Another Tony Roffe/Jake collaboration

The Daily Mail football writer Matt Lawton began his report on Jordan Henderson’s call-up to the England squad for Euro 2012 with these words:

Liverpool flop Jordan Henderson has been called up for Euro 2012 after Frank Lampard was ruled out of the tournament.

The midfielder suffered a serious injury when he collapsed clutching his thigh after running to retrieve a ball during training on Wednesday.

England manager Roy Hodgson has already lost Gareth Barry and he has a further concern that Scott Parker is only just back from an achilles problem.

Henderson is not a popular choice with fans after his poor first season since joining Liverpool in a £20million deal from Sunderland last summer.

Now it may be that my confrère Matt is a better judge of players than a man who

* has been acclaimed at virtually every club he has managed

* is considered to have the desired attributes to steer a leading international football squad through a major tournament

It may be that other Fleet Street, TV and radio critics have the edge on Hodgson when it comes to tactical nous.

And it may be that any moment now we’ll see pigs flying past the window.

As I have said at Twitter, Jordan Henderson is the last person to be blamed if his price tage was too high and a crazed Liverpool management was prepared to pay it.

Nor can he be fairly be hammered for taking time to settle at Anfield. I believe the word ”flop” is a gross and insulting exaggeration though I would not argue with more measured criticism of his first season at the club.

When I’ve seen him he has blown hot and cold, doing excellent work one moment, being caught out the next but one.

I still believe he is a gem, as good a prospect as England currently has to offer. And I also feel that until he is shown to be a ”flop” at Euro 2012, he should actually receive some support. As should Roy Hodgson; there is ample time for reflection and harsh appraisal if things go wrong.

As for Chelsea fans said to be offering especially vitriolic thoughts in JH’s direction, I can but reiterate another tweet: if CFC fans hate him, he goes up even higher in my estimation.

Monsieur Salut, by Matt

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Salut! Sunderland is written, illustrated and edited by - and principally for - supporters of Sunderland AFC. The site aims to be sufficiently literate and entertaining to appeal to people who do not follow SAFC but enjoy good football writing.

7 Responses to “Henderson, Liverpool and England: isn’t it possible Roy Hodgson knows better?” Subscribe

  1. Dood May 31, 2012 at 7:08 pm #

    Pretty sick of most media having a go at Jordan. IMO he had an ok debut season playing all over a midfield where senior players let him down.

    He’s shown plenty of glimpses of talent and once he’s in a settled team, in a settled position I’m pretty confident he’ll do a grand job for the pool. Way to wreck the already fragile confidence of a young player.

  2. VormHat May 31, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

    Liverpool fan.

    I’m a big fan of Henderson. Even those who aren’t (the non-internet lunatics anyhoo) acknowledge that he is a work in progress and will get better. He definitely has the attributes to succeed, and is built to play in a fluid pass and move system were players press the opposition.

    He does deserve criticism for the way he played last season, since he wasn’t up to scratch and looked to lack the mentality to play under higher pressure. I’m confident he will get over it but then again some don’t (Stewart Downing).

    It makes more sense to take him than Carrick who doesn’t want to be part of the squad and isn’t one for the ‘future’ anyway. He is versatile and honest in his approach.

    The mistake Hodgson made, and I realise I just emphasised the importance of the future in the previous paragraph, is not trying his damndest to get Scholes out of retirement.

    A big part of all this ‘flop’ talk is just a stick to beat Dalglish with. We over paid for him in the short term, but people don’t realise that we will get 10 decent quality years out of Henderson. Even if he isn’t up to scratch now, over the time he is here he will more than pay off his fee.

    I don’t know about him getting abused by Chelsea fans. That is a shame. I really can’t understand that. I’m not one for confrontation between fans, being a Liverpool fan I suffer my fair share of unfair mischaracterisation and therefore don’t really want to comment too much on this without knowing the score.

    I’m fed up of people using his performance in the u-21s tournament as a criticism of him since he was clearly on his arse. If someone bothered to study the rest of his performances with the u-21s then there would be more understanding of his talents.

    Good to see that you lot don’t swallow Fleet Street’s bollocks like some gullible eejits in this country.

    I will say this though: beware of Roy Hodgson. Don’t let his ‘glittering’ career blind you to some of his faults, which at Liverpool were fatal. That said, he probably couldn’t get as many things wrong for England as he did at Liverpool if he tried.

  3. Thommo May 31, 2012 at 7:38 pm #

    Well said mate – I’m a Kop season ticket holder and have seen enough raw talent in the lad to suggest he may yet turn out to be a bargain. He’s been played out of position most of the season but has still shown touches of real quality – not least when he left John Terry on his arse before slotting the ball into the net at Anfield earlier this month. Don’t listen to the London media – they’ve been peddling this crap for years. Just ask Roger Hunt or John Barnes…

  4. prince May 31, 2012 at 10:22 pm #

    henderson can 2 lfc and lucas and adam became injured so dat he wil play..he went 2 euro and then barry and lampard became injured..he is a wizard

  5. Jay Wright June 1, 2012 at 6:25 am #

    The price tag was obviously too high at this stage in his career, but I thought that Henderson looked like a true quality prospect when I saw him at Sunderland, and I remain optimistic that he will develop into a quality player at Liverpool.

    It may well be another couple of years before he develops the confidence to consistently assert himself on games, but he has all the physical and technical qualities to be a legit top class central midfielder imo.

    Rodgers’ arrival, and the implementation of a clear playing strategy built around a 3 man central midfield should accelerate Henderson’s ascension to that status though. Dalglish’s flip-flopping every week clearly wasn’t helping to get the best out of Henderson, or many of his team-mates.

  6. Sobs June 1, 2012 at 11:35 am #

    not sure why he’s getting abuse from chelsea fans – it’s not as if he kicked Lampard, is it?

    I’d love to have seen him work with O’Neil at SAFC. Henderson, not Lampard, that is. He could be one of those who has a cracking torunament, and will be cover ten times the ground Barry would have, without getting booked after 50 minutes in every game

  7. Pete Sixsmith June 1, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    At the end of the day, he is a Sunderland lad and a Sunderland fan who has done well for himself. We got two good years out of him and then, a shed load of money. I wish him all the bet and it gives me a modicum of interest in watching England in the finals.

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