I really felt for Mario last night. It was a shame such senior players made a scene (Sturridge, Henderson). 27 out of 29, that is Mario’s excellent record for taking penalties, I cannot remember when Henderson has ever taken a penalty!
To take a successful penalty you need power, confidence and arrogance. I think Henderson only has confidence. Fair play to Balotelli for grabbing the ball off him (as politely as possibly may I add) and sticking to his guns. A decent penalty too.
Just because Henderson is captain doesn’t mean he has to take them. In fact, it shows poor leadership for not recognizing that there are better players to dispatch the penalty than himself.
He hasn’t even shown good leadership in how he gave it to Balotelli, he didn’t acknowledge that he was the better penalty taker, he just sorta gave in to him.
Then we come to Gerrard, who is in the studio, criticising Mario for not listening to the captain…Cannot wait till Stevie goes. Would of Gerrard dug into the heels of Luis Suarez if he had done the same last year? I can’t imagine he would have.
Mario is an easy target. He is trying to fit into the Liverpool way, in-fact he did quite well when he came on, worked his socks off to win the ball and make forward runs. I’m glad he took it and scored, strikers feed off goals, give him every opportunity.
Clearly Mario will not fit into a long-term Liverpool side, he creates too much unrest in the dressing room. Yet, I do empathise with him in this situation, don’t point a finger when it’s an easy target. Just be happy we won without playing particularly well.