Slaven Backs Downing As Mac Calls It Greed!

Last updated : 06 January 2009 By Boro Mad
Despite taunts from former Newcastle striker Malcolm Macdonal suggesting Downing's decision was motivated by money, Slaven surprised many by saying Downing doesn't have "a hope in hell's chance'' of achieving his ambitions on Teesside.

A Boro fan (Paul) said Downing already has a section of 'Boo Boys' on his case at the Riverside, and said the winger's "timing to put in a transfer request could not be worse for the club".

Slaven insisted it was the month of January (and the transfer window) that dictates the timing ... NOT the player.

Slaven: "As an ex-player, if I was in Stewy's position I would probably have done exactly the same.

"My love for the club would be there, as Downing's is - he wears the shirt with pride.

"When he signed his five-year contract last year, hand on heart I didn't believe he would see the five years out. I thought we might get a year, possibly two.

"But we've seen the departures of Mark Schwarzer, Lee Cattermole, George Boateng and Luke Young since the summer and that has not helped Stewart's mindset.

"He's 24, he's ambitious, he wants to play in Europe and he wants to get as many England caps as possible.

"Can he achieve his goals at Middlesbrough at the moment? I'm being brutally honest, and for the foreseeable future, there isn't a hope in hell's chance.''

So what about Spurs? Would he get Champions League football with them next season?

Will Spurs be challenging for the Premiership next season?

Does Downing regard himself better than he actually is?

You tell us on our message board.