Liverpool have continued their strong start to the Premier League season, with a 3-0 away victory over Watford at Vicarage Road this afternoon. While it was a scoreline that slightly flattered the visitors, they no doubt deserved the three points. Despite the relative ease of the result, many Reds fans were quick to criticise the performance of captain Jordan Henderson.
Having returned from injury, the midfielder produced a thoroughly abject display during his 80 or so minutes on the pitch, with his evening ultimately ending with a red card.
The sending off was the cherry on top of a miserable evening for the England international, having been heavily chastised on social media throughout the game.
While Liverpool were relatively comfortable in the first half, they were short on offensive threat. Many attributed this to Henderson's reintroduction to the side, with his lack attacking nous acting as a real barrier for his side as they attempted to break down a well-organised Watford side.
After 7 Years, I Still Havnt Worked Out What A Jordan Henderson Even Is.
— Fid (@UpNorthFiddy) November 24, 2018
For half an hour, Jordan Henderson’s performance was completely and utterly embarrassing
— Don Kopleone (@donkopleone) November 24, 2018
Things would only get worse from here. Henderson continued to provide little in possession, while also picking up a needless yellow card for a cynical foul on the 60 minute mark.
While Mo Salah and Trent Alexander-Arnold goals would give the visitors a comfortable lead entering the last 10 minutes, their captain continued to look suspect at best.
Referee John Moss warned him after yet another cynical foul, with another such incident sure to see him receive his marching orders. Henderson clearly did not heed the warning, taking down Ettiene Capoue just two minutes later. The player did not even wait for Moss to brandish the red card, walking down the tunnel directly after the foul.
As you can imagine, the reaction on Twitter was not kind.
Jordan Henderson, ladies & gentleman.
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) November 24, 2018
Best day of my life this, Jordan Henderson missing the derby😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
— Jack (@JT96_) November 24, 2018
Henderson red card. Stupid. Had just been warned. Klopp should have taken him off in fairness but he takes one for the team with Watford breaking. Long ten minutes now.
— Empire of the Kop (@empireofthekop) November 24, 2018
What an idiot Henderson. Give the armband to Van Dijk
— Liam 🔴 (@LiamLFCButler) November 24, 2018
Henderson will now miss next week's Merseyside derby, and based on today's performance, that might not be a bad thing.
Despite being club captain, he has looked like a passenger in the Liverpool team at times this season. We discussed his lack of impact after the game against Chelsea earlier this season, and little has changed in the intervening weeks.
Big money summer signing Fabinho has slowly started to find his feet at the club, and he seems much better equipped to play the holding midfield role at the moment. Naby Keita is also on the mend after his recent injury, and you would expect to see him more over the net few weeks.
Henderson could find playing time to come by over the coming games, and that may well be a boost to Liverpool as they embark into a defining portion of their season.