Liverpool midfielder feels the criticism of fellow Reds midfield man this season is totally unjustified, with the Liverpool captain’s waning influence being highlighted as a factor in the Anfield club’s shaky start to the English Premier League campaign.
Brendan Rodgers’ side was much more dynamic in Saturday’s Merseyside derby in the Premier League as they sealed a 1-1 home draw, with Gerrard’s free-kick on the 65th minute giving the home side the lead until Phil Jagielka’s stunning late equaliser meant that the points had to be shared.
And Gerrard has now scored nine goals in the Premier League Merseyside derbies, more than any other player.
Henderson said of his 34-year-old midfield partner: “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.”
Rodgers’ team have struggled to recapture the form that almost brought them to the Premier League title last season, but the consolation from Saturday’s result was certainly an improved display.
“It’s disappointing. The performance was very good, back to the level we expect,” Henderson said.
“The intensity was good all over the pitch, we worked hard, we were more fluent going forward and we made chances as well. And also we defended really well throughout the game so that was pleasing.”
“We did quite a lot of work during the week on defending and I think we showed just how well we can defend, so that needs to be the case from now on.”
“Then with the goal, there’s not much you can do about that, it’s a great strike.”
Henderson is confident that there will be no hangover with a busy fixture list ahead, starting with a UEFA Champions’ League group stage trip to Basel on Wednesday.
“I don’t think it’ll affect us because the performance level was very good,” said Henderson.
“We’ve got to take the positives out of that. The goal was in the top corner so we’ve just got to keep going and keep playing like that. If we keep putting in performances like that we’ll win more than we don’t.”