Jordan Henderson blasts Steven Gerrard critics — “still one of the best”

Jordan Henderson has kept to the defence of Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, claiming the 34-year-old is “still one of the best players in the Premier League“.

LONDON, ENGLAND - Sunday, August 31, 2014: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson after the 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur during the Premier League match at White Hart Lane. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

After coming under criticism in recent months for his performances for both Liverpool and England, Gerrard appeared to answer his critics with a valiant display against Everton on Saturday.

Although the Reds walked away with a disappointing 1-1 draw, Gerrard’s second-half free-kick goal, combined with a much-improved performance, had the Reds skipper cupping his ears in defiance of the skeptics.

In another act that shows why Henderson was Brendan Rodgers’ perfect choice for the vice-captaincy at Anfield, Henderson is quoted by the Daily Mail as saying, “Stevie’s still one of the best players in the Premier League.

“There’s no doubting his quality. A lot of teams have been putting someone to man-mark him, which shows just how good he is.

“I don’t think he deserves any criticism. He’s been the best player this league’s probably seen in a long time and still is.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Friday, September 26, 2014: Liverpool's captain Steven Gerrard celebrates scoring the first goal against Everton during the Premier League match at Anfield. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Rodgers also leapt to Gerrard’s defence following the game on Saturday, suggesting that players have begun marking him this season because of the threat he imposes.

“He is still a highly influential player and, as you saw with the free-kick, he has got great quality,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.

“The biggest credit you can give to Stevie is that at 34 years of age, at this level, he is being man marked. I think in a couple of the games that has just showed you the level and influence that he still has on this team.

“[Steven] Naismith tried to follow and get around him, but we did some work on clearing the space so we could move him out of positions so we could get the ball in different areas.”

Do you agree with Henderson and Rodgers, or are players marking Gerrard as a point of vulnerability in the team? Let us know your thoughts on Gerrard’s form and his future in the comments section below.