Former Premier League midfielder Ryan Mason has spoken in length about Jordan Henderson, following the criticism our skipper has received from certain quarters after the 2-1 win over Spurs.
Jurgen Klopp went with Hendo over Fabinho, but we lacked creativity in the middle and the captain gave the ball away on a few occasions in silly circumstances.
Mason though thinks the stick Henderson gets is unfair, suggesting that while our no.14 isn’t especially aesthetically pleasing – he’d be a terrific team-mate.
“Henderson’s job isn’t to create,” Mason told talkSPORT.
“He’s in this Liverpool team to be tactically aware and be in the right place at the right time, to break up play and give it to a player that can create.
“Sometimes he has two other defensive-minded midfield players beside him so people start pointing the finger at Henderson.
“To say, ‘he’s a top Championship player’ in my eyes is wrong.
“I have played against him. I think visually he doesn’t look that great because technically he’s not that pleasing on the eye.
“But he’s good at his job, he knows his job and he knows his limits. You don’t play for Liverpool and start every week if you’re not a top player.
“I just think he gets unfair criticism. I would love to have played beside Henderson.”
Mason makes some smart points. No other defensive midfielders are judged by their creative passes, so why is Henderson?
We’re not suggesting he’s world-class. He isn’t. And right now, Fabinho would be the player we’d select at the base of midfield every time – but the lazy analysis that when anything goes wrong it’s Henderson’s fault is mind-numbing.
At the end of the day, Henderson got to a Champions League Final last season and was instrumental in his country’s run to the World Cup semis.
He is currently captaining a club competing for the Premier League and the Champions League.
Let’s leave it at that.