A little while ago, I raised the question of Danny Murphy’s form. A few people who I drink with were suggesting that it might be time our skipper was sat down for a little bit – and some of these thoughts seem to have resurfaced in the light of our draw at Bolton on Saturday.
I was surprised to see Jamie give Murphy a 4/10 in the Observer, simply because I didn’t think he was that bad. He might not get forward as much as at home but down to Roy’s insistence that his central midfielders shield the back four rather than any lack of adventure from the captain. The chalkboard below shows his passes at the Reebok concentrated in a rather confined space – and people were getting particularly frustrated at our failure to play football balls – but his overall success rate is similar to when he returned to such great effect against Manchester United.
I still maintain it would be foolish to drop Murphy. We’d miss his experience and presence in midfield. Given the number of crucial goals he’s contributed and created, I suspect Roy would see him as one of his ‘undroppables’. Even if he did decide to give the veteran a rest, who would be his replacement? Wayne Brown perhaps? Better to trust Danny to be dictating the play again soon enough.