Despite Ban, Henderson Travels to Norwich Due to Influence in Dressing Room

Mike Hewitt

One does not simply ignore the raw animal magnetism of Jordan Henderson, and Brendan Rodgers is clearly not immune to the midfielder's powers as he plans to bring the player all the way to Norwich in spite of the fact that he is not eligible to play.

Last year during the Great Vice Captain Debate of 2013, Daniel Agger, Lucas Leiva, and Pepe Reina were seen as the front runners to play deputy to captain Steven Gerrard. There were several dark horse choices beyond the top three options, amongst whom was Jordan Henderson. Henderson is not unfamiliar with a leadership role, having captained England's U21 team in the past as well as having worn the armband for Liverpool in a pre-season friendly last August.

Formal acknowledgements of his leadership skills aside, it's clear that Henderson will be missed from the line-up for the next three matches as he sits out his ban after receiving a red card against Manchester City last weekend. While the team will sorely miss what Hendo has to offer on pitch, Brendan Rodgers will make sure that his squad aren't lacking his presence in the dressing room against Norwich tomorrow.

"Jordan will obviously be a miss in terms of what he has contributed all season," Rodgers confirmed. "We’ve seen his quality and his personality really grow. It’s been great to see that development in him. It’s obviously a big disappointment for Jordan but he will remain part of the squad. He will travel with the players and prepare as if he’s playing.

"He has demonstrated real leadership qualities this season. He is one of the leaders in this squad and how he’s taken that on board has delighted me. Maybe he won't be able to affect the next three games on the pitch but just his presence and being around the team will really help us. He will be encouraging and supporting the players who can play."

If you're done swooning, consider that players unavailable for selection don't usually travel with the team. Rodgers isn't shy about his feelings on Henderson's growth and importance, but even the unspoken gesture of bringing him all the way to East Anglia despite his ban certainly says a lot for Henderson's evolving importance to the team.

Whether Hendo will deliver a pre-match speech to rival Steven Gerrard's post-Man City WE GO AGAIN call to action remains to be seen, but let's hope someone captures it on a camera phone if it does happen. Just give us this one thing, football gods.

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