News — April 2, 2013 16:08

Jordan Henderson – 100% Commitment : Yuvraj Nirwal

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Following his goal against Aston Villa, Jordan Henderson has been on the lips of many Liverpool fans. Despite his goals, a lot has been made of his role at the club, with some even questioning the midfielder’s commitment.
Yuvraj Nirwal tackles these issues and more, in a piece he has kindly written exclusively for The Asian Kop.
I remember the first time I saw Jordan Henderson playing at Anfield. He looked very promising indeed, good touch, not afraid of getting on the ball and kept it nice and tidy. He was also wearing a Sunderland shirt. Although his breakthrough came on the right of midfield, he always looked destined for a more central role. Composed, athletic and powerful are all the qualities an EPL midfielder need these days. Since then, he rose to prominence and his displays earned a full England international cap against France and a big money move to Liverpool.
JH
The hefty transfer fee proved to be burdensome as Henderson struggled to adapt to life at Liverpool. In essence, we did overpay, as is the case for all young English talent who are subjected to the ‘English premium’. Yet what did people expect from a 21 year old who was still relatively unseasoned to top flight football and being played out of position in a struggling side?  When Rodgers was installed as manager it looked as if Henderson’s days were numbered. Many did not see his potential departure as a loss, but I’ve always had time for Henderson. You don’t represent your country at every level, including captaining the U21s without having some real talent or character. The fact that he doesn’t drink also carries favour in my opinion as it show he is less likely to suffer the pitfalls of most modern day footballers.
JH 2
He will never dominate the game nor dictate the teams play but what he does add is 100% commitment, athleticism, pressing, running, passing, discipline and the ability to retain possession, all attributes that make him a natural fit into a tika/takar style of play. I have viewed the young midfielder’s presence in the team as a necessity; he gives us something different than Lucas and Gerrard. He has contributed more than Allen and Shelvey, however, at times he seems to be dropped for big games despite performing well in favour of Allen. Against Villa he strengthened his case to be a fixture in the team sheet. Pressing relentlessly, even when his side were not, Henderson ensured Villa’s rhythm was never constant. He harried, he probed, and when in possession, he was safe, sensible and accurate. His goal, clipped smartly past Brad Guzan early in the second half, provided the stamp of authority, but his general performance was one of quality, confidence and maturity.
JH 4
I still worry when I hear rumours of transferring him away from Anfield, I see him as a big player for us in the future. He is not the next Steven Gerrard, he is a very different type of player. I see him more akin to a traditional box to box midfielder who fits a 4-2-3-1 or 4-3-3 system perfectly. He has definitely turned a corner, a corner I thought he had turned prior to Christmas but it only seems that people are picking up on it now. At 22 years of age and only in his fourth EPL season I can see him being an important part of Liverpool’s future, I just hope he is given the opportunity to do so.

Yuvraj Nirwal

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