Jordan Henderson: after Chelsea glory, the Wembley grounding

We cannot really be sure what to think about those five out of 10s in this morning’s England match reports, or the barbed “not quite ready” remarks on one debutant’s individual performance in a poor team performance. Maybe we should just be quietly content; we know how good Jordan Henderson is and it’ll do Sunderland no harm if the rest of the world, and notably the predatory “big clubs”, reach a kneejerk conclusion that he’s not – yet – such a star after all. Luke’s World oozes the common sense thoughts of Luke Harvey

The child in me is still delirious after the weekend’s triumph but seeing our very own Jordan Henderson struggle against a disciplined French side was a slightly bitter pill to swallow.

While the older members who contribute around these parts seem to have returned to earth after the weekend, my heads still up in the clouds – not quite cloud nine but definitely at least four or five.

Perhaps it ís the fact that I’m still quite young and this result may very well be one of the most prominent in 30 years time for me, but I’m not quite ready to stop grinning over our brilliant win just yet.

So to the England match. If you were fortunate enough to only see the final 10 minutes of it – good for you. If you sat through the first 80 as well – then you were probably as disillusioned as I was.

It wasn’t that I watched the match expecting us to win, in fact I watched the match solely for the reason Jordan Henderson was getting his first England cap. Had there been no Sunderland involvement then I may well have had the same dim view on the match as my other contributors.

Henderson, in theory, has almost been made an immediate scapegoat. His debut contrasted somewhat to that of his fellow North-eastern neighbour. Listening to the commentators you would think Andy Carroll was the only ray of light in the harrowing darkness that was England.

Call me a cynic. Or call me a Sunderland fan. But Andy Carroll’s debut wasn’t brilliant by any means. It was a competent display up front amongst an inexperienced team, and credit to him for not letting the occasion overawe him like it may have some – but we had no real attacking threat until there was only 10 minutes or so to play – with Carroll long since substituted – and even Jay Bothroyd managed to get a decent attacking effort on target.

Henderson, however, really was caught up amongst the slick passing game of the French. I mentioned just before kick off I was unsure how he would cope in the more defensive role he appeared to be undertaking. Truth is, he probably wasn’t nearly as defensive as I had first thought but the attacking intent of Walcott, Gerrard and Milner meant he and Barry were overran by the fluid French midfield.

Make no mistake, Henderson was no worse than any of his co-stars on the night at Wembley, it was more an anonymous performance than poor.

Think back to the way he linked up so cleverly with Welbeck and Gyan in the second goal at Stamford Bridge to show his true class as an attacking force. The intelligent pass and run to drag the defender out of position to give Gyan the space to pick his spot.

There were glimpses of that maturity on display against France – but just not in abundance. There were intelligent runs and dangerous looking moments, but ultimately all Henderson has to show for his first England appearance is a cap and a yellow card.

Still, it’s all just in a days work for a 20 year old – a month younger than myself. Iím sure Henderson has a long England career ahead of himself, perhaps he wonít feature in any of the remaining European qualifiers but I can only hope that because he didn’t particularly sparkle against France it doesn’t affect the chances of him being picked again soon.

7 thoughts on “Jordan Henderson: after Chelsea glory, the Wembley grounding”

  1. I should probably also state my delight that he came back fit. I’m not quite sure what people expected, especially when he was restricted like that, it was never going to be a dominating performance from the lad.

    There was one chance, latish on in the match, where the ball fell to him on the edge of the area. For Sunderland (or the U21’s as we saw him do against Romania) he would have lashed a shot at goal.

    Here he tried to take a touch, it was a bit heavy, and he lost control. I think too much was made of his debut – and too much comparison to Andy Carroll as well – and that isn’t right, but is the norm.

    I think he’s sensible enough not to let some media idiots (Shaun Custis I’m looking at you and your fellow Sun cronies) influence his game. He’ll be built up to be knocked down soon, but I think he’s good enough to persevere.

    He’ll play for England again. I’d wager quite highly that he won’t finish his career with Sunderland. But while we have him, and while he’s having a season like this, I’m more than happy.

    Let the fake fans who watched the England match and shouted at the TV constantly decide now that “Henderson isn’t good enough” because of one performance in the England team where he was out of position and let the game pass him by a little bit. That’s fine, their opinion is of no importance.

    And let’s not forget that Henderson isn’t even 21 yet. He’s a month younger than I am for heaven’s sake! (And several months younger than Pete, Colin, Jeremy, Bill et al!!)

  2. There’s an article in the Guardian stating that they expected the experienced Gareth Barry to be helping young Jordan out but he was neither use nor ornament – Hendo has said it was difficult and he learned from “The French midfield” (he should have been learning from our midfield but as Gerard and Barry had very little to do with him it was difficult. Barry was shockingly bad – But one thing – Henderson did play our only 2 forward attacking passes from Midfield (To Milner and Johnson respectively). He did OK but was hung out to dry a bit by the coach and fellow playing staff

  3. I have never read such rubbish as that written by the man purporting to be “Sobs”. I know for a fact that his mother is much quicker than Gareth Barry, even when one wheel of the walking frame is a bit wobbly.
    I preferred Willington v New Marske in the Wearside League to England – 0-4. Sad, eh.

  4. asking the lad to play in that sort of position alongside Barry, who moves slightly slower than my mam, was a unfair on him. One moderate game for England doesn;t make him a bad player, neither did a few moderate games for SAFC. Thankfully for SAFC, he kept going and produced the goods, particuarly in London in the last couple of weeks. Persevere with him for England and we’ll see more from him after three years in the team than we currrently see from Walcott. If a player’s next cap depended on Wednesday’s performances, we’d see at least nine new caps in the next game.

  5. I have been singing the praises of Jordan Henderson all season and his England debut isn’t going to change my thoughts on him, however I thought he looked a little lost last night, he wasn’t putting his foot in as he would normally do in a premier league match, and I think it was down to nerves, and not quite understanding the England set up, which is the manager’s and coaches fault. I didn’t see a team performance, I saw eleven players all trying to find their way, and against a side of some very experienced footballers. To all those critics out there, yes we got beat, so what!! How about a bit of support for the young lads of the future, the regulars didn’t exactly excel, but what do you expect when you throw people together like that, give them a chance especially the young inexperienced lads and they will come good.
    I suppose you journalists wrote the perfect story on your first attempt or were you given time to develop?

  6. You hit nail on the head when you say that Henderson was overun in midfield due to superior French numbers–because of the way our team was set up both Hendo and Gareth Barry were constantly having to contain a French midfield THREE and often FOUR.
    I thoght the Manager was at fault by waitng until half-time to drop Gerrard back to help–by that time the damage was done.
    If the adverse comments in some of the nationals put off prospective buyers then all Sunderlad supporters will be delighted

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