After being sent to the bench for the match on Wednesday, there were plenty of questions going around regarding whether or not Liverpool need Jordan Henderson. Manager Jürgen Klopp had his own defense of the midfielder, being adamant that he has “the hardest job in football.” Even as the captain returned to the starting lineup for the Merseyside Derby over the weekend, there were still some raised eyebrows from supporters - as there always are. One former captain, though, joined Klopp’s defense of Henderson - although he may have been a brief and overlooked captain.
"I was surprised to see him [Henderson] left out - you wouldn't see Steven Gerrard left out of a game like that,” said Jamie Redknapp to Sky Sports this week. “There may be a slight problem there, but I am a fan of Jordan Henderson, he is as honest as they come, and that is why he is captain.”
We know now that the manager was simply resting Henderson before the Derby but that omission has definitely raised the questions of where Henderson now fits into the team. Is he captain simply because there is no one else better suited for the armband, currently, on the squad? This writer disagrees but would be remiss to ignore the question entirely. The Liverpool captaincy isn’t to be taken lightly, and if anyone understands that it’s Jordan Henderson. He worked closest with Steven Gerrard, after all, and he said himself he’s learned everything he knows from him.
"It [Liverpool captaincy] does weigh heavy on your shoulders because of all the great captains from the past," Redknapp continued. "The likes of Phil Thompson and Graeme Souness, players who have won trophies for many, many years. I felt it. You feel a huge amount of responsibility and huge amount of pride.
"Jordan is a big character, and I am sure he will respond in the right way. He keeps his counsel, I have met him a few times and he seems like a great guy. He just needs to keep his form up."
If there’s one thing that Hendo is good at, it’s putting in the performances to prove he’s worthy of his place. The Derby was rough on everyone but that’s the good thing about December - there’s more games to make amends for mistakes. The captain will have plenty of time to prove himself - again - to supporters who remain on the fence about him. The other ones... well, they’ve long decided he’s never going to be good enough and they just enjoy being miserable.