As much as some very vocal fans would grumble about it, Jordan Henderson is our most senior serving player right now. He’s been with Liverpool for seven years and three different managers. He’s the only current player to have won something with Liverpool, so he’s definitely seen the league change and evolve into the monster we know it today. He’s also our captain and probably the best judge of the strength of our team compared to other title challenging squads to wear the Red shirt. And his assessment of our current squad is pretty dang positive.
“It’s probably the strongest squad since I’ve been here. You need 20, 22-plus players really – two teams to basically challenge for every trophy,” says the skipper in the latest edition of the official club magazine.
“When you’re playing every three or four days on a constant basis you need to freshen things up, whether that’s with a couple of changes or a few more, depending on what the manager wants to do. You need everyone as fresh as can be, really, to share the load, so in that sense I feel it is certainly the strongest squad I’ve been part of.
“I look around at the quality of the people we’ve got coming on in games and people who are not even on the bench. It’s strong and that can only be a plus for us hopefully. But every game is difficult in the Premier League and every team seems to be getting better every year.
“There are some top teams with amazing players and top managers throughout the league, clubs that are improving because they’re investing well and buying well in the transfer window.
“Tactically, things have changed as well, which has improved things, so I’d say the Premier League is getting stronger. That makes it difficult to win it but we’ve come on leaps and bounds over the last couple of years and we’re in a position now where we can really challenge.
“It’s down to us to go out there and do the business every weekend.”
Watching Liverpool play as they’ve grown and evolved through Jürgen Klopp’s tenure has been just as frustrating and heartbreaking as it has been delightful, and it’s all thanks to these changes in the squad itself and the teams and league surrounding them. Klopp himself spoke recently about being in this together, and their shared experiences being key to their growth. Henderson knows that well, even with new players waiting patiently for their time in front of the Anfield faithful.
“As a group, we need to make sure that everyone is in it together through tough periods of games from now right until the end of the season, fingers crossed, if we keep doing well,” continues Henderson.
“Christmas, as we know, will be a busy period and the games come thick and fast so people need to keep doing what they’ve been doing, keep training hard if you’re not playing, and when you get your chance to play in the first team you’ve got to take your opportunity.
“Being in it together is the biggest thing and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
He adds: “The lads understand that. They’ve all been really good about it so far and I’m sure things will get better because with all the games we’ve got coming you’re going to get injuries during the season. We need everyone if we’re going to win trophies.”
The international break has hardly started and injuries are already starting to roll in, so he’s a little too wise on that front. Hopefully he can lead us to at least one piece of silverware this season.