Where are the haters now? Henderson on brink of glory

first_imgReal Madrid v Liverpool Jordan Henderson – the much-maligned Liverpool skipper who can write his name into Anfield history Neil Jones Click here to see more stories from this author Liverpool Correspondent Last updated 1 year ago 16:00 5/23/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Jordan Henderson Liverpool Getty Images Real Madrid v Liverpool UEFA Champions League Real Madrid Liverpool Opinion The Reds’ captain has been criticised throughout his career but can lead Jurgen Klopp’s men to immortality in Kiev this weekend It promises to be a career-defining moment.When Jordan Henderson leads Liverpool out at the NSC Olimpiyskiy Stadium on Saturday evening, he will be looking to join an elite club.Only four men have captained the Reds to European Cup glory. Emlyn Hughes did it twice, Phil Thompson, Graeme Souness and Steven Gerrard once each. Legends, one and all. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Sorry, Cristiano! Pjanic is Juventus’ most important player right now Were Henderson to add his name to that list, it would confirm his place in Anfield history. And as supporters prepare for long, tiring, expensive trips this week, it is worth reflecting on their captain’s own journey to Kiev.Surprising? Oh, aye. Thrilling? You bet. Arduous? Just a bit.In many ways, Henderson’s story mirrors Liverpool’s. It is one of courage and determination, belief and redemption. There has been the doubt, the despair and the disappointment; now there is the hope, the dream.It is approaching six years since he was called into a city-centre hotel room to be told by Brendan Rodgers that he could leave the club. Liverpool were keen to sign Clint Dempsey from Fulham, who in turn had made an offer for Henderson. It was one the Reds were happy to accept.Henderson cried that afternoon, played 90 minutes against Hearts in the Europa League that evening and, after speaking with his agent and his father, made a decision the next morning. He would stay and fight, prove Rodgers wrong, prove everyone wrong.That’s been his life at Liverpool, proving people wrong. He’s had seven years of it. Few players give more to the cause than he does, but few take more flak while doing so.But the best way to end an argument in football is with a trophy, and they don’t come bigger than the Champions League. Glory in Kiev would not just be the realisation of a lifelong dream for Henderson but the perfect response to his critics, too.Who could begrudge him it? Henderson has worked tirelessly to make himself a success at Anfield, his dedication, resilience and selflessness a lesson to any aspiring footballer. In an era of egos, he is the antidote; the humble leader of whom Liverpool can and should be proud.Jordan Henderson Liverpool PS“A team always needs someone like Jordan,” says Dejan Lovren. “He’s a workaholic on the pitch, and you need that. And off the pitch, he’s the same. He plays a really important role.”Speak to any Liverpool player and they’ll tell you the same. Henderson is not one for big, rousing speeches – though he will often say a few words before a match or at half-time – instead leading through example.His professionalism never wavers, whether on the training pitch, in the gym, in front of the media or in conversation with team-mates, management or supporters. He’s tee-total, controversy-free, utterly dedicated to his career.His colleagues appreciate it, even if some supporters don’t. When Mohamed Salah was awarded the PFA Player of the Year last month, he asked Henderson to accompany him to the ceremony. It was a show of respect to his captain; Salah, like many others, appreciates the role Henderson has played in helping him settle at the club.The man himself would blush at that suggestion. “I’m not particularly into people giving me credit,” he says. “I prefer talking about how well others are doing because that’s what I want. That’s what I try to do as a captain: give them a platform where they can go and perform as best they can.”On the pitch, Henderson is demanding, aggressive – “an angry man” according to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, and one continually in the ear of referees and team-mates. He points and he screams and he talks and he encourages. And if you let your standards drop, he’s on you.An image from the Champions League semi-final second leg against Roma sticks in the mind; Liverpool were lost amid the celebrations at the final whistle, yet Henderson sought out Loris Karius, asking the goalkeeper why, a few minutes previously, he had chosen to head a ball clear from his penalty area instead of catching it.Standards, you see?Another, different kind of gesture stood out that night, Henderson ensuring that a flag bearing the name of Sean Cox, the Liverpool supporter left fighting for his life after being attacked by Roma fans outside Anfield, made its way onto the pitch. A touch of class, like the letter and the signed jersey sent by Henderson to Cox’s local GAA club in the Irish town of Dunboyne the previous week.Liverpool players hold a banner in tribute to injured fan Sean CoxThese things matter when you’re the captain of Liverpool. You’re representing a city, a community, a football institution. There’s a need to do things right, with decency and dignity. You must be grounded, humble, strong-minded, socially aware.Performances matter too, of course, and Henderson’s have, by and large, been good this season – better than his critics would suggest. Against Roma, he won more tackles over the two legs than any player, while against Manchester City in the quarter-final first leg, he was immense.  “He’s a better player than people think,” says Gary Lineker, who will host BT Sport’s coverage of the final this weekend. “I think he’s perhaps capable of hitting more forward passes than he does, but at the same time, he doesn’t give it away, he’s got great energy and he’s a natural leader.”He has had to modify his game at Liverpool; he joined as a free-running midfield player, tasked with breaking the lines and creating chances, but has been moved into a more fixed position as a No.6 under Klopp.Injuries may have played a part in that – in particular, a lengthy, painful battle against plantar fasciitis, a debilitating condition which affects the heel and foot – but Henderson’s passing range, ability to win the ball and communication skills are valued by the manager in a deeper, more tactically demanding role. There is, unquestionably, trust between the two, even if some supporters continue to question the 27-year-old.“If somebody doesn’t see his value, then what I can I do?” Klopp said back in January. “Please, write it: Jordan Henderson is a brilliant football player.”In March, he spoke of the “incredible job” his skipper has been doing. “You don’t get extra money for doing it,” he added. “There are a lot more duties and not a lot more rights, to be honest.”Jordan Henderson Klopp Liverpool PSMore scrutiny, too. More criticism and more unflattering comparisons with the greats that have gone before him. If you want to start an argument between Liverpool fans, Henderson is usually a good place to start.Thankfully, he has a thicker skin than most.From a personal perspective, I can recall a conversation with him about a year into his Liverpool career. I asked if it hurt when fans questioned him, when they said he wasn’t good enough or that he should have been sold. “Not at all,” he replied. “They are the ones who pay their money. It’s up to me to change their opinion, isn’t it?”It’s an admirable mindset, one which has not changed since. “I can accept criticism,” he said earlier this week. “Criticism is healthy. It gives you that extra little bit inside you to prove people wrong, to use it as energy, to use it as fuel.”That’s Henderson, built to last, selfless to the core and powered by doubters. For seven years, he’s given his all for the cause.Now, on Saturday, he gets the chance to complete his journey, to sit on top of the world.History beckons for Liverpool’s captain. Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more

Man Who Stuffed Lubbock Womans Body Into Luggage Set To Die

first_imgTwitter via @KCBD11Rosendo Rodriguez, III also known as the suitcase killer.Attorneys for a condemned Texas inmate who became known as the “suitcase killer” looked to the U.S. Supreme Court to halt his execution set for Tuesday evening for the slaying of a 29-year-old Lubbock woman whose battered, naked body was stuffed into a new piece of luggage and tossed in the trash.Rosendo Rodriguez III, who turned 38 Monday, also confessed to killing a 16-year-old Lubbock girl and similarly disposing her body in the trash in a suitcase.He’d be the fourth inmate executed this year in Texas, the nation’s busiest death penalty state.Workers at the city landfill in September 2005 spotted and then opened the suitcase, discovering the corpse of Summer Baldwin, who was 10 weeks pregnant. Detectives used a barcode label sewn to the luggage to establish it was purchased a day earlier at a Walmart, and debit card records and store surveillance video identified the buyer as Rodriguez, a Marine reservist from San Antonio who’d been in Lubbock for training that included martial arts combat.He was convicted and sentenced to die for raping and killing Baldwin. Court records show Rodriguez also was linked to at least five other sexual assaults and confessed to killing Joanna Rogers, the 16-year-old missing for a year when her mummified remains were found inside a suitcase at the city garbage dump.Rodriguez’s lawyers said lower courts improperly turned down appeals that focused on the medical examiner’s trial testimony about Baldwin’s autopsy and her injuries.In a filing Monday to the Supreme Court, attorney Seth Kretzer said the justices were his “last hope” to show Rodriguez was innocent and get a hearing related to a recent disclosure of the settlement of a whistleblower lawsuit — which attorneys said previously was unknown to them — that alleged the coroner delegated some duties to unqualified underlings. That practice raised questions about “the credibility and admissibility of the medical examiner’s testimony in this case,” Kretzer said.Assistant Texas Attorney General Tomee Heining said the high court appeal was improper, untimely and meritless, and “nothing more than a last-ditch effort” to undermine scientific findings that were unfavorable for Rodriguez.The lawsuit involved a dismissed former employee who didn’t start work until years after Rodriguez went to trial. The settlement included a statement that there was no reason to question the scientific validity of findings or opinions made by the medical examiner’s office, according to prosecutors. Court records showed the medical examiner personally conducted Baldwin’s autopsy.Records also described the mother of four as a prostitute.Rodriguez lived in San Antonio with his parents and was arrested there days after Baldwin’s body was discovered. Three weeks later, he gave Lubbock police a statement saying he killed her in self-defense when she pulled a knife on him after the two had consensual sex on Sept. 12, 2005, at a hotel room.Testimony at his 2008 trial showed Baldwin had about 50 blunt force wounds and may have been alive when she was folded into the suitcase and tossed into a trash bin. The contents subsequently wound up at the city dump.Jurors who convicted Rodriguez of capital murder heard from five women, including his high school girlfriend, who testified he raped them. Jurors also heard about his confession to killing Rogers, the 16-year-old Lubbock girl he initially met in an online chat room.“He’s really good at killing people,” Lubbock County District Attorney Matt Powell, who prosecuted Rodriguez, said Monday. “Very calm, very calculated.“Women were terrified of him. He used his charm and good looks and status for a long time to victimize women,” Powell said. “In this case, the right guy is getting the appropriate punishment.” Sharelast_img read more

Mamata pays tribute to bravehearts of Mumbai terror attacks

first_imgKolkata: On the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday paid tribute to those who laid down their lives to protect others. She also extended sympathies to those who lost their dear ones in the attacks carried out by 10 members of Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Pakistan-based terrorist organisation, in 2008. “On the 10th anniversary of the 26/11 attack, my sincere tribute to those who lost their lives on that day. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Salutes to the police and military personnel, and civilians, who put their lives on the line to save people. Heartfelt sympathies with the families who lost their dear ones,” Banerjee said in a Twitter post on Monday. Terrorists carried out a string of coordinated shooting and bombing attacks that began on November 26 and lasted until November 29, 2008 in which more than 159 people, including 9 attackers were killed and over a hundred wounded in the business capital of the country.last_img read more

Five LS seats in West Bengal to go polls in the third

first_imgKolkata: Five West Bengal Lok Sabha constituencies – Balurghat, Maldaha North, Maldaha South, Jangipur and Murshidabad will go to the polls in the third phase of elections on Tuesday. The ruling Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, BJP and Congress are the main contenders in the five seats in which the fate of 61 candidates will be decided by a 80,23,852-strong electorate. Four seats will see four-cornered contests between the three parties and the Left. It will be a three-cornered contest in Maldaha South as no Left party is in the fray in the seat. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata The constituencies saw high-octane campaigning by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister and TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee, BJP president Amit Shah and Congress president Rahul Gandhi who raised a series of issues ranging from corruption to communalism, NRC to chitfund scams and development to security, besides infiltration. The TMC has fielded sitting MP Arpita Ghosh against BJP’s Sukanta Majumdar in Balurghat. The Congress has named Sadik Sarkar and RSP, a Left Front constituent, has fielded Ranen Burman. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state In Maldaha North, the TMC has named former Congress MP Mausam Benazir Noor against BJP’s Khagen Murmu, while Congress has nominated Isha Khan Chowdhury and CPI(M) Biswanath Ghosh. Maldaha South will see the ruling party’s Moazzem Hossain locking horns with BJP’s Sreerupa Mitra Choudhury. Congress’s Abu Hasem Khan Chowdhury is also in the fray. The CPI(M) has not fielded any candidate. In Jangipur, TMC’s Khalilur Rehman will contest against former president and Congress leader Pranab Mukherjee’s son Abhijit. The BJP has fielded Mafuja Khatun and the CPI(M) Zulfikar Ali. Abu Taher Khan is the TMC candidate from Murshidabad against BJP’s Humayun Kabir. The Congress has nominated Abu Hena and the CPI(M) named Badruddaza Khan for the seat. The Election Commission will deploy 324 companies of central forces to cover over 92 per cent of the 8528 polling booths in the five Lok Sabha seats to ensure free and fair polling, officials said. Besides general election observers and expenditure observers, the poll panel has for the first time deployed a special police observer and a special observer. In another first, VVPAT will be used in all polling booths along with the EVMs, EC sources said.last_img read more