Henderson relishing unofficial role as England’s vocal coach
Jordan Henderson has assumed the unofficial role of England’s vocal coach – and the Liverpool midfielder does not intend on keeping quiet any time soon.
At 28 years of age, Henderson is now an elder statesman of Gareth Southgate’s Three Lions set-up.
The former Sunderland man can reach 50 caps if he features in both forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against the Czech Republic and Montenegro.
Harry Kane is the captain of an England squad still developing after reaching a World Cup semi-final last summer, but the likes of Henderson also play a key role.
He was heard barking out orders and instructions in the goalless Nations League draw in Croatia back in October – the eerily quiet atmosphere of the empty Stadion HNK in Rijeka shattered by his bellows.
Croatia had been ordered to play the fixture behind closed doors following fan trouble but the coaching staff, security and media inside the ground would have heard Henderson rallying the troops.
“It’s something that is quite natural,” he replied when asked about how vocal he was that night.
“I haven’t just been like that over the past couple of years, I’ve been like that most of my career, even when I was really young.
“Maybe when I was younger too much in the wrong way, but I feel as though I’ve improved that and I’m more constructive, more helpful to the team.”
Henderson believes he may be part of a dying breed of players willing to raise their voice and be heard by their team-mates, something he feels is vital in helping the younger players on the pitch.
“There aren’t many players I can think of now to be fair but I do think that is still important,” he added.
“I don’t just do it for its own sake, I do it because I feel as though it can help. The more people you have on the pitch that are talking and communicating then the easier it is really.
“You need people who are vocal on the pitch to give information at different times of the game.
“Coaching younger players and coach them within the game – what you want them to do as a team, what we’ve been working on. I try to do that as best I can.”
Henderson has plenty of wisdom to impart having captained Liverpool all the way to the Champions League final last season.
Jurgen Klopp’s side slipped to a 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in Kiev before Henderson joined up with an England squad which would go on to surprise many onlookers by reaching the last four in Russia.
He may have learnt a lot from those near misses but the main thing Henderson takes from coming so close to two major honours is the feeling to put it right when next given the opportunity.
“I think it always stays with you, those moments,” he said.
“It gives you even more motivation to then keep going, keep wanting to be in that position again to make it right, and go that final step really.
“It’s definitely an extra motivation that I use. Maybe I had a little taste of it playing in finals but I haven’t really managed to win the big trophies, and now that’s the next step really.
“I don’t really look at it (the experience) as a benefit for me, I look at it as a benefit for the team more than anything.
“When you’ve got players that have been in that situation before, of experience, big games, semi-finals, finals, big competitions, then it’s good for the team.
“For players to be able to help them, especially the younger lads, to help cope with bigger occasions. And give them a little bit of experience on what to expect. The more players you have playing in those finals, the better really.”