It was never going to be easy to replace the like of great Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain, but Jordan Henderson never backed down under this huge responsibility.
Some English fans need to be reminded of this little detail which occurred earlier in 2015 when midfielder was officially named permanent holder of the captain’s armband under Brendan Rodgers.
The 26-year-old English international midfielder went through thick and thin since then, fighting criticism, doubts and heavy pressure but has successfully emerged from under the mud to become an important figure for his club impressing with confidence and quality performances that have recommended him for his new England role.
Gareth Southgate has confirmed his choice, claiming Jordan Henderson fully earned the right to replace Wayne Rooney as England captain, so who are we to argue with his choice?
The interim manager decided to drop the Manchester United star for the Tuesday’s game in Slovenia and it will be Liverpool captain who will lead the side out for the first time in Ljubljana where the Three Lions are given the betting odds of 4/6 to grab another three points.
Southgate has demonstrated great courage with his decision-making and has to be applauded for his brave choices that might end up bringing a new perspective to England’s play in the end.
Jordan Henderson in my own view remains the logical choice to succeed the captain’s armband, more so due to the imposing form he displays both for club and country.
Wayne Rooney proved to be a great sport as well, by extending his full support to Jordan Henderson, praising his leadership skills and maturity and English public should follow the example to offer their own support in this delicate times for English international football.
Emergence and Maturity
People were quick to discard Jordan Henderson during the preseason at Liverpool with Jurgen Kopp bringing in plenty of new faces and direct competition for places in midfield, but Hendo had gotten used to it by then.
The English international, however, responded with hard work and dedication to prove his worth and emerge under the spotlight with his commanding performances under the German manager. Henderson is thriving in the high-tempo brand of football with Klopp’s pressing tactics perfectly suited to Henderson’s own style of play.
Hendo is finally coming of age at Liverpool, proving that £20 million fee paid to Sunderland in the summer of 2011 was not a wasted investment from club’s legend Kenny Dalglish.
The 26-year-old midfielder is not an imposing figure on the football pitch, but his hard work should by no means be disregarded. Not a classic football star with no extravagant hair styles or tattoos to keep him constantly under media radar, Henderson also doesn’t have Gerrard’s prodigious range of talents but has still managed to harness his qualities much to the benefit of the team.
Henderson’s attitude is perhaps what impresses the most. His great appetite for the game has been highlighted by sheer excitement and honour of being a part of Liverpool family. Having spent some time letting it all sink in, Henderson is now a fully accepted member of Anfield legacy who uses his neatness of touch and passing ability to further impress and express himself.
Henderson will lead his team into the great derby with Manchester United next Monday night after the international duty and here are some statistical points of view ahead of the North-West Derby:
Numbers support Southgate’s call
A glance at the statistical point of Henderson’s play might offer clearer insight in his influence, possibly helping undecided fans choose a side and have a pop at the fact Henderson still generates mixed emotions at Anfield and in England as well.
Jordan Henderson has made the total of 589 passes for Liverpool so far in the season. The number is the highest in the Premier League and serves as another great testament to Henderson’s ability as well to Jurgen Klopp’s high-pressure game.
The 43 accurate long balls make him the second-best of any outfielder in the league behind Tottenham’s Alderweireld as Jordan Henderson once again proves he is a player of great vision and distribution.
Much to his contribution in attack, Jordan Henderson is a valuable defence asset.
He is the most proficient tackler in his team with 29 successful ones to his name up to this point, while the newly-appointed England captain is topping the interception chart as well with 12 successful interceptions until now.
Numbers shown above are clear indicators of his value that will hopefully be given more credit from the doubting supporters, who have so far perhaps been treating the Liverpool man unfairly.
Does Henderson deserves more respect?