Henderson & Can: Why Can't Liverpool Supporters Rate Both?

Henderson & Can: Why Can't Liverpool Supporters Rate Both?

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There seems to be a bizarre, unwritten rule among much of the modern day Liverpool fanbase: it is a sin to rate both Jordan Henderson and Emre Can.

Quite where this has stemmed from remains a mystery, but there seem to be two distinct camps, with very few rating the duo in roughly equal measure.

Football in 2017 is as tribal as it has ever been throughout history, but sadly, that tribalism doesn’t only exist among rival supporters.

Nowadays, fans of the same team spend their days squabbling over their love and dislike of certain players, with everyone out to prove a point. At Liverpool, it is as prevalent as anywhere.

It really is school playground antics, with social media platforms such as Twitter not helping matters in the slightest.

If a player you rate highly has a bad day at the office, his critics will pelt you with messages, and likewise, if an individual you don’t rate has a blinder, a similarly venomous response will head in your direction.

This is where the Henderson/Can debacle comes into play.

These are two very good footballers, both of whom are more than worthy of representing Liverpool, yet there seems to be an ongoing debate regarding the pair.

Perhaps the fact that they are both fighting for that defensive midfield berth next season plays a part, with Jurgen Klopp likely to find it very difficult to accommodate both in his side regularly in 2017/18. 

Rather than simply putting forward a level-headed argument for their preferred player to start, though, sly digs always have to come at the expense of the other.

There is a definite snobbery involved in both instances, with both the Henderson and the Can admirers guilty of it.

Those who rate the Liverpool captain cite his consistency, leadership and understated nature in the role, before lazily claiming Can is just a wrecking ball who blows hot and cold too often, making rash decisions and losing his head.

On the flip side, those in favour of Can turn their noses up at Henderson because he isn’t as fashionable or as aesthetically pleasing as they would like in their beloved ‘DM’ role, before making out Can is somehow 10 times the player his skipper is.

Both of these arguments are total nonsense, even if an element of them can be true, at times. 

Can, in particular, has a very dedicated following, with any criticism of the German met with a giant wave of defensiveness. They ignore the fact that he is yet to have a long run of excellent form in his three years at Anfield, and that his performances were very poor before an excellent end to 2016/17.

Those who are incapable of praising him, however, will completely ignore the fact that he was carrying an injury during that bad run around the turn of the year.

Henderson, meanwhile, has arguably become overrated because he is so underrated, if that makes sense.

His supporters have grown so tired of the stick that comes his way, that subconsciously they rate everything he does that little bit higher than it deserves.

They will also use the injury excuse to take the heat off the 27-year-old but gloss over that subject when Can is the talking point.

The bottom line is that we should be in a position where we think highly of both Henderson and Can, both of whom can continue to flourish under Klopp.

Henderson has grown so much since a dire early period in a Reds shirt, improving season upon season and becoming one of the first names on the team-sheet during the team’s most impressive spell last season.

Few players have shown more heart in moments of adversity to reach the level he is now at, and he should be liked and lauded in equal measure. His injury problems are a cause for concern, sadly. 

Can is a player of enormous potential, and he has shown many times what he can offer in the middle of the park.

When he is on song, he has the ability to boss a midfield battle, whether it be through brute strength, pace and power or technique. If you had any reservations about the latter, just watch that Watford goal over and over again.

Many clubs would love to have both Henderson and Can at their disposal, but such is the stubborn nature of fans these days, they seem unwilling to shower both with praise at the time.

Are they both the undoubted midfield solution moving forward? Who knows. Can they be improved upon by a really top class midfielder? Absolutely.

There is no shame in that, and it is taking nothing away from two players who have been definite success stories at Anfield.

Having a favourite out of the two is only natural – I prefer Henderson because he is a more consistent performer who uses the ball quicker, but Can has many great attributes – but there shouldn’t be this concerted effort to only rate one or the other.

Rather than mock Henderson for “not being good enough as a DM” when his passing eludes him for once, or laying into Can for a few sloppy displays when he is still very much maturing, we should be showing them both the affection they deserve.

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Comments

10 responses to “Henderson & Can: Why Can’t Liverpool Supporters Rate Both?”

  1. DarkMatter says:

    Honestly, i don’t see the fuss with either of them. Once we had a midfield of Gerrard, Alonso and Mascherano. Would either of these two been anywhere near playing in that midfield. No chance. They’re both good players but neither will take us to the next level and neither will win us a league or champions league.

  2. Sharon says:

    I would hardly consider Henderson as being ‘consistent’ seeing he has an ever-recurring heel injury that takes him out of the game for quite a few weeks of a season.

  3. “Many clubs would love to have both Henderson and Can at their disposal” – Wrong statement, the truth is no top club wants Henderson, and Juve wants Can. Henderson is bang average and there is nothing he brings to the table that would make any top club in europe even consider having him as a squad player. Lucky to start for liverpool or even lead it as captain. Liverpool can’t win anything with him as captain.

  4. Hemanta says:

    Henderson should not be on opening 11 , let alone captain , I agree he has improved , but his position is the spine of the team and he is very fragile . His injury breaks the momentum of the side. He should only be reserve player in my opinion. He has the hearts , attitude and can do alright if not spectacular , but sadly he is injury prone and that sadlycould be disruptive for team’s balance. I’d keep in for reserves , Can on the other hand if given right role can change game , he needs to find consistency , which he was showing towards the latter half of the season. He is not yet an auto starter in the midfield, but I would want to keep him and hope he can find that consistency. In all honesty Can is the type of player if he was in another club , Liverpool would be putting in 40 mil bids on. He is right there in the liverpool mould.

  5. Hobnob Legend says:

    Hendo was pinging the ball over the pitch for fun at times last season. His passing (long, in particular) has really gone up a notch and a couple more season’s of that under his belt we may be singing Stevie in disguise.
    Still love Can too; lads a monster

  6. Jose says:

    Now that we have two games a week there is no competition for time at the moment. Let the argument begin for weekday vs weekend matches. We have a typical fan base who thinks their own players are crap and that our competition is superior. But one thing is sure, our squad is better than all but two and it ain’t all Phil and Mane

  7. Red Panther says:

    OMG! Are you fucking serious ????? Henderson is a basic player he’s not Stevie G nor is he Stevie G when he was 18. You all need to stop telling him that he even resembles Stevie G then maybe he’ll realize he is Jordan Henderson!!!!!!!! He is not a starter in this side especially if Keita signs. I keep seeing these projected line ups with him stuck in them he cant move Gini, Can, Lallana, (Keita) Cout’s, so where does he fit??????????????

  8. Red Panther says:

    ROLL Player at best I hope Mr. Klopp realizes this

  9. Adam says:

    I think what this article seems to highlight, albeit inadvertently, is each of their limitations. The reason their deficiencies might seem so glaring is that invariably we compare them to each other and with the trio of Gerrard, Mascherano, and Alonso. The reality is that neither Hendo nor Emre is, or will ever be, at that level. Can we rate them both? Sure. But as we have seen, they don’t really function well together so we choose the one we’d prefer see on the starting XI.

    As you rightly say, Emre has droves of potential, what with an enormous frame, good technique, and strong motor. But against a high block? He might give you the spectacular like the Watford goal but I think he holds the ball too long, slowing down the play. That’s a critical issue against the weaker sides because it gives time to reorganize. Compare Emre’s play to Henderson and you see the latter as much more effective and swinging a diagonal ball first touch or seeing movement ahead of him at a glance. I might be berated for this but I think Emre was better as part of Rodger’s back three than in midfield, as the lung bursting runs would be more effective in helping to break the line between defence and midfield, his dithering on the ball less of an issue, and his physicality just as important. Hopefully he’ll quicken his play, make more penetrating passes and become the finished product.

    Henderson’s issue is that in many facets he’s not much more than above average. His long balls are good and he’s steadily improved his short passing. Just like Can, he can sometimes perform the miraculous (Chelsea goal) but his injury record, as pointed out above, is deleterious to the flow of the team. He’s not the gladiator that Can is but he’s effective in the tackle.

    At the end of the day we can call Can a poor man’s (but healthy) Khedira and Henderson a poor man’s Kroos. The reality is that as fans we want the genuine article so we’ll always think what if. We might each have our preferences over which one we prefer although hopefully we can be a little more objective in our estimation of the “lesser” one.

  10. Paul Hodgson says:

    Both are great players but can can be fantastic only he doesn’t show very often! Henderson gets better & better & a great captain but depending on who klopp buys both could be squad players this season! I hope they are cos that will mean he got keita & another but if room for 1 has to be Henri he’s the most consistent &his job as captain can’t be underestimated milner is great vice but if plans play out hewont be in 1st 11 dithering my opinion we need Henri but if got keita can could go he hasn’t reached the potential promised yes he has outstanding games & awful bones too but we need large squad if we get these signings klopp will have great headache & we will be there challenging bfor league ‘& European cup!!!

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Published by Anfield Index
Updated: 2017-06-29 10:20:40
2,166 Views