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The Hendo Debate

Every season you will find at least one topic which splits the fan base in half, today we find that subject to be no other than our very own captain, Jordan Henderson. The longest serving player currently at the club, has been Mr reliable for us in the middle of the park. Yet a huge section believe he’s not good enough. You can see elements to their point to be fair. Off the back of a below average performance against spurs, it’s probably not the best time to have an argument against that claim. He was very sloppy in possession. I recall a few times in the first half, where he strayed a few passes in dangerous areas, leaving us exposed to their counter. Fortunately for us, we weren’t punished. To be frank, I think the whole midfield 3 had a pretty poor showing.

I believed at the half time interval, Klopp would iron out those mistakes, which happened more frequently towards the last fifteen minutes of the first half, but the second half was worse. Tottenham changed their formation slightly, and we couldn’t get a grip on the game. It wasn’t until the obvious needed substitution of Fab coming on, that we started to get control of the game. Was this a coincidence, absolutely not. Personally, and like probably 95% of supporters, I thought Fab should have started. I instantly messaged me dad, no Fabinho, interesting, when the starting 11 was revealed. So why does Klopp keep going with Hendo, Millie and Gini in the middle, when it’s so obvious to all of us that Fabinho should be the first name on the team sheet. A lot of people criticise Klopp for his late substitutions. If there is one thing about the man that you could moan about, it would have to be that. But, is this so called weakness of Klopp’s actually one of his biggest strengths? I believe so. If you watch or read any of the comments made from the lads when quizzed on Jurgen, they all praise the manager for his belief in them. He installs confidence in them, by the amount of trust he has in their abilities and character. Trust is obviously a huge requirement to be a part of the germans squad. We’ve seen it in the past, where a player has lost his trust, and regardless of his abilities, regardless of the need for him in the side, if there’s no trust he won’t be used. The player I’m talking about is Sahko. Arguably our best CB at the club at the time, was banished from the squad due to a lack of faith in his character. It’s this belief in his charges, which makes them believe in themselves. That is the greatest tool you can give anybody, regardless of their profession. I hate to talk about them on this blog, but you just have to look at united under Mourinho as proof to this argument. Jose is 100% the type of manager to make 3 substitutions at half time, if the first half wasn’t going to plan, and after the game he would hang the players out to dry. Im pretty sure I recall one or two times he done something similar at united, eventually he lost the dressing room. But Klopp would never seem to do that, he would make the changes to the formation at half time, and trust that his lads will go out there and do the job. More often than not, they do. Trust is definitely something Jordan Henderson definitely has from the manager. Whenever Liverpool have a crucial match, it seems as though Hendo always starts, if fit. Jordan might not be the most glamorous player, he might not get us off the edge of our seat with gut busting runs forward, or pile drivers into the back of the net. He might not be the hardest tackler on the pitch, sliding in and winning possession whilst players are breaking, but he is necessary. He controls the tempo of the game from the back, coming short to receive from the centre backs, and disperse the ball wide. When we need to push on and pick it up, its Hendo’s switch of play to the the wing backs that usually starts the attack. When we’re in the lead and need to control the game, it’s Jordan slowing it down. He’s our captain, the successor to Stevie. He does a job that isn’t necessarily ugly, it’s not pretty either, but it’s needed. Theres a few games where this is so obvious its scary. Just look back to the games against Munich and Roma at home, it seemed as though Hendo was everywhere. Winning the ball with almost every attack they had. That Naingolan, who people were rating as one of the best CMs in football at the time, was probably curled into a little ball in the showers after that game. Hendo violated him. Is it coincidence that these two immediate memories of Hendo dominating a game and showing his worth, were in two of the biggest games we’ve had in recent times. Henderson is a brilliant player, you don’t become the captain of Liverpool football club if you’re not, his ability shouldn’t be questioned. Klopp has all the faith in the world in him, and Klopp knows a lot more about football than I ever will, so I trust his opinion. Do I think Fabinho is better than Henderson? Yes I do, from what I’ve seen so far. If I pick my starting 3 midfielders for Liverpool when all fit, is Hendo in that team? Honestly, no he’s not. But that doesn’t mean he’s not good enough to play for us, it just means we have a great squad, and we need to use that squad, as well as possible if we are to be successful this season.


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