Liverpool physio Chris Morgan came in for bizarre criticism during the injury crisis last season, and Jordan Henderson has now defended him as the “best of the best.”
It was an unprecedented campaign of injuries for the Reds, with Henderson among those sidelined along with Virgil van Dijk, Joe Gomez, Joel Matip, Diogo Jota, Thiago and many others.
After winning the title in 2019/20, Liverpool were unable to compete the following season, with their third-placed finish an impressive achievement considering.
Such is the nature of modern society that the repeated injuries prompted a witchhunt, with so-called fans on social media pointing the finger at Morgan.
Morgan returned to Liverpool from Arsenal last summer, and was often subjected to abuse online as the link was made between his appointment and the rise in fitness problems.
In a recent column for the club’s official website, however, Henderson praised Liverpool’s medical staff and blasted the “shocking” abuse aimed at Morgan in particular.
“Being part of a football club’s medical setup is a tough job, I can tell you,” the captain explained.
“They have to deliver news to the manager he might not want to hear but ultimately needs to.
“As players we don’t want to be anywhere near their room as it means we have an issue that potentially could, or actually does, prevent us from training and playing.
“And frankly, most of us aren’t always the easiest of characters to control when we have injury issues.”
He added: “The part which troubles me – and I only really became aware of it last season – is how much online abuse these guys get when a club has injuries.
“It is shocking. It also makes no sense. Absolutely none.”
Henderson went on to detail the immediate aftermath of Harvey Elliott‘s ankle injury, and the role Morgan played in his swift care along with club doctor Jim Moxon:
“I could pick out anyone from our incredible setup to highlight what these guys do for us – day in and day out – so we can get on the pitch and win games for Liverpool.
“I could write a list of everyone in that department – they’re all out of this world – but on a personal level, I do want to flag the guy who was on the pitch at Elland Road and who had Harvey in his arms within a time period two seconds quicker than Usain Bolt ran the 100 metres in his prime. That’s Chris Morgan.”
It is not only Elliott, though, who would attest to the top-level work Morgan puts in behind the scenes, with Henderson using his own experience along with praise from Steven Gerrard:
“When I had my injury last season it was Chris who was up until 2am researching the best techniques that could help advance my recovery.
“He’s the guy who was there for me 24/7 – despite having a family of his own to worry about – if I needed reassurance in vulnerable moments.
“I know Steven Gerrard has spoken so highly of Chris in the past and credited him so much with helping him through injury issues during his career.
“When someone like Stevie says that about someone so publicly, so emphatically, it speaks volumes about them, the work they do and the trust placed in their ability.”
Is it a surprise that those hiding behind player photos and @SZN handles on social media are out of touch with the reality of life at a football club? Certainly not.
But it is always worth a reminder from the likes of Henderson and Gerrard that the staff appointed by Liverpool are to be trusted in these situations.
“I referenced earlier that these guys have a thankless task in many respects,” the 31-year-old concluded.
“But that doesn’t apply in the dressing room. Our appreciation is absolute.”