Liverpool Captain Playing Better, Greater
Jordan Henderson has been performing at an all-new high thanks to his club experiencing great success in the Champions League.
Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp believes that the drive to win the Champions League was more than enough to raise captain Jordan Henderson and his performance to a whole new level. As for the Premier League, not much can be said except that the club has more or less sealed the title race. Their next match will be against the Wolves where they will be looking for their 14th consecutive win.
Klopp said that last season’s performance from the captain showed plenty of promise as well as plenty of room for improvement. However, before he could raise his game, he needed to realize the quality of play. ‘The self-awareness has changed. The natural quality was always there. I knew Hendo before I came here as a proper box-to-box player who can make the difference. Going back four and a half years when I arrived here, it was the first year Hendo was captain after Steven Gerrard. As I’ve always said, it’s the most unthankful thankless job in the world. People maybe needed to get used to that, that somebody who is not Steven Gerrard has the captain’s armband and he didn’t get the credit he would have deserved’, said Klopp.
‘But since I am here Hendo has played 90% of the games he was available, if not more, for good reasons. He was 25 when I came here; it’s the best age to improve, the best age to make the next steps. You get used to a lot of things around you and now you can really concentrate on football and your development, your development as a team and what you can deliver for that. That’s what happened. He is now calmer in certain situations. His self-awareness, his self-confidence grew again from a proper level already’.
Projecting Liverpool’s success, they are on track to win the Champions League, the UEFA Super Cup, the Club World Cup, and the Premier League in a span of just 12 months. Klopp also believes that last season’s European success in Madrid was the catalyst. ‘That helped for sure. No one can take that away from him’.
Words: Carlos Corpus