WITH the departure of Daniel Agger back to Brondby we asked a few Anfield Wrap regulars to make their case as to who should replace the Dane as vice-captain.
NEIL ATKINSON – GLEN JONO
I’M A GLEN JOHNSON man. I’m also a Jordan Henderson man but you are all them these days.
I’m Glen Johnson. Even when the ball runs under his foot. Even when he chips it to no one. Glen Johnson. Because I still believe him to be silk. I love watching him at his best.
There’s a conversation to be had about full backs and about Johnson with the way we set up. A conversation to be had about the pressures and one to be had about the strains. He’s not what he was. But he can get back there.
I suppose this is the Daniel Agger argument. Use the vice captaincy to get a lad back to what he was, to confirm his responsibilities, to be senior. Give this everything. You’ll never have another go. Glen Johnson, though he doesn’t have YNWA tattooed on his knuckles, has been here for ages and he has been a credit to himself. But it has mostly been rubbish for him. He’s given his best years to the end of Benitez, the disgrace of Hodgson, the peak and then trough of Kenny and Brendan’s first season. Through all that, the barracking of the Main and the Kemlyn, he’s mostly been a bright spot. He was excellent last autumn, arguably only eclipsed by Suarez. If ever a player was signed a year or two too late it is Glen Johnson.
But he can be poor. Very poor. He doesn’t seem to have a six or five game. He has eights, he has sevens. He has fours. He has threes. God how he has threes.
The threes need to go. We all know that. But now is the time. His contract is running down, if his time at Liverpool is to make the sense his talent should then this is the year for major honours. Glen Johnson has a league medal in his back pocket. Time for another one.
And if it doesn’t work? If he under performs, can’t agree terms, isn’t showing what we expect? Then we let him go. Like we did the last vice captain. Nothing lost.
VOTE GLEN JONO
KATE FORRESTER – DEJAN LOVREN
EVERYONE knows the Dejan Lovren narrative. He came to us to be a big voice, a leader, a presence. Billed as a player who was going to get things organised at the back and beyond, mainly through shouting at people. My kind of guy.
People keep banging on about him being the new Jamie Carragher. I don’t think he is. I think he’s going to be more fun. On that basis, putting him forward as my choice for vice captain seems almost too obvious, but I’ll still be quite surprised if it happens.
The 25-year-old hasn’t had a completely flawless start to the season, but from the outset he’s been confident and impressive. I think his chances of deputising for Steven Gerrard are reduced significantly purely because he’s brand new. Some may say the vice captaincy is something to be earned and argue he hasn’t shown or given enough of himself yet to be bestowed such an honour.
But let’s turn that on its head for a minute. Lovren is one of a crop of fairly young, ambitious players to have been drafted in by Rodgers ahead of this crucial season. You know, the season when we’re going to win the league and the Champions League and show everyone what we’re really about? That one. You might think I’m being a bit mad. But read or watch any early interview with our new Croat – or Lazar Markovic, or Adam Lallana – and they’ll all tell you the same thing. They’re at Liverpool Football Club to win the league. To win all the things. On top of this, Lovren has the extra edge, as someone who is a recognised presence on the football pitch, someone who can keep things together, make things happen.
And while I’m suggesting Jordan Henderson or Joe Allen or anyone else is in it for anything less, I think the steely determination of Lovren, who has making a difference at his new club at the very top of his list of ambitions, could be just what we need.
Oh, and he likes putting pictures of dogs and his tea on Instagram. If that doesn’t swing it for you, I don’t know what will.
VOTE DEJAN LOVREN
ANDY HEATON – JORDAN TREMENDERSON
BRENDAN LOVES HIM more than he will know, and if he’s got any sense, he’ll hand the 24-year-old Wearsider the vice captaincy of Liverpool Football Club.
Given the massive strides that once written off Henderson has made since refusing to be a makeweight for Clint Dempsey, the step up to vice-captain would be natural progression for the now vital cog of the Liverpool midfield.
Disregarding the ‘reward’ symbolism of being made vice-captain, from a functional point, Henderson is the ONLY choice.
With the return of Champions League Football and the investment in the squad it’s unlikely that Steven Gerrard will feature in a full season calendar, for once, the role of vice captain is more than a ceremonial token of recognition and its vitally important that the club get it right.
Looking through the Liverpool starting XI, how many of the current squad at this moment in time can you guarantee will start week in, week out?
Mignolet? Lovren? Sterling? Sturridge? Lallana?
Two of the above have already missed game time this year through injury and the goalkeeper is clearly no leader of men and given the link to Victor Valdes, might not even be sure of his position come Christmas.
And whilst a case could be made for Lovren, he’s yet to even cement his own place and the extra pressure, given the amount of games that the vice captain will have to step in could have a destabilising effect on the Croat.
Henderson is clearly well liked and respected by the squad, fits in with the managers ethos of high energy, aggressive football and has shown the character needed to succeed given the obstacles that the young England midfielder has already overcome.
At 24, Henderson is at an age where he can kick on and become one of the most influential midfielders in Europe, the added responsibility of being anointed captain can only aid his development further.
Jordan Henderson’s transformation over the last two seasons has mirrored that of the club and both now stand on the edge of greatness, both now need to make that push on, together.
Jordan Henderson – a young, hungry, front foot leader of a young, hungry, front foot team.
You know it makes sense, give him the imaginary armband.
neil, lad. Glen Jo? come on! im not one for bashing him like so many have but at the moment i wouldnt have him as a guaranteed starter, never mind as VC. i cant see him being here past the end of the season either, so it would be merely a stop gap. Lovren still has to settle in and establish himself in the squad. for me ot could spur Hendo on even more than he has. maybe push him to add the goals – the part he needs to make him truly world class.
I applaud the sentiment of Kate’s case for Lovren as the leader of the new breed, and KINDA understand where Neil is coming from that it could have a galvanising effect (although the VC would be better for Glen Johnson than it would be for LFC imo), There can be only one.
The physical embodiment, along with Raheem, of the evolution of this side from the Triers to the Trickys, with captaincy experience from the U-21s to boot.
Despite these impassioned pleas, I bet even Neil & Kate fully expect it to be Hendo.
As it stands as I write, from 300 votes cast, Hendo has 266. He’s the natural and he will lift every trophy going. That shimmy and curl into the far corner against Bolton will be seen as the start of it.
Neil with the hipster John Glenson shout…
Nah mate-Hendo all the way. Polls don’t lie…well they do but this one doesn’t.
Skrtel for me. Mayve a year too early for Hendo.
Very good arguments put forward by both Andy and Neil, I don’t think Lovren should get it, I’m very much behind captains and vice captains being established players.
The Redmen TV argued that the VC should potentially go to a player that you’d like to get 5-10% extra out of and for that mentality I agree with Neil even though my bias was initially for Hendo (As I said since we signed him under Dalglish he’s future captain in the making).
Andy’s argument threw me completely into Hendo’s corner, this season our VC will be captaining a number of games through rotation and rest of Gerrard as well as through any injury concerns and for that it should be given to the leader on the pitch rather than the underperforming senior you want a little bit extra out of.
Hendo for me, but like the idea of giving Johnson a chance, he has been boss down the years, was playing injured for half last season, came back was great now has dipped again. The stick he gets is out of order my the same nobs who gave Lucas an Henderson grief. Though I doubt hell be 1st choice anymore for him to get back to the good player he was
At the moment 3 of the votes for Glen Johnson will be Neil his Mum and his partner but who are the other 3?
Hendo in a landslide…we all see it…He’ll be up there with Stevie when its all over…here’s to the rest of his career in Liverpool Red!
Hendo is the obvious choice for so many reasons, but for me it is all illustrated in every time a goal is scored at home. He completely loses his mind with joy almost every single time. He works for his teammates and for the shirt.
Vice-captain? Seriously? Half the time supporters can’t even make out / don’t care what it is the Captain is supposed to do never mind the Vice-captain.
Slow news day, I blame the Internationals.
Johnson definitely voting for himself a few times on that poll. Only explanation. He’s probably deleting his browser history/cache to do it. Sly fella.
Skrtel no chance. Needs to concentrate on his own game first.
The vice-captain role has often been given to players who the manager wants to lift to another level. This is why Henderson is the logical choice, I think. He’s been captain of the England under-21’s so he has an idea of what the role involves. Becoming vice-captain now would build on that experience making a transition to the full captaincy very smooth when Gerrard finally retires, assuming Rodgers wants Henderson to be captain that is.
It has to be Sakho, for no other reason than he is just the coolest looking man in the Premier League. And it would drive the people who think he can’t pass a ball absolutely bonkers.
Second choice, obviously, is Lil’ Joey Allen. The human super glue, holding together the team in ways that fans of other clubs can’t even begin to fathom.
Hendo was my initial choice but ..,Skrtel for me too..has worked as hard as Hendoor anyone in the team past 15 months. Just don’t let it be the retirement gift like our was for Dagger!!