It may be too early to call, but you could excuse some Liverpool fans for rushing at the thought that they have found yet another captain fantastic.
Since the noughties, Steven Gerrard has been Mr. Liverpool, carrying the weight of the club on his shoulders, being the man to deliver during the big moments, time and again.
However, the sun has been setting on his Liverpool career over the past couple of seasons and come end of this season, the Whiston-born midfielder will no longer be in his boyhood club’s team sheet. A hard fact to take for the Kop.
The departure of Gerrard is expected to leave a gap in the Liverpool team. Be it his individual game saving heroics or his leading by example modus operandi, the 34-year-old will be missed irrespective of how Liverpool perform post his era.
Of immediate concern, however, is as to who will Gerrard’s captain armband be handed to. There’s no doubt that the Merseyside club has people who can lead the club spread all over the pitch. You can argue a case for Simon Mignolet who after a patchy start to his Liverpool career has made a tremendous turnaround with one commanding display after another, exactly what you need from your last man in defence.
Ahead of him, Martin Skrtel is assumed to be the Reds’ second vice captain and the Slovakian being one of the senior members of the team and a warrior on the pitch would be an able heir. The likes of Emre Can and Lucas Leiva are all capable of handling the pressure of the captaincy.
Jordan Henderson would be among the very first people to dismiss any suggestions that he could replace Gerrard. However, the former Sunderland man is currently the understudy to Gerrard and looks likely to be the man to take the captaincy on a permanent basis.
Henderson’s record while captaining Liverpool is phenomenal. On Wednesday night, he captained Brendan Rodgers’ side for the 13th time this season. The 24-year-old scored a scorcher give the Reds the lead before finding Daniel Sturridge with a Gerrard-eque pass with his fellow Englishman doubling Liverpool’s lead in a comfortable 2-0 win over Burnley.
Henderson’s goal was his fifth of the season and the second he’d scored just three days apart having also netted the opener in the 2-1 win over Manchester City on the weekend. It was an effort that had Steven Gerrard’s fingerprints stroked all over it; a powerful low drive from outside the area that found the bottom right corner. The assist for Sturridge’s goal (Henderson’s 11th this year) was equally drawn from Gerrard’s manual.
Wednesday night was the 13th time the £20m signing from Sunderland was captaining the Merseyside club. In the 13 matches, he has won 10 and drawn three while suffering ZERO defeats.
The 10 wins have come from defeat of Swansea (twice), Stoke City, Aston Villa, West Ham, Crystal Palace, Besiktas, Southampton, Manchester City and lately Burnley, with the draws coming against Sunderland, Everton and Bolton.
Brendan Rodgers may have recently gone to press saying that Henderson isn’t an automatic choice for the Liverpool armband. However, if the England international continues to score and assist while also keeping his record as captain at an optimum, the Ulsterman will do far more worse than have Henderson have the armband for keeps.
For what more would you ask of someone who wants to follow in the footsteps of a legend by giving blood and sweat one game at a time?
And That's thesteifmastertake!!