Is Hendo the man for the flanks?
Liverpool fans seem to be torn over who should be given a chance between Joe Allen and Jordan Henderson. Without doubt, there is much competition in the midfield of Liverpool and with Steven Gerrard still lurking in the ranks, there is only one spot in the midfield (a second if Liverpool played 4-3-3). There is something that Henderson has proven capable of in the past that Allen simply has not displayed; he’s performed well on both the left and right flanks – and maybe that’s exactly where he’s going to break into the first team this season and hold his own. Just a thought.
If we compare the passing statistics with Spurs’ signing Erik Lamela, who will seemingly play along the flanks this season, we can see that he had an average pass accuracy of 82%, which is just slightly lower than Henderson. This comparison shows that in terms of passing, the Liverpool man has the slight edge on his Lilywhite counterpart which may be a vital asset to unlock Premier League defences.
The above statistic represents Theo Walcott’s efforts of last season for Arsenal who finished in fourth place. When compared to Jordan’s stats, it is clear that there is room for improvement. But considering that Walcott has played his trade on the flanks for almost his entire career and Henderson has only recently adjusted into the position, it’s quite impressive. With a bit of work, the Liverpool man could be notching up assists from the flank in the near future at Anfield.
Then, there’s Victor Moses.
Liverpool have him on loan until the end of the 2013/14 campaign. People (along with myself) may say, “When our squad is 100% fit, would we not play Lucas-Gerrard-Coutinho-Suárez-Moses-Sturridge? My answer? Possibly. But there is doubt hanging over the heads of Moses and Suárez.
The former is a loanee from Chelsea and it’s not dead certain that he will be a Liverpool player 12 months from now. He seems keen, but the reality could be that he’ll end up anywhere. The latter, if he fails to get Champions League football next season, he looks almost certain to leave Anfield in the summer of 2014. I feel he may even leave for La Liga in January (don’t hold me to that) if an offer comes along.
The biggest obstacle for Henderson will be to prove that he should be started ahead of Moses this season as I feel it will be almost impossible for him to unhinge Gerrard, Lucas (probably only due to his defensive contributions), Coutinho or Suárez. That being said, if he wants to be favoured over Moses, he will have to show a lot of desire and payout.
Moses recently spoke out about how he moved to Liverpool to “save his career” after he was not ready for his “dream move” to Chelsea to turn into a nightmare after lacking first-team football – something he also did on the international stage as he played for the England U21s but was then dropped from the squad, so and later chose to play for the Nigerian national team instead. He plays for them regularly now and is viewed very highly by the team’s coach.
Please tell me in the comments do you think Henderson could be successful for Liverpool on the flanks? Do you think Henderson could overthrow Moses on his apparent first team spot?
Thank you for reading over my ramblings. If you enjoyed the topic please follow me on Twitter: @stevenjrcarson.