Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson believes Steven Gerrard is the best captain in football.
Gerrard marked another anniversary of wearing the armband for his boyhood club by saying: “Eleven years ago today I became the captain of my boyhood team one of the proudest days of my career. It’s a huge honour to captain this great club.”
Henderson has been identified as Gerrard’s long-term successor after being appointed vice-captain last month and he is keen to follow the 34-year-old’s example.
“Stevie’s probably not only the best captain for Liverpool and before with England but in the game itself,” Henderson said.
“Being around him has benefited me a lot. It’s been huge. Every day I watch him.
“It’s his desire to improve. He’s been the best and most influential player here for such a long time but he still wants to get better.
“He takes training really seriously and sets the tone for how things should be. Everyone else follows. He does a lot of things that people on the outside don’t see.
“On the pitch he’s a great leader. You can see the goals, the passes and the tackles he makes; the way he inspires the team.
“But off the pitch he conducts himself brilliantly too. He’s a genuinely nice person and everybody in the squad knows they can go to him.
“The most important thing is he puts the team in front of everybody else including himself. The most important thing is the team.”
Henderson’s growing importance and maturity has not only seen him elevated to Gerrard’s deputy but has helped him become more comfortable with the expectations and associated dissapointments which come with being at a club like Liverpool.
“That was one of the biggest things that I needed to come to terms with when I first came here,” he admitted.
“I was only 20, 21 when I joined and when you’re young, you can dwell on things quite a lot. It’s one area where I’ve improved a lot.
“At the end of the day you can’t change what’s happened. You can only influence what happens in the future. As long as you learn from mistakes, you’ll be fine.
“When we have a bad result or I have a bad performance, it isn’t nice.”