John Hartson has hit out at Kevin Kilbane after he claimed that Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson only won the PFA writers’ Footballer of the Year because he’s ‘English’.
The former striker didn’t hold back in his criticism of the ex-Everton defender and stated that his comments about the Liverpool captain were ‘outrageous’, as he told Off the Ball.
Henderson picked up the PFA writers award after guiding Liverpool to their first Premier League title in 30 years, although, others felt that Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne should have been the one awarded.
Hartson was told about Kilbane’s comments whilst speaking to Off the Ball and he didn’t hold back in criticising the former Republic of Ireland international.
“Oh, I don’t agree with that,” Hartson told Off the Ball. “I don’t agree with the fact that he is English, that’s a load of nonsense because he’s English?!
“He’s won it because he has led Liverpool to a world trophy, Champions League and he’s led them to the Premier League title for the first time in 30 years. He’s been pivotal to Liverpool. Them other great players around him, he keeps driving them on and he skippers the team.
“Yes, De Bruyne is a better player, an all-round player and I think everybody would understand that- But I don’t think you can begrudge Jordan Henderson winning this trophy because the season he has had has been outstanding. You can say for the sentiment that a lot of the votes have gone his way.
“But you cannot deny he’s a very good player. I wouldn’t say he’s a world-class player like De Bruyne, so I can see why there’s been an argument. Whoever has gone on and said ‘it’s because he’s English’ is talking nonsense. How can you get that guy on here to give his comments on this show when he’s saying ‘it’s because he’s English’? That is outrageous to say that.
Hartson is then reminded that Kilbane is a Bluenose: “Yeh, but that’s outrageous, you cannot say that. That is terrible. If you’re looking for a headline then there you, that’s it.”
Given that Henderson became the first Liverpool captain in 30 years to lift the English league title, that in itself is worthy of recognition because of the pressure it takes to get over that line.
Whilst De Bruyne was also tipped for the award, alongside Henderson, the likes of Mo Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Sadio Mane and Virgil van Dijk were also unlucky to miss out.
Either way, De Bruyne could make his own season that even better because City are hoping to lift the Champions League next month.