When Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard announced his decision to quit the club at the end of the season, most of us Kopites, if not all were left absolutely stunned in shock at this groundbreaking decision that people never, ever expected to see. The cult status that the born and bred Liverpudlian built up for himself over the course of 16 years at Anfield is in my opinion, second to none. The reasons for his upliftment to those dizzy heights of stardom are surely many, but the primary cause behind it has to be the countless times he took a game by the scruff of the neck by putting in a tireless performance from the centre of the park and chipping in with a goal. The chances of that happening ever again are very slim as the man himself is out on the sidelines with a hamstring injury and with the end of the season now less than two months away, his time at the top tier seems to be up. But as Maria said in the “Sound of Music”, when God closes a door, somewhere he opens a window. In our case, that window is named Jordan Henderson.
The 25 year old England international is having the time of his life with Liverpool this season after stepping up his game to the next level. His performances have been absolutely stunning and the good news is, he seems to be getting better with each passing day. The two long range beauties that he scored against Manchester City at the weekend and Burnley in midweek were world class to say the least.
The goals may even be called Gerrard-esque as they were both powerfully struck right footed attempts that gave both keepers no chance. On top of the quality of the goals, what was very important was the timing of them. Both of these strikes came early on in the game to break the deadlock, which is always a pivotal point in any match. Goals are the latest addition to his rapidly growing catalogue of strengths while assists were already a regular feature. Our vice-captain has assisted 12 goals this season. To put that into context, it is the highest number of assists by a Red this campaign and is also just shy of the 13 that Luis Suarez has assisted this season for Barca.
At this point of time, Henderson looks to be the best candidate to fill the shoes of Steven Gerrard and the two goals that he scored in our last two games are making his case even stronger. Gerrard was always known for getting goals when his team needed one the most, and that was probably the only thing that was lacking from Henderson’s game. The recent past gives us enough reason to believe that he is on his way to incorporating goals into his game and the moment he is able to rack up at least 10 goals a season, we will have on our hands the closest possible successor of Steven Gerrard.