Jordan Henderson took over the Liverpool captaincy from Steven Gerrard in 2015. Perhaps some of the biggest shoes to fill, in world football. Over the last 4 years, he’s had his fair share of criticism. Only passes sideways, gets exposed defensively, doesn’t contribute to attacks. However, the Englishman is finally getting the credit he deserves, after he lifted his 3rd trophy of 2019 yesterday.
Jordan Henderson – Gerrard’s successor
The former Sunderland midfielder has always had that added pressure of succeeding Gerrard, one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has ever seen. Henderson hasn’t been blessed with the technical ability of his former captain, or isn’t a local lad that can inspire the thousands of Liverpudlians off the pitch. As a result, the constant comparisons have always made the 29 year old look worse than he actually is. But now, he’s set to become one of Liverpool’s more successful captains. Even more so than Gerrard. Who would’ve known?
As aforementioned, Jordan Henderson isn’t technically gifted or the most glamorous player to watch. But he epitomises the Jurgen Klopp era at Anfield. Industrious, tirelessly running and pressing high up the pitch. But more than anything, he fights for the badge and puts nothing short of 110% every game. The England international’s work rate has never been in question. The man has made the most Premier League appearances out of ANY player in this decade. If he was as bad as people made out, why would managers continue to persist with him?
Growth as a player
But in the last two seasons, we’ve seen the creative side to his game improve too. Henderson has averaged an impressive 3.4 long balls per game in the Premier League this season (WhoScored.com). This idea of sideways passing and not adding to the attack is being put to bed by a player now showing he can add to the final third. People forget his preferred position is that of a box to box midfielder. Yet under Klopp, he’s been deployed more as a defensive midfielder. Now, he’s finally showcasing the technical ability that he does have.
The engine of the Reds’ midfield, he’s hopefully now getting the credit he deserves. Yes there are games where sometimes, although he works hard, he makes mistakes in either third. But when he plays well, it often goes under the radar, partially because of the role he plays which isn’t often ‘glamorous’. An awful lot of credit also must go to his German manager too, who has been able to get the best out of him.
More successful than Gerrard?
Now, the boy from Wearside is set to go down in Liverpool’s rich history as one of their greatest ever captains. Assuming they win the Premier League this season after their ridiculous start. On paper, he’ll be considered better than Steven Gerrard, that’s how cruel history will be to Liverpool’s former number 8. But alongside that, Jordan Henderson deserves far more respect than he currently gets.
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