As the entire England team wheeled away to celebrate a last-minute win over Tunisia at the World Cup, every fan was applauding the efforts of Harry Kane.
After all, the captain had pulled the side out from the depths of despair with an expert header. Hell, the Spurs man was even smart enough to peel off his defender and find space in a crowded box during the dying moments of a World Cup match – incredible!
Almost every English fan has gone on to praise the striker, who might be a real contender for the Golden Boot at the tournament but another player got a lot of praise from fans and pundits alike, Jordan Henderson.
Harry Kane and Kieran Trippier outstanding for England tonight. All set for the usual stuff after this – but also thought Jordan Henderson did really well too.
— Phil McNulty (@philmcnulty) June 18, 2018
Extremely impressed by Henderson tonight.
Commanding presence, always making himself available, vocal as anyone, spurring the lads on when things got tough, strong in the air and pinging passes with confidence. I’d written him off a while back. I was wrong. pic.twitter.com/DhwQxxqqxK
— Arsène’s Son (@hughwizzy) June 18, 2018
Enjoyed Henderson tonight
— Jody Morris (@morriskid) June 18, 2018
Yes, the Henderson who seems to split opinion among the Liverpool fans.
Ever since he was signed from Sunderland in 2011, Liverpool fans have been unsure of what he does or bring to the game.
Probably his best season came when we almost won the title under Brendan Rodgers. The English midfielder was given a free-roam and his running and energy should have led us to the title until he got sent off against Manchester City, which saw him miss three very crucial games.
The weight of expectation on the former Sunderland man certainly has been huge since many started believing that he could be the one to take over from our talisman, Steven Gerrard.
He’s not a Gerrard but is a man of his own style.
So, he can run, he has a lot of energy, he is English and he had one good season, he is our Gerrard replacement. Well, no, no one can be a “Gerrard” any more. Stevie was his own kind of player and Henderson is going to be his own kind of player too.
Rodgers could not get the best out of the former Sunderland man after that close season in 13-14 and mediocrity had hit the Reds with us failing to break into the top-four regularly.
The narrative under Jurgen Klopp now seems to be that Henderson can do a decent job but he isn’t dynamic enough to play for us. He passes the ball around sideways more often than not.
Well, people are finally waking up and aren’t taking this nonsense any more.
If Toni Kroos v Mexico put in the performance Jordan Henderson did last night
1: twitter fans would have drowned in a sea of their own skuzz
2: Germany wouldn’t have lost
— SimonBrundish (@SimonBrundish) June 19, 2018
As a centre mid when you lend it (sideways and backwards to you Twitter lot) then get it back then lend it again and get it back the picture in front of you is constantly changing. Then when it opens can you find that pass. Henderson does that well. Very very well last night.
— Curtis Woodhouse (@curtiswoodhous8) June 19, 2018
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 18, 2018
The professionalism that Henderson displays, even knowing that most of his own fans don’t rate him is remarkable. Credit must also be given to Klopp, who seems to have found something that Henderson is good at doing and that is making us tick.
Alright, so he does not have a thunderbolt of a shot in him. He does not have the dribbling ability that a Luka Modric or an Andres Iniesta might have. He doesn’t flail his arms around or tries to grab attention of the referees regularly but he is good at what he does and seems to be getting better.
Henderson has been made as a scapegoat whenever we or England don’t play well but when we do, he is excellent. Similarly, take him out of the team and his metronome passing and ease on the ball go missing and the entire team just does not function properly.
It is probably because he doesn’t say much about all the abuse he gets from everyone but the Englishman just keeps going on with it and it is only a matter of time before he is hailed as one of the better players we have had in years.
All he needs now are a few trophies under his belt and once he wins some medals, it will certainly help the critics shut up for good.