Following Jordan Henderson’s debut outing for England on Wednesday, I have to be one of the few people to come to his defence after receiving harsh criticisms from the media and fans alike.
First off, no-one can be praised after Wednesday as the older crop of talent did not perform. France clearly outplayed England on our home turf.
I am a big admirer of Henderson, but I felt a call up was too much, too soon. Yet that won’t stop me defending a player that was not out as of his depth as much as the more ‘experienced’ players in the England set-up.
I was impressed with Andy Carroll from our neighbours though, who looked like England’s only real threat, but to say Henderson was poor is an insult to a young guy who is brimming with talent.
For one, Fabio Capello played him in a position that he rarely plays for when representing Sunderland; he is much more likely to play in an attacking role for the Black Cats and his performance was restricted by his need to sit back and defend.
As a pair, Gareth Barry and Jordan were overrun by the French onslaught. Henderson often found good positions and space.
How is Henderson supposed to make a meaningful impression if his access to the ball was minimal? He will be back.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.