Give Jordan Henderson a chance.

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At 22 years old Jordan Henderson has won 3 consecutive Young Player of the Year awards at Sunderland and Liverpool respectively, tonight he captained the England U21’s in a major play off stage and has made 5 full England international caps to his name. Despite all of these positives Jordan is constantly put down by rival fans (which you come to expect) and more depressingly our own.  There will be some reading this that’ll be set in their ways, no matter how many times they’re told he’s a good player, it’ll always fall on deaf ears. I want to express a few reasons to why I feel he needs to be given more space to shine, and the time to develop, so to do this I’ll draw comparisons to fellow team mates and maybe provide a fairer look at his career so far.

The Price Tag

Whether it’s 20 million, 16 million or chocolate coins a players price shouldn’t be the only thing  you judge a player on, I do feel however that with Henderson, that is close to the only thing he’s judged on. When you compare Henderson to his peers on the international stage in terms of age; Wilshere, Cleverley, Shelvey, McEachran and Rodwell until Manchester City bought Jack Rodwell all these players differed to Henderson and all of which were without a price tag that brings great pressure. Wilshere, Cleverley and McEachran came through their respective academies and have done well; none have been bought for a hefty chunk of change. Because Jonjo Shelvey was bought for a small fraction of the fee that was spent on Jordan our view and opinion is altered as soon as he’s stepped foot on the pitch. Jonjo wasn’t bought as the finished article and it’s important to note that neither was Henderson. Henderson’s price comes down to poor negotiation upstairs on our end but also how far along he was in his progression as a footballer. Jonjo Shelvey got sent off against United for a rash challenge, whole hearted, but unnecessary. We put it down to inexperience and youthful exuberance; I imagine that had Henderson committed the same sin people would have ripped him apart, he’d have “bottled it in a big game” or something similarly reactionary. I’m not saying be soft on him, I’m saying be fair.

Lucas Leiva syndrome

You might be able to predict what I’m about to say, remember when Lucas was bought, remember what happened after his first season which wasn’t the best. I can’t include myself in this but many and I mean MANY people wrote Lucas’ Anfield career off there and then. He was under pressure and had Steven Gerrard, Xabi Alonso and Javier Mascherano ahead of him, Nuri Sahin, Gerrard and Lucas himself now stand in the way of anyone looking to push through. Lucas and Henderson both came as unknowns, and before you jump on that comment and say “I saw all of Gremios games the season before he signed for Liverpool” or “I’d read Jordan Henderson’s Wikipedia page 4 times before we bought him”, what I’m saying is neither players were on the wide spread ‘fan radar’, neither are marque signings and neither came with polished first team careers. (Although Henderson did have a good season prior to joining Liverpool) It took Lucas a couple of years to find his feet and status in the Liverpool starting 11 and it might just take Henderson the same. I’m not saying be soft on him, I’m saying be fair.



Attitude and Application

How many players have you seen throw their toys out of the pram when they’ve been played out of position or not played at all? I imagine you could name a few without even really having to think about it. Henderson was signed and told LFC TV that he’d happily play anywhere (which he has to say) but would PREFER to play in the middle. For the U21’s he plays in the middle and found most success for Sunderland playing in the middle. In his first season due to a lack of wide options he found himself stuck on the right, looking quite uncomfortable and more worried about the shape of the team than what he could do to impress those sitting in The Kop. Not once did I read a story of unrest in camp Henderson, nor did he ever look not to be trying. He openly admits that he’s got a lot to learn and that he’s at the right club to help him develop. In the games he has featured in this year I think he’s been very good, he’s taken on board the Rodgers philosophy and applies himself well. He looks comfortable picking the ball up from a defender turning and giving it. In the game against Young Boys in particular he picked up 2 assists, both of which showed a calm head to play the right pass and a week later he provided a similar quality of performance against West Brom in the Capital One Cup. If his attitude ever differs then you’ve the right to be as hard as you like on him but I’m still saying be fair.


In summary, I’m the same age as Jordan Henderson and wonder how I’d cope with getting stick so frequently from my own fans, for my money, he copes excellently. His head stays down and his legs work hard. He’s far from the finished article but if his progression continues on the same path which has rewarded him with Young Player of the Year at his clubs 3 years in a row then in a couple of years we might just have a super player on our hands. I like Jordan Henderson.


As ever if you want to talk more with me about this article contact me via twitter @DoctorBenjy



Ben Carr


  1. A chance??? I guess he was given enough chances under Dalglish. Despite constantly putting up poorest of poor performance for the REDS, he was there on the team sheet week in and week out. WE LFC fans had to pray to the Gods for the exclusion of Hendo. May not be the reason, but it seemed like…Dalglish had to give him chances after chances so as to prove to the world that the amount spent on hendo was not a waste. But the reality remains that- IT WAS A TOTAL WASTE….
    Bottomline- If a player can’t prove his worth in an entire season, a time comes when he is shown his real position. (for hendo, its the bench now.)
    Apologies to Henderson for being rude, but fact is a fact. Atleast BR selects players on the basis of merit rather than nationality or price tag.

    1. What a muppet who has probably never seen Liverpool play. JH is a very good player, but someone who knows nothing about football could not see that.

  2. “we lfc fans”? Not sure who the we is but don’t count me among them. Henderson didn’t have a good season last year but he was asked to plsy in unfamiliar positions in a team struggling for form, and with the weight of a big price tag. Hendo has a great touch, can pass, shoot and contribute goals.
    I would like to know who you consider earned their merits for BR as its well known the likes of Carroll and Hendo were not wanted before a training session had taken place.
    Time will tell but players need the backing and support of fans.

  3. The man had far too many chances last season. He’s a Sunday League player – that’s his level. Can’t shoot, can’t score goals, can’t make telling passes, can’t head the ball. Playing with him in the side is giving the other team an immediate one man advantage. Kick him out ASAP.

    1. Pathetic idiot, he is an England captain. go and support csk london or the manure because that is your level of football knowledge.

    2. What a mess comment, silly talking.. if you do not hve knowledge in football, please do not say anything. Henderson is a great and talented young player. He got great potential as a general in the field. Please, try to comment wisely, be sensitive in judging a player. you are kind of person who support the “champion(s)”, 2 years ago you are Man u fan, last year you are Man City fan and Chelsea fan bcoz they were chempions, this season??? what a mess guy you are

  4. Don’t know what you blokes were smoking when you wrote your comments.
    Henderson is still young and if you watch his games when he is played in the centre his distribution is excellent. You can see that in the Udinese game.
    However, I think he’s a bit away from being a massive game changer right now, but you need to consider his age.
    He’s training with talent around him so I’m sure he will get better, and not the other way.

  5. I tink..we aren’t been fair 2 him.,,,he his just 22 years of age…he might nut b good naw but he can b beta if he continues working….nd don’t 4get Henderson works hard in training even brendan testifed 2 dat…He his still as a big part in d club’s future,,,after all,great players bcame great bcos of d hardwork….in a nutshell just giv him tym he will cum good…..

  6. He was played out on the right because we had no natural winger last season, he obviously is not a winger, cant go past people and get crosses in, he is a central midfielder who can play a passing game in order to keep possession ticking over. What surprised me is the rumour he was offered to Fulham in part exchange, this shows either BR or FSG wanted him out. Ridiculous, give the lad a chance, we cant keep writing players off after one season.

  7. Rodgers is treating Henderson fairly in throwing him the gauntlet to earn his place in the starting line-up, rather than just handing him the position on the basis of his transfer fee, as Dalglish did.
    If we ignore the price tag, then Henderson is simply not yet deserving of a place in the first team.

    If he had just come through our ranks, rather than arriving for £16m, he’d be viewed as just another talented reserve fighting to earn some first team football, alongside Suso & Pacheco, with Shelvey, Sahin, Gerrard, Allen and Lucas all clearly ahead of him in the pecking order.

  8. Jordan Henderson as far as I am concerned has not been given enough chances. That boy has had so much stick off people I can’t believe it. You can tell his commitment watching him, he keeps his head up unlike some of our other players. Yes sometimes he can get lost in a game but crikey he’s 22 his potential is just waiting to be achieved if people can’t see it then shame on them.

  9. I dont think I’ve quite made my mind up on Henderson, but the lad has ability, and is technically gifted. You don’t become the captain of the under 21’s, and remain unchallenged in that position unless you show promise. He had a dodgy first season under Dalglish, but to be fair, so did most of the squad. He should be given a chance, and I’m sure he’ll develop immensely under BR. By the way, BR has by full backing, and it’s shamefull when you here of people questioning his job. You only have to look at Swansea, and see that they profited from BR’s work at the beginning of this season, but what’s happened to their results now, and that fantastic football? BR, and young players like Hendo should all be given a chance. YNWA JFT96

  10. Like British players he is very technically limited. He was overhyped and overpriced. But the senile ole clown dalgish wasted so much money on other garbage he gets overlooked a little… sell him for what we can get and go get some players with true technical ability (i.e..not British). He’s a classic hoof and runner….

  11. well me i dont care how old he is .. am not even bothered about his price tag… but as England u21 surely his game style must not only be based on passing sideways or backwards… i have tried and tried to give this guy a chance.. it just pisses me this guy trains with the likes of steven Gerrard everydaym has he not picked up anythin.. he is never ambitious.. i wish he would shoot more often or atleast try alot more forward passes… as for people saying we should give him a chance am sorry but he played almost literally everygame last season.. and fine ok it was out of position yh but atleast he must hav gained sometin.. this season i was expecting him to be more forward thinking or ambitious but nah he is still da same..i also cant believe people slag Downing off over this guy… imagine if only Dalglish played shelvey more in place of this robot henderson… i wont lie i absolutely hate his game play.. i just dont understand what he brings to a team.. what exactly does he do that someone else hasnt already done..what separates him from others pls????

  12. i’ll readily admit that i thought lucas was utter shite back in the day, especially when playing next to masch at his prime.

    i think hendo has the talent and leadership ability to be our next Stevie. jay spearing used to get that billing, but we know that didn’t work. hendo can score goals, pass, and dictate play. But I envision our future midfield as hendo-allen-shelvey, which could be our best midfield since gerrard-masch-xabi

  13. I’m still judging on kenny why we are wasting on paying so much for someone who still young and obviously not good enough for the first team,with that kinda money we have lots of option to choose from and if hendo is for the future why kenny paying so much $$$ for future talent here? I’m a kenny fans myself and i know probably i’m gonna get some stick for saying this but all in all kenny is the one that should be blame,we should be up there with the top team if the money is well spend on players,is ez for kenny to say is not about the pricetag,(I agreed if the $$$ is well spend on talents)but he have waste it like water on classic english style players.Now we gotta deal with the situation unless BR get rid of him in january and get some talented players in,a living legend doesn’t mean he has to be a good manager but he is still our legend and i prefer it that way.YNWA

  14. Henderson has serious mental issues on the pitch. Most young players play without fear. Henderson is petrified on the pitch.
    Any one of us could perform his actions on a football pitch. 95% of the time he gets the ball, you know it’s going back to a defender.
    It’s like the ball is on fire and you’re giving it to him – he can’t get rid of it safely enough, quickly enough.

    For a young man, he seems to have a serious lack of pace and acceleration. Which puts more emphasis on his technical game and ability to find a pass.
    Unfortunately he’s way too scared to put a foot wrong on the pitch and boy does it show. If he showed more courage and was more forward thinking with his play, we’d actually encourage him.

  15. Should he be given a chance yes, do I want him to be a good player yes but the simple facts are Joe Allen 22 and jonjo shelvey are better players offer much more to the team and therefore he should not be given a chance at the expense of these two and the team, he get his chance in the Europa league and league cup as he has been and rightly so

  16. Deffo agree i really like the way he goes about his business and i cant understand why poeple think hes already had a chance under Kenny, he was played on the right ffs! That doesnt count as a chance for a CENTRE midlike to see him and allen sitting behind suso for a few matches out of the prem but give him freedom to roam forward!

  17. i agree completely with tis article. i can’t quite explain why i like him so much but in addition to him being slagged off all the time by the supporters i really don’t think he knows what type of central midfielder he wants to be….. i think once he gets played comnsistently in the middle of the park he’ll develop all the tools to becoming a top top player. there is a reason why every coach hes ever played for likes him so much

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