Jordan Henderson lifts the lid on Roy Keane’s rant that kicked off his career


Jordan Henderson admitted he was “sweaty and nervous” before receiving a band-aid from Roy Keane that kicked off his career. The Liverpool captain played under Keane during the break in the Sunderland side as a youngster.

Man’s former captain Utd Keane made his Henderson debut after being impressed with his form on the reserve team.

Although his call-up did not come before a showdown with his boss at the club’s training ground, where Keane launched into a large-scale rant.

“Was on the reserve playing outside [National League side] Gateshead,” Henderson said on The Vestiaire with Rio Ferdinand. “We had a pretty decent team on the reserves and we ended up being beaten 2-0.

Henderson recalls Keane’s rant after poor exposure on reserves

“I don’t think Roy went to the game, but his coaching staff did, and they called him and told him what had happened. On the back of the coach, we had the cry that we needed to go back to the academy that the gaffer wanted to talk to us.

“As you can imagine, we just got beaten 2-0 and we have gaffer Roy Keane waiting for us to get there.”

Henderson had not yet made his first senior appearance for Sunderland, but was considered one of the brightest prospects in the club’s academy.

Keane questioned Henderson’s credentials, but later called him into the senior side

Meanwhile, the hot-tempered Keane experienced his first steps in management, and had already led Sunderland back to the Premier League at the first attempt.

“I remember it as if it were yesterday,” Henderson continued. [Keane] was basically just going through each player.

“E think he could have watched part of the game back on the video and he went through everyone and I was sweating, I was just a young boy. Sweating in front and back thinking ‘please don’t come to me’.

“I remember it well because he came to see me and he asked if I thought I was good enough to play in the first team.

“I said yes, instinctively, even though I was sweating and nervous.”

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Unlike his peers however, he seemed Henderson had done just enough to convince Keane that he deserved a chance in his side.

“E thinks he liked it. I didn’t have the best games to be honest, but you could see from the way I reacted that I was still trying to run and try to get back into the game.

“A few days later he called us into the first team and I made my debut against Ajax so he gave me my chance and I probably wouldn’t be where I am today without that really.”

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