We've got a lot of time for Jordan Henderson here at Liverpool Offside Headquarters. Through the ups and downs of the past few seasons, watching Jordan Henderson's maturation on and off the pitch has frequently been a point of enjoyment given the player's somewhat rocky start to his career at Anfield. The midfielder recently gave a wide-ranging interview to The Telegraph, covering all manner of topics from his manager to fans to being a freshly minted father, that nicely chronicles that personal growth since the player arrived on Merseyside.
Still only twenty-three, the midfielder seems to be following along a similar path that brought his teammate Lucas Leiva from an out of favour scapegoat to one of the most important players in the side. Henderson credits Brendan Rodgers with sticking with him when other managers may not have after he refused a transfer to Fulham.
"I got down when I wasn’t playing very well," Henderson said. "I’m probably my biggest critic. There was an opportunity that got brought to me but I wanted to fight for my place. The manager was happy with that. Even when I wasn’t playing, he was still helping me, which meant a lot; a lot of managers will forget about you.
"I always felt he believed if I could do the things he was saying, he would give me the opportunity and he did. I kept working hard and repaid the faith he had shown in me. The manager has been brilliant since he came in."
Henderson's modesty and perseverance plays out in his relationship with the club's deeply passionate but sometimes fickle fan base. Liverpool fans are famous for their banter, and although he doesn't seem the type to need any external motivation to get the job done, the more vocal amongst the Anfield faithful have been known to give him an extra bit of edge now and again.
“When I’m playing wide, and need a kick up the arse, they’ll give you one," said Henderson. "I hear it now and again when I go for a throw-in. Sometimes it’s good. Sometimes it’s not too good. You might hear one comment that makes you chuckle. But then I’m straight back in the game and it’s forgotten about.
“The fans here are unbelievable. When you go out in the city, the fans just love football. As long as they can see you giving everything for the team they’ll be behind you 100 per cent. The atmosphere here is incredible. The fans have been a big part of the season."
The whole interview is worth a read
if because you are a Hendo fan, especially for his thoughts on many of his teammates, but we'll leave you with his rapturous feelings on his newborn daughter because it's best to start off your day with a big pile of feels.
"When I come in from training I try to help because my wife has been with her all day," the new dad said. "I do my bit, bath her. That takes my mind off football instantly. It’s amazing really. I feel a lot more responsible as a person. If I feel really down, I get home, look at her, and everything’s all right again. Maybe I’ve came out of my shell a bit, not dwelling on things as much. If I’m down as soon I see her she lights me up. It’s amazing really what a child can do.’’