Put this pressure on yourself, you’re transferred for huge money by a Kop legend in Kenny Dalglish, and you’re playing for one of the most iconic clubs in league history. All of that by 21, big things for Jordan Henderson, and he gets to train at Melwood. Not a bad way to further your career. Most of the problem with Jordan at the beginning of his career with the Reds was he was so young, and came in with that huge transfer fee. He wasn’t playing with a number on his back, he was playing with a target on his back. Henderson was offered to Fulham at the end of the Transfer window two years ago, that would have brought in Clint Dempsey. So he had to improve.
So what has made his growth shoot up so rapidly recently? Two years under Branden Rodgers. As good of a manager as Kenny Dalglish has been for the club, he was twenty years in the past. The long ball, lob it up to a huge striker, and a couple defensive midfielders is over, just don’t tell Big Sam that. What tactics have turned into, outside of a new blogging category, is more attacking, with a LB or a RB bombing up the wing switching with either a DM or a CM. That’s where Jordan Henderson comes in now.
He’s been helped at Liverpool having Rodolfo Borrell who has turned out some really good players. Plus development is always helped when you have a captain like Steven Gerrard, who has said he wants to go into coaching, and a vice captain ( just retired) who has seen every player in the EPL in the last seventeen years. So with that all on your plate, what have we seen from Jordan this year?
He’s been able to sit in the FB, RW, LW, CM, DM, and who knows, with the lack of squad depth and Luis Suarez being over due for some stupidity, you might see him as a false poacher. After all, Rogers called him a “False Winger who came inside and got goals”. Which is a big thing, you may be married to a position and a tactic, but not married to a role. That is, during a match, you can move about and as long as you’re contributing, does it matter where you are?
Having a versatile player, who is young, and very good, helps with squad depth. I think the major reason for his development is that he wasn’t stuck in reserves, or made to go out on loan. He had to play, he had to learn on the fly, and he couldn’t just duck the bright lights. So many of these top teams, I’m looking at you Chelsea, transfer in or have talented youth players and don’t let them sniff the first team. There’s something about playing in the EPL against top talent, to make you learn your craft more and then become an England International, which he has become.
Thanks to Stephen Brandt, a Liverpool fan from the States, for taking the time to write this article for us!