‘Enrique is a big asset’ – Liverpool legend Ian Rush on the Spaniard's transformation as left winger

The former Reds striker talks about the role reversals of Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing in the current Liverpool team, and also offered encouragement to the latter
By Charles Ong

Retail giant Courts and Liverpool Football Club [LFC] recently collaborated to present a 10-day training camp for football enthusiasts in Singapore.

Bringing with them ‘The Liverpool Way’ to this side of the world, it was part of Courts’ commitment to nurture the football landscape here, as well as to provide the best experience for its customers.

Gracing the final day of the training camp at Bishan Stadium was Liverpool legend Ian Rush, who handed out certificates of participation for those who attended the camp run by the LFC International Academy. Participants included winners of the ‘The Road to Anfield begins with Courts’ contest and the Singapore Disability Sports Council.

In an exclusive interview with Goal.com Singapore, Rush gave his honest assessment of the role reversals of Jose Enrique and Stewart Downing, both of whom have swapped positions on Liverpool’s left flank.

In their last two league games against Swansea and Tottenham, Reds manager Brendan Rodgers fielded Downing in an unfamiliar left-back position and deployed the regular occupant of that role, Enrique, in a left-wing role.

That allowed the Spaniard the freedom to attack and provide the necessary support for striker Luis Suarez and Rush is in agreement with the decision to convert Enrique to a left-winger.

“I think Enrique is there. Against certain teams I think he’s got it [and] against Wigan, he played really well. He seems to relish that new position he’s playing. His strength is going forward, not defending,” he approved.

“I think against the top teams, maybe we might be a bit reluctant to play him there because you have to defend a bit more against the top teams.

“[But] for games, especially at home, where we have to go out and win, I think Enrique is a big asset.”

Meanwhile, Rush believes that Downing has got some adapting to do before he can showcase his true potential in defence.

“For Downing, he’s a steady eddy; he knows exactly what to do and it’s a new position to him in a way,” he encouraged.

“He got lost a bit against Tottenham when he got caught out of position for the goal, but it’s just something he’s learning [along the way].

“It will be interesting to see if he continues to play there but he’s got lot of energy and he must be a bit more disciplined than Enrique [and] that’s why Brendan has most probably put him in that position.”