Revamped Jordan Henderson holds up extremely well in Liverpool’s midfield | Jonathan Wilson
Nine years after a failed experiment with England, Henderson’s energy is being harnessed to great effect in a holding position
In November 2010, Fabio Capello gave Jordan Henderson his England debut in a friendly against France, operating alongside Gareth Barry at the back of midfield in a 4-2-3-1. In the second half, after Barry had been replaced by Adam Johnson, Steven Gerrard dropped in alongside him. It did not go well. Henderson didn’t start another game for England until a friendly against Denmark in March 2014.
But then why would it have gone well? Henderson was not a holding midfielder, even before you begin to consider the nightmarish difficulty of trying to play as a holding midfielder alongside Gerrard. Not for the first time people at Sunderland wondered whether Capello ever bothered to watch them play. One of the reasons Darren Bent left, two months after Henderson’s international debut, was that he felt his chances of England recognition would be greater if he played somewhere, anywhere, else.