23 Feb 2015

Legend insists: BR must 'dent' £20m star's 'confidence' and stop him from taking penalties

When he's in the team, Steven Gerrard (quite rightly) takes most of Liverpool's set-pieces, and his peerless skill from a dead-ball situation has rescued the Reds many times over the years. Jordan Henderson doesn't quite have the same skill-set, and LFC legend John Aldridge has criticised the stand-in captain for taking on too much set-pieces responsibility.

In his column for Sunday World, Aldo blasted Hendo for trying to take the penalty against Besiktas, and urged him to stop 'trying to establish his authority by putting himself forward for every set-piece routine:

"Henderson wants to take every free-kick, every corner and every bloody throw-in. Well, whoever came up with the idea that he should take penalties got it wrong. If Mario is on the pitch, he takes it [the penalty]. If that dents Henderson’s confidence then so be it"

Speaking to reporters on Friday, Rodgers confirmed that Gerrard and Balotelli are the club's two nominated penalty takers, but since neither started the Besiktas game, Hendo was nominated in their stead.

As such, Aldo is clearly right - instead of acceding to Balotelli - who was on the pitch at the time of the penalty - Henderson still tried to take it himself. As such, he was arguably the architect of the kerfuffle that erupted over the penalty.

Hendo's motivation is certainly understandable. As Aldo suggests, stepping-up and taking responsibility is clearly Hendo's motivation, but he barely takes penalties, so he should've just given the ball straight to Balotelli.

As for all the other point - Hendo's insistence on taking all the set-pieces was evident against Southampton over the weekend, but the plain fact is he doesn't have Gerrard's quality at dead-ball situation.

In fact, free-kick goal against Spurs (last season) notwithstanding, I don't recall Henderson creating many goals from free-kicks and corners. As such, perhaps it's worth giving others a chance to make an impact from Liverpool's set-pieces.

Who, though? Looking through the team, I don't see any standout candidates, so right now, Henderson - who cost Liverpool £20m (and has probably maintained that value) - is probably the best of a middling bunch

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68 comments:

  1. Personally I would demote Gerrard to number 2 penalty taker behind Mario.

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  2. If you want a good book there's always 'Snipers Moon'

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  3. yeah him with all his goals and his assists.. what does he even give to the team..?

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  4. Thanks for clearing that up.

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  5. I think Henderson recognises that Balotelli should be taking most of the set pieces if he's on the pitch. Coutinho is knocking in corners from one side and actually Henderson himself delivers a decent corner so no worries there. Ultimately it's for the manager to decide and I'm sure Rodgers will have cleared it all up so that the players now have a better understanding of who will do what at what time.


    You're right, there is no outstanding candidate to take free kicks if Gerrard and Mario are not on the pitch and so Henderson might as well be the one to take charge. It's good to be consistent and he'll grow into it, hopefully putting in extra practice and gaining confidence in his ability.

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  6. I said before that his agent is simply doing a very good job. The agent is there to know how much a club is willing to pay and negotiate that best possible deal. Obviously the first offer from Liverpool was not the best offer they were willing to make, so the agent was right to advise to hold out for more. If Sterling had accepted that initial offer when the club was capable and willing to pay more then the agent wouldn't have been doing his job, that's just by definition how it's supposed to work. Certainly we can assign some kind of nobility and humility to the idea of accepting the first good offer that comes your way, and those are admirable qualities, but football as a business is quite ruthless, there is a tremendous amount of money involved. Players are simply assets to a club and it's up to the players to look after their own interests because the club won't automatically do that for them. In this kind of business environment that's what's going on: everyone is looking after themselves. I don't really begrudge Sterling or his agent for doing just that. I wish it was all a bit different and that there was universally far less greed involved, but I'm just not sure how that is every supposed to happen.

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  7. Hendo should not take PKs. He has no touch...none. He shouldn't take corners either. He is a big body and usually lucks in goals anyway and is better suited to the melee in front of the net where he will luck in the odd goal. PC should take the corners because he does have touch and is virtually useless in the melee as he will get pushed out of the way easily and isn't tall enough to get a decent noggin on the ball.

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  8. Balo doesn't add much other than PKs...a little too narrow a scope for being the only reason to have him on the pitch. Gerrard offers much more. At the end of the season we will miss Gerrard more than we will miss Balo.

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  9. Regardless of the fact that you are talking utter sh1te in your assessment of Mario...I only commented on who should take the penalties as Mario is clearly the superior penalty taker

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  10. ...and if do want to twist my comments and take off topic...Gerrad has been a liability this season, not only on the pitch as we have played much better and results have improved when he hasn't been playing, but also a liability off the pitch, inexcusably slating a team mate in the public domain...no class!! Gerrad has not been the same player since that infamous slip...not sure a has been will be missed as much as you believe!!

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  11. although i agree an agent should get the best deal for his client in this case it could backfire greatly.
    If this drags on the fan will only get annoyed by "sterling's greed" (which seems to already happen) and could be inclined to accept to see him go for a hefty sum to a club like Real Madrid (seeing another youngster in Ibe rise is a big factor to that), and considering his current quality i think it would be a bad choice for his career.

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  12. "Who, though? Looking through the team, I don't see any standout candidates, so right now, Henderson - who cost Liverpool £20m (and has probably maintained that value) - is probably the best of a middling bunch".



    I do see someone, after the Goal Coutinho scored on Sunday, I looked at it again and again, the ball was static when he struck it, just as a free kick would be.
    I immediately thought why has he not taken any free kicks from that area, of course SG takes them, but that strike on Sunday surely should be evidence that he might have a hidden talent we didnt know about.

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  13. More to the point is,
    Sterlings agent works for an agency with over 200 footbalers on their books.
    He is in the process of going it alone, and taking Sterling and others with him. This is a probable reason for the delay, with all the legal wranglings that would entail.

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  14. I would love to see Emre Can take some.

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  15. Regardless, I have the season, as evidence, to back me up. He's been over-hyped from day 1...he isn't nearly as good as you think he is.

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  16. Mario and Lambert if on the pitch should be nr 1 penalty and free kick takers ,why Henderson thinks he has to take ever one to be a good captain is beyond me ?

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  17. Is his agent really doing a good job or is it greed ?
    If Liverpool do not give in and pay him what they want what happens to Sterling ?
    or if they do how much resentment will their be towards him from management and team mates ?

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  18. Good thought or maybe Ibe with his left foot

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  19. Jaimie you slow today I see Alvaro Morata is the flavour for today's press.
    How many srikers is Liverpool buying this summer ?

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  20. I think the discussions would stay pretty civil, but this is also part of the reason why Rodgers and Sterling stay out of it. This is a business issue so it's between the agent and people like Ayre. I doubt that anyone is going in there making threats, it's just two businessmen working out a deal. It happens everyday in the business world and although people might get a bit tense during negotiations once you sign on the dotted line you're obviously happy with the terms and there should be no lingering resentment. Otherwise why would they sign? Plus in my company we have rules where people are not supposed to discuss their salaries with each other. I guess if it leaks to the press there isn't much you can do but I think most players know not to rock the boat. They generally respect each other and they are all actually in the same situation. Every player has an agent and has to negotiate a contract, they probably would sympathise with each other most of the time.


    The agent's job is to get the best rate possible. If Sterling doesn't get that then he's failed. If they can't agree at all then he's also failed and if he's a good agent he won't let that happen. The proof will be when Sterling signs his new contract and it's all put to bed. If that doesn't happen soon then we can question if the agent is making mistakes. For now all I see is a guy who has managed to get Liverpool to increase their offer, probably more than once. That means he's doing his job and he's a pretty shrewd negotiator. If it all falls flat then we can starting throwing around accusations but I don't believe that will happen. I think he's just playing the game.

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  21. This is one of the things we desperately need to look at in the summer. Hendo is not the man for free kicks and corners because his technique is all wrong. He wraps his foot around the ball so it comes with so much power, everyone misses it as has been the case many times this season. Coutinho's corners are also not that great as he struggles to beat the first man on many an occasion. Of now, I would take Mario for free kicks and Can for corners.

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  22. I do not think Sterling is invovled in this business as he has not been marginalized from the team because of it. He is still playing games. If Rodgers was unhappy with someone as we have seen in the past, he can leave them to rot. He has not done that with Sterling so it is probably just a negotiation between club and agent.

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  23. Who and why did LIverpool fight tooth and nail to get rid of the fans Golden Boy Raina ?

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  24. At this stage ,what happens after he sign's or not will be the true test ?

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  25. I thought what Reina did wrong was to seek an opportunity to leave the club and go to Barca. That's an entirely different set of affairs. If a player is actively looking for another club then you need to simply sell him. If Sterling is looking for another club then he should sell him.

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  26. The true is Reina did not go to Barca and Liverpool would have benefited this season had he not been forced out

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  27. Just seen that Morata.s agent is the same as Sterlings so not sure if this deel would ever happen?

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  28. Walls from australia6:32 am, February 24, 2015

    Let G Finish off like a legend as he is one of the best ever he is only going to get a bit of good weather for his family he will be back soon to work for LFC with BR to make the club the best

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  29. absolutely..horse for courses
    wouldn't be surprised if Hendo tried to grab Mignloet's gloves off him if we conceded a pen

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  30. shut up you fool!!
    4 league titles, 4 domestic cups, 1 champions league...get real!
    Mario has only just found his feet at Anfield...if you are so stupid that you judge his entire career on this season to date...then you should go away and learn about football before making more stupid posts that simply embarrass you

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  31. Coutinho and Can are much much better than Hendo. Being given the vice-captaincy has gone to his head. It appears he thinks that the vice-captaincy means he is a clone of Gerrards'and MUST do everything Gerrard did. Apparently Gerrard did what he did BEFORE he was made captain. He did not start being good at dead balls after the captaincy-he got it BECAUSE of that and other skills and Hendo doesnt have yet

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  32. Let us not mix issues here, we are on about penalties and free kicks! And the simple truth is Hendo is less than half the player Mario is ON FREE KICKS AND PENALTIES. The rest of their overall player is another different matter

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  33. I don't think that Henderson did tr to take the penalty himself . He seem to accept quite quickly that Balotelli was going to take it but them got involved in a three way debate when Sturridge questioned it,


    That said I do think he is trying too hard to be Captain fantastic but so what it is a good thing to want the job and he just needs to learn how and when to step forward himself and when to allow others better placed to take responsibility.


    Coutinho already takes corners and might be the one to take more free kicks along with Balotelli and possibly Can. At the moment we do not seem to be using our CBs well enough as an attacking force .

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  34. 4 league titles, 4 domestic cups, 1 champions league...get real!
    Mario has only just found his feet at Anfield...if you are so stupid that you judge his entire career on this season to date...then you should go away and learn about football before making more stupid posts that simply embarrass you

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  35. Pjanic takes a mean free kick. From the current crop it should be Coutinho imo. Corners too.

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  36. I think you must have misread the second category ;-)

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  37. thexcuriousxwanderer10:58 am, February 24, 2015

    I do agree that in general agents are hired to get the highest fee possible. But I also hold the view that great agents are also concerned about the reputation of their clients and also their development (in addition to goodwill.) They also care about their players as a person. These are externalities which affect people (fans and players) and I think this is more than just the paycheck.

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  38. Completely agree...Best assessment I've read thus far.

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  39. Hendo is a flop in general but does have a decent corner in him on occasion. Coutinho/Can could be groomed.Mario will simply blast it against the wall at every chance.I'd like to see Markovich try.Stevie is just too much of a legend on the dead ball for anyone to compare really.

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  40. Steven Gerrard is one of the best players to ever wear a LFC shirt and you calling him a liability and a has been is a bloody disgrace.

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  41. This season he has been a liability on and off the pitch...like it or not that's the facts of the matter. A fantastic player in his heyday...but now a has been

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  42. I agree with everything you say here Jaimie, yes Gerrard and Balo should be 1 and 2 with free-kicks and penalties they are noticeably the best. Suggesting Couts, he does take so many corners and almost never beats the first man. Shooting free-kicks next year he must be I with a shout. But 'crossing' free-kicks and corners I don't think he will deliver. It as it stands is a case of Hendo is the best of a mediocre bunch of free-kick takers. He needs a lot if work to justify stepping up to become main taker for sure.

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  43. I don't really... why do you... what? Henderson is the best crosser of the ball in the team by a long way, and strikes the dead ball very cleanly with good shape and pace. Coutinho doesn't hit the ball hard enough to take corners or free kicks. Sturridge might be worth a look though.

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  44. Hi Jamie, the thread seems closed on your Sterling article, is that intentional or a glitch?


    Hendo should not be taking set pieces, he is poor. Balotelli has a history of scoring set pieces so I would give it to him when Gerrard is away although he is not exactly consistent.


    It's important we have free kick specialist in the team...it gives us such a big advantage, like season!


    Talking about Henderson, I still don't see what the fuss is about. I don't think he should be captain to be honest, but then again I don't know who. Skrtel maybe?

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  45. Two words Sid:


    Hakan Çalhanoğlu



    He is a master free kick specialist.

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  46. Heard Mignolet takes a mean free kick...

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  47. But he has been a liability. We play a lot better this season when is not in the side.


    This is something most older players have to go thorough and Gerrard is no different.

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  48. He is a great talent and I wanted us to get him before he signed for Leverkusen. I am worried he might be a bit expensive now and touted by many big clubs. Another Turk to go with Can might not be too bad.

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  49. David Beckham made a whole career out of just taking free kicks and corners, he wasn't that good as an all round player, so a dead ball specialist can make all the difference to any team. Unfortunately when it comes to dead ball situations especially corners we are diabolical, how many times have we ever scored from corners in recent seasons? Gerrard's corners are awful, very rarely do they create an opportunity so I have no problem in Henderson taking them, he certainly can't do much worse. We have lots of talented players in the team, I personally like it when someone different steps up to take a free kick or corner, at least we get to see their talent rather than the captains armband taking precedent.

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  50. I think if we really wanted to we could buy him. Having a set piece expert in the team is really important.


    Still, no one can beat Juninho Pernambucano.

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  51. Would have to be Can. When did he ever do anything badly?

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  52. stop commenting with ur heart and use ur head, before i knew bout the premier league or even watched matches i was a chelsea fan coz it was the only team i knew, then i saw gerrard kicking a ball with such venom and i knew i had found my team. but even i, a person, whose premier league love comes solely from one man can admit, that man is not wat he used to be, im sad he has to leave but not because im gona miss his onfield performances, but because gerrard is liverpool and to me, gerrard is the premier league. theres no disgrace in admitting that one of the best is no longer that

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  53. Grr he using this name now, and put the ugly bird from 'the nurse stealing chips' picture as my profile. . Like anyone's going to believe that is me lol

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  54. Fan insists, Aldo needs to stop making pointless statements about things he obviously has no idea about, even if it means denting his ego....

    Sod off Aldo!

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  55. well said I was taken off topic when all I said was Mario IMO should be number 1 penalty taker above Gerrard ... which was twisted into you hate Gerrard, blah, blah, blah...you are spot on Hendo taking free kicks and penalties over Mario is just simply absurd!! ...no doubt these comments will react a Hendo has more heart than Mario...blah, blah, id10ts!!

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  56. There was this one time he only spent eleven minutes fixing his hair.

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  57. liability my arse and even though he is not the player he was, there is no need for such disrespect, he is certainly no has-been,as for the ex chelsea supporter,dont even dare to lecture me mate.

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  58. 5finger is right though. SG isnt what he once was. And hasn't been for years. imo. But that being said you are also right. SG is one of our best servents. But now is the time for him to leave. When he is fit, give him 20 mins up front. Till the end of the season

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  59. It is just a fact- a stubborn one for that. 2fingers isnt saying SG has ALWAYS been, he IS NOW

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  60. The Bolton goal, the Southampton goal? Weren't those "clean..with good shape and pace". Show me one such goal from Hendo

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  61. Agree ,that its a business transaction hence BR and Raheem saty out of the open discussions and have their say behind doors. I would hazard that if Sterling keeps at it (his agent rather-demanding a bigger paycheck) we would quickly move Jordon in there and will get more goals [Jordon wont be greedy on chances, shooting instead of passing, Jordon wont fall easily losing possession putting us on the back foot as much as Raheem does]. I just think if Raheem thinks he can go to Madrid, let him go, the he will play a few games, start warming the bench and the be sold back to Newcastle, Palace etc (he must ask Owen). A lot of Raheem's silly errors are glossed over here because we know he is still growing. If he doesnt know that he is still growing/developing as a player then let him go elsewhere and he will se how it goes. I agree with Jaimie that sometimes the praise is too much and it gets to his head

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  62. This is an upvote for your grace, tomorrow we'll see about the recommendation...

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  63. I love your honesty and your take on this debate.

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  64. It's a good movie, but not as great s I expected- no upvotes for you... On the other hand, maybe I was too tired...

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  65. I'll admit it's a little slow, but overall I thought it was fantastic for an under-the-radar movie. Oh well, you can't go wrong with the Big Lebowski. In hindsight, perhaps I should have recommended that.

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