As they say, a leader leads by example. When one has the unparalleled diligence, commitment, grit and determination to perform at all costs, how can his team be any different?
These are exactly the attributes, Liverpool’s captain committed, Jordan Henderson exuberates and so does his team.
Add flamboyance and charisma to the team mix and one has the perfect recipe of a world-beating side.
Well, Liverpool have mastered this recipe with winning the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, the FIFA Club World Cup and now the elusive Premier League.
The Merseyside club have truly justified the title of being world beaters, and it surely wouldn’t have been possible without their captain, Jordan Henderson.
The cog in the middle who makes it all turn together
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Jordan Henderson has been at the forefront to help his team in every situation – be it playing in defence, in attack and needless to say, his main role as a midfielder in keeping things tidy in the middle of the park and producing those astute assists for strikers to score.
His diligence to the team’s cause is of utmost importance, though his performance often goes unnoticed as he is not flamboyant but more suited to being the workhorse who tirelessly works in the best interest of the team.
Every team need such dedicated work horses as their efforts make it easy for the flashy players to play their natural game.
Jordan Henderson has been consistently displaying this trait from the start of his career with Sunderland in 2008-09, and then subsequently with Liverpool when he moved to the Merseyside club in the summer of 2011.
After his first season at Anfield, then-manager Brendan Rodgers had offered to send the England international to Fulham in a bid to lure Clint Dempsey in an exchange deal, but such was Henderson’s determination to stay at Liverpool, that he rejected the move to fight for a place in the Reds’ starting XI.
Well, one wasn’t surprised as Henderson has made a whopping 363 appearances across all competitions for the Reds till date, with 28 goals and 50 assists to show for his efforts.
What’s more, his 55 caps for England since his debut in 2010 also further enhance his credentials of a warrior par excellence.
Following Liverpool’s title triumph this season, Reds legend, Steven Gerrard best described Jordan Henderson’s hardworking attitude when he said:
“I know Jordan more than most and I know what he’s put in. I know how hard he has fought, how hard he has worked, the shifts that he has put in and how much he helps other people.”
The resolute leader of the Reds
In June of 2015, following the departure of Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson was named the new captain of Liverpool by former manager Brendan Rodgers.
Under Jurgen Klopp, the current boss of Liverpool, the 30-year-old improved and evolved his game to become a more complete player, who could take up defensive duties or press forward when the situation demanded.
What’s more, he also became more creative in his central midfield role and has been applauded for his tactical intelligence, consistency and leadership both on and off the pitch.
His growth as a senior professional in the side has made him a role model for youngsters such as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Joe Gomez.
Being the most successful Liverpool skipper in recent years is testimony to his leadership skills in captaining a team that have made winning a habit.
After Liverpool won the 2019 FIFA Club World Cup, Jorge Jesus, the manager of the losing finalists Flamengo, described Jordan Henderson as the best midfielder in the world. Such compliments further cement the former Sunderland man’s credibility, not only as a player but also as a captain.
Achieving a feat like no other
Following Chelsea’s 2-1 win over Manchester City last month, Liverpool won their first Premier League title, and former Reds skipper, Steven Gerrard in an Instagram post paid tribute to Jordan Henderson.
“Couldn’t of passed it to a better person. Proud of you mate.“
Under Henderson’s captaincy, Liverpool are now the champions of Europe, the champions of the world and now, the champions of England too, after 30 long years – an unprecedented achievement by an English team.
This is testament to his incisive leadership abilities and being the central cog in a very ably performing team that is soaring from strength to strength.
Humility is his mantra
When success becomes a habit, humility needs to be the enabler to keep the habit going.
Well, there are few in world football as humble and modest as Jordan Henderson, who has always put the team before his individual ambitions.
After every win, the Englishman always credits the team effort leading to success over individual exploits – a trait of a good leader.
With Henderson at the helm, one would certainly expect Liverpool to consistently achieve greater accolades in the future and cement their place as one of the greatest, if not the greatest club in Europe and England.
What’s more for fans and team-mates alike, with Jordan Henderson as their captain, they certainly believe – ‘You’ll never walk alone’.