Fans have been calling for Jordan Henderson to start the Euro 2020 final after his excellent cameo helped England qualify for it with victory over Denmark last night.
Harry Kane scored in extra time to secure a 2-1 victory in the semi-final for the Three Lions.
England 2-1 Denmark
Optimism was high at Wembley as England hoped to qualify for their first major tournament final since 1966 by seeing off neutral’s favourites Denmark.
From a Liverpool perspective, Jordan Henderson was the only current Red involved. However, he started on the bench, as he has for every game this tournament.
There was something to catch the eye of Kopites on the half-hour mark, though.
Mikkel Damsgaard, who RTK picked as a one to watch before the Euros began, opened the scoring with a superb free-kick for the Danes.
Their lead didn’t last long. Nine minutes later, good work from Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling forced Simon Kjaer to put the ball into his own net.
There were decent saves by both keepers throughout the next hour or so, but nobody could find the net.
A goal did come in the first half of extra time.
Raheem Sterling was adjudged to have been fouled in the box by a pair of Danish defenders. Soft would be one way to describe the call, but VAR did not intervene and Harry Kane stepped up.
Kasper Schmeichel saved the penalty, before Kane hammered home the rebound.
England did an excellent job of seeing out the game by keeping possession for long periods.
The scoreline stayed the same, and they will face Italy in Sunday’s showpiece final.
Henderson cameo changed the game – he must start the final
In many ways, the game changed with the introduction of Jordan Henderson five minutes into extra time.
Kalvin Phillips and Declan Rice could not get a hold on the game throughout the period of normal time. Their inability to take the ball on the half-turn and play forward really hindered Gareth Southgate’s side.
Don’t get us wrong, they are both really, really good players. But they just haven’t properly clicked as pair in our eyes, at least in an attacking sense.
When Henderson came on, England were able to keep the ball and use it much better.
He always offered himself as an option to receive a pass and he always played the right ball when he got it. He ensured that every one of his teammates was in the right place and was not slacking off.
When England were keeping the ball to the “Olé” chants from the crowd, Henderson was a key part of that with his movement and barking of orders. It helped take the sting out of the game and prevent a Denmark attack.
It was a 25-minute performance that we are used to seeing at Anfield every week.
Henderson is fit and up to speed now, so there is no reason that he should not start the final.
Maybe Southgate doesn’t want to change a winning combination. But it did take Henderson coming on to win the game last night.
It’s not like he will threaten the stability either. He offers the same defensive ability as Rice and Phillips, but much more on the ball and in terms of leadership.
While we don’t expect Southgate to change his XI, we would highly recommend it.
The Italian midfield is the best at the entire tournament after all. Henderson is the only English midfielder that can match their quality.
Fans want Henderson to start the final
We here at RTK are not the only ones that think Henderson should be starting on Sunday night.
Fans on Twitter, and not just Liverpool fans, have also been calling for it.