On this day back in 2011, Liverpool’s captain Jordan Henderson signed for the club. Jack Hallows takes a look at some of his best moments.
Jordan Henderson. Our captain.
It genuinely seems crazy to think that it’s been an entire six years now since Kenny Dalglish brought him to Liverpool from Sunderland. It’s not been entirely smooth sailing since the skipper joined, with him generally being a player who divides opinion amongst Liverpool and England fans alike.
However, he’s certainly evolved into a key player for the club in recent campaigns – not least because of the captaincy – and I’ve done my best to pick out his best moment from each season since he joined.
August 27th, 2011: Off the mark against Bolton
Where better to start than with the skipper’s first goal for the club? Having made his debut in a baptism of fire against his former club Sunderland, Henderson grabbed his first goal for the club against Bolton Wanderers just two weeks later.
The midfielder’s initial right footed effort was blocked on the edge of the box by the Bolton defender but on the second time of asking, Henderson struck the ball sweetly with his left and watched the ball nestle perfectly in the far corner. The game finished 3-1 and the Reds took the 3 points.
6th December, 2012: From unwanted zero to European hero
The summer of 2012 was tough for Jordan Henderson. Brendan Rodgers replaced Kenny Daglish as manager and immediately saw Henderson as surplus to requirements, even attempting to send him to Fulham as part of a deal for Clint Dempsey. This move didn’t interest Henderson in the slightest, however, and he opted to fight for his place on Merseyside.
Initially, Henderson struggled under Rodgers and failed to impress for much of the first half of the 2012/13 season. However, on December 6th against Udinese in the Europa League, he found himself soaring from unwanted zero to European hero.
With the Reds needing to win to progress into the knockout rounds, Henderson latched onto a loose ball in the box following a corner and tucked it past the Udinese goalkeeper with ease. The game finished 1-0 and the Reds confirmed qualification for the last 32.
The goal kickstarted Henderson’s career under Rodgers, with the midfielder scoring a further 5 times between January and May of that season, all in the Premier League. It remains his second best league goalscoring return since joining the Reds to date.
23rd February, 2014: At the double
Henderson went up a level in 2013/14, scoring 5 goals in all competitions and managing his best season assist return to that point of 7.
The Englishman’s growing importance to Rodger’s side was sadly emphasised after his 3 match ban for being sent off against Manchester City late in the campaign saw Liverpool crumble and limp their way to a second placed finish despite looking in the driver seat to win a first Premier League title.
Perhaps Henderson’s best game of the season came against Swansea in February when his brace sealed a 4-3 win for the Reds over Rodgers’ former club and continued a remarkable run of results that saw the Reds drop points on just 3 occasions during the final 4 months of the season.
29th November, 2014: Changing of the guard
While Henderson did not score or assist in this particular game – a 1-0 home victory against Stoke City – this match will likely be one of his most personally memorable.
With Steven Gerrard starting the game on the bench, Henderson was named as Liverpool captain for the first time ever in a foreshadowing of things to come.
Despite the match being played on the 16th anniversary of Steven Gerrard’s debut, the club legend remained on the bench for the entire 90 minutes as Henderson saw his first match as captain finish in a victory, ending a rancid run of 3 successive defeats for Liverpool. Henderson would go on to captain numerous other games towards the end of the season as Rodgers began to take a more conservative approach to Gerrard’s game time.
If you’d like to know my personal favourite moment of Henderson’s from the 2014/15 season, however, it was most definitely this:
HENDERSON! OH WOW! Indeed.
23rd January, 2016: A rare positive in a frustrating season
Liverpool’s captain had a nightmare of a season during 2015/16. Despite starting the campaign strongly with good showings against Stoke and Bournemouth, the captain was ruled out for practically the entire first half of the season with a heel injury followed by a broken foot.
In January however, a fit Henderson played a huge part in the Reds overturning a 3-1 deficit and turning it into a 5-4 victory in one of the most exciting games of the season against Norwich City at Carrow Road. The skipper scored the Reds second goal to set them on their way towards completing the superb comeback and it served as a rare highlight for the Englishman in an otherwise unmemorable campaign.
16th September, 2017: What a hit.
Despite being moved into a deeper, holding midfield role for the 2016/17, Henderson still found time to score an absolute screamer against eventual champions Chelsea during Liverpool’s 2-1 win at Stamford Bridge in September.[embedyt] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se9vi_ssWco[/embedyt]
The skipper enjoyed a successful season on the whole, adapting well to his new position and becoming a vital part of Klopp’s XI before his campaign was abruptly ended once again in February by an injury to his foot.
If you need reminding of any other superb goals scored by Henderson, you can watch his official top 10 – as chosen by LFCTV – below. Here’s to six years of Hendo and hopefully, many, many more.