According to Matthew Johnson, Liverpool need to retain Jordan Henderson as the club’s skipper.
Liverpool’s number 14, going into his 5th season with the Merseyside club, has recently come under scrutiny regarding his position as captain.
Henderson was given the captaincy at the start of the 2015/16 season following the departure of long-serving club legend Steven to LA Galaxy. The former Sunderland man did take the armband in the season before when Steven Gerrard was absent in games, and in that time impressed former manager Brendan Rodgers that he was the right man for the job. Many people expected players such as Lucas or Martin Skrtel to be given the captaincy at the time, however Brendan Rodgers clearly saw something in Henderson.
Before discussing reasons why Jordan Henderson should remain Liverpool captain, firstly we will examine other possible candidates who fans have mainly called for.
Mamadou Sakho, the French centre back has evolved as a player on the pitch in the last few years and has become a huge fan favourite with the Anfield faithful. He is also a massive inspiration off the pitch, carrying out a lot of charity work around the Liverpool city (most famous for painting houses!) which is a main contribution to why some Liverpool fans see him as captain material.
However, as much as it would be an honour for the Parisian to be given the captaincy, would it add extra pressure following the recent drug scandal? Would it affect his form? He has only recently become a big player for Liverpool in the heart of the defence; it could be a great risk to take. He now also has that job of regaining his position back in the team following Jöel Matip’s arrival and Dejan Lovren’s surprising rise. Liverpool fans may love Mamadou Sakho and rightly so, but is he the right person at this moment in time?
Emre Can, the Liverpool tank has come a long way since joining Liverpool since his arrival in 2014 and has been touted by many to take the captaincy from Jordan Henderson. There is no doubt Emre has improved as a player under Jürgen Klopp, and has become the man Liverpool look to control the midfield in games. However, being a good footballer doesn’t mean you should be captain of a club. Yes, he also shows enormous passion when he puts on the shirt, but current captain Jordan Henderson isn’t shy of shouting at and encouraging players either.
Jordan Henderson has come to the end of a frustrating season at Liverpool; an injury hit season including playing with a crippling heel injury, which quite clearly effected his form. He has almost become a forgotten man. The fact that he rarely played for Liverpool last season has resulted in many supporters thinking a new captain is needed, however it is quite apparent Jordan will bounce back when fit and prove a lot of people wrong – his flashes at the Euros with England are a testament to this.
The main issue with this subject is the fact fans seem to think a captain is about being one of the stars of the team, which is wrong. If this was the case, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo would be captain of their respective clubs. Liverpool have been blessed by having one of the greatest midfielders the Premier League has ever seen in Steven Gerrard, however Jordan Henderson isn’t close to replicating what Gerrard did and he isn’t the ‘star’ of the team. This doesn’t mean he shouldn’t be captain of Liverpool Football Club. There has been far too much pressure on Henderson to ‘match’ Steven Gerrard, it is important for people to let Jordan Henderson do what Jordan Henderson can do, and not compare his abilities to Steven Gerrard.
Being a good captain is all about leadership, professionalism, trust, and having the desire to inspire a team in the good and the bad times. Being a good captain isn’t about scoring a lot of goals, gaining a lot of assists, spreading 40 yard passes or being the star of the club.
Jordan Henderson deserves time, at least to the end of the season.