Liverpool Is Jordan Henderson the key to Liverpool’s future success? Published 3 years ago on August 20, 2014 By Adam Washbrook Share Tweet Since Brendan Rodgers’ appointment at Liverpool, he has faced a number of difficult challenges. With a poor, aging squad at his disposal to begin with, his first major job was to discard as much of the deadwood inherited by old managers as possible, and replace accordingly. The likes of Alberto Aquilani, Joe Cole and Andy Carroll who were left to him by Benitez, Hodgson and Dalglish respectively were soon out the door as they had no place in the squad. Amongst the possible exodus was a young Jordan Henderson, who was regarded as yet another “overpriced English player” who had no talent and no potential, by many of the (uneducated) rival supporters. Unlike other underachieving players, Jordan Henderson had something different going for him; the desire to succeed. From the moment he rejected Fulham’s proposal of a cash-plus-himself deal for Clint Dempsey to join Liverpool, he was taken under the wing of Brendan Rodgers and is now preparing for his best flight yet in the coming season. Henderson’s transformation from a “waste of money” to Liverpool’s top appearing midfielder has been vital to the continuation of Steven Gerrard’s presence in Liverpool’s starting lineup. Whilst Gerrard undoubtedly still possesses the qualities of a world class midfield player, he no longer has the energy to maintain the rampaging, 200 yard double-runs from attack to defence and back again, that he’s been so famous for over the last decade (and then some). Henderson’s superb athleticism allows him to replace the energy which Steven Gerrard can no longer provide in the centre of the midfield, meaning Stevie is free to sit in between his centre backs and control the game’s tempo with his passing, rather than his dynamism. Not only has Henderson replaced Gerrard’s work rate in that box-to-box role, he’s growing into the kind of player who is capable of replicating Gerrard’s quality. Now don’t get me wrong, no disrespect to Jordan, but i don’t think he’ll ever grow to the point where he’s considered on a par with Steven’s quality. However, he certainly has the work rate, desire, and potential to develop himself into an efficient, goal scoring midfielder with equally effective defensive qualities. In the future, when Gerrard hangs up his boots – and yes, believe it or not fellow Liverpool fans, it will happen – i believe we may begin to see the best of Liverpool’s midfield. Thinking back to last year when the Reds played ‘Spurs away, we were so fluent, sharp, and balanced that it looked the best side we’d seen in a long time (and that side had Glen Johnson in it!). On a serious note, we were balanced; having a standout defensive midfielder (Lucas), someone to control the tempo (Allen), and a box to box workhorse in Henderson. Specialists in each of their respective games, this midfield trio provided freedom and support to a confident attack and allow for the creative football we’ve grown used to. If Jordan continues his development at the rate he is, then he will be undeniably vital to Liverpool’s success. If he can add a killer instinct, as well as further consistency to his game, then he will effectively go down as Gerrard’s “replacement”, man for man. Brendan Rodgers says himself how vital Henderson is to the current midfield, having told a reporter on the last day of the season “I knew [the title was gone] when Jordan got sent off against Man City. I knew i couldn’t replace him”. I think on a whole, Henderson will become – if he isn’t already considered by others as he is by me – a vital part to the midfield in everyone’s eyes. Most of the country has woken up and noticed his impressive development, as well as his exceptional energy which covers over the faults of others regularly in both Liverpool and England games. The key to Liverpool’s success however, will be finding the correct balance to the midfield. Jordan Henderson, Joe Allen and Emre Can look to have years ahead of them in the squad, however Lucas seems like he may be off and Gerrard cannot go forever. Once these two leave, Rodgers will need to make sure he has someone even more capable to sit in between the two centre backs, a real tackler and distributor of the highest quality. Someone who exhibits the same talents as the likes of City’s Fernando or Fernandinho will be significantly important once Gerrard is unable to play week in, week out. Having found two seemingly very talented full backs in Manquillo and Moreno, as well as now owning two of the Prem’s most talented centre backs in Lovren and Sakho, the team should be much tighter at the back. For Rodgers’ system to work most efficiently though, i believe the ever sought after defensive midfielder will be the key to the rest of the team’s balance and success. It would provide freedom in attack, slotting in to make a back three with the two other centre backs, allowing the wing backs to play higher up, the other two midfielders to control the game, which in turn allows the attacking trio the freedom needed to interchange positions and play as we have done so successfully over the past year particularly. Is Jordan Henderson the key to Liverpool’s future success? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below or on Twitter @TBRFootball. Related Topics:Brendan RodgersJordan Henderson Up Next Who is in Brendan Rodgers’ Strongest Liverpool Starting Line-up? Don't Miss Highest Point Scorers in Fantasy Football – Week One Adam Washbrook Adam is a sports journalism student at Staffordshire University, a fan of Liverpool and a social media assistant with Macclesfield Town. Continue Reading You may like The four managers in the frame to replace Mark Hughes at Stoke City Brendan Rodgers: Celtic’s unbeaten run may never be surpassed Three talking points from England’s World Cup qualifying win in Lithuania Rangers no longer offer a challenge as Celtic’s Old Firm dominance continued at the weekend “Trent Alexander-Arnold is the real deal” – Three things learnt from Hoffenheim 1-2 Liverpool Celtic favourites to land Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts – will the attacker return? Liverpool Why Liverpool’s Andrew Robertson was one of the signings of the summer Published 22 hours ago on January 17, 2018 By Jake Jackman Photo: Reuters Andrew Robertson isn’t a household name, but he established himself as one of the best young players in the Premier League performance with an excellent performance against Manchester City. Few expected Liverpool would be able to topple the runaway league leaders, especially after the departure of Philippe Coutinho. However, the Reds delivered one of their best performances since the appointment of Jurgen Klopp and took the three points to consolidate their own position in the top four. It was a nervy end to the match as the visitors fought back to grab two consolation goals, but given the incredible energy that the home side showed since the first whistle, a stuttering end can be forgiven. The 23-year-old was a signing that went under the radar during the summer and those football fans that don’t have their finger on the pulse may not have known that he had moved to Anfield. Despite a good season with Hull City, it is rare to see a player move from a relegated side to one in the Champions League. There aren’t a lot of quality full-back options in the Premier League and Robertson showed enough to justify a transfer. It was a risk, but at the price of an initial £8 million, it was one worth taking. The club’s official site reported the following quotes from Klopp upon the deal being announced: “For Andrew, this is another big step on what has been a quite incredible personal journey in a very short space of time. “I know our environment will benefit him and help him push himself even more than he has already. This is a player who does not limit his ambition.” Klopp can’t be faulted for his record in the transfer market since arriving at Liverpool. His big money purchases have all been successes, but his decision to bring Robertson could represent the best value for money. The Reds’ boss clearly saw something in his character that suggested he would develop quickly at Anfield and his emergence in recent weeks has proven him correct. The left-back was eased into life at a top-six club and made only three appearances for the club before December, two of which came in the Premier League. For Klopp, he needs to fully trust that a new player understands his style of play. Those already at a high level, such as Mohamed Salah, can be expected to step straight in as they have a lot of experience of playing different systems. However, Robertson had been playing a more traditionally British system at Hull City and likely lacked the tactical knowledge of the rest of the squad. Since the start of December, he has made the left-back position his own and his efforts against Manchester City showed that he can stand out against the very best. He was given a difficult task of marking Raheem Sterling, the former Liverpool player. The City winger has been one of the best players in the Premier League this season and is among the top scorers. He would have been relishing the opportunity to return to Anfield and shine, but he was kept quiet by Robertson. The former Hull City player was keen to go forward and support the Liverpool attacks. His distribution and decision making were both superb against Manchester City. In the past, we have seen Liverpool full-backs get caught upfield as they try to stick to Klopp’s strict tactical instructions. It is difficult to master playing the position in this system, but Robertson is showing maturity beyond his years. He completed 79% of his passes, which is a good accuracy given they were playing an opposition that press high up the pitch. Talking of pressing, Robertson was relentless in this area of his game and regularly put pressure on the Manchester City attackers. He was directly responsible for a number of turnovers as he didn’t stop running from the first minute to the last. There was one incredible moment when he chased a ball back to Ederson and followed it until he eventually fouled Nicolas Otamendi. The Kop responded with a cheer fitting of a goal. They could see his effort and responded to it. Although he didn’t win possession, his manager would have been delighted with that phase of play. His aggression was shown through his tackling. Robertson completed seven tackles and was only beaten twice on the dribble. Considering he was coming up against the likes of Sterling, Leroy Sane and Sergio Aguero, this is a very impressive return. In addition to his tackling, the Scottish international made seven clearances to relieve the pressure on his team. The last few minutes were nerve-wracking for the home side, but the left-back remained assured in his defensive work. Although he has a lot of areas to improve, Robertson is getting better with every game and he is establishing himself as a top-six full-back. Liverpool gambled on his potential and Klopp’s ability to develop it. His slow introduction to the first-team coupled with some excellent performances during the last six weeks show that the German manager knows what he is doing. The 23-year-old’s performance against Manchester City captured the nation’s attention. He now needs to push on and consistency deliver at that high level. Continue Reading Liverpool Liverpool 4-3 Manchester City: Three talking points from Anfield Published 3 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Rob Meech Photo: Reuters Liverpool ended Manchester City’s unbeaten Premier League record and climbed to third spot after breathtaking encounter at Anfield. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s fabulous early strike was cancelled out by Leroy Sane as the two teams went into the half-time break level-pegging. Three goals in nine second-half minutes looked to have given Liverpool an insurmountable advantage, with Sadio Mane, Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah all striking. However, City mounted a late comeback and set up a grandstand finish thanks to goals from Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan. Liverpool, though, held on for a deserved victory as Pep Guardiola’s men suffered their first defeat of the campaign. Here are three talking points… Rampant Liverpool turn on the style If any fixture was going to prove City’s undoing, it was this one. Liverpool are unpredictable but when on top of their game, few teams can live with them. They were respectful of City but undaunted by the challenge they faced, taking the game to their opponents right from the kick-off. In their first match since Philippe Coutinho’s departure to Barcelona, Liverpool showed the Brazilian is not irreplaceable. The Fab Four may have been reduced to three, but each of Mane, Salah and Firmino found the net. The movement and pace with which they attack is frightening, as City found to their cost. Record signing Virgil van Dijk was ruled out of the clash and Liverpool’s defensive deficiencies were magnified in his absence, with recalled goalkeeper Loris Karius also unconvincing. The Reds are still a work in progress in that regard, but under manager Jurgen Klopp they are fast becoming a force to be reckoned with. City succumb but remain in the driving seat Many believed it was City’s destiny to become only the second Premier League team to go through a season undefeated, following Arsenal’s Invincibles of 2003/04. But such talk can now be consigned to the rubbish bin. Despite their sensational form, it would have been a monumental achievement not to lose a single fixture. In one respect, Guardiola will be glad it has happened. Their advantage at the top of the table remains 15 points, albeit perhaps only for 24 hours, and there is no indication this result will spark a poor run of form. City fought back valiantly after the shock of conceding three times in quick succession, which will please the Spaniard greatly. Guardiola was philosophical in defeat and recognised his side had played their part in a magnificent contest. Sometimes, a reality check is a good thing. City may no longer be invincible, but they are still the overwhelming favourites to be crowned Premier League champions in May. Oxlade-Chamberlain is proving his worth His Liverpool career did not start the way he would have imagined after completing a summer switch from Arsenal. In a quest to play regular football, Oxlade-Chamberlain moved to pastures new and hoped he would be rejuvenated. Initially, he struggled for game-time and his brief performance were often derided. As a result, he lost his place in the England squad. However, Oxlade-Chamberlain is growing in stature and produced arguably his best display in a Liverpool shirt against the runaway Premier League leaders. Nothing builds confidence like a goal and his long-range strike that gave the Reds a ninth-minute lead did just that. Playing in the central role he had coveted, Oxlade-Chamberlain was a dominant figure, using his strength and pace to great effect. His transfer to Liverpool was greeted with scepticism, but it’s clear to see that working under Klopp is having a positive impact. The former Southampton man will hope it’s enough to help him regain his place in the national team. Continue Reading Liverpool Are Liverpool potential 2017/18 Champions League winners? Published 4 days ago on January 14, 2018 By Martyn Cooke Photo: Reuters Jurgen Klopp has guided Liverpool to the knock-out stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2009, but can the German replicate the club’s impressive long-standing history of success in European competitions and guide The Reds all the way to the final? Here, The Boot Room examines whether Liverpool have the potential to win the Champions League. Progress so far Liverpool were able to safely navigate the Champions League play-off against Hoffenheim back in August, running out 6-3 victors on aggregate, and they were rewarded with what appeared to be a relatively favorable group draw which paired them up with Sevilla, Spartak Moskva and Maribor. Jurgen Klopp would have been delighted to have finished as group winners without suffering a defeat although the only consistency in his team’s performances were how inconsistent they were. The Reds scored ten goals across two games against Maribor and netted seven times against Spartak at Anfield in the final fixture but also demonstrated their defensive frailties by throwing away a three-goal half-time lead at Sevilla. Overall, Liverpool’s progress so far has been positive, entertaining and enthralling although much tougher challenges will lie ahead. Squad Strength Jurgen Klopp has built a squad that possesses an abundance of firepower and when Liverpool have their offensive players fit and firing they are capable of scoring goals against any team in Europe. Mohamed Salah has been a revelation since arriving in the summer and has been well-assisted by the likes of Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, although the loss of Philippe Coutinho to Barcelona has dealt the Reds a significant blow. Defensively the reds still remain fragile with neither Simon Mignolet or Loris Karius cementing the number one jersey as their own whilst questions still remain over whether Alberto Moreno, Dejan Lovren, Joel Matip or Ragnar Klavan have the quality or consistency to be regarded as to-quality defenders. The arrival of Virgil van Dijk for £75 million will certainly help to ease Liverpool’s defensive woes but it remains to be seen whether one player will transform an entire defensive unit. Manager There have been gradual signs of progress at Anfield since Jurgen Klopp succeeded Brendan Rodgers in October 2015 although this has yet to be transferred into actual silverware. The 50-year-old has built a team that is full of pace, power and technical quality in the final third of the pitch and that plays exciting, dynamic and expansive brand of football, yet he has yet to secure a major trophy for any team since Borussia Dortmund won the German Cup in 2012. Klopp has had a degree of success in European competitions, guiding Dortmund to the Champions League final in 2013 and Liverpool to the Europa League final last season, although both occasions ultimately ended in defeat. The charismatic German is still widely perceived as being one of the leading coaches in world football, but he still lacks the success in the Champions League to cement his place among the elite. Chances of winning Liverpool have won eight European trophies in their history, which would equate to five Champions League and three Europa League titles, but have failed to live up to that level of success in the last decade or so. The Reds are back in the knock out stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2009 and it would take a heroic effort for Jurgen Klopp’s side to reach the latter stages of the tournament. The team possesses the attacking quality to threaten any of the remaining opposition in the competition but have retained a defensive fragility that realistically undermines their ability to reach the final. Anfield on a European night is a fortress, yet the problems will occur on their travels. Will Liverpool be able to go away to a leading club and grind out a clean sheet and a result to keep a tie alive? Probably not. So, it is unlikely that Liverpool will win the Champions League outright this season, but they still possess the qualities to make a significant impact in the latter stages of the tournament. Continue Reading Football News 24/7 Advertisement Trending Stoke City6 days ago Tom Edwards: A ray of light for Stoke City supporters in a difficult season Arsenal7 days ago Chelsea 0-0 Arsenal: Three talking points from Stamford Bridge Fulham7 days ago Why it is déjà vu for Slavisa Jokanovic at Craven Cottage Chelsea5 days ago Why Andreas Christensen is the future of Chelsea’s defence Liverpool4 days ago Are Liverpool potential 2017/18 Champions League winners?