think. Against Middlesbrough the season before last Assombalonga rag dolled him in the first half and Mulgrew looked shell shocked. He bailed out early in the second half with an 'injury' and we hardly saw him again. It hasn't been as apparent as that with Downing but post lockdown the signs have been there. That has to be assessed against his wages and for me it's a no deal.

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40 minutes ago, oldjamfan1 said:

Spot on and there were signs for me post-christmas that his legs are starting to go, I saw it in Danny Graham when it started happening and said so on here. Once your legs have gone at that level it doesn't matter how good a passer you are.

I'd offer him a reduced wage or say 'thanks and good luck' to him. 

 

17 minutes ago, arbitro said:

I agree Andy. Age seems to catch up on players really quickly. Mulgrew is the best example I think. Against Middlesbrough the season before last Assombalonga rag dolled him in the first half and Mulgrew looked shell shocked. He bailed out early in the second half with an 'injury' and we hardly saw him again. It hasn't been as apparent as that with Downing but post lockdown the signs have been there. That has to be assessed against his wages and for me it's a no deal.

Can either of you give an example of these "signs"? 

Ray Charles could see it happen to Mulgrew last season and Graham at the end of this season. Didn't see it with Downing myself. 

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Just now, Bigdoggsteel said:

 

Can either of you give an example of these "signs"? 

Ray Charles could see it happen to Mulgrew last season and Graham at the end of this season. Didn't see it with Downing myself. 

Being a yard off the pace. Experience can mask that sometimes but I thought Downing showed signs of just not being up with the tempo of the game. As I said though that has to be balanced against his earnings in terms of adding value.

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

 

Can either of you give an example of these "signs"? 

Ray Charles could see it happen to Mulgrew last season and Graham at the end of this season. Didn't see it with Downing myself. 

Blowing out of your arse (which Downing has been caught on camera doing a couple of times) is a fairly obvious sign. Tired legs bring a tired mind and he has been caught on his heels more times than the Downing of old would have been. When the same thing has happened to you personally (in my case almost overnight) you learn to spot the subtle signs. Graham's legs had gone at the end of last season (18/19). He adapted his game ever so slightly to try and make up for that and it worked to a degree but he does need to drop a division now if he wants to carry on and play regularly.

Edited by oldjamfan1

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6 minutes ago, Bigdoggsteel said:

 

Can either of you give an example of these "signs"? 

Ray Charles could see it happen to Mulgrew last season and Graham at the end of this season. Didn't see it with Downing myself. 

Didn't see it with Graham either - just think Mowbray didn't like the style of play Graham's strengths encouraged. 

Probably also has to do with the fact he's spunked £14m on three strikers in the last two years so was always looking to move Graham on this off-season.

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Just now, arbitro said:

Being a yard off the pace. Experience can mask that sometimes but I thought Downing showed signs of just not being up with the tempo of the game. As I said though that has to be balanced against his earnings in terms of adding value.

He's simply not a good enough CM if you want to progress as a team. His range of passing / speed of thought isn't enough to make a team tick.

Understandable as he's played the majority of his career out wide.

He's a steady pro who would be great to have around the team as cover, but that's not what we're paying him (theoretically).

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21 minutes ago, Exiled_Rover said:

Didn't see it with Graham either - just think Mowbray didn't like the style of play Graham's strengths encouraged. 

Probably also has to do with the fact he's spunked £14m on three strikers in the last two years so was always looking to move Graham on this off-season.

Oh no Jesus I saw it with Graham in his last few appearances

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4 hours ago, Exiled_Rover said:

Didn't see it with Graham either - just think Mowbray didn't like the style of play Graham's strengths encouraged. 

Probably also has to do with the fact he's spunked £14m on three strikers in the last two years so was always looking to move Graham on this off-season.

Does Mowbray like any style that plays to a players strengths. Examples include playing the likes of SG and AA wide, playing BB, playing Holtby as a false No.9 and playing Elliott Bennett at full back. 

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5 hours ago, Exiled_Rover said:

He's simply not a good enough CM if you want to progress as a team. His range of passing / speed of thought isn't enough to make a team tick.

Highest number of accurate long passes in the team, and nearly 5 times more key passes than anyone else, suggests that if you're right, the rest of our current team is orders of magnitude worse at it.

You can't judge everything off stats, but pushing 5 times the amount of anyone else is surely huge enough to be telling.

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43 minutes ago, dingles staying down 4ever said:

Does Mowbray like any style that plays to a players strengths. Examples include playing the likes of SG and AA wide, playing BB, playing Holtby as a false No.9 and playing Elliott Bennett at full back. 

And Dack as a false 9, and Graham has even shown up on the wing before now. It's as if TM is trying to prove he is a genius by finding some hidden position for these players, but it's having the opposite effect.

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He could play the Tugay role sitting in front of the back 4. He probably has more pace than Tugay had at 36.

Like Tugay, Downing rarely loses possession and would definitely have another season in him in that role maybe 2! 

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20 minutes ago, Prelude said:

He could play the Tugay role sitting in front of the back 4. He probably has more pace than Tugay had at 36.

Like Tugay, Downing rarely loses possession and would definitely have another season in him in that role maybe 2! 

Although tidy on the ball, Downing hasn't got the vision to play that role.

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Posted (edited)
38 minutes ago, dingles staying down 4ever said:

Although tidy on the ball, Downing hasn't got the vision to play that role.

Ya, he's more about keeping things ticking over rather than incisive through balls. Then again there aren't many Tugays floating around, particularly not on our radar!  

Edited by Bigdoggsteel

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Whilst I agree he doesn't have the vision of Tugay but lets be honest who does that we could afford?

He does have great vision, quick feet and could do a good job for us there. 

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26 minutes ago, Prelude said:

Whilst I agree he doesn't have the vision of Tugay but lets be honest who does that we could afford?

He does have great vision, quick feet and could do a good job for us there. 

At the end of the season, it looked like his feet were slowing. The other thing was Tugay had usually a couple of minders in buy him time. If we have one player in the squad who could have possibly played that position it would have been Charlie Mulgrew 18 months ago.

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33 minutes ago, dingles staying down 4ever said:

At the end of the season, it looked like his feet were slowing. The other thing was Tugay had usually a couple of minders in buy him time. If we have one player in the squad who could have possibly played that position it would have been Charlie Mulgrew 18 months ago.

That what I noticed as I reached the wall- my boots seemed to have got heavier and I seemed to be " reaching " for the ball more than I was previously.

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