“To be fair to Roy, he can say what he wants about me.”
Jordan Henderson has responded to Roy Keane’s criticism of his inclusion in the England squad for Euro 2020.
The Liverpool captain laughed off Keane’s comments but spoke about the Irishman respectfully, noting how Keane gave him his debut for Sunderland in 2008.
Roy Keane criticises Jordan Henderson’s inclusion in the England squad for Euro 2020.
On ITV’s coverage of England’s friendly against Romania on Sunday, Keane questioned why Henderson was in Gareth Southgate’s squad as he had missed the previous few months of the season with an injury.
Henderson, 30, underwent groin surgery in February and has only played 45 minutes of first-team football ahead of Euro 2020 beginning on Friday. England get their tournament underway against Croatia on Sunday.
The former Manchester United captain was critical of the idea that Henderson was in the squad simply to be a positive presence in England’s camp.
“I’ve heard a lot of people say they want him around the place,” Keane said.
“Does he do card tricks? Does he have a sing-song? Does he do quizzes in the evening? What does he do?
“Surely Jordan doesn’t want to be around the place either being some sort of cheerleader? You want to play and he’s clearly nowhere near it.”
Jordan Henderson: Roy Keane’s comments about me were quite funny.
Henderson was asked about Keane’s comments at an England press conference on Tuesday. The Liverpool midfielder, who played under Keane at Sunderland, took no issue with the Irishman’s remarks.
He also said he has been working hard off the pitch to regain fitness, something that those who are not in the England camp may not be aware of.
“To be fair to Roy, he can say what he wants about me,” Henderson told reporters.
“He gave me my debut and I wouldn’t be here without him giving me that. He can say whatever he wants about me. I found it quite funny, actually.
Jordan Henderson has his penalty saved 🧤 pic.twitter.com/xgFvlHd3k1
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) June 6, 2021
“So, yeah, listen, we know a little bit more detail, I know more detail and so does the manager, which Roy may not.
“But in terms of stuff like that, everyone’s going to have an opinion, everybody’s going to think they know better than everybody else.
“But for me, all my focus has been on the last couple of months is working as hard as I possibly can to be in a position where I can contribute in the tournament. And I’m very thankful I’m in that position now.”
Henderson was then asked if he could offer more to the England squad than his “character.”
“Yeah, and the card tricks he was on about,” Henderson joked. “I’ve got a few of them up me sleeve!
“Listen, as a player you want to play and I’m not coming here just to be around the camp, like Roy was saying.
“I want to come here and I want to contribute in the games. How much of that is not really down to me, it’s up to the manager to make a decision.
“But whenever I’m called upon, I’ll be ready and hopefully I can be a big contribution to this tournament and our success going forward.”