26 Mar 2015

Thierry Henry: £20m star 'wasn't good enough' for Liverpool but he's 'unbelievable' now

Over the last two seasons, captain-elect Jordan Henderson is arguably Liverpool's most improved player, and he's worked hard to overcome the doubters and establish himself as an integral part of Brendan Rodgers team. Many have doubted Henderson's ability to make it at the highest level, including Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who now admits he was wrong about the £20m midfielder.

Earlier this week, Henry revealed that he once had 'major doubts' about Hendo's ability to make it at 'the highest level', but the legendary striker has now changed his mind. He told The Telegraph:

"There was a concern he [Henderson] wasn't quite good enough, but the transformation has been unbelievable. He [is] an animal in midfield. He wants to work, deliver, score goals [and] become the player he dreamed of."

It always amuses me how players receive praise for doing what's they're supposed to do. The bare minimum expected of a Liverpool player - or indeed any professional - is to work hard, do their (position-specific) job and in the case of attacking players, score/create goals.

What next: deifying players because they have the 'courage' (one of Rodgers' favourite descriptors) to step-up and take corners and throw-ins? Of course Henderson should 'want' to do his job; that's what he's paid obscenely well for.

As Henry notes, Henderson's 'transformation' is impressive, and he's certainly made his mark at Anfield over the last 18 months. However, he was seriously underwhelming in his first season at the club, so any improvement is going to look significant in comparison.

In my view, Henry overstates the importance of the 'transformation'. Hendo is achieving the level of performance expected of a first-choice midfielder at a top-class club; he is not - as Henry suggests - exceeding those expected levels.

Henderson's current level of performance is what Rodgers/fans should expect of him all the time; he doesn't deserve extra credit - or a massive pay-rise - for basically doing what he should be doing.

Author:



29 comments:

  1. I agree. Hendo has upped his game - that's plain to see. But he's simply gone to a level expected for a team that should contend for a CL spot year in, year out.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Aren't all football players doing what they are supposed to do? Football?!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Jordan Henderson has transformed into a very important player.I doubted whether he would ever reach 20m level.However I didn't write him off as a worthless piece of trash.I could see some potential.
    That never stop me from sticking the boot in.Nobody should escape criticism for being below average.I must've likened some of his performances to a headless chicken.Which was true.
    Henderson worked hard in training.He's turned himself into a key player for club and country.And is on the verge of taking over from Steven Gerrard as Liverpool captain.
    Players who stink the joint out in their first season and seem destined for the garbage truck.Should look how Hendo turned it around.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Everyone is just doing what they are paid to do. If they have been doing their job to a satisfactory standard for a number of years it may be acceptable to give a slight nod of the head in their general direction,

    ReplyDelete
  5. So basically you know football better than Henry now :P

    ReplyDelete
  6. On the one hand you have a top ex-player and much sought after football commentator and on the other hand you have ......Henry! ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  7. His courage should not be underestimated either. I once took an over enthusiastic throw in and slipped a disc in my back.


    I am now much more appreciative of our brave boys who put their bodies and lives on the line to take throw ins, corners and penalties. (well perhaps not the penalties).

    ReplyDelete
  8. Sounds very painful.Let me guess... Pensioners Care Home five a side football tournament.
    Everyone must've been in A&E at full time:)

    ReplyDelete
  9. That kind of over nodding will come back to haunt us. It is in Hendo. The bloody mercenary.

    ReplyDelete
  10. No not all needed to go to A&E some were taken directly to the mortuary

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm interested if people think he should be the new captain?? I'd personally go for Sakho!

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think Henderson has it already barring a knife attack on BR or something similar.


    I don't think BR is yet completely sure about Sakho.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'd also go for Sakho, assuming his English is better. Lucas would have been my main choice, but sadly he's been injured a little too often to nail down a place.

    ReplyDelete
  14. In Hendo's first season he did the bare minimum - worked hard, did his job positionally and so forth but it was nowhere near enough. He's worked really hard and against all odds is now at the front of the queue to succeed Gerrard as captain. Is that not worthy of praise? I think it is. When you think of all the vitriol aimed at him in his first couple of seasons, surely that has to be countered with some praise when a player completes a remarkable turnaround.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I just was a little put off by how Henderson disappeared when we needed leadership and ideas against the scum. Sakho, on the other hand, stepped up to the plate.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Funny, as if reaching that level isn't an acheivement in itself compared to the numbers that try and fail.... Hendo has made huge strides forward, and thats the best you have for him... If he hadn't improved, I bet you would have been more descriptive in your criticism...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Reading down some of the comments, I laugh to myself knowing full well he would have been up for a lynching if he hadn't proved himself.... He could be on the Poulsen list, or we could have sold him and brought in another fraud... Atleast acknowledge that he's done well in turning his LFC career round....

    ReplyDelete
  18. You do realize that 'what they are supposed to do' ain't that easy?

    ReplyDelete
  19. Did not see that coming, good one!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Don't worry, he didn't mean that..

    ReplyDelete
  21. Yeah, Sakho. Captained PSG a couple of times at 17(!!!). Took on regular captaincy there at 20.

    Shows fire and determination in his play. (But still looks awkward as hell sometimes lol)



    Skrtel is the other I'd go for.


    Lucas, BR has a lot of trust in. Remember when he was first injured after BR arrived, BR had him doing scouting and creating briefs on future opponents. A manager has to respect and trust a player a lot for that. But I just don't think Lucas is reliable enough physically. And then it takes him a while to warm back up to match speed after injury (and unfortunately that speed is 3rd gear). Sad to say, if the summer goes well I'd expect Lucas to be 2nd/3rd choice...or even gone.

    ReplyDelete
  22. There is context Stan. Don't worry about it.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Hendo is doing a better job than any other midfielders we have. Regardless of what level he is at, he is our best midfielder this season.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Share so I don't get confused again and give you un warranted grief...

    ReplyDelete
  25. Don't worry most of what I say warrants at least some grief.

    ReplyDelete
  26. The importance of Henderson to the team was clear to see last season. As soon as he was sent off v arsenal the title slipped away.

    This season he seems to have improved further still despite the collective struggling more.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Put Hendo in a good team and he makes them an even better team, due to his drive and work rate of 2 players. However, put him in a poor team and they remain poor. Put Gerrard in good team and they remain a good team, but put him in a poor team and he will make them good! I suppose my point is that the calibre of player BR brings in during the summer will dictate the effect Hendo will have as a captain.

    ReplyDelete
  28. Hmm. You've probably nailed it.

    ReplyDelete