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Downes: We Came to an Agreement That I Wanted to Leave
Tuesday, 17th Aug 2021 09:53

Former Blues midfielder Flynn Downes has spoken about his final couple of months at Portman Road, confirming that he told manager Paul Cook that he wanted to move on, which he says was probably why he was made to train with the U23s in pre-season.

Downes, 22, joined Swansea last week for a fee understood to be in excess of £1 million, signing a four-year deal, and made his debut for the Championship side in Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Sheffield United, playing the full 90 minutes. He says he was delighted to get back to first-team action.

“Playing out there tonight was the most enjoyable game I’ve ever played in. So, I’m looking forward to being here,” he told Wales Online.

“Before Thursday, I hadn’t moved for about a week. It’s been quite hectic, but that’s football and when you’re called upon you’ve got to be ready. I didn’t feel 100 per cent tonight [against Sheffield United], but I’ll get there.”

Downes has previously said how much he admired new Swans manager Russell Martin’s approach to football at the MK Dons and compared it with the way the Blues played the game for much of last season.

“You get a lot of the ball and as a player that’s what you want,” Downes said regarding Martin’s style of football.

“You want the ball and to be able to do things. When you haven’t got the ball, you’re sprinting about, you’re blowing, it’s horrible.

“We are not just keeping the ball for the sake of it. We are keeping the ball to move the opponent.

“At Ipswich, sometimes we used to move the ball but it was so slow, so there was no purpose in it. This has got purpose and it’s a pleasure.”

The former England U19 and U20 international made a transfer request in the summer of 2020 following two offers from Premier League Crystal Palace which the Blues rebuffed. Downes confirmed he reiterated that desire to move on at the end of last season.

He also revealed that it was U23s manager Kieron Dyer who informed him he would be training with his squad rather than the first team in pre-season.

"Honestly, I wish I could tell you,” Downes reflected when quizzed on what happened in the latter days of his time with Town, a club he joined aged seven.

“I literally found out a few days before I went back, from Kieron Dyer who said I was going to be with the U23s. I was like, 'Oh, okay. That says a lot’.

“I spoke to the gaffer at Ipswich last year and we came to an agreement that I wanted to leave. I think that had a part to play in it. That’s fair enough. It is what it is. I wish I’d had a better pre-season but there you are.

“I’m buzzing to be here. Being with the U23s has made me appreciate this even more. I can’t wait to get going.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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blu_dru added 10:02 - Aug 17
I was really surprised when i asked to leave that i was put in the under 23's. Burning remaining bridges here mate.

SamWhiteUK added 10:05 - Aug 17
“At Ipswich, sometimes we used to move the ball but it was so slow, so there was no purpose in it. This has got purpose and it’s a pleasure.”

So even the players knew it was pointless. Begs the question why did they keep on boring us with it for the whole season?

I don't feel sorry for him having to train with the U23s and not having a good pre-season if he didn't want to be here.

xrayspecs added 10:06 - Aug 17
If Downes tells Cook that he iis not committed to the club, then why the surprise that the club is no longer committed to him?

DavefromWatford added 10:07 - Aug 17
He made it clear last season that he didn`t want to play for Town. Glad to get him off the payroll & income for his sale will be handy.

AbujaBlue added 10:08 - Aug 17
I wish him all the best but he is sounding unnecessarily salty.

Sometimes when moving to a new job it's best to be openly gracious to your former employer, no matter what your real opinion is, or it might come back to bite you.

Paulc added 10:08 - Aug 17
This, for me is the most enlightening comment:
“At Ipswich, sometimes we used to move the ball but it was so slow, so there was no purpose in it. This has got purpose and it’s a pleasure.”
So the players knew it, the fans could see it, but........

BaddowBlue1 added 10:12 - Aug 17
He was treated no different to those others who were being moved on! Interesting comments about the passing game and makes me wonder why, if other players were feeling the same that they didnt approach the captain to discuss it with the manager? We will never know unless Chambers publishes a book about his time at the club.

BlueBlood90 added 10:12 - Aug 17
The lack of loyalty and respect he's shown the club who has developed him from childhood to become a professional footballer in the second tier is quite staggering.

Good riddance.

blu_dru added 10:19 - Aug 17
Also having watched most of his first game for Swansea, he just passed the ball straight back to the player that had passed it to him and then got booked for a poor tackle

terryf added 10:28 - Aug 17
''The most enjoyable game I've ever played in'' says a lot for the football us supporters have had to endure for so many years. ''The play was so slow and had no purpose''.

Tell us about it Downes particularly as you were one of the main culprits. I well remember one game on ifollow where you took a free kick on the half way line and decided to play it back towards our goal resulting in Nsiala getting in a right mess and eventually scrambling the ball away when under pressure from the opposition. So from a position where you could have played an offensive pass forwards we ended up in a defensive one.

No wonder Cook had seen enough to know that the old guard were not going to take us anywhere but down the table and probably relegation over time, a conclusion we had all reached some time ago!

Jugsy added 10:28 - Aug 17
Agree with most the comments. No need to air the dirty laundry now, you've moved on and you're allegedly happy with that move, unnecessary to stick it to the club that developed you. You didn't want to be here, don't expect to get the support from the manager - same with any job. I saw the first half of the game on Saturday, if that's the most enjoyable game he's ever played in then it's good he's gone. He saw a lot of the ball but did nothing with it. Downes was always talked up a lot, rarely did we see him deliver, often he'd snap and give stupid fouls away which is massive now side to his game. I was by far a bigger fan of Dozzer and Bish than his.

itfctilidie added 10:28 - Aug 17
and we and he move on. Cheltenham away, come on you blues

Karlosfandangal added 10:34 - Aug 17
He seems to forget that he has been at Ipswich since he was 7

15 years the club were paying you and turning you in to the player you are today so thank
you Ipswich for making me a wealthy young man.

I will pay you back by not really trying to play football all because I throw all my toys out of the pram because you won’t let me leave when I wanted too even though I signed a contract.

For me a petulant child.

bluehook added 10:35 - Aug 17
I’m sick of hearing about this little twerp.
Phil let’s all move on.
We’ve got some proper midfielders with some flair and bite now.

bluewarrior added 10:36 - Aug 17
Lots of bad apples in the class of 20/21 and I think there’s still a lot more to come out about what went wrong over the last few years. I don’t think Chambers was all he’s made out to be - far too much influence apparently - Bishop thought he was God’s gift, Downes wanted out and was Mr. Negative and then you’ve got the down tools brigade and the likes of Norwood who’s an embarrassment to the club in my humble opinion. Some have been quick to get on Cook’s back but I think he came into a disastrous situation and had no alternative than to press the refresh button. It’s why they keep mentioning culture - because what was there previously was rotten to the core. Explains a lot.

timetraveler added 10:42 - Aug 17
I think the important aspect of his statement is that he wanted to move on. He wasn’t kicked out and told he was no longer wanted.
Therefore both he and the club should be happy with the outcome.

markchips added 10:42 - Aug 17
We move on. Looking forward to seeing Carroll in action - I think there is a real player in there.

BeattiesBackPocket added 10:45 - Aug 17
This for me sums up the empathy we had running through the club. He agreed he wanted to leave and so not commit to the club then moans he was left in the under 23’s due to the manager wanting committed players!?? Is he for real!?? This may have worked under evans as we have heard many times before but not under what we have now and it shows what players got away with prior to the new owners and manager. As far as I’m concerned the more cr@p he keeps taking the more I’m glad he’s gone!!

itfcserbia added 10:48 - Aug 17
Honestly, between Evans, Harper and now Carroll I'm not sure Downes would be a guaranteed starter even if things didn't go wrong. Continuing to show lack of respect is another matter.

DavefromWatford added 10:56 - Aug 17
Totally agree with itfcserbia. Downes would definitely have been behind those three in the pecking order. He should have been a bit more thankful for what Town did for him.

WhoisJimmyJuan added 11:05 - Aug 17
This little pirck got what he deserved. And I'm always sceptical of players criticising the "style" or "attitude " or tactics of a team they were playing in, because he was still part of it. The whole team was playing badly to a man, so Downes was culpable. I wish him well, but we'll away from here.

CraigEdwards added 11:14 - Aug 17
He has always shown his intent to move on even when palace made an approach. He asked to leave the club so wtf did he expect!!! Another trouble maker off the books that feed him well .
Moving on coybs tonight

leroy2488 added 11:16 - Aug 17
Unfortunately, whenever I’ve heard him talk, he doesn’t really come across as someone who is good at articulating himself.
I’m sure he means no harm and fully understands that if he asked to leave, naturally he’s not going to receive the fitness time and effort that would instead be afforded to those that are staying and that at least part of the reason everything was so slow and laboured last year, was because he and the rest of the squad were not only unfit but also lacked ability.

Garibaldi added 11:25 - Aug 17
I'm actually quite pleased to see these comments - more because it shows that him being ousted to the U23's was more about his wishes than Paul Cook's, which gives me some reassurance about Cook's actions. Up to now (and I still have nagging doubts about Dozzell and Bishop's ousting) I was still feeling uneasy about the way Cook just shipped out 25 of last year's squad. Don't get me wrong, quite a few of them needed to go, but there were some good players in there and Downes was one of them.

TractorRoyNo1 added 11:33 - Aug 17
Least said, soonest mended.
You were part of the weakest link, GOODBYE

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