Liverpool are currently putting up a great fight in the race to be best of the rest in the Premier League this season. At the weekend they continued that form, by getting the better of Newcastle United at Anfield. Plenty of players shined in that performance, including Jordan Henderson.
The midfielder is one of English football’s more divisive figures. Finding a follower of the England national team that is a fan of Henderson can sometimes be a needle in a haystack mission.
Yet he continues to be a regular in the improving Liverpool side, but he has certainly made changes to his playing style recently.
One criticism often laid at Henderson’s door is his negative passing frequency. For many England fans, and Liverpool fans, watching Henderson pass sideways to a full-back or back to his centre-backs became a far too common occurrence. Recently, however, Henderson has become more probing.
Now the 27-year-old is changing his game and is constantly looking to get the ball forward. It helps of course that Henderson is now playing with such talents as Roberto Firmino, Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane. The movement in front of Henderson is becoming world-class and now he is finally starting to provide more direct ammunition.
To compare him to another player, Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick springs to mind.
The greatest attribute the 36-year-old has is that ability to get the ball and, before anything else, see if he has a pass on ahead of him.
It is a trait currently being shown by his potential long-term replacement Scott McTominay.
Henderson is finally starting to adapt his game to play in a much more forward thinking and brisk fashion.
Such expeditious play from Liverpool’s midfield maestro combines perfectly with his obvious physical ability and tackling nous.
Hopefully he can continue to become more and more like Carrick. If he does then Liverpool and England’s front-men will be extremely thankful.