This article forms part of our Total Duds feature series, which is where Football Transfer Tavern takes a look at how a player has fared since being signed or sold, using statistical figures and statements from pundits to prove how bad a deal the club got.
In recent days, Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson named his four favourite left-backs in world football, with Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies and Leicester’s Ben Chilwell among those name-checked. Indeed, the Scottish left-back has himself been acclaimed as the world’s best in his position by Jose Enrique, a man who previously played in that role at Anfield.
Ten years ago, the occupant of the left-back slot at Liverpool wasn’t quite in the same fabled category. A few weeks after Roy Hodgson was named as the club’s manager, he brought one of his Fulham regulars to Merseyside in Paul Konchesky, who had played for the Cottagers in the Europa League final three months previously. The twice-capped England international cost the Reds £3.78m, as per TransferMarkt.
His first four Premier League games for the Reds set the tone for his time at Anfield – 0-0 at Birmingham, defeat at Old Trafford, a 2-2 home draw with Sunderland and a 2-0 Merseyside derby defeat, after which Liverpool were 19th in the table, kept off the bottom only on goal difference.
Three wins on the bounce took Hodgson’s side back into the top half but a miserable November defeat at Stoke laid bare the difficulties that Konchesky was facing – online criticism of the defender was so vitriolic that his mother felt compelled to take to the Internet and take aim at her son’s detractors following that game (as per lfchistory.net).
Two weeks later, the ex-Fulham man was beaten all ends up by Aaron Lennon in the move which led to the Tottenham winger scoring a stoppage time winner, with the Liverpool defender publicly apologising afterwards – and the nadir had not even been reached yet.
That came on the night when the fleeting Liverpool careers of Hodgson and Konchesky effectively ended. Playing host to 19th-placed Wolves at Anfield just after Christmas, the Reds lost 0-1 and, when the left-back was substituted, ironic cheers echoed around a disenchanted stadium.
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Hodgson was sacked less than a fortnight later and his successor, Sir Kenny Dalglish, did not have the same faith in Konchesky, who was promptly loaned out to Nottingham Forest for the remainder of the season before joining Leicester in a permanent deal in July 2011 for a fee of £1.53m (as per TransferMarkt), with Liverpool taking a significant loss on the defender.
The left-back managed just 18 appearances for the Reds, 15 of which came in the Premier League. Of those top-flight games, all of which came in a four-month period, he was on the winning side in only five and lost seven (as per TransferMarkt) – to put that into context, Liverpool have lost nine league matches in total over the past three seasons.
Just as Hodgson’s brief time at Anfield went down among the darker periods in Liverpool’s history, Konchesky’s ill-fated signing somewhat characterises an era which Kopites won’t remember with fondness.
Liverpool fans, are you still astonished at the decision to sign Konchesky 10 years ago? Comment below with your views!
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