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Danny Rust

Downing on the up

When Stewart Downing joined West Ham United from Liverpool in August, it sparked mixed feelings. The majority of Hammers fans did not understand why Allardyce was bringing in yet another winger as the club already had Matt Jarvis, Ricardo Vaz Te and Matt Taylor. It was clear that West Ham’s priority should have been to bring in a striker as Andy Carroll was injured and the Irons were misfiring with Modibo Maiga leading the line. But Downing has turned out to be a bargain. Admittedly the former

Middlesbrough man failed to show his best during his time on Merseyside, but he was impressive in the early stages of his career with Middlesbrough and Aston Villa. In fact, he was so productive for the latter that Liverpool were willing to pay ÂŁ20m for Downing. In the recent win at Villa Park, Downing looked as confident on the ball as he did when he was with the Villains. His close control took him past Chelsea loanee Ryan Bertrand with ease to set up captain Kevin Nolan for the opener. He continued to

torment Bertrand all afternoon and although he was improving every game before that, this was by far his best performance for the Hammers. Downing has been scrutinised by football fans since his big-money move to Anfield, but it seems that he is finally regaining his confidence since making the move to East London. His crossing has been a major threat to opposition defences and he has shown exactly why Allardyce bought him in ahead of a striker. One glaring omission from his time at Boleyn Ground so

Blowing Bubbles #33 (West Ham V Southampton 22/02/14)  

In this issue: *Julian Dicks' exclusive column *League progress proves FA Cup sacrifice was worth it *The only way is up for Downing *Will o...

Blowing Bubbles #33 (West Ham V Southampton 22/02/14)  

In this issue: *Julian Dicks' exclusive column *League progress proves FA Cup sacrifice was worth it *The only way is up for Downing *Will o...

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