It’s been a quiet few days for our football club. No matches, no press conferences, no news, no relegation battle to have heated argument over, no European spots to impatiently lay claim to. This has been, as per usual, reflected in the inaneness of the Fulham messageboards and the reserved Fulham twitterati. It means I’m very bored, so I hope this article doesn’t come across as a little over the top.
The tranquility offered by this late-season pause in precedings was broken a couple of days ago however, like a thrown stone to a still pond, with news that Danny Murphy might be on his way back to Fulham! Before I proceed I must say that they are only reports, but what we do know for sure is that he’s been effectively exiled at Blackburn – he’s had the captain’s armband taken from him, the supporters are not keen (and that’s a little understatement, poor Mrs Murphy has had all sorts of abuse hurled at her on Twitter), the manager is seemingly even less enthusiastic and Murphy is not getting the football he desires failing to satisfy the very reason he left Fulham in the first place. It’s a shame that such a great player for Fulham for so long has been reduced to this.
The Mirror, who broke the “Murphy to Fulham” story announced all this before Blackburn did, which suggests there is something behind this, but still it just remains an ‘according to’ hypothesis. According to this report he wouldn’t rejoin in a playing capacity – if his contract were cancelled straight away he’d be ineligible to play for another English club until the Summer anyway – but as a coach with some PR responsibilities thrown in. And I think I speak for most, if not all, Fulham fans when I say I would welcome this with open arms.
I could – and have – talk at length about why Danny Murphy belongs at Fulham, but sentimental satisfaction aside this proposed move makes perfect sense. He’s clearly equipped with the mentality and ability to coach and manage and should he join us again he’d be in an environment where he’s comfortable and which, according to his wife anyway, he appreciates very much. If he is looking to get into the world of coaching and management as I understand he is, I cannot think of a more perfect place for him to take up his apprenticeship than the leafy Motspur Park. A little before Jol took charge I actually wrote about how, in time, I think Murphy would simply be the most suitable manager for us, and this potential reacquintance would service that wholly.
At the time of his move I thought Murphy was making a mistake anyway. We may have only offered him a year, but from Fulham’s point of view it was sensible seeing as we were moving more from depending on a regista to a fluid midfield featuring Dembele and Diarra (by the end of the season Murphy found himself no longer a first choice even). Dembele’s sudden move disrupted that plan somewhat, and I maintain that the club could not have anticipated his move - just read these quotes directly from the Belgian! Maybe that was naive, but I doubt we would have found a direct replacement anyway, and to his credit Karagounis, very much a dark horse, has assumed that Dembele role to some extent. Anyway, back on topic, Murphy went to a club searching for first team football but why anyone would choose a shambolic Blackburn I have no idea, and in evaluating the move you can only say it’s been a terrible failure.
I don’t like to substantiate rumours so I’d ask you not to consider this as an endorsement of the article and instead just a bit of opportunism. However, it is a scenario which I think has a very realistic chance of happening and, honestly, one that I really wish does.