LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Thursday, September 16, 2010: Liverpool's Paul Konchesky lines-up before the opening UEFA Europa League Group K match against FC Steaua Bucuresti at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

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.

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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.

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.

@DomLFC

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