HERE IS WHY HENDERSON DESERVES TO BE THE CAPTAIN
An article by Guardian’s chief sports writer Paul Doyle on Monday has been the talking point among football fans, especially the Anfield faithfuls. To sum up the article, the writer basically implied that Raheem Sterling should be the Liverpool captain, instead of Jordan Henderson. The article went so far as to conclude that Liverpool would be going ‘down the muddle’ if Henderson were to be named the captain for the next season. If you have a few minutes of time to spare senselessly, here is the article.
Anyway, I believe that at least 99% of the fans of English football already know about where Sterling intends not to stay in the next season and of course, The Guardian, as one of the most popular news outlets on the globe, certainly has a role to play in spreading that awareness. And yes, Liverpool fans have already prepared themselves for the inevitable departure of the talented 20-year old, who certainly was one of the shining stars for the Reds in a season where they looked pretty lackluster. In the event of the player leaving the club for the humungous fee that has reportedly been agreed with Manchester City, the Liverpool board and the fans certainly would be happy to see him go.
Has Mr. Doyle forgotten that a few months ago Liverpool had offered Sterling a new contract with a big raise in his pay, only for the player to deny it? And has he forgotten that the player decided to sit down for an unauthorized interview with the BBC where he publicly expressed his desire to vie for glory elsewhere, when more than 25% games still remained to be played in the season? Well, we all know that he wants to leave the club ‘by hook or by crook’ and as soon as the club’s current valuation of the player amount to ₤50 million is met, whether it be by Macclesfield Town or Manchester City, the Liverpool board won’t be putting any roadblock to the youngster’s ‘grand ambitions’!
So, in the unlikely scenario that Liverpool would appoint a 20-year old, careless, dissatisfied and unfaithful player at the position of the team’s captain, it’s clear that the player wouldn’t be accepting that too, under the ‘expert guidance’ of his agent Aidy Ward! To sum it up, the odds that Emile Heskey will become the top scorer in the Premier League next season (provided he is acquired by a PL club) is greater than seeing Sterling as a Liverpool player when the 2015/16 season starts (let alone as the captain).
Jordan Henderson certainly is a more admired player in the Liverpool squad than the aforementioned player! After struggling for a couple of seasons, the player discovered his ‘mojo’ in the 2013/14 season and if the player hadn’t been suspended that season against Manchester City at Anfield, perhaps Liverpool fans would be celebrating the arrival of the 19th or even the 20th league title in the last two years! He is indeed a crucial part of the Liverpool system under Brendan Rodgers and certainly has won the hearts of the Anfield faithfuls. On the talent front, the player certainly isn’t on par with the likes of Gerrard or Coutinho. Yet, there is no doubt that he is a player that the team can depend on.
Liverpool does have more experienced players in the squad like Martin Skrtel and Jose Enrique. James Milner is also about to join the team in a few days. However, judging from the performances of the past two years for the Reds, Henderson has certainly been a more crucial and dependable member of the team. On several occasions, Henderson’s leadership of the team resulted in victories. Unlike Sterling, the player didn’t make any public debacle surrounding his contract options and recently agreed to sign a new one without much fuss.
So far, Henderson fits all the qualities of a good captain. He is a good player, is experienced and is respected by team-members and fans alike. If we are talking about the formations and game play, more responsibilities lie with the managers and coaching team. Even the outgoing Liverpool skipper Steven Gerrard has backed Henderson for the job. And if his inability to handle the aggressive antics of Mario Balotelli on one occasion is to be taken as a failure, perhaps Doyle should consider labelling Jose Morinho and Roberto Mancini as failures as well! Here is what Mourinho had to say about Balotelli!
The rules of football dictate that a team can make up to three substitutions and even the captain armband is transferable to the vice-captain, if the former is substituted. Needless to say, if Hendo fails to make a positive impact as a captain, then alternative leaders will be searched during or after the game! We have, in the recent past, witnessed Henderson prove his critics wrong and I certainly don’t see any reason why he can’t do it again! Until then, let the likes of Doyle keep on posting his pessimistic views. After all, if Doyle proves to be wrong, he could become the favourite meme subject for Liverpool fans in the near future.