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12 Apr 2021 15:06:59
Here is a question for you all, in light of all he has done on the pitch, but most of all off it, including recently turning his social media over to a charity that deals with bullying and discrimination, is Jordan Henderson the best captain Liverpool have ever had?

I was looking back and there is an argument to be made. Tommy Smith, for example, was a racist who mercilessly bullied a black teammate. Not what a captain should be doing. Also feuding with Emlyn Hughes.

Then there is Hughes, known for being stingy and only interested in money, which is not really what a captain needs to be.

Gerrard never won what Henderson did (though he never played in a team of the same quality) plus there were a few issues off the pitch with him.

That really leaves the ones from the glory era, Hansen, Souness. So I don't know, is Henderson a better captain, not talking about who was the better player. Was Dalglish ever club captain? I can't remember now.

Agree5 Disagree0

12 Apr 2021 15:16:43
I think it’s between Souness and Henderson for me. Souness was respected and well liked by his team mates and feared by his opponents, he was a genuine leader, incredible footballer to boot. Henderson has fought adversity and worked hard to be where he’s at, he is widely liked and respected within his profession (you’d be extremely hard pressed go find anyone in the game with a bad word to say about him) and he’s led us to two big trophies,

12 Apr 2021 15:38:56
I would agree on it being a tough call between Souness and Hendo, but I would also include Gerrard in the discussion.

Tommy Smith and Crazy Horse were a bit before my time, so my recollections of them are based on football biographies of the time (Paisley, Dalglish, Shanks etc) .

To be honest, even Souness was a little before my time as I started supporting Liverpool around the time he left - the earliest midfield I really remember well had Molby and McMahon in it.

The reason I think Gerrard should be included - especially for on field performances - is that the Liverpool teams that he captained were always at least 1-2 players short - Moores and Hicks n Gillette just wouldn’t spend that last few quid to give Utd and Arsenal (and then Chelsea) a proper run for their money.

Despite this, Gerrard still dragged the team to win almost every title, only missing out on the league, albeit finishing 2nd 3 times (I think - 02,09 and 14?) .

On-field, I think Gerrard edges it - Roy of the Rovers. If you include off-field then I think Hendo edges it.

Using a cricketing analogy, I think Gerrard equates to Ian Botham - the best player but not the best captain. I would equate Hendo to Adam Strauss or Michael Vaughan - one of the best players (definitely, otherwise I would have included Brearley in the comparison list too) but by far the best captain.

That’s my view anyway!

12 Apr 2021 15:55:13
I started watching football from 2005, so only 2 candidates for me - Gerrard and Henderson.

Objectively, it's difficult to say who is the better captain.

Gerrard is far superior to Henderson in terms of attacking ability. He played in much poorer sides but still helped us win stuff and kept us competitive. On the pitch, he was a leader and inspired his teammates and could change the game on his own. Off the pitch, he was not so great.

Henderson is better positionally and defensively. Plus, he is much more vocal and makes sure everyone is giving their 100%. He may not be as technically good as Gerrard but he has a better reading of the game and is a role model on and off the pitch.

I would say Henderson is the better captain but Gerrard was better at football and will go down as a more important player in Liverpool history.

Also, I don't think the trophies won is a good point to compare two players. They are not won by individuals but a world class core group of players, a world class manager and supportive owners. Gerrard didn't have these luxuries when he was at his peak.

In conclusion, one thing we can all agree is that they are both Liverpool legends and rightly so.

12 Apr 2021 16:24:40
Souness was a far better player than Gerrard, could defend as well as he could attack and better tactically. Souness could protect a back four and support the attack.

12 Apr 2021 16:31:27
really good question, Ed001. Very tricky to answer as well.

I guess the first thing to answer is what is the role of the captain at a club like Liverpool? Is it to be the leader on the pitch to trophies and glory or is it to be the leader off the pitch as well to help the Liverpool brand and message spread across the wolrd?

The Gerrard factor is a large reason why Liverpool has so many fans in Asia. I have spent a fair bit of time living in South East Asia and any kid back then would tell you they supported Liverpool because that's where their favourite player, Stevie G, played. To them he is was all that made liverpool the club they learnt to love and adore. As much as I love Hendo, I just don't think he has that same Stevie G pull factor.

That being said, could liverpool have won the Prem and UCL without Hendo? I don't think we could have. He has been vital to this new found success. This is too hard to call! I think I am going to say currently they are neck and neck. However, if Hendo comes back from injury this season and leads us to Champions League glory I am naming my first born child, male or female, Jordan.

Red Sandman.

12 Apr 2021 17:07:17
I’m not going to pick a best ( I can’t) but hendo has probably had the hardest job of captaining us. He had to take over from Gerrard at a time when we wasn’t great under bodgers had his own fans on his back saying he wasn’t good enough to play let alone captain us when we won the champions league and he broke down you could see the stress with the rumours of how his dad was fighting sickness and he wasn’t aloud ( by his dad) to visit him etc. He put us before himself I’m glad he got to play under klopp and win trophies and the best compliment I can give him is “ he is as deserving as gerrard was to captain us to our 1st premier league title”.

12 Apr 2021 17:32:36
I love Henderson. No sacarsm. I love him as a player and as a human being.

If there was an intergalactic war, get that decorated army general out of my face. Im following Henderson. Photon blasters at the ready Jordan, we are go for lightspeed.

What was the question again?

12 Apr 2021 17:38:02
I had the same thought after we won the Prem last year and I could not offer many reasons for him not be classed as such.

He's a different captain to Gerrard. Where Gerrard used to elevate players around him with his quality, he wasn't a talker. Hendo keeps everyone on their toes for the full 90 and our team suffers nearly as much when he's out as we did without Gerrard.

When you look at the 2 players, I'm afraid Gerrard was simply on another level. He really was world-class. He also sacrificed a lot for the team by sticking with us for (almost) all of his career - a good captain does have to be willing to sacrifice their individual desires for the good of the team. He would have had his pick of clubs if he did decide to move.

Both showed the same unwillingness to give up, I can't imagine what must've been going through Hendo's head when BR tried to send him to Fulham. Gerrard was almost single-handedly responsible for one of the best nights in the club's history in Istanbul.

Objectively, you'd have to say Hendo is the best captain based on what he's won. But I can't get past what Gerrard did with the players he had around him, if he'd won the Premier League I don't even think there'd be a debate to be had. Hendo isn't done yet however, hopefully he will end up with so many trophies that this post looks foolish in retrospect.

12 Apr 2021 17:43:36
Henderson for me is the best captain he may not be the footballer Souness or Gerrard where but mentally he’s a lot stronger a character than Gerrard for me. The amount of flack he has taken especially the early years at lfc almost being sold for Clint Dempsey etc. He mentally is strong which makes him an excellent leader for me. He did what Gerrard couldn’t do with the Orem league he got us over the line. The team maybe better but he had to lead that team every week in and out and through one of the worst C.V.s in anyone’s living memory he held the team together.

I think hands down Henderson is the best captain. Being a better player doesn’t make you a better captain in fact Gerrard could of learned a lot from Henderson and maybe he wouldn’t of driven players out and he would of finally win the league.

Btw Dalglish was the greatest lfc player ever not Gerrard he’s not even in my top 3.

12 Apr 2021 17:46:43
Very difficult for past or current players/ captains to over shadow Gerrard. Think he's synonyms with Liverpool. Will always be MR Liverpool. Hendo has done exceptionally well like Mane Salah VVD will always have special place in LFC hearts.

12 Apr 2021 18:21:26
I love Hendo but im afraid Gerrard will always be my captain.

12 Apr 2021 18:54:44
Shout for Hypia on captain front. Gave up the armband without any bitterness.

{Ed001's Note - good shout, I knew I was missing someone.}

12 Apr 2021 19:14:35
In my lifetime we’ve had Redknapp, Ince (I think was captain), Sami, Gerrard and Henderson. Playing ability no doubt Gerrard is the finest for me. As a leader and overall captain Henderson everyday. Absolute consummate professional and hard worker. Doesn’t let our players drop 2% on the pitch and never any off field indiscretions ahem.

12 Apr 2021 19:34:32
With the premise and setup Ed01 presented in his post, I would have to go with Hendo as the best captain LFC ever had. Hendo was signed as a 20 yr old with potential 10 years ago. He was already showing his mettle as a leader on the pitch right there and then and even getting into shouting matches with the other legendary LFC capt. Steven Gerrard and had there not been a disappointing end to the season. He is selfless, a leader and commands respect from his teammates, all coming from humble beginnings and a position of great humility as a man.

Hendo was faced with a challenge of being farmed out to Fulham when BR arrived and he did not take the easy route. He stayed, stuck it out and even outplayed Joni Shelley and Joe Allen to become a regular starter going into the 13/ 14 season. Had it not been for some really crazy circumstances, Gerrard’s quest for a PL title would have been fulfilled on the back and legs of a host of crucial players, one of which would have been Jordan Henderson.

Hendo rose to be capt of LFC replacing Gerrard and many thought he would amount to nothing and lead us nowhere as capt. He was being called all types of names by his own fans BUT he kept his head down and kept working hard to the point that we simply cannot function without him right now. Even rival fans were saying they could not imagine seeing Hendo lift the PL nor CL. Then, they woke up and saw it happen in real time. Take a bow, Hendo! Cos you surely have earned this accolade, IMO.

12 Apr 2021 20:04:17
There are many great candidates but I think Hendo's history at the club and what he has come through to get the captaincy just shades it for him. Manager wanted him sold to Fulham, he didn’t whine or give up, he knuckled down and proved he was good enough, his professionalism and unassuming lifestyle off the pitch coupled with his ferocity on the pitch further cement his standing for me. He has shown leadership on social issues and has been a credit to the armband and club, he will now be ever immortalised for his fantastic shuffle. YNWA.

12 Apr 2021 20:35:10
Hendos been brought up properly Ed001, you can tell he’s a decent fella. I don’t think many English footballers past or present can say the same. He’s definitely an example on and off the pitch.
But to answer your question it’s a little difficult for me as I’m too young to remember past Hyypia. But Hendo is a brilliant captain, better than Gerrard, albeit a very different kind of captain.

12 Apr 2021 20:55:36
Ed001 my vote goes for Alan Hansen just because I loved him and after he retired it took us 30 years to win the league again. The best defender I have seen play for the club. Before my time Ron Yates must get a shout was the captain for most of Shankly’s time there.

{Ed001's Note - I loved Hansen as well, I wanted to be him as a player, but I was always short!}

12 Apr 2021 21:02:36
Ah here lads i love Hendo. great great bloke and has become a top player but this great clubs best Captain, are yis having an absolute laugh?

12 Apr 2021 21:15:17
Nobody mentioned tommo yet? 🤔.

12 Apr 2021 21:27:15
Can't believe no one's mentioned Matt Busby. He was a mentor to Bob Paisley when he arrived and they stayed close friends throughtout their lives. Whilst he was only with us for 3 years because of the war, I think his impact on what followed can't be understated.

12 Apr 2021 21:28:26
He might just the the best off field captain though Jadon and that is half the job. What if he wins another PL and another CL then he probably will be considered the best, for me anyway.

12 Apr 2021 21:11:40
We will be able to answer the question better at the end of Henderson’s career with LFC. Here’s hoping there are more trophies are more great memories to come.

12 Apr 2021 22:22:10
Mark, the Hendo Shuffle cannot come quick enuff, man.

13 Apr 2021 08:06:25
Dont get me wrong i love the guy and we can all go on about his off field perfectness but a HUGE part of the job is on the field of play and although a good player he's not a great player. Gerrard was a great player who for a decade would have been chased by EVERY major club in the world if they thought they'd get him. Would Jordan? No. he wouldnt, no shame in that but the reality is if you put Gerrard into THIS team he'd be unstoppable. And don't start with all this"gerrard wouldn't be able to do what Klopp wants from his midfield"lark, he'd be an even bigger beast in this team.

13 Apr 2021 08:23:20
JH, we are not talking about what might have or coulda/ shoulda been with this or that player. We are talking about what IS and the reality on the ground. Gerrard was not a great capt. off the field while being a great valt on it. Hendo is a great capt. on and off the pitch and that does it for me. And that does not diminish the legendary status that SG possesses at our great club. Not in the slightest.

13 Apr 2021 09:42:13
Kirkby, I'm actually NOT surprised no-one has mentioned Busby.

For starters, whoever was old enough (mid-teens upwards? ) to be able to analyse Busby's performance and effect as a captain is likely in their 90s now or older.

Also, TV coverage (which is what the majority of folks are using) has only really got to a level and extent in the last 30+ years.

So, not surprised that the names under review are from the 70s (a few) onwards.

{Ed077's Note - And Busby is known more for his managerial success at Man Utd. Most of the people these days, both sets of fans at Liverpool and Man Utd, probably arent even aware of his playing career, let alone his quality.}

13 Apr 2021 09:54:31
Why was Gerrard not a good captain off the field as opposed to say, Jordan then Oli? The scuffle he got into? Does that take away from the 15 odd years of brilliance?

13 Apr 2021 10:30:57
Very hard to compare and I've only lived through captains of Hyppia, Gerrard and Henderson but I'll give it a stab.

Hyppia - Incredible player but I can't judge this too as I was too young to remember him as a captain except for when Houillier gave it to Gerrard.

Gerrard - He was disadvantaged by being in a side no where near as good as our current team. Always felt like we lacked something in every team he was in. Nethertheless I feel we stayed relevant all those years because of him. He was not really the captain behind the scenes, but more an excellent leader on the pitch. A living legend who people looked up to. Even when we were playing bad, his desire to get us through could galvanise the whole team in a moment. The only issue is we were so reliant on him and his energy, it all kind of fell apart for some seasons when he was injured.

Henderson - Not as good as Gerrard by pure ability but still a player who is sorely missed when he doesn't play. He too has the ability to get at his teammates and inspire them to play well through his skills as a captain rather than sheer ability. Again like Gerrard, we look lost in some games without him and you can see he was missed against the likes of Real Madrid sorely.

What he has that Gerrard does not is his actions off the pitch. More of a leader behind the scenes. Even though the press goes to town about his ability and everyone made him a scapegoat for anything going wrong early on this did not deter him. And the fact that despite all this negative pressure, his teammates whether they be Liverpool or England can respect him shows how good a player and influence he really is.

Then we see his other actions such as charitable causes and plenty of stuff he doesn't bother letting the public know about and just does. We only tend to find out about his good deeds through other sources! A truly selfless human being and this is a good factor in being a captain. Someone you can look up to off and on the pitch. (It's why Rashford should be united captain over captain slabhead) .

One thing for sure is, I really really hope someone can fill his boots once Hendo leaves.

13 Apr 2021 10:40:39
I can only judge it by the captains I can remember. I would say Henderson gets it over souness for a couple of reasons. Henderson was written off by many not to long ago and even sir AF said he wouldn’t make it because of Henderson funny gate. He could have quite easily give up and got forgotten about but he didn’t he stayed strong and he’s proved everyone wrong. And then there’s the social media side to it now that souness never had to deal with because let’s face it you can’t get away with anything nowadays without someone posting a pic or telling you how crap you are. Souness would have told them all to F off. They were/ are both fantastic players and proven winners.

13 Apr 2021 14:40:27
JH, if you read the very last few lines in my last post, you will see where I clearly said that me or people thinking Hendo is a better capt than SG dies not in the slightest way diminish the legendary status that SG possesses at the club. Read what I posted till the end, man.

As for him not being a good capt off the field, it actually had nothing to do with whatever scuffle happened a decade ago. You brought that up. Ed01 mentioned a long time ago, if things Gerrard did to his teammates that did not sit well with me or how he made things all about himself at times that rubbed his team mates the wrong way. I was really disappointed to learn those things and they rubbed me the wrong way. Never heard that about Hendo so he shades it for me. In the end, it is all about opinions.







 

 

 
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