Steven Gerrard is widely considered to be one of the greatest footballers in the history of English football, and there’s really no denying that fact – unless you’re a Manchester United fan. But where Stevie G fails in comparison to his successor, Jordan Henderson, is in the art of professionalism.
You see, at the risk of sounding like a condescending prick, there’s a certain art to maintaining a composed standpoint in the world of football. This game, especially in 2016, is so chocker-block full of poisonous players who live the famous lifestyle in the wrong manner, and it’s always reassuring to see one or two come through those cracks as model professionals.
Providing an example for the youth of tomorrow, as cheesy as it may sound, is actually one of the most important legacies you can leave behind. When you put it down purely to achievements on the pitch and nothing else, sure, Gerrard has been phenomenal. Aside from the slip that we all know and love, the hometown lad has guided himself into Liverpool folklore for eternity.
But let’s look a little deeper into this. How about we have a glance at all the accusations we’ve seen thrown at Stevie G over the years from assault to treatment of other teammates. He’s always been perceived as holier than thou, when in reality there are a few blemishes on his supposedly squeaky clean record.
Steven Gerrard left Liverpool, played in America, retired and Everton fans still sing about him.
WHAT A LEGEND pic.twitter.com/4eh2SusD5G
— Joe Spencer (@joespencer2008) December 19, 2016
Perhaps there should be a slight enquiry into his actions following his final Liverpool game, too. Upon the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Stoke City taking place, Gerrard was all ready and prepared to jet himself and his teammates off to Dubai for a fun-filled booze fest in the light of one of their worst defeats in history.
Videos soon surfaced of the players having a great time, partying and forgetting their troubles – with no remorse whatsoever. However, as reported by Daily Star the future skipper Hendo didn’t even want to go on the holiday. He felt that it wasn’t right to make the trip abroad and you know what, that’s the only mentality you should have.
Of course, Stevie has always been loyal. Well, kind of, but it’s well documented that the former skipper held Liverpool up on two separate occasions when contemplating a big money move away to Chelsea. Then he actually went through with it and made the jump to the MLS, not forgetting his misdemeanours on the pitch such as his instant red card against Manchester United in one of his final derby games against their bitter rivals.
As a leader and a legend, Gerrard cannot be beaten. But Jordan Henderson’s attitude towards the captain role at Anfield has been perfect. The 26-year-old has matured beyond his years and is constantly in the media giving positive thoughts and inspirational messages regarding the team’s future, aswell as behaving like a model pro on the pitch.
Just look at the recent incident in the derby as a shining example. Henderson was the victim of a disgraceful challenge from England teammate Ross Barkley, and instead of rising to the situation which would’ve been understandable, he remained calm and post-match game an extremely composed response to the issue.
Now, in the present day, we have Gerrard running his mouth praising Henderson left right and centre for “dealing with the pressure”. Do you think you’re fucking Gandhi or something? The former Sunderland midfielder never commented on the Stevie G comparisons and instead did what he does best – got his head down and focused on the game we all know and love. You get paid handsomely to do a job; so do it and execute it flawlessly.
These may not be seen as overwhelmingly convincing, but you can’t deny the facts. Purely from a professional standpoint, the comparisons between these two certainly paints Henderson in a better light.