LFC Advent Calendar: 3 – Paul Konchesky
I’d just like to start this piece by thanking Andy Robertson for finally solving a problem the club has had since John Arne Riise’s departure in 2008. After almost ten years of struggles, the left-back position at Anfield finally seems to be sorted. But in those ten years we as fans have certainly seen our fair share of average left-footed defenders enter (and exit) the club.
Yesterday, Liam remembered the big-game Italian goal scoring machine, Andrea Dossena. Today, I go one better and take a look back at the even worse Liverpool career of former Billericay Town legend Paul Konchesky.
In 2010, Liverpool were undergoing a time of change. Rafa Benitez departed the club in the summer and was replaced by the much-travelled Roy Hodgson. The LMA Manager of the Year had just taken Fulham to the Europa League final and was looking to put his own stamp on a Liverpool squad in need of some fresh faces.
Hodgson spent just over £25 million that summer; Christian Poulsen, Joe Cole, Milan Jovanovic all moved to Merseyside. In his hunt for a new starting left-back, Hodgson turned his attention to his former side Fulham and spent around £3.5m on 29-year-old Englishman Konchesky. Youngsters Lauri Dalla Valle and Alex Kacaniklic also moved in the opposite direction.
Signing on transfer deadline day, Konchesky joined on a four-year contract. On the same day, fellow left-back Emiliano Insua departed the club to join Galatasaray on a season-long loan. Prior to his move to Anfield, the Charlton youth academy product was best known among Liverpool fans for his cross-come-shot against the club in the 2006 FA Cup final for West Ham in Cardiff.
On his debut against Birmingham City on the 12th of September, Konchesky picked up an injury and was substituted with just over ten minutes to go. The injury proved to be nothing long term, and the new number three played against Steaua Bucharest in the Europa League the following Thursday.
The two cap England man featured regularly under Hodgson, playing in 18 competitive fixtures for the club. However, during his time on Merseyside, Konchesky was overshadowed by his mother’s Facebook account. After the left-back performed poorly during a 2-0 defeat at Stoke, Mrs Konchesky posted “To all you Liverpool scouse scum out there (…) take a real look at your team” as well as saying her son “never should’ve left Fulham”. Not surprisingly the post caused outrage and did nothing to help an already struggling player improve.
In January, with Liverpool, Hodgson and Konchesky struggling, the board decided it was time for a change. The former Blackburn, Inter Milan and Malmo manager was relieved of his duties as Reds boss just six months after being appointed manager. He was replaced by Kop Legend Kenny Dalglish.
Under Dalglish, Konchesky was omitted from all but one of the matchday squads and departed the club on-loan to Nottingham Forest on deadline day. Konchesky would have to wait until 2014 to feature in the Premier League again, playing 26 times for Leicester City.