Jordan Henderson

Jordan Henderson
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Jordan Henderson

Current Club: Liverpool.
Previous Club: Sunderland.
Loan Clubs: Coventry City.

International: England 32 caps.

Since arriving at Liverpool from Sunderland, the England man has been the subject of much derision, especially following Alex Ferguson's jibes at his running style in his autobiography. What Ferguson failed to mention is that, for all his comments, he did try to sign Henderson from Sunderland, prior to him moving to Liverpool, but Henderson rejected the move as he felt he was not ready to leave his hometown club yet.

Henderson has taken a long time to settle into a position, for a while his hard work, good technique and pace worked against him, as he was used in various positions to cover injury. Then, when he did settle into a central midfield berth, using his energy to charge forward at every opportunity and to chase back to help out the defence, the lack of any cover in a holding midfield role meant that Henderson was moved into that role.

While Henderson can, and does usually, play that role well, it does feel like a stifling of his main attribute, that incredible energy and desire to get up and down the pitch and be involved in everything. It also has required a change to the way he views the game, from that deeper position he can see more of the play and it has allowed him to use his range of passing to better effect.

Good in the air, though he is rarely called upon to use that particular strength, except in defending setpieces, where he is usually called upon to mark the opposition's best header of the ball. While good in the air, he is not that good, so it often just means he is able to do little more than make the header difficult for his opponent. However, it does show that his willingness to take responsibility has been recognised with more than just the club captaincy.

Despite his excellent technique striking the ball, Henderson does not score enough goals, even before being moved to a more defensive role it was his main weakness. He would regularly be in the box to receive the ball but lacked the composure to finish the chance. His other main weakness is his style of running, which led to some cutting and ignorant remarks from Ferguson, because it is so unusual and unusual draws attention. Different and unusual is something people struggle to understand and so they make fun of it and try to claim it is wrong because of its differences.

His running style is a natural one and it reminds me of some footage I saw many years ago of a coach of the great 200/400m runner Michael Johnson, talking about his running style drew much derision in the early days. People ignorantly used to tell him to change his running style as it would cause injuries and slow him down, just like they do Henderson. Football fans do like to have a target for their abuse though, every club seems to have one, Liverpool's has just become Jordan Henderson in recent years.


Written by Ed001 June 26 2018 22:54:54