In non-Thiago news, beloved left-back Andy Robertson has released a book. Titled, Now You’re Gonna Believe Us...Our Year My Story, it traces his journey with the team as they won the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup, and Club World Cup in 2019, followed by the English Premier League in 2020.
Of note among his anecdotes, are his words of praise for club captain Jordan Henderson, who was crowned Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers’ Association for 2019-2020.
“Hendo was so focused and so driven that I don’t think he could have got caught up in the excitement if someone had knocked at his door with the Premier League trophy and told him it was done. To say he was in the zone would be one of the understatements of the season,” Robertson writes, pointing to Henderson’s influence as a leader and footballer, who led by example and inspired the team to blaze through their winning seasons.
“At Melwood, his influence was absolute. He literally didn’t have to say anything. He could have remained silent because the example he was setting on the training pitch and in games was so powerful that words were no longer required.
“Over Christmas and into January, his performances were exceptional and even when we were not at our best as a team, Hendo made sure we never stopped pushing to be as good as we could be on any given day and made sure we got over the line on occasions when doing so was a big challenge. He was putting in nine and 10 out of 10 performances every single game and we all responded to that. You can’t hide or accept an off day when your captain is delivering to that level and that’s why he finally started getting the recognition he deserved.”
Henderson’s journey, now perhaps somewhat over-analyzed in the wake of Liverpool’s recent laurels, has been non-traditional to say the least. Transferred to Liverpool from his boyhood club Sunderland, coming close to being sold to Fulham, taking over the captain’s armband from perhaps the most intimidating of club captains, Steven Gerrard - his recent honours have not come easy, and Robertson points to this dilemma.
“Hendo has always been questioned since he took the armband off Steven Gerrard. Stevie isn’t an easy person to follow, of course he isn’t, and Hendo understood that more than anyone. But he deserved to be judged fairly and on his own merits rather than constantly being compared to a Liverpool legend. It was only when everybody started seeing Jordan Henderson as Jordan Henderson – not as the guy who had taken over the captaincy from Steven Gerrard – that this started to happen. Nobody will replace Stevie as a Liverpool player given everything he achieved and what he stood for, but Hendo is now established as another winning Liverpool captain and deservedly gets the respect that goes with that status.”
This is clear now, for fans and for the team - Jordan Henderson has carved his own niche. And he still has more to give, not just as a reliable midfield general, but as a mentor, as Robertson highlights, “I look at Hendo every day and try to pick things up from him, especially the way he tries to keep improving.”