Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson put in perhaps his best performance for England yesterday, collecting the Man of the match gong after his country’s simple 2-0 victory over Malta.
Henderson assisted Daniel Sturridge’s opener and played a role in Dele Alli’s goal, too, and has been heavily praised as a result.
England’s skipper Wayne Rooney however has received a very different reception, with many believing England’s record goalscorer should make way for younger blood.
In fact, some fans booed the Manchester United forward at Wembley, but according to Henderson, it’ll be water off Rooney’s back.
“Wayne’s experienced enough to know he has to concentrate on his football. I think he’s had criticism for most of his career, like many players have,” the midfielder told Sky Sports.
“He deals with it very well. He’s our captain and our leader. He’s a fantastic player for Manchester United and England.
“I didn’t really hear any boos, but we have to deal with it as professional footballers. There is going to be criticism along the way.
“We just have to focus on what is important as a team. That’s staying together and winning games,” he added.
“I said during the week the fans had a right to criticise after the way we went out of the Euros. Not only the Euros but in the World Cup as well.
“We’ve got to take the criticism and we deserve it. But I feel as though they know we are a good team and want us to do well.
“It’s up to us to put in good performances and win games.”
England next face Scotland in November, so Henderson and Daniel Sturridge should return to Melwood shortly ahead of Liverpool’s fixture with Rooney’s United on Monday…
For the first time in memory, he’s not an automatic starter for the Red Devils and is likely to start the game from the bench, with the likes of Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Jese Lingard expected to start behind Zlatan Ibrahimovic.