The Henderson Paradox

Even the captain has a price

It’s all a bit sad, isn’t it? This has been a week of soul-searching to an extent that could put one in a place of not being quite sure what you’re still in it for if you’re not careful. At the time of writing, the man who has lifted every shiny thing for us looks destined for Saudi Arabia. Liverpool is set to be without their two most influential leaders for the start of next season. What will life at Anfield look like with the abrupt end to the Jordan Henderson era?

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Jordan Henderson is my absolute hero. There is no doubt his powers have started to decline. His role within this team would have dwindled in 2023-24. But football is about more than what we see during those 90 minutes on the pitch.

Processing It All

When the news dropped, I felt hollow. It was worse than it the Reds had just lost a big game. This feeling was more significant than that in the wider picture. When Liverpool loses I’m usually fairly proficient at laughing it off with friends over a drink afterwards. It’s why football should always be treated as a shared experience where possible.

ASTV Shorts: The Harsh Truth Of the Hendo Saga

A football leaving your favorite team fills you with a level of sadness that genuinely impacts your mood. To an outsider, this could be conceived as borderline psychotic. He is, after all, just one of many players to give us magic moments over recent years. It is, of course, the circumstances that dictate where it takes you. The glint in our captain’s eye when he lifted all those trophies made you believe it meant as much to him as it does to you. Jordan Henderson gave that to us. But then the stark reality hits that everything has a price, or so it feels.

Why The Henderson One Hurts

Those moments, and the moral implications which will go with potentially throwing them away, can be bought. Make no mistake about it. That is what is happening here. Becoming an ally for a marginalized community such as the LGBTQ+ community is an honorable move and one that no one forced Henderson into. With that comes, at the very least, a responsibility to come across as genuine with your motives.

Moving to a country that doesn’t just oppress people in those communities, but makes expressing who you are illegal opens you up to the sort of scrutiny and criticism of which Hendo will be more aware than anyone. It is a path that he is completely within his rights to take, particularly given the sums of money involved. However, everybody else is equally within their rights to question it and express their opinion.

I made the mistake of rewatching the video where Jordan’s father relived his son’s triumphs and talked about he himself had battled. His departure is going to hit me more than Fernando Torres, which may sound slightly crazy as he is usually the benchmark for these types of things.

Trying To Put It In Proper Perspective

Jordan Henderson might not be the player he once was, but that’s fine. Nothing lasts forever particularly when you’re put through the demands of playing a Jurgen Klopp side that competes on all fronts and nearly wins quadruples. It is finding out that he is perhaps not the man we thought he was that will be the tough pill to swallow.

You kid yourself sometimes that these multi-millionaires we care about so passionately would give the exact same for the football club if they were playing for free. Because if you don’t believe that, you can drive yourself mad and question the purpose of your fanaticism.

Of course, the Al-Ettifaq offer is obscene money. It would be ridiculous not to at least explore the possibility when it is presented so brazenly. But how much extra happiness and security can truly be gained when you are already taking home eight-figure sums each year? How much money would the billionaires and multi-billionaires of the world pay for the kind of buzz Henderson felt when he hoisted all those trophies?

I’m still clinging, again perhaps naively, to the hope that he changes his mind and this all goes away. But by the time you come to read this, there is every chance he has already been photographed in an Al-Ettifaq shirt.

It’s all meant to be a bit of fun at the end of the day. The phrase “no player is bigger than the club” is as relevant now as it has ever been. There’s still plenty to be smiling about as we head into another new chapter. It’s just whether or not we are writing Jordan Brian Henderson into it.

Ugly Crying and Tissues American Scouser Podcast

We think there was a game this weekend as well but the main topic of course is Klopp's farewell
  1. Ugly Crying and Tissues
  2. Two Week Notice
  3. Having Fun Again
  4. The Turkish Rodeo
  5. Glimpse of Hope
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