Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson played at centre-back in the Club World Cup semi-final.
With a mini-crisis at the back, Jurgen Klopp had to think outside the box. Henderson, who usually plays in central midfield, was forced to slot in alongside Joe Gomez against Monterrey.
Joel Matip and Dejan Lovren didn’t travel to Qatar due to injury. Moreover, Fabinho – who can play in central defence – is also out injured. Liverpool only travelled with two fit centre-backs.
Henderson replaces Van Dijk
But Virgil Van Dijk missed the semi-final against Monterrey with Klopp citing illness as the reason. Henderson was the next in line to drop into the defence.
The 29-year-old was in an unfamiliar position and he was often caught out of position. But Liverpool only conceded once and they progressed to the final thanks to Roberto Firmino’s late goal.
After the game, Liverpool fans took to social media to discuss how Henderson had performed. Opinion appears to be split down the middle. Some thought he was shaky and others thought he adapted very well. Here are some of the best tweets.
He fills in at CB, which he has never played before, in a crucial game and delivers a top class performance.
Everyone is quick to give him criticism when he underperforms, so give him credit when he puts in a great display.
Jordan Henderson. My captain. pic.twitter.com/I5OEusHM4T
— Laurie (@LFCLaurie) December 18, 2019
Look we all appreciate his dedication to the cause, but he did not play good, was terrible actually, I was terrified every time the other team attacked
— Rajoun Buddo (@Jon_Van_Dijk) December 18, 2019
I thought he had a pretty good game at CB considering hes not a defender
— Iain Taylor (@Tailso4) December 18, 2019
Henderson played in a new position? Yes. Was it a top class performance? Not even close. Can he produce a top class performance in that role? A big fat NO. I remember Gini playing CB and did far better than Hendo but he is never mentioned. Quit the propaganda and state facts
— gabby (@gzewu) December 19, 2019
I like Hendo, thought he did OK today but he wasn’t top class at CB. Not criticising him just lets no go overboard cos that’s when the haters refuse to take you seriously.
— Gray (@GMU12PHY) December 18, 2019
what a performance by Jordan Henderson yesterday. Such a underrated player. Top Class performance at the centre back, which he has never played before. Give him some credit.? #MyCaptain #LFC pic.twitter.com/k1yGUkj966
— Ondřej Šup (@OndrejSup) December 19, 2019