22 Dec 2013

'I was wrong' - Reds hero eats humble pie & hails 'transformed' £20m LFC star.

Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson is arguably the club's most improved player over the last 18 months, and he continues to surprise many people with his excellent performances, including Anfield legend Ian St. John, who has been a regular critic of the £20m man.

In October, St. John criticised Henderson for failing to have a consistent impact on the team, and urged him to 'try and influence the game more'.

Well, Hendo has answered his critics in spades this season, and St. John is happy to eat humble pie. In his column for 5-Times this week, he enthused:

"I can’t believe how much Jordan Henderson has improved. I felt the club was too big for him when he signed and he struggled to embrace what it really meant to be a Liverpool player. He wasn’t making an impact and I was thinking: ‘You need to go back to Sunderland and play at that level.’ I was wrong. His passing has been transformed, he is running behind defenders and took on the extra weight of Steven Gerrard’s absence"

There's no hiding the fact that Henderson has really come into his own without Steven Gerrard in the team. He seems to thrive on the responsibility, and with more of the ball in his favoured playmaker position, Hendo is free to express himself without the restriction of Gerrard alongside him. He is, quite simply, liberated, and it is paying dividends for Liverpool.

Credit must also go to Kenny Dalglish, who received intense criticism for spending £20m on Henderson. Whether he's worth the fee continues to be questionable, but unlike some of his other signings, Dalglish clearly picked a winner with Hendo.

I may have been wrong about Suarez's new deal (!), but I've never been on the anti-Henderson bandwagon. The only (valid) criticism I've ever had of him - and continue to have - is that his end product is not good enough. With two goals and five assists now this season, that appears to be changing, but Hendo needs to continue to score/create goals consistently if he's to maintain his improvement.

Two goals in nineteen games is simply not good enough for an attack-minded midfielder who plays practically every game for the club. Henderson's great form at the moment doesn't change the fact that he's struggled to score/create goals consistently for Liverpool, and in that regard, my criticism is justified, as it will be in the future if he goes through another creative drought.

What happens, however, when Gerrard returns? Given his status at Anfield, it is a foregone conclusion that he'll walk straight back into the side, irrespective of how the team is performing. Henderson is (arguably) more effective than Gerrard this season, but that probably won't cut any ice with Rodgers, who maintains that the Reds 'are a better team with the captain in it'.

Is that really true? In my view, The team is clearly more effective without Gerrard at the moment, and if Liverpool are flying high in the league when he returns, it will be a delicate balancing act for Rodgers when it comes to reintegrating him into the team.

Henderson is (or could be) the future; Gerrard is in the twilight of his career, and hasn't scored from open play in over ten months. It's hard to contemplate, but the transition needs to start sooner rather than later...



  1. A can of worms but I'm veering towards your view.Just.

  2. You may (!) have been wrong about the new Suarez deal? ;)

  3. Maybe you should eat some humble pie after your article a couple of weeks ago. Guess Rodgers "man-love" paying off now.

  4. Signing a new deal doesn't mean much. It will inevitably have escape clauses, and a higher buyout. IMO, it's just a deal that ensures LFC get big bucks if he leaves, so it doesn't really change anything.

  5. With all respect to Henderson, we have only beat a very poor spurs side, not taking anything away from the attitude and performance of the lads, and a struggling Cardiff side who are poor away from home, the big tests for Henderson will come later this week and if he performs to that standard in them games then I will believe he can be in a position to challenge gerrard's position , but hey am all behind the team no matter who plays as long as we keep these positive performances going. Good luck reds for the remainder of the year.

  6. without a doubt he will. last season Henderson performed excellently against Arsenal & City in a row. hes up for any challenge which is what I like about him and its clear that our midfield is much more organised with stevie. hes much too slow to play in the premier league unless he competes with Lucas for a defensive midfielder role. our style of play suits Mobile midfielders. hendo may not be better than stevie in terms of quality but hes proving more effective as he can run. a midfielders main job

  7. Get a grip. Rodgers' man-love for Henderson (i.e. fawning over him in every press conference) continues to be cloying. Plus, he has to start scoring/creating regularly, which he hasn't since arriving at Anfield. A small purple patch over the last few weeks does not define a player.

  8. I think you meant "5 assists and 2 goals". In your second paragraph you said "... St. John criticized Henderson for not failing to have ...", it should be "...criticized for failing..." or "... criticized for not having ...", nice article but I believe you're right, Gerrard is ageing and the best way to encourage Hendo is to keep as our midfield dynamo. Cheers

  9. Urgh. You're right. Good spot, thanks.

  10. How much of the credit goes to Rodgers in your opinion? I think that the manager is doing a brilliant job and seems to have built immense team-spirit amongst the squad... Hendo's improvement also could be down to him really buying in to Rodgers' philosophy

  11. I think it's just a case of right guys i do like the club and I will stay as long as I can achieve my ambitions with you (i.e top 4 and trophies) if not though I still want to leave but I will sign this new deal with a high buyout so you get the most you can for me in the instance wed don't achieve top 4.

    I think basically the new contract is a good will gesture for both parties. Saurez will feel more comfortable and liverpool know if they do lose him it won't be for £40,000,001 and to arsenal. :D

  12. To all Gerrard lovers and I'm one of them, I sincerely hope that Rodgers shows consistency and picks on form. If Hendo, Allen and Lucas continue to play well and we continue to get results, Rodgers should do the same as he's done to Agger.
    So, what I'm saying is, that Gerrard has to earn his place back in the game, just as Rodgers is telling Agger to do.
    Funny thing is, I believe that Rodgers will do this. Only the pressure of a more congested fixture list will give Gerrard his chance again.

  13. The team have perfomed brilliantly recently but we have a very obvious weakness in just the place city have a very obvious strength. in the air fron corners and free kicks mingolet is not yet convincing and the defence dont have a clue seemingly never winning a header. lets hop peligrinni dosnt play the guy who is good in the air - we must play 3 accross the back and hope for the best or play them off the park. if we are in the top mix after the chelsea game then it is in our hands with the good run in from then on.

  14. I've never thought Henderson was good enough for LFC,but i have to admit the games he has played without Gerrard in the team have been really good.But he has a long way to go before he convinces fans he is good enough.And he has to score goals,his shooting for goal is woeful.

  15. Henderson proved himself to Rodgers and eventually earned praise and recognition for improvement. It's clear that this "man love" is different to what Rodgers once showed Joe Allen and what he continues to show Gerrard.

    Regarding Gerrard and the team, to his credit Rodgers has drew the line with Reina and has at any stage during his tenure dropped Enrique, Agger, Skrtel, Lucas, Henderson and Allen. Gerrard would just be the final hurdle. Gerrard's return will add much needed depth to our midfield department but Henderson now has a much more advanced role and it's Joe Allen who has played that deeper Gerrard role and to his credit he is getting amongst it and getting into the box. I would like to see Gerrard introduced off the bench if needed when he eventually returns.

  16. Great team spirit at the moment , but we need to keep are feet on the ground , in just 7 days we could be out the top 4 but also we could be 6 points better off at the top, and beat the top 2 teams in the league very big week for us but the lads will be full of confidence .

  17. My point was are people happy enough to stick it out with him and show him some loyalty for his improvement or do we look at a more cultured player with end product as his replacement. Cause at present for all Hendersons running ability, 'Je Ne Se Qua' (x-factor in the final third) is still lacking. I personally he's okay..but may need replacing later as we improve other areas first.

  18. Good points, but with respect, I don't take contrary opinion just to generate discussion. This is genuinely how I think, and my views just happen to be different to most. Deliberately taking the opposite view is false, and people would see through that insincerity very quickly. I'm sincere and passionate about my opinions (no matter how wrong people perceive them to be!), and I believe visitors can see that.

  19. Agree with you about Gerrard being used from the bench, but will he be happy to do that?

  20. I can name at least8 goals that Suarez made from nothing there was a few in the Norwich game alone and a lot of the other goals he has scored most in the league would not try or score headers from edge of the box etc even though the team has helped a very lot suarezs brilliance has stood out so much that opposing fans think now that he is the best player in the world at the moment.

  21. It's not about strategically using Gerrard off the bench it's about who deserves to play. He is our talisman but as you mention the transition has to start sometime. If Gerrard is good enough then surely he will force his way back into the team but he should not be granted a free pass into the 11.

    Gerrard is integral to the squad and club but has not been integral in winning games for a while.

  22. If je ne se Qua doesn't cover backheel set ups I don't know what does. I agree he has not shown enough over his time at Liverpool but perhaps the last few matches is the beginning of a coming of age .Let;s hope

  23. Was he not £16m????, regardless he has been getting better by the week!!

  24. Funk Doc its because we still do not dictate or dominate games against the big sides like we used with Alonso and Mascherano in the centre of the park we could dominate at home and away against any team in world and we used to.

    I think Fernando(26) Of Porto or M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan , are more similar moulds than Mascherano than Lucas. M'Vila(23) is younger, would be my preference but both are more mobile, have size about them, cover ground well and get stuck in all the time.

    Cabaye(27) dictates play from centre of park, creates chances and scores goals as he is a box to box midfielder. Cabaye scores against small and big teams at Home and away, he is not cautious like Allen and Henderson. And normally in front of goal he buries it.

    Man United spent 27M on Fellani, Man City spent 30M on Fernandinho, Monaco spent 30M on Moutinho , Rodgers could bring Cabaye(27) to Anfield for 17-20m and that is a bargain

    Cabaye(27) is one of those players who if we got a good chance in front of goal in Champions league game, Fa Cup game, Premier league game against Big club Cabaye(27) would not be fazzed and would probably bury it. Whereas Allen(24) and Henderson(23) have both missed good chances in big games against good sides when we needed it. ( Henderson Vs Arsenal, Allen Vs Everton) Cabaye brings creativity, goals to centre of park when he is on ball.

    But without it he like Alonso used to gets stuck in and physical, so these two key players. Would be the 2014 Alonso and Mascherano in centre of park

    And if Rodgers could / can bring in Two class, creative, goalscoring wingers to club on each side/ wing: Then we would be a match for any team in Premiership and Europe:

    These top goalscoring wingers individually cost 25M plus easily:

    Bale Of Real Madrid, Di Maria Of Real Madrid, El Shaarwaay Of AC Milan, Messi Of Barcelona,Neymar Of Barcelona, Pedro of Barcelona, Reus Of B Dortmund, Ribery Of Bayern Munich, Robben Of Bayern Munich, Rodriguez Of Monaco, Ronaldo Of Real Madrid, Sanchez Of Barcelona and Turan of A Madrid.

    Rodgers can bring in these two class, creative, goalscoring wingers to club who would cause any full back in world football problems 1 vs 1 for combined total of 30M

    RW / RWF: M Salah(21) Of Basel for 10-14M
    LW/ LWF : B Arfa(26) Of Newcastle for 12-16M

    And lastly D Sturridge(24) and L Suarez(26) need some class, quality competition and cover and L Remy(26) Of QPR for 6-10M brings goals to side and class , quality competition also

  25. Agree with the Gerrard part, we seem to be playing as a team now. Pressing in packs and good rotations, unfortunately Gerrard doesn't have this anymore. However, over the season we will need Gerrard and he still has a huge role to play in the identity of the club.

  26. You were calling for Henderson to be dropped. Rodgers has played a huge role in improving Henderson as a player and if you perceive that as "man-love" you are deluded. It's clear Henderson is more confident now so the fawning must have worked.

  27. Run Hendo run and now score...!Great to see Hendo do well. He has surprised many this season......Hendo the new Kuyt.... He and Sterling needed these 2 games to transform their confidence and God willing do extremely well instead of just depending on Suarez going into the Xmas boxing day battle...Just need Coutinho to come to the front and not waste his final finishes.

  28. 1: DM: M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan for 10-14M to compete with Lucas But Fernando(26) Of Porto could be second option also

    If we can get Fernando at 3-6M, I would pull the trigger. M'Vila would be wonderful, but the cost would be too much at this point.

    2: CM: Y Cabaye(27) Of Newcastle for 16-20M to compete with Henderson

    Cabaye is not going to Liverpool at that amount of money.

    3: RW / RWF: M Salah(21) Of Basel for 10-14M to compete with Sterling

    Salah would be a fantastic buy. Is he ready for the premier league or will he be another Assaidi(sic)?

    4: LW / LWF: D Capel(25) Of Sporting Clube De Portugal /Lisbon or B Arfa(26) Of Newcastle for 5-14M to compete with Ibe, so we can send average/mediocre V Moses(22) back to Chelsea

    Capel doesn't look fleet of foot. For the money, I would rather have Arfa than Cabaye. Both players would definitely plug the gap before Ibe is ready for the EPL.

    5: FD: L Remy(26) Of QPR( on loan at Newcastle) for 6-10m to compete with Sturridge to play alongside Suarez.

    Remy is similar to Sturridge. It would make sense to purchase if we make champions league.

  29. Hendo will be our next Gerrard and probably stay here until the end of his career

  30. Did we pay £16 mill or £20. Does any one actually know?

  31. im Gerrards biggest fan but but im sick of his Hollywood balls and have been for several seasons...the midfield looks a better unit without him

  32. Also Jamie, when are you going to make a "Liverpool Kop" App. I'm sure most on here would want it.

  33. His two assists yesterday were absolutely brilliant and his throughball to Suarez for Sterling's goal was also very impressive. The man is making some wonderful plays all over the pitch and is hitting his stride at the perfect time for us with the fixtures we have coming up.

  34. Finally, an article that points out the elephant in the room. What comes first, the man or the club? As SAF pointed out, it is better to move a player early, than too late. Is the club helping Gerrard prepare for the World Cup or trying to win Premier League title and Champions League for 20014/15? Knowing Gerrard's character, I would think the latter is more important. We will know more after the next 3 fixtures. I still see Gerrard having an important role with the team, but only in sport starts and from the bench.

  35. Well don't feel too bad about it Ian. You weren't alone in that summation. To be honest it had nothing to do with the 20M. Hendo earned the cold shoulder through his play up until Gerrard's injury. He has improved mightily and who's to say it wasn't because of the constant Greek chorus highlighting his energizer bunny running, to no discernible effect, that motivated him to work harder on controlling his speed. Perhaps unfairly there will always be a sizable contingent that will wait for the 'I told you so' screw-up to re-ignite the chorus again. Credit where credit is due though...Hendo is playing exceptionally well right now. However, his pass reception still leaves much to be desired for one playing at such a high level. A pass to him invariably goes plonging away for 5-6 feet because his touch is so rough...makes him look like he plays in the MLS. Still I wish him continued improvement because I can't really see Liverpool taking the pitch without him as he has become that valuable.

  36. Suarez is gonna make goals out nothing he is that special. But we had 27 shots on Cardiff goal.....27, not all on target but the point is, Its not like we are getting outplayed and then Suarez pulls a rabbit out of his hat and we score. As was the case with Spurs and Bale. We batter teams over and over, and us winning while Suarez was out proves that. Every team is better with their star player but we have proven we can win without him. They said we would lose when Suarez was out, we kept winning, They said the same Sturridge got injured, we step up another notch and have gone up another notch since Gerrard has been injured as well. Not to mention we have been without Enrique for a while as well. Goals are not the only thing that makes a difference to a team. Suarez is on another planet now but just look at Barca without Messi and you see a very beatable side. United went through the same thing without Ronaldo, they have won PL titles but nothing of the continental force they were with him . The thing that impresses me about this Liverpool team is that even when sides are on top of us for a period, we are always looking likely to score when we get it. That is very impressive. Its almost as dangerous to attack us as it is to be attack us.

  37. If we go back to the glory years lfc would sign someone and then play him in the reserves for 18 months or so - and only then would he be given a chance. KK had a decent team whilst he was caretaker manager - and achieved great results and led the team back up to 6th i think. However the very players that took him so high were discarded as soon as he became permanent. the likes of kuyt, maxi, miereles and even bellamy to a certain extent were either used sparingly or discarded altogether. When you spend 20 million on a kid then the media and fans expect 20 million value and we didnt see that, and hendo had no where to hide because carol failed and so did downing.

    Hendo does lack the final touch i.e the scoring side but so does coutinho whose long distance shooting is woeful! but other aspects of his game cover that.Give it another 18 months hendo will be one of the best midfielders in the EPL - simply because he has had to go through a lot of crap and put in a lot of hard work to get there. The constant glare on his performances and his improvement is testament to his character.

    In all of this we musnt forget BR either who is extracting these performances. This is where there is a similarity with Fergie who too wasnt afraid to drop players even if he broke the bank for them. KK the second time round mollycoddled the likes of carol and downing to the extent he paid with his job.

  38. I agree that we have to press relentlessly to keep and get the ball back. When we do it every opposition team is on their heels and we take all the initiative. When we don't...we wait for the game to come to us and invariably we look terrible. I love SG, but if we're going to keep winning, we have to keep hustling more...and if he can't keep up, well.... I am betting he will get back in the line-up and improve his game speed also, because he is a class player/man. If he can't keep up, he'll be the first to admit it. If he can only last 45-60 minutes, well 45-60 minutes of Gerrard running on all cylinders with his vision, accuracy and experience is worth a ton to me.

  39. Hmmmm...most of those hollywood balls are right on target and Hendo has been honing that talent to great effect here lately.

  40. If he keeps this form til the end of the season and continues to show some guile in the top half of the field. PASS ME A SPOON, I'll pull a chair up for humble pie. But at present this just seems like a purple patch. I wouldn't mind keeping him if he maintains this type of form, cause he'll be a mix a grafter and a luxury player.

  41. If you took price out the equation do you think he is the best player for the attacking midfielder position in the long run? Its not really paramount to change him straight away, as other areas need addressing first. But if he continues to improve and stick fingers up to his critics, and prove its not just a purple patch, we may not need to upgrade as we progress.

  42. I've been looking to Gerrard being out of the team fir a while now. Brendan has always wanted to implement his 'death by football' philosophy at the club, and as good as Gerrard is with his passing range, he just doesn't meet the criteria necessary to successfully adopt the philosophy. He loves a 40 yarder over the top, and while there are times when this is appropriate, it does not contribute to a possession based style of play. He also lacks the athleticism and energy needed for a high tempo pressing game and a fluid style of play.

    I love him to pieces, he's surely in the top two all time Liverpool legends, but maybe its time we think about reducing his role as United eventually had to with Scholes and Giggs, he still has a vital role to play- and it could potentially lengthen his career to boot.

    If this midfield trio can face up to the two tough games ahead, I don't see why Gerrard should be installed ahead of any of them at the present.

    Also, as a foot note, how comfortable has Suarez looked with the responsibility of captain?! He's simply thriving at the minute!

  43. Shiting myself that Yaya will show Joe Allen and bully him off the park... To counter this we could Put Kolo in the holding role, this way he might show some mercy to his older brother. Hopefully he won't show his brother up as much..wishful thinking

  44. I think Saurez is just as responsible for Hendo as Roger's. Saurez brought out a new found confidence in him. Also Saurez's non stop movement constantly giving him options.
    Remember when Saurez first came, he was a bit head down, I guess he didn't trust our midfield. Now Saurez trusts the midfield a lot more, long may it continue!
    I really hope Saurez stays, you think CL qualification will be enough!

  45. Should have been a ? Not !

  46. When we drew 2-2 with them at Anfield last year in the game Yaya Toure called 'The toughest' since he moved to England he didn't bully Allen off the field, if anything it was probably one of his finest LFC performances... Here's to a repeat showing.

    That said.. Every team's been bullied off the park at the Etihad this term, so I'm not going to hold my breath.

  47. Yokohama Liverpool Fan4:38 pm, December 22, 2013

    I am just going to list the number of players we have been linked with although a few maybe outdated:

    Martin Montoya (Barca) RB

    Hatem Ben Arfa (New Castle)
    Johan Cabaye (New Castle)
    Michu (Swansea)
    Mohamed Diame (West Ham)
    Will Hughes (Derby County)
    Xherdan Shaqiri (Bayern M.)
    Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim)
    Firminho (Hoffenheim)
    Lars Bender (Bayer Levurkusen)
    Julian Draxler (Schalke)
    Hakan Calhanoglu (Hamburg)
    Granit Xhaka (Borussia Monchengladbach)
    Claudio Marchisio (Juventus)
    Mohamed Salah (Basel)
    Andriy Yarmolenko (D.Kiev)
    Yevhen Konoplyanka (Dnipro)
    Yan M'Villa (Rubin Kazan)
    Alex Witsel (Zenit St.Petersburg)
    Jorginho (Verona)
    Javier Pastore (PSG)
    Lucas Moura (PSG)
    Andre Ayew (Marseilles)
    Nemanja Matic (Benfica)
    Ivan Rakitic (Seville)
    Xavi Alonso (Real Madrid)
    Arda Turan (Atletico Ma
    Koke (Atletico Madrid)
    Chrisian Tello (Barcelona)
    Everton Ribeiro (Corinthians)

    Dimitar Berbatov (Fulham)
    Loic Remy (QPR)
    Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn)
    Danny Ings (Burnley)
    Alvaro Morata (Real Madrid)
    Luis Muriel (Udinese)
    Stephan El Shaarawy (AC Milan)
    Leandro Damio (Santos)
    Lacina Traore (Anzhi)

    I have omitted Pedro because he is unlikely yo leave Barca and Mitrilogou as he.has signed a new contract with Olympiakos which has raised his buyout clause.

    Johnson might need some competition down the right so hopefully Montoya will be available at some point. I'm happy with Flanaghan with Enrique and Kelly as backup. Think Cisse will be off.

    For backup striker, Remy is on loan at New C so not so sure he will be available in Jan. A punt at an experienced striker who is willing to play for a bigger club (Berbatov) or a young prolific Championship striker like Rhodes will be good but will a Club seeking promotion sell mid season?? Berbatov might be the most likely at this stage although his work rate is not all that high. He will make up for thqt with his touch

  48. Yokohama Liverpool Fan5:09 pm, December 22, 2013

    For MF I think Fernando will be a great under the radar signing and could be cheaper than M'Villa (where we have Sakho to help us negotiate).

    I would love it if we can get Firminho, another underrated MF to add to our creativity and end product in the final third. It seems Rakitic has had a 40m price tag slapped on him. Can't see us forking out 30+m on one player ala Rakitic, Pastore or Mata (which let's face it Chelseavwill NOT sell to a top 4 rival).

    If the Salah rumour is true we have a pacey winger which could be good but I am on the fence with this one. There have been too many false dawns with our winger purchases: Vladmir Smicer, Jermaine Pennant, Harry Kewell, Ryan Babel, Mark Gonzalez, Assaidi just to name a few.

    We've been crying out for a Robben, Hazard type winger with end product for years!!
    Whether Salah can reach half the potential of the afformentioned players then the quoted price maybe a bargain but something tells me Ben Arfa or Yarmolenko might be less risky albeit pricier.

    The young Germans our class as well. Maybe in the summer long term box to box MF to replace Gerrard long term can be chased in the summer. Volland and Bender will be astute purchases. Texeira and Suso maybe more suited in the Coutinho role. Then there is also Rossiter. Give youth a chance or purchase ready made repacements??

    So, will FSG sanction money for a 27 year old in Cabaye? Will New Castle sell to us while they are chasing a European spot??

    Unfortunately I have more questions thsn answers but I'm sure the Board and Rodgers will have mappef out a short and long term strategy which we can only speculate...

  49. I agree with everything you say especially thinking ahead. I know it's optimistic to think CL now, but these are the sort of players who will move us forward. Also with respect to our midfield, I've been crying out for an athletic midfielder for years, the majority of my prev posts have been abt this very issue so it's good to know you feel the same!

  50. You forgot Adrian, Vietto, Mendez, Itrube and the man city left out injured not getting games.

  51. Ever since Gerrard was starting out tactical nouse was never his strongest point & we all know he over does it! But the main issue is that his energy levels have dropped meaning the back 4 aren't protected enough!

  52. We will need him in the CL? Why are you doing it to yourself? Do you know right now we are only a point above Everton, 8 above United, and just six above Tottenham? two games from now it can look way different.
    Few moments ago everyone said ya its Arsenal's season.

    I predict it will be a huge fight to earn CL spot.

  53. Spot on,I believe on of Suaez' legacies will be his development oh Henderson, always first to congratulate him,maybe R.Madrid will put in a bid for him to be Luis' supply-line.

  54. Its the pace and tempo seem to slow down nowadays with SG,And an extra pass that may not have been required.

  55. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:17 pm, December 22, 2013

    The main point of the deal is that LFC will actually get his market rate (ie. a LOT more than £40M +£1) and he won't go to another English club, which would be galling in the extreme.
    IF Barca, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich come in for him in the summer then fair enough, he will go will all our blessings and thanks for working his arse off for us for the last 3 years.

  56. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:19 pm, December 22, 2013

    Ronnie Whelan didn't score or create every week, yet he was an intrinsic part of our team for years.
    Maybe you could shake off your stats-driven obsession and see the work he does off the ball for his team mates??

  57. AndWithSuchSimplicity6:24 pm, December 22, 2013

    And the year before at Anfield Lucas left Yaya lying face down in the turf smelling his heels.
    We can score there. We just need to show some heart and get a bit of luck.

  58. Whelan scored/assisted a hell of a lot more than Henderson in his first 3-5 years at the club, so your comparison is inaccurate. Besides, this is not the 80s; expectations are different; football is different. Until now, LFC have heavily relied upon Suarez and Sturridge for goals. Take those away, and the combined total of Henderson, Allen, Aspas, Sterling et al is nowhere near good enough. Work 'off the ball' doesn't win trophies; scoring goals wins trophies, and Henderson has to do that more consistently.

  59. I think Hendo was a bit in awe with players like Saurez & Stevie G. The downside is that Stevie G never could bring the best out of others, years ago, it would be him scoring shed loads & the others just watching. Saurez on the other hand has such an innocent love for football & yes I've noted th celebrating together! No doubt Real will bid for Saurez, let the bidding start at £80mill! I hope CL is enough:)

  60. As much as it's old-fashioned and rather RoybKeane-esque, I would love to see the midfielders pumped and say see Lucas getting a big tackle in early on Yaya and show some aggression and desire early on in the match. Keane was never scared of a battle with Viera, despite him being an absolute brute in the centre of the park.. I'd love to see one of the lads step up to the plate in this manner.

    Roy Keane's ferocity was one in a million though... Angry, angry little man hahahaha!

  61. I see what you mean and your are right in most things but work off the ball does win trophies as it is very important to the game. Henderson despite not scoring and assisting enough will make runs that drag defenders that leaves space. That is very important as it gives the likes of Suarez or Sturridge that little but of space to conduct their magic. It is very necessary and too easily overlooked by so many people.

  62. I would love this. Just love it. Beast of a player.

  63. IMO if he left for Real, I wouldn't be surprised if he went into decline or the following reasons :
    He will never get the love /tolerance we give him here.
    He won't be the heart of the team or the focus of attack-in house politics will put an end to that.
    Potential ego clashes with CR7 etc et
    2nd & 3rd reasons increase his risk of being peripheral esp if he misbehaves.

    I've also observed that in interviews when Saurez is sled abt the long term contract he looks slightly uncomfortable almost shifty so I'm thinking he's going! I wouldn't be surprised if we note a Torres effect-not being the player he used to be, I'll admit part if me wld like to see him fail if he left!

  64. One of the Swansea players said that Rogers makes his players better. I think we are seeing that in Henderson's case

  65. You have seen this guy on fifa are u on glue!

  66. Navas against Flano is potential quicksand,Silva slicing through Johnson another,this is where Allen,Lucas and Hendo need to do a lot of back tracking.Coutinho needs to be told not not turn away when beaten in a tackle or 50/50 ball but dig in again.No use shaking your head in disbelief at the Etihad,but adapt the mindset 'If Cardiff can do them,so can we'.

  67. He is a fighter in midfield and he also knows how to give clean tackles.

  68. I wouldn't have henderson down as an attacking midfielder at all, quite often he has had to share duties in the midfield that don't play to his strengths at all, though I do agree he is relishing the amount of responsibility in Gerrards abscence and this season, and especially the past few games he has really improved. Joe Allen needs to follow suit, but credit is due in the way he has stepped up in the last four games. As a long term reader, I must say you need to eat your fair share of humble pie too! ;)

  69. So happy for Hendo!!! You'll never walk alone boy!!!

  70. The problem Rodgers has is that Gerrard trains at such an incredibly high level it's hard to leave him out. When your team captain comes out at Melwood and, even at the ripe old age of 33, makes everyone else look like they're still doing warm-ups, can you really not play him? Rodgers job is to put the best team on the pitch, not to ensure Jordan Henderson gets his best opportunity to play well. Sometimes those two goals work together but then at other times Henderson is asked to do donkey work and sacrifice himself so that others can take the plaudits. Rodgers needs to work out for himself if these last two games would have been as dominant with Stevie G in the side and that's a really tough question to answer. It's easy when your a fan and you can just make a gut instinct call, a 50/50 guess when if you're wrong no one really cares. If Rodgers gets it wrong he has to answer to everyone.

  71. That's been my thought all season. Gerrard should be used as Fergie used Scholes and Giggs. That has to be the role for him going forward. As for Hendo his form of late shows why he was touted as a future England captain. I would say he has booked his ticket to Brazil now and just needs to maintain this kind of form to ensure that. I always thought he had it in him.

  72. IMO Hendo always had the ability his problem has been confidence. We all know there have been many skilled players who didn't make it because of their mental state. It seems Hendo has finally broken through that mental barrier and will go on to realise his full potential. I don't believe that when Gerrard comes back he will revert. I can see him being a long and faithful servant to LFC. Knockers of Hendo need to see the writing on the wall he has finally come of age.

  73. Me too. I love Gerrard but if we continue to put out performances like this, no one deserves to lose his place to him. Except Sakho...

  74. I agree with your point but not so much with the timing. His salary has gone up a great deal and that doesn't make sense from the club's point of view if you know he's leaving in the summer. On the other hand it could be a perfect example from FSG to the other players that if you do perform, they will reward you and as some sort of a loyalty bonus to Suarez.

  75. You hit the nail on the head... about Suarez trusting the midfield more and more. There were several moments in the Cardiff match when he got the ball in the box but instead of turning and taking a shot himself, he simply played a one-two or a one touch pass to his one of his team mates.

  76. Oh god Jaimie! I find this to be the most illogical argument of all that "take Suarez and Sturridge's goals away..." the team is set up to create chances for the striker(s) and that is exactly what they are doing... along the lines of your argument, you could say the same about mignolet... without his saves we would be in trouble... the defending is unacceptable blah blah blah... The fact is, the whole team is doing its job well which is why we are in a good position... Man city's midfield is scoring a lot of goals wouldnt you say? they are below us in the table...

  77. Gerrard has 3 goals and 7 assists in the PL this season. So he is more effective than Henderson. Plus he is the captain, so of course he will come straight back in to the team.
    I have no doubt that Henderson would have been more productive if he had been playing the Gerrard role all along. Lets not forget he has featured in many positions this season, some of which it is a lot harder to score/create from.
    But so far, I'm really impressed with how Henderson has stepped up. That is exactly what you want from a player. He saw the opportunity and has taken it. He is a humble player, and I don't think he will have any problem handing that position back to Gerrard when he is fit. Hendo can still play with Gerrard just fine.

    Henderson played a part in all 3 goals against Cardiff, which is great news.

  78. Sakho is excellent, and will be immense for LFC over the coming years IMO.
    Flanagan was shown up against Cardiff, and GJ was our worst player after Flanagan,

  79. Again at fault for the goal and gets outmuscled in the box again the very next corner that comes in. If it wasn't four our strikers repairing the goals we concede because of him, we'd be six points worse off.

  80. Heatster,

    Rodgers could bring M'Vila(23) Of Rubin Kazan for 10-14M. that is bargain considering he is 3 years younger than Fernando and Lucas who are both 26. And he is a french international

    Arsene wenger offered 10M for Cabaye(27) and had the players head turned, if Rodgers offers 17-20M he can and will land Cabaye.

    What Rodgers should do is offer Newcastle 30-33M for B Arfa(26) and Y Cabaye(27) and we would get them both.

    Salah(21) has played awesome against Chelsea and Tottenham every time he has had to play them, he has electric pace and has skill and tricks and is young, so he has the potential to be world class star over next few years at Anfield.

    Remy(26) is similar to Sturridge(24) and should compete with him, Sturridge is currently out injured until end of January. So Remy(26) Of QPR for 6-10 Bargain is a no brainer