The installment of Brendan Rodgers as Liverpool manager has benefited the growth of midfielder Jordan Henderson, according to the player himself, who believes the results of the Premier League campaign to date are testament to the hard work that the Ulsterman oversaw during pre-season.
'I feel as though I've progressed over the last year or two, I'll try and push on,' said Henderson, a burgeoning 23-year-old bought from Sunderland two years ago. 'The manager has been fantastic on a personal level. I think I've improved my game since he's come to the club and he's helped me to do that.'
The highlight of Henderson's statistics are undoubtedly his passing accuracy. Last season he made 990 passes in England's premier division, completing 84.5% in 1,527 minutes of action. Whilst he has only played 270 minutes in the current season, he has made 145 passes, almost replicating his success rate of last year (84.8%).
If there is one area of his game the 6-foot tall midfielder can make drastic improvements on, it's his aerial ability, however, other dimensions of his game such as stamina, work-rate, desire for the ball and a provider of a balance to the midfield zones is hard to back-up with numbers alone but is a style reminiscent of Manchester United's Darren Fletcher.
'We worked very hard pre-season and then in the games we have looked pretty solid as a team,' continued Henderson, remarking on the three victories that see the club top the table. 'The manager has definitely been working on that during the pre-season. Last three home games, we've done really well [and] we've got a lot of momentum after the first three games of the season.'
While the international break disrupts the Premier League calender, the Anfield outfit will still take confidence from the September 1 slaying of Manchester United, a fixture which Henderson excelled in.
'Beating Manchester United gave us a great boost and it kept the winning mentality and the momentum going, but we know that it's going to be difficult in our next few games, so we'll have to keep focused and hopefully we can keep putting in performances like that.
'I've been happy with the way the first three games have gone, in terms of my own performances, but there's always room for improvement. There's a few things I want to change in my own game, but I tend to keep them to myself, privately.'
Liverpool's next game is on September 16, against Swansea City.
image: © kong niffe