West Ham ace enjoying a new lease of life


It’s turning into a season where performances are bringing into question previously held perceptions around many aspects of the club.

Understandably, reactions to the board, the manager, and the squad have seen a significant positive shift since results improved.

And one of the key players now enjoying a renaissance in public option is Stewart Downing.

The 30-year-old has been given a new lease of life by Sam Allardyce, adopting a more central role in the midfield.

When he was initially signed for £6 million from Liverpool in August 2013, people questioned whether it was the correct use of funds.

Unfortunately for the 34-times-capped England player, the lack of a reliable target man up front for most of the season, coupled with a disjointed system, meant his failure was almost inevitable.

However, during the pre-season tour of New Zealand, he was one of the few consistent performers, and it was clear then that he would be given greater responsibility to help deliver more “expansive” football.

Few could have predicted the impact his more central role would have so early in the season, and he appears to have taken on a more senior role in the team.

His decision-making has been almost impeccable, and the directness with which he is playing with has given the team a lot more impetus in attack.

He plays with a freedom that makes it difficult for opposition players to track him, which in turn allows space to open up for teammates.

Downing has always had the ability to create chances, but a miserable spell on Merseyside saw him play out a season without a goal or assist to his name.

His turn-around has been highlighted by the statistics, which show him as one of the leading chance creators in the Premier League so far.

He is fast becoming real value for money, and an integral part of the new look West Ham.

Let’s hope Downing’s good form continues to reflect throughout the team, and the perceptions of the past few seasons can be banished forever.

Share this article

A lifelong West Ham supporter, Kevin is a journalist and editor from Essex now based in Sydney. Defying the time difference, he watches every game, and keeps a close eye on everything happening with The Hammers.

  • Johnny Mac says:

    We just have to keep it going, because as Sean Dyche reminded us last week, there are some fine margins in this game, as there were some fine margins in both of our last 2 games where any slight hiccup could have seen the result go the other way. We let in a silly goal last week to give Burnley a sniff of a come back chance, and once again, it as only good fortune that Carlton was around again to pick up the peices and restore our 2 goal lead as he did against Palace. And the game v QPR, we got a lucky own goal to go 1 up but fine margins kept QPR from leveling, namely the lack of Loic Remy, and it took a long time to kill that game off, so don’t let this recent change of fortune go to your heads West Ham as there will be games where things will go against us, but yes, it’s great to see Stewart amongst team mates that he can flourish with, as I think any quality player would have struggled in the previous team we had. I am not expecting us to beat Man City, but on the day, we can certainly beat the Champions, as we did to them in 1968 after going a goal down to reigning champions Man City and came back with goals from Geoff Hurst & Martin Peters to win 2-1. We certainly now have a team as good as that 1968 team, and on the day, who knows? anything can happen COYI

  • Starton says:

    If you love “blowing bubbles,” you’ve got to get this:

Comments are closed.