Henderson – Loved and Hated

Henderson… the mere mention of his name makes fans shiver inside. I never seen a fan base of any team so divided over a player. Some think they have got a player who makes it tick, works hard, wins the ball back and sets us on our way. Others think we have a side ways passing liability, who’s head has been put on his shoulders backwards so he can’t look forward. Think timing and history go against him constantly. 

1st thing is, he has already created this impression of himself in his early years when he struggled. Some fans can’t think passed it. Kid comes down from Sunderland and signs for Liverpool, a very struggling Liverpool. 22 years old, getting signed the same day as far as Charlie Adam, Stewart Downing and back up keeper Doni, he actually looked like a competition winner. I don’t meant because of the other world class players around him, (trust me, he’s better than the aforementioned shite) he looks young enough to still be building pillow forts in his living room and asking for passwords to come in. He struggled for about a year. He wasn’t very good, I can admit that. Liverpool was coming into a time where we had got rid of Mascherano and Alonso to partner Gerrard a couple of years previous, and replacing them with Adam and Henderson. That’s like going to watch the Beatles and Paul Mc Carteny getting you up to sing Let It Be while he goes for a piss. It’s only going to end in disappointment. He was still learning his craft, trying to find out the player he wanted to become, at a time where Liverpool were losing football matches at a regular. Liverpool do not lose football matches often. So if you lose them pretty consistently, players will be singled out and will be a target. Jordan was one of those.

Now let’s get one thing straight, and I will argue with any fan about this until am old and on my last legs. In our failed title bid under Brendan, I solidly believe that if Jordan Henderson doesn’t get sent off vs City at home, Liverpool win the premier league. That’s right, he was one of the most important players in that squad. His energy, pace, none stop running in front of Steven, helped him massively. Jordan was brilliant that season. His best performance was the 5-0 domination of Spurs away. He was the first name on the team sheet, apart from the front 3. He was fucking unreal. He played 35 games that season, and was suspended for 3 of them. 3 of the last 4 to be precise. In the Chelsea game, we missed his high press in midfield. He urgency to pressure the ball made Chelsea start their attacks 10 yards further forward. Allowed them to do there dog shit time wasting, doing there dark arts football. I think Liverpool get something from that match because Jordan would not allow a defeat. 

Now I think this Liverpool captain thing really gets on my tits. He gets given the arm band from Liverpool’s greatest ever player. Liverpool fans looks to their captains as like a figure of extra invincibility like Steven was, Like he must bend one in from 30 yards with the score 1-1 with 93 minutes on the clock. That’s the only way. Jordan Henderson is not Steven Gerrard. I think that’s pretty clear, but my thing on this is, who’s arsed who’s captain? Does it matter he doesn’t play every week? Who fucking cares who walks us out 1st? I honestly have no interest as long as Liverpool are winning football matches. People act like he must be unreal every week, let’s get it right, I’ve seen every player for Liverpool have some shocking football matches, including Steven. Jordan has been poor and he will again, but let me ask you this, while at Liverpool has he survived 4 managers and starts in all there teams? The king signed him, Woy the owl liked him, key to Brendan’s plans and Jurgen got his teeth done while at Liverpool just to impress him. His tenacity, organizing and work rate is second to none, where people have a problem is that most of the time, he takes the safe option, doesn’t get his head up quick enough.

Sideways passing. 2 words that has maligned his whole career. There is a point to that. I think he does play the extra safe pass in midfield instead of getting his head up. He has the talent to deliver 40 yard passes, I’ve seen him do it. He’s likes to pick the ball up and give it to more attacking players. I also have no issue with that, I think after signing a new 5 year deal in the summer, he fits into Liverpool’s plans. With the signing of Fabinho, make no mistake, by Christmas, he will be Liverpool’s starting number 6. You don’t spend 50 million on a player for him not to be. He’s a box to box midfield who drives at defenses. Here is where he fits in. I don’t think Jordan should start at home against any of the bottom 10, or away at any of the bottom 6. With the way these teams set up with that low defensive block, we don’t need a player like Jordan. Fabinho will be that player. Now if you ask me, we have City away on the weekend, who’s your 1st choice midfielder, its Jordan every day. When huge football matches come along, Jordan has showed consistently that we win most midfield battles with him in it. Every big win I can remember under Jurgen, Jordan has been immense in that game. Please comment if you can find one where he was shite. I can’t. He is a big game player, who handles pressure like someone I’ve never seen. He’s calm, composed and is vital in them matches. 

Jordan is a top player in big football matches. Trust me, they are fucking hard to come by and, If Liverpool are going to do anything this year, with super stars from Egypt, Holland and Senegal, it will be a lad from Sunderland who will have the biggest say, in the biggest games.