Kenny Dalglish’s decision to feature Jordan Henderson has had unfortunate consequences.
0-1 to Stoke, three down to Spurs, if this downward trend continues we might start thinking that ‘King Kenny’ is actually a cantankerous, milky-eyed old man with a penchant for selling talented foreign imports (Meireles) and buying in vastly inferior, twice-the-price British replacements (Henderson) and not, as Liverpool fans would have it, the Second Coming of Christ Our Saviour. -Tom Midlane.
On June 9th, Liverpool bit the bullet and paid the surcharge, known as the English premium, to sign Sunderland’s Jordan Henderson before other rival clubs stepped in and absconded with the talented young midfielder. But there was little need for worry, since no one is more seduced by this “asset” than Kenny Dalglish.
After failing in January, Liverpool finally rescued the eager Charlie Adam on July 7th from Blackpool. Adam was well aware that he was an addition to a central midfield already populated by the well established Steven Gerrard and Lucas Leiva. But for some reason, Adam included Henderson in this list, as if a month was sufficient time for Henderson to be considered a player Adam would have to unseat. It may have already been clear to him that Henderson was the manager’s “golden boy”, a status as embedded as proven experienced veteran.
The following week, Liverpool signed winger Stuart Downing, who would find less competition on the left with the right-sided utilitarian Dirk Kuyt, the shadow-of-former-self Joe Cole, substitute Maxi Rodriguez, and of course the golden boy who, if pushed from the center, would move to the right.
Add to this the return of Alberto Aquilani on July 4th from a season-long loan at Juventus, the undecided fate of Joe Cole, an eventually healthy—if fragile—Gerrard, the in-form Raul Meireles, and Liverpool have got themselves a glut of midfielders—ten including Kuyt or twelve if counting Jonjo Shelvey and Jay Spearing. Kenny Dalglish—befitting a king—had the pleasure and privilege of abundant choice (as well as the attendant problems of those left out who think otherwise).