With Liverpool Football Club slowly but surely getting back into a state of normalcy after almost a fortnight since club icon Steven Gerrard announced that he was to leave the Reds at the end of the season after a 26 year long association with the club, it is time we looked ahead at the future and chalked out a viable plan that could help replace the man who carried the club for more than a decade. The truth is that you never really know what can happen in life. Nobody would’ve guessed that the wiry teenager who came on as a substitute for Veggard Heggem in a game against Blackburn Rovers could have gone on to do so much for his boyhood team. The reason I am saying this is because I am failing to think of a player who could even come close to filling the massive gap that is going to be left empty by the departure of our very own colossal, Steven Gerrard.
The initial reactions of shock and disbelief that greeted the confirmation that our captain was indeed leaving the club at the end of the season was replaced by numerous questions and accusations that he was forced out owing to the amount of time it took our club to offer their star man a new deal. And just as these conspiracy theories died down, a new topic came in to the fray. The hunt for a successor. Honestly speaking, I fail to see anyone coming close to being another Steven Gerrard and I do think that we will not ever have the pleasure of having someone of similar might amongst our ranks. Keeping this point aside, if I am to look elsewhere and still look around for a successor, then I’d like to think that Jordan Henderson would be our best bet.
The former Sunderland man has already achieved the unthinkable by turning around his Liverpool career after a very unconvincing start to his life with the Reds. In the last few seasons, Henderson has gone on to make himself one of the first names on the teamsheet owing to his tireless running, accurate passing and an ability to be everywhere at once. The young man’s athleticism is absolutely stunning and we can only wonder exactly how he can manage to sprint with the same intensity in the 9th minute as well as the 90th minute of a game. Henderson is also well endowed with leadership abilities which were taken note of very early on in his career as he was the captain of the England U-21 team for quite a long time. More recently however, his maturity and leadership were rewarded in an even better fashion after he was selected as the vice captain of Liverpool Football Club at the start of the season.
These attributes are certainly what we would need from Steven Gerrard’s successor and it sure does help that our number 14 has them from a very tender age, but leadership and running is not just what our Captain Fantastic brings to our team. An amazing range of passing is obviously another aspect that Gerrard has in his artillery, and while Henderson is not entirely there yet, I will accept that this is also one of his stronger points. Our vice captain is blessed with a good eye for a pass and there have been numerous occasions when he has played the Hollywood ball that travelled 50 yards into the feet of a teammate.
The last feature of Gerrard’s is also probably the only feature that Henderson is still yet to replicate. Our present captain’s goal record. Steven Gerrard is a hero amongst us Kopites because of the important goals that he has scored for us. Be it Istanbul or Cardiff or Anfield itself, Gerrard has carried the club forward with his goals and if, if by any chance Jordan Henderson can manage to get more goals for us, then we may just have pulled off the unthinkable by finding a replacement, or indeed a successor, to the throne of Steven Gerrard.