Liverpool's Win over Swansea Could Be the True Birth of Jordan Henderson

Scott Burns@@scottb86Featured ColumnistFebruary 27, 2014


Liverpool's 4-3 victory over a resilient Swansea side could be a pivotal moment in the career of one particular Reds player as it was for the club.

Jordan Henderson was the match-winner in a game that looked to be heading for a 3-3 draw until the midfielder's 74th-minute strike drew a sense of relief around Anfield.

Brendan Rodgers' side had twice been pegged back by the spirited Swans but the never-say-die attitude instilled upon Liverpool by the Northern Irishman once again shone through to seal what could be a priceless three points.

At the heart of the Reds' performance was Henderson, a player who without doubt embodies the aforementioned never-say-die attitude every single time he pulls on the famous red shirt.


100 Percent

The player has been recognised for a while now as an individual who always works hard and gives 100 percent, a player who will sacrifice himself for the good of the team and has at times been ridiculed for past performances.

This season, however, and in the last few months especially, Henderson has developed into a fine midfield player. He's a player who can tackle, pass and will never look to hide when things are perhaps are not going to plan.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

While many Reds fans may believe the real Henderson had already "arrived" previous to Sunday's victory, his later winner could turn out to be the moment the former Sunderland man well and truly announced his arrival as a man for the big occasion.

Swansea at home might not be as big an occasion as Reds fans of yesteryear are used to, but in terms of results elsewhere over the weekend, Henderson's goal was invaluable.

It meant the Reds finished the weekend six points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham and can perhaps start to look up rather than down.

While fans were more than likely looking to the likes of Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge and of course Steven Gerrard in their hour of need, Henderson stepped up to prove he can be that extra match-winner the Reds sometimes need.

It was another step on the path from good player to great player.



The midfielder too deserves credit for the amount of work and dedication displayed in training and behind the scenes. report management staff have been forced to step in to prevent the former Sunderland man doing too much extra training and causing unnecessary injury.

It is this dedication to the cause that has seen Henderson become a real Kop favourite over the course of the season.

As with every professional footballer there is room for improvement. Despite scoring a brace against Swansea, the midfielder has been culpable of squandering a number of clear-cut chances.

If the aforementioned extra training is spent looking at ways in which a higher goal return can be achieved, then a regular return of at least double figures is achievable for a man who has the knack of being in the right place at the right time.

Sang Tan/Associated Press

Remind you of somebody?

Of course it does, and who better for Henderson to learn from than Steven Gerrard, the man who mastered the art of arriving late in the opposition penalty area.

With Gerrard showing no signs of letting up, Henderson must utilise his captain's experience and know-how and while ensuring he remains his own man, to not be afraid to seek advice on ways to improve.

Gerrard has dominated opponents for well over a decade and Henderson himself has shown signs this season he is more than capable of competing with the best.

He was arguably the best midfielder on the pitch during the Reds' Boxing Day defeat to Manchester City, outshining the likes of Yaya Toure and David Silva despite the Reds eventually falling short.

Henderson was fantastic during his side's 5-1 demolition of Arsenal ensuring £42.5m Mesut Ozil was never in the game while stamping his own authority all over it.


International Recognition

Kirsty Wigglesworth/Associated Press

The energetic midfielder is now being tipped by many to make Roy Hodgson's World Cup squad in June and it would be testament to just how far the dynamic midfielder has come over the last 12 months.

Henderson has today been named in Hodgson's 30-man squad to face Denmark in next week's World Cup preparation match.

It is this writer's opinion that based on performance over the course of the season Henderson has been in the top bracket of English midfielders along with teammate Gerrard, Ross Barkley and Adam Lallana.

For this writer, he simply has to go.

For a man criticised by Sir Alex Ferguson for the way in which he runs, Henderson has without doubt come a long way in a short period of time and is only showing signs of getting better.

Whether Ferguson means Henderson is running way, way ahead of the Manchester United midfielders he left behind is certainly one worth thinking about as the midfielder looks to help Liverpool cement their place in next season's Champions League.

Jordan Henderson, a future Liverpool captain and heir to Gerrard's throne as king of the Kop? 

In this writer's opinion, without a shadow of a doubt.


Do you think Henderson has the potential to kick on and establish himself as a true Liverpool great and do you see him as a future Reds captain? Leave your opinion and comments below.


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