Gerrard and Henderson Earn England Awards

Alex Livesey

Fitting that, on a day when both excelled at the Emirates in Liverpool's 2-2 draw, Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson were acknowledged for their accomplishments in the national setup.

We're not overly fond of internationals of any sort around here, with friendlies, continental cup competition or qualifiers, World Cup etceteras met with relative disdain depending on whether or not all Liverpool parties involved make it out alive and if it actually provides us something to write about during particularly slow times. Much to our chagrin, it doesn't look as though it's entirely about us, and for the players involved it's apparently something of a big deal. And admittedly, it's sort of nice to see Liverpool's squad members performing at a high level for their country, as the combination of actually getting to watch football during the league down times and the unfounded smugness that comes along with the "yeah, that's our guy" feeling is kind of nice. But only when nobody's getting hurt.

And as far as the current squad goes, two who've been a significant part of their respective international squads are Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, both of whom took part in Euro 2012 and have also captained different levels of the England setup over the past year. Henderson was something of a surprise inclusion in Roy Hodgson's senior squad, but he'd previously--and, as it turned out, later--captained the U21s during their own Euro qualifying. Gerrard is still Gerrard, whether or not Frank Lampard is there to play foil, and after a largely disappointing 2011-2012 season for Liverpool, he managed to impress in Poland and the Ukraine even if England are eternally destined to underwhelm.

For their work, they were recognized last night in the FA's first annual England awards, with Gerrard earning the Men's Player of the Year and Henderson receiving the U21s Player of the Year honor. Martin Kelly finished second for the U21s, giving Liverpool three of the top six vote-getters in the top two categories, a decent haul for a club that produced more internationals than any other club in the top flight between the senior and U21 squads.

So congratulations to both of them and Kelly, as well as an exciting reminder that both will be taking part in friendlies this week, with Gerrard leading the senior squad--which includes Glen Johnson and Daniel Sturridge--against Brazil on Wednesday, and Henderson leading the U21s against Sweden, with Jonjo Shelvey, Andre Wisdom, and Jack Robinson joining him, and Raheem Sterling a late drop through illness or injury(?).

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