Liverpool Forum (Anfield) - Part 25

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Sinkie

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Wot on Jordan Henderson

FOOTBALL fans are rarely in tandem.
From debating who’s the better footballer between Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi to analysing the best player ever to play in the Premier League or even just divulging your annoyance at the latest team selection.
In the Liverpool-supporting world, no player could better represent football’s divisive nature than Jordan Henderson.
To some, he’s an underappreciated workhorse belittled by perennial comparisons to former greats; to others, he’s an overrated and undeserving club captain lacking the quality required at a club of this stature.
Jordan Henderson took on the impossible task of trying to follow up the one-in-a-million player in Steven Gerrard, and the erroneous comparisons in the years since have left him derided for what he isn’t rather than applauded for what he is.
He is the nitty gritty player, one of balance and solidity, focus and flair. As a leading voice in the dressing room, it’s no coincidence that he’s earned the respect of his teammates for club and country. And yet, he’s so much more. The last two games have proven that in abundance.
It’s a testament to the “monstrous mentality” Klopp has instilled that there were no fears of a potentially damaging draw at St Mary’s. At 1-1 after 79 minutes and the players weren’t wandering round thinking “this is it”.
Heads remained levelled; the old guard came on, and the game turned on its head.
SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - Friday, April 5, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson celebrates scoring the third goal during the FA Premier League match between Southampton FC and Liverpool FC at the St. Mary's Stadium. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
It was Henderson all over.
His exuberance was like a contagion; frantically barking orders at his colleagues. First, he sprang a seamless counter attack into life with a weighted header into the path of Mo Salah, before sealing the game with a lambasting run from deep.
This was shades of 2013-14 Henderson, free from the defensive shackles and able to maraud into the box with real freneticism.
It was his first goal since Leicester back in September 2017 to ensure The Reds went back to top spot, and you could see what it meant to him.
Celebrating like a man possessed, the ear-cupped celebration was a statement to his haters. This was his aggression, his passion, his sheer unbridled joy bursting out in the face of his critics.
This was for those who suggest he doesn’t have the quality needed, nor the leadership to push the team to their first league title in 29 years.
Porto may not have produced similarly dramatic cupped-ear celebrations or explosive outbursts, but it was another illustration of Henderson’s importance to the side.
Again, entrusted with the freedom to operate in a more advanced role, his running and aggression added a fire in the belly, providing support from deep that the front three have been crying out for since Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s injury last year.
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Tuesday, April 9, 2019: Liverpool's captain Jordan Henderson during the UEFA Champions League Quarter-Final 1st Leg match between Liverpool FC and FC Porto at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)
This was Henderson proving his value in a defiant manner once more.
Though Liverpool’s second goal was scored by Roberto Firmino and assisted by Trent Alexander-Arnold, it was all about the work Henderson had done. An intricate, perfectly weighted ball to unlock Porto’s defence and nullify both Alex Telles and Eder Militao.
Wherever, whenever, Henderson was there, popping the ball off to his teammates and angling for a swift return.
He was the orchestrator, the conductor, the man setting the tone.
Critics will continue to fixate on what he isn’t, what he could never be, but recent performances serve as a stark reminder of his own qualities.
Is he the club’s best player? No. Would he win a popularity contest? Almost certainly not. Yet there are no qualms from Klopp about Henderson’s influence.
Henderson has proved he’s a powerful presence with potent energy, and he now appears to be relishing the challenge presented by those who doubt he can deliver.

And he may yet become the first Liverpool captain to lift the Premier League.
 

Sinkie

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Another wot on Jordan Henderson

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson’s heart-to-heart with manager Jurgen Klopp has produced instant results as the midfielder feels more comfortable in his new advanced role.

It speaks volumes about the 28-year-old’s relationship with his experienced boss that he was able to make the suggestion he should be played further forward as a ‘number eight’.

Equally, the fact Henderson was prepared – and still is – to play the holding position for so long in order to accommodate other midfielders highlights his willingness to make personal sacrifices for the sake of the team.

But with summer signing Fabinho having found his feet and excelling as the deep-lying midfielder, Henderson saw his chance to expand his contribution.

As a result Liverpool have benefited as he scored his first goal in almost 18 months at Southampton on Friday and played a sublime role in the second goal against Porto.

After the Champions League quarter-final first-leg win, Klopp offered an apology of sorts, saying: “It was my fault that for one-and-a-half years he played as a number six. Sorry for that!”

But it would not have come about had it not been for the player’s gentle intervention.

“I don’t think the manager had thought about it too much until I mentioned it to him,” said the England international.

“Me and the gaffer just had a conversation. Obviously he had seen the England games and I felt good playing in that position.

“I suppose when I spoke to the manager, it was (to say) that I do feel more natural in that position: I played there for a long time, I was sort of a box-to-box midfielder when the manager first came.

“It was something that he said he would think about. I can do both positions and he sees that I can do both. It’s basically what he wants and he needs from the team.

“I want to keep contributing to the team. When I play the deeper position my role changes and I try to do different things and I can’t affect it as much in the final third.”

Henderson did not feel he could broach the subject with Klopp until he was confident they had a suitable alternative in Fabinho.

Henderson did not feel he could broach the subject with Klopp until he was confident they had a suitable alternative in Fabinho.

As club captain, his leadership role meant he was not prepared to risk destabilising a winning formula.

“It’s difficult to do that, it’s hard. For me as a captain and as a player at this football club, I always put the team first,” he added.

“I do whatever the manager tells us to do really but – when we had the conversation – I felt that I could speak my mind. I felt I could play further forward in that role.

“In the last couple of years there hasn’t really been a player like Fabinho in that role so I’ve had to adapt to that role. I think I’ve done quite well.

“I think if you look at Fab, it’s quite natural to him, that’s his position and he’s so good at what you need to do in that position.

“I just thought that might give me a bit more licence to get forward more at times – but you never know.

“The manager wants me in both positions which is good for me and for the team.

“In certain games I might be playing in that position. In certain games he might want me to play deeper. It’s all about putting the team first, I know that.

“But at the same time I want to contribute as much as I can to the team. I feel as though I can do that more in a further-forward position.”
 

FeNgZhEnG

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if those WOTs keep coming, we need to build Hendo's statue at Anfield soon:eek::eek:~
 

Sinkie

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Naby Keita, Jordan Henderson and how Jurgen Klopp transformed Liverpool midfield with control and chaos

Liverpool have played 17 matches in 2019, and in those contests, Jurgen Klopp has started with 12 different midfield combinations.

The trio of James Milner, Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum has been the most popular, but that is still with a grand total of just three starts together in that period.

Ultimately, supporters have become accustomed to rotation, especially in the midfield, to the extent that it's now vaguely been accepted as a given. However, it's somehow taken until the 17th fixture for the Naby Keita, Fabinho and Henderson dynamic to be tested.

The Liverpool boss selected the trio to face FC Porto in the first meeting of their two-legged European tie, and based on the performance, he may well have stumbled across a formidable concept.

The midfield appeared to offer a balance of various key traits, which has previously been lacking, as Liverpool's midfield has often been criticised for having too much of the same.

Fabinho played as the no.6 on this occasion, and it's reasonable to suggest that unlike the other midfielders in the squad, he's fairly limited in terms of his capability when fulfilling other midfield roles.

The likes of Milner and Wijnaldum can effectively shape-shift relative to wherever they're needed; during Klopp's tenure, the duo have served at centre-back, right-back, left-back, defensive midfield, central midfield and offensive midfield at some point.

Fabinho however - although he has played as a centre-back and a right-back for his country - doesn't appear suited to an offensive or energetic midfield role. Instead, he thrives when tasked with being a deeper, calmer, controlling influence behind the play.

The Brazilian's passing range is strong, he's composed when pressurised, and he's strong when engaging in duels which allows Liverpool to force turnovers or sustain pressure in the opposition's half.

Crucially, though, Fabinho was allowed to play as the team's no.6 versus Porto because of Henderson's adjusted role.

The Liverpool captain was reinstated as a box-to-box midfielder after over two years of Klopp utilising him as a no.6 - and his influence, both against Southampton and Porto, was reminiscent of 2013/14 when he became indispensable under Brendan Rodgers.

This version of Henderson is a force to be reckoned with, as he's exceptional when it comes to adding qualities such as mobility, harrying, aggression and endeavour.

Relevantly, though, those traits compensate Fabinho, as although the summer signing is a governing influence, he's not the quickest and isn't suited to covering excessive amounts of space single-handedly.

The likes of Henderson and Fernandinho at Man City for example, are comfortable when tasked with managing vast amounts of space because of their box-to-box origins. When Fabinho is tasked with doing so, he's more vulnerable, as was the case in the early stages against Southampton recently, pictured below.

0_export-2019-04-08T152541640.png


In that contest, little protection was provided around the Brazilian, and the team in general lacked compactness, which changed drastically once Henderson was introduced.

An example of the difference that the Liverpool skipper strives to make is pictured below, in which he's driven into the box to support an attack against Porto.

0_export-2019-04-10T114334080.png


Possession was lost by Mohamed Salah, though, and instantly, Henderson charged out towards the ball to prevent the opponent from progressing forwards in the direction of Fabinho.

If that defensive action was lackadaisical or late on Henderson's part, then Fabinho may have been tasked with the problem of whether to stay with his man, or close down the player with the ball, shown below.

0_export-2019-04-10T114529411.png


However, although Henderson undeniably provides endless work-rate, it's reasonable to suggest he lacks in creativity, and this is where Keita's addition becomes vital.

The 24-year-old provides the spark and the real offensive quality that becomes necessary once the final third is reached.

Keita is unique for a central midfielder when focusing on aspects such as dribbles and progressive runs, as he essentially does what the typical midfielder doesn't.

An example from Tuesday is pictured below, in which he's assumed possession entering the final third.

0_export-2019-04-10T115517767.png


Notably, rather than playing simply, he somehow drove forwards beyond three opponents to eventually end up near the byline, at which point he attempted to square a pass.

This level of creative dynamism that Keita demonstrates allows him to provide what Fabinho and Henderson probably won't for the most part.

Importantly, though, Keita's defensive output is also impressive. The case at hand isn't as simple as including a playmaker who will offer little without the ball, and the Guinean's all-round, unique contribution is largely what initially drew Liverpool's attention before securing his signature.

Overall, the midfield of Fabinho, Keita and Henderson provides the necessary balance of defence, attack, control and chaos.

Klopp may continue to rotate, but this new dynamic can now provide an alternate option for the decisive period of the season.

Fabinho is the cool, controlling, watchful figure; Henderson is the industrious, disciplined engine; Keita is the gifted, unpredictable invention.

It could prove to be the perfect blend for Klopp.
 

Sinkie

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if those WOTs keep coming, we need to build Hendo's statue at Anfield soon:eek::eek:~

0_JS167144933.jpg


Another unsung hero this season is Simon Mignolet too

Simon Mignolet has featured just twice for Liverpool this campaign with Alisson Becker Jurgen Klopp's preferred number one.
 

coolhead

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Against Chelsea... Fab to counter hazard. Wij to break kante. Hen for incisive passes to front 3.

Alison
Taa matip vvd Andy
Wij hen fab
Salah firm mane

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Henabi

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Hope to see more of hendie in that advanced position

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ParkJinYoung

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I hate all these champions talk
We talk when we really win

Not now.

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Henabi

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Where got?

All our players are saying "the focus is always the next game"

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cybertech

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Haha. At current form, they don't open leg big big, will still get raped by Man C. Hahaha

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You means kena raped with legs closed :s11: :s13:
For sure will kena rape by manc players, whether is 1 2 3 4 or 5 times or more.
Maybe Aguero alone will rape them twice :D
 

wadsad

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hazard been our nemesis over the past few seasons. be it league or cup. now he also just picked up form. need to put 4 men on him like what is happening to salah now.
 

Henabi

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That's the hendie I fell in love with :)

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wadsad

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0Qe1MK2.png


75 mil too cheap. worth at least 150 mil. ok now im getting carried away.
 

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BREAKING: Liverpool are in advanced talks with Nike over a new long-term kit deal which is expected to exceed the value of Manchester United's £750 million agreement with Adidas and become the biggest ever struck by a Premier League club.

Wow, Nike! I definitely won’t mind, their jersey design are nice
 
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