By 90Min
December 11, 2017

Jordan Henderson, having inherited the Liverpool captaincy from Steven Gerrard, one of the club's all-time greatest players, has one of the hardest jobs in football.

Living up to the legacy of Gerrard is a burden no one would want on their shoulders, but it is the ball and chain that Henderson has the poor fortune of being attached to for so long as he is the Liverpool captain.

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And there are undoubtedly some aspects of the midfielder's game that many would argue make him tailor-made for the role of Gerrard's successor.

Henderson's passing range is his greatest asset, being able to launch a pass 40 yards to find an attacker or switch the play at the drop of a hat, in seasons gone the England man has been the man who seemingly made Liverpool tick.

Once the ever-reliable midfield metronome, now Henderson pales in comparison to the quality of those alongside him in the Liverpool line up, week after week.

As those around him mature into top quality players and find a role that suits them down to the ground, Henderson seemingly suffers from an identity crisis as he struggles to fulfil the all-round midfielder archetype of his predecessor.

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It was as glaringly obvious as ever that Henderson cannot lead as the Reds suffered a bitterly disappointing draw with Everton on Sunday. 

The Merseyside derby showed he cannot make the right decision in moments when it matters most, the scatterbrain nature of his playstyle epitomised when he blazed an injury time effort over the bar from 20 yards as opposed to playing to his strengths and looking to find a teammate in a better position.

As captain of the club it falls to Henderson to lead by example in the good moments and rally the rest of the team in the bad moments, though he isn't capable of doing either of these.

Not nearly a good enough player to lead a squad of such quality, and not nearly vocal enough to be the mouthpiece of the side that has been absent since Jamie Carragher's retirement, Henderson has become pedestrian whenever he gets on the pitch.

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Moments of true quality that are required from a captain of a football club are few and far between, with the England man never truly influencing to game to a massive degree and helping to turn the tide when the opposition are in their ascendancy.

When a leader is most needed, Henderson is often ineffective in the midfield, offering totally lacklustre, uninspired performances.

While he is often utilised as a defensive midfielder, thus justifying his lack of forward driving force for the centre of the park, Henderson also offers very little cover when the Reds are under the cosh, simply acting as the first line of an often shambolic, unstable defence.

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What makes Henderson's performances particularly distressing is the fact he was once such a promising player for the Reds, being an integral member of the 2013/14 side that came so close to lifting that elusive Premier League trophy. However, in spite of whatever promise the now 27-year-old midfielder once held, he hasn't found it within himself kick on and improve.

Since the departure of Brendan Rodgers, Liverpool has evolved, but Henderson has failed to change with the times and continue his development, with his ongoing issues with his foot injury having seen him take one step forward and two steps back.

It is unfortunate the way Henderson's club career has panned out, with his injuries and inconsistency leaving him in an awkward position as many of the players around him have significantly greater ability than him in close to all aspects.

As club captain it's his job to be the player everyone else looks up to, although as it is at this moment in time, Henderson is the one trying (and failing) to emulate the quality performances of his teammates.

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