YOU have to give Jordan Henderson his due.
Having suffered with the norovirus myself last year, I can confirm that 2012′s strain was a particularly nasty one. Feeling ill for six days, the first thing I did was withdraw from my six a-side game the day after I vomited for 20 hours straight!
I know professional footballers are naturally fit lads (Joe Cole excepted!) but it still takes a bit of something to get off your sickbed, travel down to London, warm up and then play competitive Premier League standard football.
The much maligned midfielder has done himself proud by getting up and playing. It’s easy to say “so he should with the money he’s on” but footballers are still human beings and take it from me, that’s one nasty bug.
Henderson has of course attracted a bit of attention whenever he’s played this season.
Mostly in his natural central midfield position, a departure from his stint on the right in the 2011-2012 campaign, he has looked impressive. He is certainly staking a claim for a regular start. The poor performance at Stoke on Boxing Day only intensified calls for him to play as JonJo Shelvey proceeded to have a nightmare.
There is absolutely a question as to whether or not Henderson should start more. In my opinion, he should. I think his distribution is questionable at times but in that centre of midfield, I think we have had a lack of balance at times.
I wasn’t convinced a midfield of Lucas-Allen-Gerrard had the right balance because I couldn’t see who in that midfield had the energy to go and hassle and harry higher up the field and get pressure on the ball. That is Henderson’s game and it’s no surprise that when allowed to do that he looks a much better player. Lucas hassles, harries and wins the second ball much deeper.
If you believe The Times (I’m still waiting for CHINA TO BUY LIVERPOOL: best deal for the club and the city etc) then Fulham are linked with a move for him in January. I have heard that they bid around £2m and Clint Dempsey for him in the dying days of the August window and were told to go away. I hope they are again if they come back.
Give the lad an extended run in the first team in his proper position and we can see in the summer how long term his future is. But testament to the way he played in that game at QPR with a dicky tummy.