Gareth Southgate has swerved wide-spread ignorance towards Jordan Henderson’s quality by rightly heaping praise on the Liverpool captain.
Henderson skippered England to a 1-0 win over the Netherlands on Friday night, impressing as a solid foundation at the heart of midfield.
The 27-year-old is often wrongly overlooked for his value at both domestic and international level, making Southgate’s recognition a refreshing change to the agenda.
“He’s got some tremendous human qualities and is a certain leader of men,” the Three Lions boss said, as reported by Goal.com.
“He worked the game out very well today, spotted the tactical changes the Dutch made in switching their system three times, speaking to others and telling them where to press.”
“Obviously he’s one of the few guys who captains his club. Or has captained his club. He’s comfortable in that role. He’s comfortable to speak up for the group. He has a mindset for the collective, not the self. That’s a hugely important attribute for a captain to have.”
Henderson served as typically composed figure in front of a central defensive trio, dictating the tempo of England’s build up and exploiting the movement of Southgate’s interchanging frontline.
Besides flexing an ability to trigger urgency from his team on the ball, he also set the tone with the aggression he displayed in retrieving the ball.
He was the unspectacular but integral midfield cog required in ensuring England made full use of the pace and dynamism they boasted across the pitch.
Having returned from injury in impressive form for Liverpool, he looks in good shape to retain the captain’s armband come this summer in Russia.