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Rodgers on Henderson: I Rate Him, Honestly

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Despite evidence to the contrary every time a team sheet has been released, Brendan Rodgers insists he thinks Jordan Henderson is a fantastic player. Really!

Laurence Griffiths

Of the multiple themes running through Liverpool's season — constant talk of a Top 4 finish, the quest for a win against a team in the top of half of the table, the ability to never let in just a single goal once a clean sheet is breached — the one involving Brendan Rodgers and his inexplicable lack of love for Jordan Henderson has been the most confounding of late.

Henderson's involvement has been limited to a handful of appearances off the bench since his last start against Zenit St Petersburg, despite having experienced a positive run of form that made the consistent selection of an injured Joe Allen ahead of him a particularly tough pill to swallow.

After weeks of consistent fan confusion over Henderson's exclusion from the starting eleven, Brendan Rodgers finally decided to address the issue and chalked his selection choices up to choosing the best tactics to suit the run of matches.

"It's just the balance and it depends on the opponent," said Rodgers. "Jordan has been excellent and his attitude has been great. The team has been winning as well. But Jordan has been excellent, he's a good player, he's improving tactically all the time and I know if I need to call on him he will be ready."

Henderson has been a model professional this season, even though he's consistently been given the message that he's surplus to requirements at the club. After the failed attempt to use him as transfer fodder with Fulham during the Clint Dempsey saga, Henderson doubled down his efforts to make it difficult to leave him out of the first team. Such a work ethic and attitude are important qualities in a young player, and hopefully the gaffer is coming around to the idea that the quality Henderson displays at Melwood might be of benefit to the whole squad right from kick off on match day.