Downing is a bit of an enigma.
Signed for £20million from Aston Villa by Kenny Dalglish last summer, the 27-year-old not only failed to find the net - he did not manage an assist either.
At the same time, he was the only outfield player to make some sort of on-field contribution to all nine England games during 2011, has played in two out of the Three Lions' three matches this year and is in line to hold off the claims of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for the left-sided midfield berth in England's Euro 2012 opener against France in Donetsk on Monday.
With Downing it seems the glass is either completely full or totally empty.
Naturally, he does not view the situation in quite such simplistic terms and bristles with indignation at what the statistics appear to say about his contribution.
However, there is no getting away from that zero in the goals column. And it is one he does not like.
"The goal thing is," he said, when asked directly if his failure was embarrassing. "The fact is I didn't get enough goals.
"I hit the post and the bar many times and missed a few chances so I was disappointed, especially when I scored goals for Aston Villa the year before.
"Sometimes you are on a run and get goals; sometimes you don't. I try to score and maybe next season I will get 10 or 15. Football is like that. But I am disappointed I did not score enough."
Embarrassing is too strong a word to describe the FA's reaction to Ashley Cole's absence from a mayoral function in the centre of Krakow on Thursday night.
Cole was the only one of the 22 remaining members of Roy Hodgson's squad to miss the event, a short walk from England's team hotel, and it was put down to the Chelsea defender "resting".
The lack of a suitable explanation left open a number of theories, including the potential for Cole being injured, although the Football Association insisted this was not the case.
Nevertheless, Cole's absence weakened slightly England's hopes of being "good tourists", although Club England managing director Adrian Bevington was able to concur with mayor Jacek Majchrowski, who said he hoped for a Euro 2012 final between Poland and England in Kiev on July 1.
"We hope that wish comes true," Bevington said. "We are trying to achieve success on the pitch but it is also very important for us as a national association and a football team to be good ambassadors for our country.
"We want to enjoy the tournament and experience the culture of Poland and Ukraine."
The glad-handing is all very well.
But for England's players, winning is all important.
And Downing would not feel so bad about the goals if that lack of assists was not thrown at him as well.
"Statistics have taken over the game: he doesn't score this, he hasn't set up that. You can read into it as you like," he said.
"I've constantly set up chances, season in and season out. I can't be criticised for not creating. I've just been unlucky that we've not finished the chances."
Something does not appear quite right, though.
Liverpool finished eighth this season, delivering a series of results - especially at Anfield - that undermined their reputation as one of English football's giants.
Owner John Henry was evidently unimpressed as, within weeks of the final-day defeat at Swansea, he had turfed out Dalglish and installed Brendan Rodgers as the Scot's successor.
Yet, following the late introductions of Jordan Henderson and Martin Kelly, the Reds supply six members of Hodgson's squad - almost a third of the outfield men.
"I don't think those six players did that bad - just that, as a whole group, we were not clinical enough," Downing said. "It's all about personal opinions.
"If there were eight Manchester United players in the team and they didn't win the league, would people be asking why they are here?
"As players we have to be mentally strong and concentrate on the good bits of our games because the manager has seen something that shows why we've been picked."
According to goalkeeper Joe Hart, what Hodgson would have seen in England's closed-doors training session - their first since arriving in Krakow - on Thursday would have been John Terry tearing about in typically ferocious fashion.
After all the negativity surrounding Terry, it represented some welcome good news and indicated the Chelsea man will have recovered from a hamstring problem in time to partner Joleon Lescott in next week's Group D opener.
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