Jordan Henderson has had, to say the least, an up-and-down career with Liverpool. His first season at Anfield was rough at the best of times, but then last season saw a lot more positive than negative. This season, Henderson got off to a tremendous start, but his form had cooled in recent weeks, leading to speculation that he would start seeing a lot of the bench again.
Then yesterday happened, and oh man was it good.
With Steven Gerrard out injured, Brendan Rodgers elected to start Henderson in central midfield alongside Joe Allen and Lucas Leiva. Henderson was handed the box-to-box role that's always seemed to suit him best, and it paid off in spades. He spent all match charging in to Tottenham's box with reckless abandon, leading to an assist on the opener, a gorgeous goal of his own, and involvement in all three of Liverpool's other goals.
It wasn't just the tremendous attacking work that made the match notable for Henderson, though. He was calm and assured in possession, and used long diagonal balls on several occasions to feed Coutinho and Raheem Sterling in dangerous areas. He also was a tremendous asset in defense, pressing the player in possession whenever Tottenham had the ball near him, and looking to close down runners or cut off passing lanes when he wasn't pressing.
Hopefully this is the start of a trend for Henderson. What we saw yesterday was the player we were all hoping for when he was brought in from Sunderland two and a half years ago. Gerrard's injury has opened an opportunity for Henderson to blossom in a more unrestricted role than we've seen him in before; hopefully he continues to seize this chance just as firmly as he did yesterday and runs with it until his motor finally runs out. And hopefully he scores a lot more goals in the future, because I will never tire of his sheer exuberance as he celebrates.
Video by MostarLFC