Is Jordan Henderson good enough to be Liverpool and England captain?

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Jordan Henderson of England signals to his team-mates during the FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Group F match between Slovenia and England at Stadion Stozice on October 11, 2016 in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
All rights reserved by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images Europe

Alex Rogers addresses absurd suggestions that Jordan Henderson isn’t capable of being captain after a poor performance for England this week.

Jordan Henderson gets a lot of stick. He gets more than most other professional footballers do, at the very least. But is this criticism fair? Now this is a question that divides many a football fan.

Jordan Henderson captaining the England team last Tuesday was met with many mixed emotions from a lot of people, ranging from “yeah, that’s pretty fair that he’s been made captain for this game considering Rooney isn’t starting” to “oh my God, this is the worst thing to happen in the history of English football.”

Henderson’s first ever game as England captain was not the best game for him or the team in general, getting a disappointing 0-0 draw against Slovenia, but I don’t think it’s really fair to judge how good he is as a captain from one game alone, goodness no.

Now that we’ve entered the second season of Henderson’s reign as captain for Liverpool, now I feel it’s fair to start judging Henderson on how well he performs as a captain. His first season as Liverpool captain was blighted with injury, causing him not to feature for large chunks of the season at a time. Judging him as a captain after that season would be harsh, especially as he had colossal boots to fill.

Now with a great start to the season personally for Henderson, people are starting to take notice of how good he is, even in his new role as a defensive midfielder. He’s made the most passes forward this season of any player in the league which says something in itself. He’s also been pretty rock solid defensively despite being relatively new to his new deeper role in Klopp’s 4-3-3 formation.

And as well as being good technically as a player, he’s also been great at controlling his team on the pitch. Next time you see Liverpool play, watch Henderson bark commands to his teammates, telling them what to do. Watch him do this and realise that he’s actually pretty good at it. There’s a reason he’s captain.

And now that he’s captained his national side once, it’s not hard to imagine that he’s going to be captain in the future. Again, managers don’t pick captains for a laugh, and the fact he’s been chosen to captain his club and his country must tell you how his managers see him as a leader.

Despite this, I see many fickle football fans, some also being Liverpool fans, devastated that Henderson was chosen to captain England against Slovenia. Why? He was a very strong choice for the honour, considering he already captains one of the most well-decorated clubs on the planet.

Anyway, at the end of the day, he was only chosen to captain as Rooney was dropped. He isn’t officially the captain so everyone complaining about it can untwist their panties. But it does strongly suggest who is lined up for the role once Rooney is gone, doesn’t it? And would it really be a bad thing? I don’t think so.

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