How did Sunderland-born Liverpool skipper Jordan henderson fare as England captain

Jordan Henderson as England captain
Jordan Henderson as England captain
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Sunderland-born Jordan Henderson led England out for the first time in Wayne Rooney’s absence against Slovenia, but how did he fare in Ljubljana?

We take a look at how the East Herrington lad – now skipper of Liverpool – performed wearing the armband.

Jordan Henderson and Wayne Rooney

Jordan Henderson and Wayne Rooney

LEADERSHIP:

The 26-year-old was talking to team-mates throughout the 90 minutes but for the most part his message simply did not get through.

When he urged them to move up the pitch, they did not always respond. When he hollered in their direction, he was not always heard.

It was a tough night against a polished opponent but Henderson’s encouragement alone was not a tipping factor.

As for leading by performance, Henderson’s own display was not markedly better than his colleagues.

POSITIONING:

It may have been the armband weighing heavy, a collective reaction to Rooney’s absence or simply a hard away game, but Henderson’s radar was awry here.

Against Malta on Saturday he instinctively picked up the right positions, surged into space and supported the attack.

This time he drifted, trying manfully to find a way to inject life into England but spreading himself too thin and failing to win any single battle.

At times it seemed like he was trying to recreate Steven Gerrard at his all-action best but instead he often looked lost.

PASSING:

Lost possession more than he would have liked but was brave enough to get on the ball more than most.

Will be most aggrieved by a loose ball in the second half that allowed Josep Ilicic to bear down on goal and might have cost his side the game had Joe Hart not been at his best.

RELATIONSHIP WITH ROONEY:

Given Henderson’s own pre-match praise for Rooney and Gareth Southgate’s insistence that the latter remained the squad’s figurehead, it was no surprise to see the armband passed when the 30-year-old arrived.

Henderson made a beeline for Rooney when he was sent on in the 73rd minute, passing on captaincy duties with a hearty pat on the back.

At the time it may have been as much relief as deference.