Liverpool FC midfielder Jordan Henderson has revealed that he didn’t feel negatively effected by Sir Alex Ferguson’s criticism of him.
Ferguson, who retired last season after 26 years at helm of the Old Trafford unit, claimed in his autobiography that he was dissuaded from signing Henderson because of his odd ‘gait’ as he thought that the then-Sunderland player ran from his knees and this would cause him injury problems in the future.
Henderson was brought to Anfield for £20 million three years ago by Kenny Dalglish. The player started out weekly as he was shuffled in many positions and was thus his weak performances earned him the label of a flop. However, the 23 year old has become a key player for manager Brendan Rodgers this season and his performances and progress has been hailed by players, managers and pundits.
Henderson revealed that Ferguson did not apologize for his comments, even after Rodgers publicly defended the England international.
‘He hasn’t [apologised]. But then I don’t think he needs to. He deserves a lot of respect for the things he’s achieved in football. He is a real legend in football. I’ve got a lot of respect for him. Obviously our manager has got to protect his players and I appreciated what he said at the time. But I can just leave it there.
‘Really, it wasn’t a big deal for me. It really didn’t seem that bad, saying my running style wasn’t great. It didn’t bother me. Obviously someone at the club has said that at the time. I don’t think he would have just made that up. Someone must have given him some information.
‘But no one has ever really said anything to me about my running style. Like you say, a lot of athletes will work on things like their running style to make sure it’s correct. But it’s just natural with me, and it’s worked so far. Touch wood.’
The 23 year old claimed that he wanted to show the world what he was capable of and that he deserved to be at Liverpool. He says:
‘This season was obviously a big season for the club but it was a big season for me, too,’ he says. ‘I wanted to show what I was really capable of. Prior to that I didn’t really feel I had done that. I felt it was the time to show how good a player I am; show that I deserve to be at Liverpool.
‘The manager helped me do that, and now I’m just enjoying playing football. I’ve put in some decent performances but it obviously helps when the team is playing well.’
Henderson says that times are good for Liverpool and at the moment, the club is capable of beating anyone:
‘We are very confident. There is a lot of confidence in the group.With 10 games to go this (vs Manchester United) is a big one at the weekend, obviously. I think we can go there and show how good we are.
‘We’ve had some time as a group, two seasons together, and I think that is an important factor. The manager has got his message across over a longer period of time, and that’s been important too.
‘In the manager’s first season there was progression. As time went on, the better we got I felt.But we have taken that on this season. We have carried on building confidence and momentum. We’ve got a lot of quality in the team and we feel we can beat anyone.
‘That winning mentality has grown over this season. You can sense that whether it’s in training or before games. Everybody can sense it; that there’s a lot of belief in each other to go and perform to the levels that we know we are capable of.’
The England international spoke of the importance of the 5-0 win against Tottenham at White Hart Lane and that the weekend fixture against United would be tough.
‘That was momentum building. Spurs have some good players. We knew that would be a difficult game. But it was the best we have played all season, in terms of everything coming together.
‘Manchester United will be another tough game. They are a great football team. They’ve got some fantastic players and it will be a tough game for us, but one that we look forward to as well.’