Damon Savenelli explains how Jordan Henderson can make the Liverpool captaincy his own and push on to become a great Liverpool midfielder.
This past Friday saw Jurgen Klopp’s men triumph over Chelsea, 2-1. In Klopp’s second career win at Stamford Bridge, the Reds got off to an early start with Dejan Lovren’s 17th-minute goal. Perhaps one of the most impressive goals of this young Premier League season, Jordan Henderson’s strike in the 36th minute was nothing short of amazing.
That goal was one of many noteworthy contributions that the skipper made in the match. Henderson put in a spectacular performance that helped the Reds to victory.
As I highlighted in my last article, Jordan Henderson has received heavy criticism from fans throughout his time at Anfield. This summer’s transfer window saw Jurgen Klopp work intensely to find a new holding midfielder. The consensus amongst Liverpool fans was that Klopp would look to bring in a new midfielder to partner Emre Can; his most prominent target was Gladbach midfielder, Mahmoud Dahoud. Most fans did not envision Henderson in the starting 11 on opening day.
Ever since Steven Gerrard left, the Liverpool midfield has lacked quality and leadership. Reds’ fans were lucky to have such a magnificent player in Gerrard and it is and will be, extremely tough to replace him.
The reason why Henderson is so heavily criticised is because Liverpool fans expect Hendo to be the paragon of leadership as well as near perfection in the midfield. The former Sunderland man has big shoes to fill, and fans need to realize that it will take time for him to come anywhere near the same level as Gerrard.
These past few games have seen Henderson really begin to elevate his game. With an admirable performance last week against Leicester, he was able to build upon that performance with an even better showing in Friday night’s match.
I also believe that football fans seem to forget that Henderson was never fully fit for much of last year. The English international started this season at full fitness and it has really shown on the pitch. Here are some of Henderson’s stats from Friday night’s match, courtesy of the official Liverpool FC twitter account:
84% pass completion
1 wonder strike
— Liverpool FC (@LFC) September 17, 2016
The Englishman also leads the league in most completed passes with 324, according to Squawka Football’s Twitter account.
These stats are certainly encouraging. It seems as though Henderson has become a lot more assertive in the midfield since last season. He demands the ball more often and makes some very well timed, as well as crucial tackles in the middle of the park.
After watching the first few games this season, Henderson has really begun to captain the midfield. He has shown that he can win tackles, score magnificent goals, play through balls, and link well up well with his teammates. The only question that remains is, will he be able to continue this form for the rest of the season?
I believe and hope that the answer to that question is yes. After learning and observing from greats such as Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez, I believe that it is now Jordan Henderson’s turn to lead Liverpool to glory. These last few games have been very promising. Hopefully, Jordan Henderson can stay consistent and continue to prove his doubters wrong.
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