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“I am not joking”: Ex-PL goalkeeper says Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson must start for England in World Cup KOs

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By Shrishh Attavar

Former Manchester United goalie Ben Foster wants Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson to start all of England’s World Cup games

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson featured in the World Cup for the first time when the Three Lions took on the USA in their second group-stage game. Hendo came on as a second half for Jude Bellingham and had a fairly decent outing.

He started the game against Wales and played the entire 90 minutes in a game wherein Gareth Southgate’s squad confirmed their progress through to the Round of 16. Liverpool’s other representative, Trent Alexander-Arnold featured against the Welsh as a late second-half substitute.

Even though from a creative perspective, the Liverpool captain did not have much to offer, the Reds looked much more in control of the game from the get-go with Hendo controlling the tempo of the play. Former Premier League keeper Ben Foster also believes the same.

Jordan Henderson celebrates England's win over Wales in the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Jordan Henderson celebrates England’s win over Wales in the 2022 FIFA World Cup. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Speaking on his The Cycling GK YouTube channel, Foster said that the impact Henderson has on the rest of his teammates is immaculate and is one of the most important players when it comes to controlling the tempo of the game.

“When Jordan Henderson starts, some people think ‘oh, bloody hell Jordan Henderson?’. I am not joking – I would rather have him starting ahead of most players in that midfield. I am not joking, he’s that captain that you need on the pitch,”

“On the pitch, Jordan Henderson is the main man you know, he’s the guy that’s shouting and pointing and getting everybody going. He raises the tempo.”

The Liverpool skipper has often seen a lot of criticism for his bland, almost boring style of play, and for not offering any creative output in the game. There has been plenty of cribbing from a certain section of fans when it comes to Hendo, and they believe that the former Sunderland midfielder remains too safe with his style of play.

Hendo for the Three Lions

However, with a lot of backing and support from within the camp, Hendo would hope to prove his worth to everyone who is watching, and eliminate the criticism he has been facing, which almost seems never-ending.

Former Liverpool star Adam Lallana has called for Hendo to start the game against Senegal in England’s Round of 16 game against Aliou Cisse’s side, and hopefully, if he does, Hendo performs exceedingly well and maybe get a goal contribution or two because there’s no better way to turn around your image on the field than making tangible contributions in front of goal.

Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson in action for England action. (Photo by Carl Recine - Pool/Getty Images)
Liverpool skipper Jordan Henderson in action for England. (Photo by Carl Recine – Pool/Getty Images)

In case England qualify for the next round of the tournament, Hendo and Trent join fellow Liverpool team-mate Virgil van Dijk to progress through to the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

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They will all come in action for the same team only later this month, when Liverpool and Aston Villa lock horns in the Premier League on 26th December. However, in case any of those progress further, one would expect the Liverpool management to give them a decent break before they jump back into action.