Does Jordan Henderson deserve the Liverpool captaincy?

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HendersonSteve Nicol was part of a hugely successful Liverpool team during the ’80s. He was predominately a utility player, but it’s worth noting that he was a very good one. In 14 years with the club, he won five First Division titles, three FA Cups and the 1984 European Cup. It’s fair to say that he’s a Liverpool legend.

As such, when he talks, fans tend to listen. As it happens, he recently weighed in on the whole Jordan Henderson/Mario Balotelli penalty debacle and the implications that this may have for the Liverpool captaincy.

With Steven Gerrard set to leave Anfield in the summer, The Reds will need to find a long-term successor. Many have tipped Jordan Henderson to be that man. Steve Nicol, on the other hand, has other ideas. Speaking about Jordan Henderson’s willingness to let Mario Balotelli take a penalty ahead of him, he said:

“I think we learnt more about whether Henderson is ready to captain this team. You can’t blame Mario for wanting to step up and take it. It is the captain’s call and quite clearly Henderson wasn’t sure what to do and caved in to Mario.”

when you are a captain and you have orders from your coach, you have to follow them. He didn’t – Jordan got this one wrong. There is a standard that a captain has to carry out. He has to be respected by his whole team and to get that respect you have to make good decisions and big decisions and you have to get them right.” (Source: The Star)

He then sums up his comments by suggesting that at this stage, The Reds do not have a natural successor to the captaincy. One man’s opinion is all well and good, but I can’t help but feel that Nicol’s being a bit harsh on Henderson here.

One decision does not sum up a man. It’s the way that Jordan Henderson has acted all season long that has made him the favourite to be the club’s next captain. He’s a top performer, with a great attitude and plenty of verve.

The penalty incident reflects badly on Mario Balotelli, not on Jordan Henderson, so let’s not get too carried away. Using that moment as an opportunity to undermine one of the club’s most diligent footballers seems entirely unnecessary.

With that in mind, let’s hope that Brendan Rodgers pays no attention to these comments.

What’s your take? What does the future hold for Jordan Henderson?

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