Jordan Henderson believes that the criticism he endured during his first season at Liverpool prepared him well for the scrutiny he received upon being called up for England. In fact, the youngster is now enjoying all the criticism and scrutiny.
Henderson, 21, scored two goals for the Reds in 48 appearances across all competitions but despite being overlooked for the Three Lions’ first squad, he was called up as a replacement for the injured Frank Lampard.
The player joined the England camp amid widespread concerns that he is not ready for the grand stage of the European Championship this summer but Henderson remains focused on proving the doubters wrong.
“There has been a lot of criticism but that is part and parcel of football – it doesn’t bother me. Maybe at the start of the season, I needed to deal with the increased scrutiny that comes with playing for Liverpool a little bit better,” Henderson told the Reds’ official website.
He added: “But I wouldn’t want it any other way now. I think I’ve taken it quite well and it’s the way I like it to be. I would rather have people criticising. It gives you that little bit more incentive to go and prove them wrong.”
For those critics who might perceive Henderson’s resilience as arrogance or ignorance of feedback from on-lookers, the former Sunderland midfielder clarified that he will primarily listen to those who matter.
He explained: “I think more about what the manager at Liverpool and my teammates think or the manager and the players with England. It’s more important what they think, so there’s no criticism that has stuck but I know when I don’t play well and when I know when I play well.
“I am very critical of myself so I need to be a little bit more confident at times. At times, I have done quite well and been pleased.
“At different times, I have been disappointed with my performances and the way I have played. But I am going to come across that. I have to deal with that and that will help me to improve in the future.
“I have had a lot of great experiences even in this past year and it has made me more of a man and I am looking forward to keeping on playing and contributing to the team,” he concluded.