Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson Is Captain Fantastic

Replacing Steven Gerrard as Liverpool’s captain was never going to be an easy task.

Yet in 2015, Jordan Henderson was handed the armband and it has fitted him perfectly.

Just to still be in the first-team picture by that stage was almost a miracle for the midfielder.

When Brendan Rodgers took over at Anfield in 2012 it was believed that the new manager didn’t really fancy the £16m midfielder. Rodgers had brought in his own man in Joe Allen and was pushing forward without Henderson being thought of as a mainstay in his plans for the starting line-up.

In May 2018, Jordan explained that he was told by his then boss that he could leave Liverpool for Fulham in the summer of 2012:

“Brendan called me in and said “Listen, this is the offer” and he asked me what I thought,” 

“It implied to me that he would let me leave and it was up to me. I went back to my room. I shed a few tears. I ended up crying a little bit because it hurt so much. I had the game that night to think about it as well.”

“I spoke to my agent and told him what had happened and I said I didn’t want to go. I wanted to stay and fight and try and improve and try to prove the manager wrong.”

Source – Football.London

Fast forward seven years later and Jordan Henderson has just captained The Reds to the UEFA Super Cup, after captaining them to Champions League triumph back in May.

Time wasn’t as kind to Rodgers, who was sacked from his managerial role in Merseyside on the fourth of October 2015.

But in fairness to Brendan, he did give the battling midfielder a chance to prove himself at Anfield. The Northern Irish gaffer isn’t a man who’ll just dump a player and let him rot in the reserves. Henderson did what he said he’d do and worked hard to get into the team and then worked even harder to stay there.

He worked so hard and proved himself so invaluable to the team that it was indeed Brendan Rodgers who initially selected him as the new Liverpool captain once Gerrard departed for LA.

As an attribute, being a hard worker kind of sums up Henderson to a degree. He’s a player that will give 110% to the team’s cause. He will run down every blade of grass, make important tackles at any point in a game and will do whatever his manager asks of him.

Current Reds boss Jurgen Klopp has brought in various midfielders during his stint as Liverpool manager. But it’s not a coincidence that he continually uses the likes of James Milner, Giorginio Wijnaldum and Henderson. These players are his foot-soldiers on the pitch, they take his instruction to heart and they leave everything out there.

After using Henderson as a holding type middle-man for most of last year, Klopp has started this campaign by having his leader playing with more of an attacking intent. That sees the England international burst out down the right side more regularly than we’ve seen in the past. Having him in that role also shores up that flank of the field as he’ll work back and fill in whenever Trent Alexander-Arnold or Joe Gomez goes on the overlap.

Against Norwich City in the opening picture of the Premier League campaign Henderson played mainly inside the opposition’s half. Then in the penalties win over Chelsea in the Super Cup he was more restrained and tracked back more often.

In the league win over The Canaries only Andy Robertson bettered Henderson’s 73 touches of the ball. The midfielder made 54 passes, of which 83% of them were successful. He also won two tackles that night (Stats from Whoscored).

Another thing I personally love about Jordan’s game is that he will always back his teammates up.

Last season as Liverpool faced FC Barcelona, Lionel Messi got into a heated debate with Reds left-back Robertson. Henderson saw the situation right away and marched over to the Argentine forward and made it clear if there was an issue to take it up with him, thus protecting Andy.

When burly striker Diego Costa started his bullying ways against the Merseyside giants back in 2015, it was Jordan Henderson who faced up to the striker and stared down the Spanish international.

Henderson said this of the Costa confrontation:

“I didn’t want to make any ‘statement’, it was just in that game, he was trying to intimidate some of our younger players, which I didn’t really like,”

Via Sports Joe

As well giving his all for his team’s cause and do what’s expected of him, the twenty-nine year old will always have his teammate’s back.

That’s why Jordan Henderson was made Liverpool captain after Steven Gerrard left and that’s why he’s been a very successful leader at Anfield too!

One Response to “Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson Is Captain Fantastic”

  1. Jordan has proved his worth by working tirelessly for a Liverpool cause. What impresses me is his work ethic and professionalism. He admits to his shortcomings when he is not playing well in a particular game. He never complains if he is substituted. He still got some years to prove at Anfield.

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