By 90Min
October 09, 2017

Football pundit Martin Keown has claimed England midfielder Jordan Henderson still requires midfield coaching, emphasising how he needs to learn to recycle the ball quicker.

Henderson played in both of England's recent qualifying games against Slovenia and Lithuania, however was widely criticised for his performances, and Keown has claimed he and midfield partner Eric Dier still require midfield coaching to play in the current system England manager Gareth Southgate is trying to implement.

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Writing for the Daily Mail (via TeamTalk), Keown said: “If England are going to continue playing through the compartments rather than going direct, then the midfielders — Jordan Henderson and Eric Dier — have to learn to recycle the ball more quickly."

Keown, who spent a brief period coaching with his former playing club Arsenal in 2006, then referred to a training drill Arsene Wenger used to use with fellow midfielders Abou Diaby and Alex Song. 

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He added: “When I coached at Arsenal after I retired, there was a drill Arsene Wenger had Alex Song and Abou Diaby practising to do to work on this.

“They would have to let the ball roll across their body, stop it with their furthest foot, turn in one motion and play the ball forward. When I watch Henderson get the ball, he turns in stages."

The former Arsenal defender then went onto compliment how Tottenham are helping Dier progress as a midfielder, and claimed that Henderson needs the same treatment regardless whether it's from his club Liverpool or whilst on international duty with England.

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He said: "When I watch Henderson get the ball, he turns in stages. I can see Dier is trying to move the ball forwards with more urgency and clearly someone at Tottenham is helping him work on this.

“But if nobody is doing the same with Henderson at Liverpool, then Southgate must not be afraid to step in and provide that coaching.”

Henderson will now return to Liverpool as they prepare to face Manchester United at Anfield on Saturday, in what looks to already be a crucial game for Liverpool who trail United by seven points after just seven games.

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