Soapbox: goodbye Jordan, give us a wave at Liverpool

Niall Quinn describes the deal as right for the club, says what no one denies, that Jordan Henderson “is a credit to himself, his family and Sunderland’s Academy”, and promises that work is in hand to strengthen areas that need it. Pete Sixsmith takes it philosophically, recalls another momentous transfer and adds his own tribute …

See also: Liverpool lullabies: Jordan Henderson, David Ngog and the wicked media

I remember where I was when news came through that Colin Todd had been sold. I was having a lunchtime pint in the Continental in Athaneum Street when someone came in and quoted from the Echo billboard outside: “Roker star leaves.”

This was long before the internet, mobile phones, Sky Sports News etc. In those days, that kind of headline usually meant someone like Colin Symm had gone to Lincoln City or Ralph Brand had signed for Invercockieleekie Wanderers. But we knew what this one was.

Pressing a shiny sixpence into the grubby hand of the Echo seller, we discovered that Toddo had indeed left us and gone to the Brian Clough-inspired revolution taking place at the Baseball Ground. Our “Toddo is Goddo” graffiti would now have to be cleaned off the Fulwell End wall as our hero left us for the First Division.

Some of us vowed never to go to Roker Park again. Others lambasted the board for selling. Nobody blamed the player’s agent for engineering the move – they didn’t have agents in those days. The massive fee of £140,000 would go towards the running costs of the club and our manager, Alan Brown, could be relied upon to use whatever bit of it he got wisely. He used it to buy Dick Malone and Dave Watson.

Since then, we haven’t sold that many players to so called top clubs. Watson, Horswill and Tueart went to a half-decent Manchester City side, Barry Venison to Liverpool and Chris Turner to Manchester United. Even in the fire sale after the 19-point season, most of them went to middle ranking clubs – apart from David Bellion and I don’t suppose Sir Alex wants reminding of that.

Jordan on his way to Anfield is good news for the Reds and disappointing news for us. But, in this day and age, if a player feels he needs to move, there is absolutely nothing that a club can do about it. Players are in control of their own destinies and Jordan clearly believes that his destiny lies in L4 0TH rather than SR5 1SU.

There will be some who are pleased he has gone. “Can’t pass”, “can’t shoot”, “can’t score” were some of the comments on RTG last night. Others would counter that he has great energy and is clearly a work in progress and that playing alongside Gerrard, Lucas and Meireles should improve him.

The fee is a huge one and shows the intent that the new owners at Liverpool have. Henderson, Carroll and Suarez are all young players who could become icons at Anfield. With a respected manager in Dalglish rather than the ludicrous Benitez, there is scope for them to grow.

What do we do with the money? One would hope it will be re-invested in players who will “take us to the next level” ( ninth in the Premier League!). There may well be players at lower levels who can make the jump up to the Premier League; there is an opportunity for Colback to cement a first team place alongside Cattermole; maybe Riveros will get more time on the pitch after his wonder goal at Upton Park. It’s also a great opportunity for Pop Robson to show off his scouting skills and pick up a couple of gems from Moldova or Finland.

I look forward to seeing Jordan do well at Liverpool. He never failed to give his best at Sunderland and was always looking for the ball, even when things were going against him. He has a good approach to the game, seems sensible and level headed and has brought a huge amount of money into the club’s coffers. If he does as well as Toddo, he will have an excellent career.

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16 thoughts on “Soapbox: goodbye Jordan, give us a wave at Liverpool”

  1. I think Fions must have got the words mixed and meant to say “swipe at the ludicrous Benitez.”

  2. I’m more disappointed by what selling a player who still had 4 years to go on a contract says about the club, and like all transfers it largely depends on how he’s replaced. Bit disturbed by Quinny’s comments about knowing what kind of player we need, it obviously doesn’t include a player in his very early 20s who’s just been capped by England. Who does it include then?
    A selling club? one that loses its better players on a regular basis when it doesn’t want to: Ronaldo went after Ferguson got an extra season out of him and he thought the club was equipped; Torres was replaced by Suarez! What does the desire of Bent, and possibly, Henderson to leave say about how the players view the medium to long term future/ambition of the club? Extremely worried about next season, hoping some exciting signings appear from somewhere. And I don’t mean N’Gog and Crouch.

  3. I agree with Davey, if we can get Meyler back fit, we probably won’t miss Henderson too much at all. (I personally rate Meyler more highly).
    With any luck, Ngog will prove me wrong, but I can’t pretend to be inspired by the move. But hopefully, there are one or two more inspirational targets in Bruce’s sights.

  4. I thought Benitez was/is an awful manager – and as a Sunderland supporter I have seen a fair few!!
    I know he won the Champions League (although many would argue that Milan lost it) but his transfer policy (he bought more poor players than Roy Keane, Mick McCarthy and Howard Wilkinson put together) and his constant string of excuses whenever Liverpool lost a game, did as much to harm Liverpool in my eyes as the presence of Messrs Stadtler and Waldorf in the Anfield boardroom. He was caught out at Inter Milan, wasn’t he?
    The comments about N’Gog cheer me up; thanks.

  5. as TG am A liverpool fan and would like to add my two peneth worth on ngog this lad at times when on the same pitch as torres was a better team player he can hold the ball up well bring other players in to the game scores goals he just needs experiance confidence and the manager to give the boy a run in the side I think you have got a good deal out of this transfer with ngog and he may come back to kick us in the arse .As for Henderson I hope he can cope with the cost we paid for him and excel under the guidance of King Kennyand Stevie G but give David Ngog a chance lads he can become a very good footballer for Sunderland

  6. Im a liverpool fan and disappointed to see Ngog go, he is way better than Cole or Jovanovic. Spanish clubs were after him but he likes England, trust me lads he is a cracking player!!!!

  7. Good price – good deal – like TG points out I’m actually lookin forward to seeing Ngog – give him a decent run in the team I think he will surprise a few folks .
    I’m hoping that Meyler is back soon – added to a decent purchase or 2 , and I’m sure we won’t miss Henderson .
    Good luck to the lad though , he’s handled himself well both on and off the pitch

  8. I think that has to be one of the best, well rounded articles I have read, regarding the SAFC transfer policy over the years.

    I can remember, though, the one transfer that, really, “stuck in my craw” was not Toddo, not Watson, Tueart etc etc (although I was not happy with any of them) was that of Chris Turner!

    There we had the situation of a “decent” player (who was important to us) leaving for what I thought to be an unrealistically low fee (100K IIRC) to sit on the bench at Man Utd.

    That was the first time that I fully understood just how low we had sunk!

  9. You lads will be very surprised by Ngog he is technically excellent with a great touch, don’t listen to the idiots as the lad has scored goals at all levels for Liverpool. He is a very very clever striker but needs games, then you sit back and watch him go!!!!!!

  10. I’m never quite sure what a “selling club” is. Liverpool sold Torres, Manchester United sold Ronaldo; are they “selling” clubs? Players want to move on and clubs will always try to get the best deals for them. We have to be realistic and accept that 70 years of nil achievement (apart from one FA Cup) leaves us very much in the second tier of clubs.
    Our transfer targets have to be realistic. We have no chance of getting an E’too or a Ronaldo. But a good manager will pick up improving players and polish them while they are at Sunderland. Mick McCarthy did it with Whitehead, Lawrence and Collins. We got good money for them when it was time for them to move on.
    Bruce can do the same. He looks to have picked up a very good player in Sessegnon and while Gyan is overpriced, he will be an asset for us on the field and, if he flourishes, for the clubs finances. The chances of a good player staying 5 years dimimishes all the time. Their agents demand that they move around.
    Not wildly excited by the arrival of David N’Gog although at least Dalglish didn’t palm Joe Cole off onto us.
    Steve Bruce will have a fair amount of money to spend now, so the next few weeks are going to be interesting. I would imagine at least 5 new players will be arriving and more if we can persuade those who have no future at the club (Nosworthy, McCartney, Kilgallon) to move on.

  11. When I was just a kid during the 80’s my dad once said “you can’t make a decent first division team out of the whole of the north east”. Today, 25 years later there’s Johnson, Hendo and the carthorse from along the road all getting into big teams on good contracts.
    I ll wish Hendo all the best, as he never moaned and did his best every time out, even when out of form.
    The question that arises is this; if we hadn’t gone down in freefall after the Murray era, could these lads have stayed here not minding about playing for one of the “big clubs”?
    You always need a local lad or two on your books that can actually lead the way.

  12. The “ludicrous” Benitez? At LFC the winner of the CL, followed by another appearance in the CL final, several CL semi-finals, winner of the FA Cup and strong runner up to Man Utd two years ago with record LFC points and record PL goals – not to mention twice winner of the Liga in Spain with Valencia defeating the then dominant Real Madrid and Barcelona. You should wish that Sunderland were blessed with “ludicrous” managers.

  13. I think it’s clear that the money generated from Darren Bent’s sale wasn’t going to be used on players, not all of it anyway. The policy of going of quality rather than quantity has left the squad bare and hopefully now this will lead to a more rounded squad next season albeit less talented. We have lost a great professional with plenty of potiental. He is replaceable like all, but unfortunately we are now becoming a selling club which could harm our image to potential transfer targets.

  14. Decent article spoilt by the ‘ludricrous’ swipe at Rafa Benitez. Not many managers would have done as well under the ludricrous owners Rafa had to deal with.

  15. I hope when Henderson comes back to the SoL he isn’t booed. He never made noises about wanting to move to another club, and if I was in his shoes, two seasons at a mid table Premier League club, and a bigger team comes calling, I would be deaperate to leave. £13-16m + a back up forward seems a good deal for someone who still needs to add quite a lot to his game. Im sure many fans will be delighted not to have to watch him hit the first man with every corner any more.
    I wish him all the best, and will always have a sense of pride to see a mackem central to the revolution of one of the worlds biggest teams.

  16. Ludicrous Benitez? Check his CV. There’s a fine line between insanity and genius my friend.

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