As Liverpool were close to experiencing a bitter case of déjà vu, an unlikely hero rose up to save them against Southampton.
While Mohamed Salah’s stunningly cool finish claimed most of the accolades, it was captain Jordan Henderson’s introduction which helped the Reds get out their predictable shell. Who’d have thought that a couple of years ago? Jordan Henderson coming on to change a game.
Indeed, it was Henderson and not James Milner who made the bigger impact and effectively helped them sail through a win. Not only did the skipper play the ball forward for Salah to score the winner, he embodied Jurgen Klopp’s philosophy by pegging his team forward to score another one.
When the Reds could’ve put men back to see out their result, Henderson urged his side to keep playing the Klopp’s heavy-metal style. In such resulted in a sweet goal, his first of the campaign.
It couldn’t have come at a better time.
He might not be as electric as Liverpool’s front-three, not as assertive as Virgil Van Dijk or as classy as some other midfielders, yet Henderson understands what it takes to succeed, protecting his side from danger and often using his surprising creativity to good use. Despite often being under the hammer it seems in terms of fan opinion, he’s risen up multiple times to inspire his side this season.
With a tackling success of 89%, having made 136 ball recoveries and averaging 52+ passes per game (stats via Premier League), he’s acted in the shadows to help them maintain dominance.
Henderson might not be a popular captain, but the way he’s led Liverpool into breaking the shackles of adversity is something to even make Steven Gerrard proud. Kenny Dalglish, the man who signed him for £20m back in 2011, claimed he was a ‘maintstay’ back in 2015 and, finally, it looks like that prediction is really coming true.
Yes, he’s played a lot of games since then and dons the infamous armband at Anfield but, right now, Henderson is making a top-level difference.
Liverpool fans, have you been impressed with Henderson’s contribution as captain? Join the discussion by commenting below…