Ethan Fanshawe discusses the importance of leadership for Liverpool next season.
There is a lot of debate going around at the moment about the leadership qualities within the club. I agree we lack a figure to lead us to glory as we have always had that one player, whether that be Gerrard, Hyypia or Dalglish. We have always had a leader, at least one, to keep the team in line and to take control when needed or when all hope seems lost within the team. And many fans have noticed a considerable lack of it in our current squad, and I struggle to find a way to disagree.
Now, what most fans are doing is turning on our current captain in Jordan Henderson as a result of this. Many fans on social media are crying for a new captain saying he lacks that leadership and that quality that we need. And this is what doesn’t need to happen. What fans need to do instead of wanting Dejan, Mama or Emre as a new captain is get behind and support Jordan Henderson after the disastrous season he’s had personally. Injuries have riddled Liverpool this season like no other, and our captain was unfortunately a victim of this, and was not able to give performances and play as many games as in his breakthrough season.
Game time in a system like Jürgen Klopp’s is essential as you need to be used to being exactly where you are and how to perfect it (but that is a discussion for another time). These fans seem to think that Gerrard was absolute legend quality from day 1. I think this season is going to big for Jordan, if he can get games and that experience then he will become the captain that the fans want and the club needs, however he need the backing of the fans and not the constant slating or cry for a new captain.
Also, I look at Liverpool’s activity in the market and I look at the 2 players I thought we really needed last season and that is a deep lying defensive-midfielder that can control the game, and then the ever needed left back. And this will play a part in the lack of a command as a confident deep lying midfielder can control all areas of the pitch from his position and then dictate the game accordingly, whilst a left back isn’t as important to leadership as a midfielder but a left back that listens, that can be instructed by a midfielder and can be in his left back position when he is needed and in his left wing position when he is needed. And with the potential sale of Lucas Leiva this window we are left with 23 year old Kevin Stewart with our only actual defensive midfielder.
I know if James Milner plays he will most likely be a midfielder or a defensive midfielder as in a predicted formation of 4-2-3-1 I don’t see Milner being played in an attacking role this season due to our signing so far this window in Wijnaldum and Mane, he will most likely be playing as part of the 2 if he does play which he will genuinely struggle to do as we have great competition in the part of pitch, but they are all similar players and are all quite young and the worst thing you can do to a young footballer these days add more responsibility than they already have playing for Liverpool Football Club.
In conclusion, I think that leadership needs to be cemented within the club. Whether that be with an extra signing to enforce the midfield or with the constant reinforced support of our current captain and help him achieve his potential. But what we must not do is turn on him, and beg the club for a different captain.