Steven Gerrard’s text to Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson after title triumph

Amid the tidal wave of relief as Liverpool finally delivered the holy grail of the Premier League title, one message passed largely unnoticed.

It was from Steven Gerrard, the legend who had carried the burden of history at Anfield for so long.

It read: “Couldn’t have passed it to a better person…proud of you, mate.” A simple message, yes. But ­passionate and heartfelt.

Gerrard was, of course, speaking about handing his armband ­directly to his friend and former team-mate Jordan Henderson, the captain who finally delivered on burning expectation by leading Liverpool to the one trophy which has consumed them for 30 years.

What Gerrard was indicating is the truth that those around ­Melwood, the Liverpool training ground, have acknowledged for several years: Henderson not only typifies the work ethic and ­sacrifice that underscores Jurgen Klopp’s side, he defines it.

The leadership he delivers is ­crucial, setting a standard which others strive to match.

Without him, this would be a very different Liverpool. As Gerrard has acknowledged: “He is selfless, he puts everyone above himself.”

Henderson is genuinely one of the good guys and those who know the work he does on and off the pitch hope he gets some of the recognition he warrants.

“He deserves every bit of praise,” said Gerrard – especially after years of unkind comparisons, even from his own fans. Yet the player himself has no time for indulgence, and less time for the idea that he can now stand alongside Gerrard as one of the great Liverpool captains.

When asked about succeeding ­Gerrard and delivering what he couldn’t, Henderson shook his head vigorously even before the question was finished. “No, no,” he said.

“I have said this before when I first took over the role of the captaincy, when people might have doubted me: No one will replace Steven Gerrard at this football club, no matter what captains or teams win.

“No one will ever replace him. It wasn’t even in my mind when I took over the captaincy to replace him, it was just to do the best I could, the best for this football club and this team. That is all I ever try to do.”

Henderson hasn’t replaced him but he has continued the lineage and in some areas has been able to improve on it, in a better side under Klopp’s inspired management.

He has done it by by being the ultimate team man – Klopp’s type of leader. And a small but important footnote in his Liverpool career proves the point.

When he arrived at Anfield from Sunderland in 2011, he took the No.14 shirt. He still has it, even though as captain he could have claimed a more iconic number, as even Gerrard did. He began with the No.17 before ­swapping to No.8.

Mirror Football's Top Stories




Henderson will not rest now. He will not bask in the glory.

He said: “I haven’t even thought about stuff like that (the first English captain to lift the four trophies he has). I’m just honoured to give back the fans what they have wanted so badly.”

And he will demand even higher standards.

“Well it’s not particularly hard to be honest when you’ve got the group that we’ve got,” he said. “There’s a lot more to come because we can still do better and still be better.

“The focus will be on what we can achieve next season and what we want to do as a team.

“And I know that hunger will always be there. We have just got to go out and show everyone that is the case.”

As long as he is there, they will. Henderson has some years left at the top still.

Source: Read Full Article