Henderson's Leadership on Display in Swansea Brace

Clive Brunskill

With the first brace of his Liverpool career, Jordan Henderson played a decisive role in Liverpool's 4-3 win over Swansea, prompting Brendan Rodgers to once more speak about the midfielder's numerous leadership qualities.

Jordan Henderson doesn't always score a ton of goals every season, but when he does they are things of beauty. In a game that could charitably be described as heart attack inducing, Henderson delivered a goal in the 20th minute that should have put the match to bed for Liverpool, and when it didn't he fired home the game-winning shot with fifteen minutes left to spare.

"Jordan showed great leadership today," Brendan Rodgers said immediately after the match. "You could see him driving the team on. His first goal was an outstanding goal. We've been talking to him about getting up there [into the penalty area], because in training his finishing is sublime. He practises and he works at it.

"But what was really pleasing for me was his second goal. We've been telling him to get into the box and arrive in there, because he's got the energy and the legs to do that."

Henderson's internal perpetual motion machine has been well documented, as has the work ethic that has him constantly trying to improve every detail of his game. What has stood out about Henderson's improvement is how much of it has come from his relationship with Rodgers and the clear benefits the midfielder has reaped from his manager's coaching. Henderson's second goal is demonstrative of Rodgers' coaching suggestions being put into practice.

"The thing I always say to the midfield players," Rodgers explained, "those advanced ones is, 'can you get inside the six-yard box?' People always talk about getting into the penalty area, and I always try and get them to get inside the six-yard box. And that's where his goal has come from.

"It was a terrific reaction save from Michel Vorm from his first effort on goal and then he's followed in and kept going and got his finish and that was a really important goal for us. He was outstanding today."

Henderson's offensive contributions certainly helped propel Liverpool to the win, although one wonders if the pressing from the midfield that enabled Henderson to get forward in the first place might have served the leaky defense better had it been dialled down slightly. Still, as with any performance, Rodgers and Henderson alike will find things to improve upon for this weekend's visit to Southampton and hopefully offense-as-defense will be on the list'.

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