PAUL. Konchesky. Did he really play for Liverpool? Seriously? How did he ever get to wear the red shirt? A man who somehow manages to make it into everyone’s worst ever Liverpool team. It’s his birthday today, so it only seems fitting to provide some horrible flashbacks and remember how shite he was, writes DOMINIC CLIFF.
Paul did well in the first part of his illustrious career. He was the youngest ever player to play for Charlton in 1997, which meant he found his level in English football fairly early on. He was sent on loan to Tottenham in 2003 after handing in a transfer request at The Valley, before West Ham snapped up the left-back in 2005. He only scored twice for the Hammers, one of which was an accident — a cross in the 2006 FA Cup final against Liverpool which managed to dip in over Pepe Reina’s head. Thankfully, it wasn’t the winning goal. From West Ham he signed for Fulham. It’s hardly a surprise that the only manager that showed a desire to keep hold of him was Roy Hodgson. Paul was part of that Fulham side that managed to get to the Europa League final, another runners-up medal to add to his collection. In 2010, Hodgson moved to Liverpool… and brought Konchesky with him.
Hodgson paid £5million for then 29-year-old Konchesky. Yes, actual money was spent on him. That signing was a taste of things to come for Liverpool in the first half of that season — utter shite. Bringing in Konchesky led to the loaning out and eventual departure of promising left-back Emiliano Insua. Konchesky wasn’t wanted by a vast majority of Liverpool fans, and yet he somehow managed to do even worse than what was expected from him.
You can look back and laugh now but Liverpool suffered their worst start to a season for 57 years in Konchesky’s first few months. After a 2-0 defeat to Stoke, Carol Konchesky — Paul’s ma — decided now was the best time to vent her anger at those who her were unhappy about her son’s recent performances and, in a rant on Facebook, she called Liverpool fans “Scouse scum”. This obviously didn’t help Paul.
When he was substituted by Hodgson in a 1-0 defeat to Wolves in December 2010, there were ironic cheers around Anfield and it was clear he was on borrowed time.
A few weeks after the defeat to Wolves, Hodgson was sacked and Kenny Dalglish came in. As a man who actually understood football, Dalglish never gave Konchesky a look-in. It wasn’t just coincidence that the Reds started playing better after Konchesky was ousted from the side, though Hodgson’s departure was also a big factor but the two go in tandem. Dalglish realised he wasn’t up to much — to put it lightly — and having played just 18 times for the Reds, he was sent out on loan to Nottingham Forest.
His loan at Nottingham Forest did little in terms of paving the way to a move to a top flight team and he was sold to Championship Leicester in 2011. Leicester eventually sent him out on loan to QPR in 2015 and he was then sold to Gillingham. it’s funny, isn’t it? Not many clubs seemed to want him. He’s now plying his trade in the seventh tier of English football in the Isthmian League at Billericay Town.
If you want to have a hearty laugh at Paul, his new side had a dead weird pre-cup final ritual where they sung R. Kelly’s hit song ‘World’s Greatest’. Maybe he has to sing that to himself to make him feel better about being one of the worst players to pull on a Liverpool shirt.
You've made the Cup final and you need some pre-match music to build up the hype…
Take it away Billericay Town. pic.twitter.com/xPD1nk6vNc
— The Football League Paper (@TheLeaguePaper) April 13, 2017
He’ll probably be remembered by most football fans for his overhit cross in 2006. And as the worst left-back to play for the Reds by those on Merseyside.
So happy birthday, Paul. Hope you’ve found your home at Billericay. All the best.
Pics: David Rawcliffe-Propaganda Photo
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Julian Dicks would give him a run for his money at left back in a worst XI.
Pretty abysmal signing (and that facebook post made us lose any sympathy we had).
But as usual, the finger should be pointed at Hodgson for bringing him into the club in the first place….and Purslow/H&G for bringing Hodgson in! Hardly a surprise when you go from Rafa to Hodgson.
I didn’t like the club in that period. I loved it, I always will. But I didn’t like it. Going the match was shit. Talking about the match was shit. The manager was shit. It was all shit.
Pretty vindictive piece this. He came because he was signed. Why should we have a hearty laugh at him? Not like he acted improperly.. And his mum stuck up for him.. As any parent should.
This piece is totally uncalled for. Have a word with yourself for goodness sake. It’s stuff like this that gives LFC a bad name. He was only doing his job and giving his best. Who wouldn’t want to play for Liverpool? To berate him on his birthday as well is really really low. I can’t believe you think this is funny in some way. I’m glad his mum stuck up for him and I wouldn’t expect anything less of her. How this got past editorial I’ll never know. Really bad taste. Sorry it’s the truth!!! The only story I’ve ever read on this site that was painful to read. Write about something positive.
Absolutely no reason to have a go at Konchesky at this stage. He wasn’t what we needed, but he had a long professional career in and around the top level, so he deserves respect for that. Taking the piss out of him carrying on playing in lower leagues now is just pathetic. The whole piece comes across as petty and vindictive. LFC fans should have more class than this.
Surely this was published by mistake?
Belittling someone unsuitably signed by Liverpool years later on his birthday and bringing his poor mother’s 4am heartfelt defense of her son and anger at the Twitter gobshites back into the public consciousness?!? That’s incredible.
Then bringing up his current status and demise for further laughs including their song….
Surely this was a joke that wasn’t ever meant to happen. LFC made the desperate signing mistake and this poor lad and his mum have suffered a lot of fallout since. If I remember the whole team were crap and many others couldn’t be arsed – including Torres.
TAW has admirably always been so vigilant to stop commenters deriding others on posts. Yet this feature was published and surely he and his mum are aware of being back in the stocks again…..on his birthday of all days.
Has to have been an Editorial error, surely?
I cam across this from the Guardian website. I agree that the article is in very bad taste, and I am heartened by the similar thoughts expressed in the earlier responses.
I agree. I’m a Liverpool fan and the whole Hodgson/Gillett and Hicks era makes me cringe. But this article is just plain nasty – nothing whatsoever to recommend it. The guy was just doing his job.
Absolutely agree with most of the comments. Shame on The Guardian for bringing us here 2 years after publication, and shame on TAW for publishing what’s basically a hate piece. I was at that Wolves game, and the atmosphere was toxic. Not Konchesky’s fault. Some poor guy with the home shirt with ‘Konchesky’ on the back was abused on the way out too! RH’s appointment was the fault of G&H, and the culture of blame has to start and finish with them. PK had a journeyman career, but he deserves support and sympathy like anyone else in the shirt. I wish him good luck.
Are you forgetting Andy Carroll, & Ballotelli to name two???