Fulham captain Danny Murphy thinks that managers have to take some responsibility for their players’ actions on the pitch and called for tougher sanctions for repeat offenders.
The Cottagers have been consistently high up in the Premier League’s Fair Play league in recent years, especially under former boss Roy Hodgson, and Murphy has now spoken out over the ”ridiculous” and ”brainless” tackles that have seen a rash of players suffering broken legs of late – including his team-mate Bobby Zamora.
Specifically targeting the managers of clubs who aim to stop other sides playing attacking football, Murphy was quite clear about where the finger of blame should point.
”Your manager dictates what your players do and how you behave,” Murphy told the Leaders in Football conference in London. ”You get managers who are sending their teams out to stop other teams playing, which is happening more and more – the Stokes, Blackburns, Wolves.
”They can say it’s effective and they have got to win games but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems. Every ship has a captain and that’s the manager who is in charge.”
Murphy added there should be tougher sanctions for dangerous tackles – especially for repeat offenders.
”The pace in which some players go into tackles now is ridiculous. There’s no brains involved in the players who are doing that,” he said. ”I don’t believe players are going out to break another player’s leg but there has to be some logic and intelligence involved.
”If you are going at someone at a certain pace and you don’t get it right you are going to hurt them. Players should be culpable for that, in terms of punishment I don’t know what – but they need to show a little bit more intelligence, especially the ones who are doing it repeatedly.”
However, the Fulham skipper was quick to hail his former boss Hodgson as an example of the type of manager who would not let his players step out of line on the pitch.
”If you have a manager like Roy Hodgson in charge you don’t get discipline problems,” he said. ”If you have a manager that’s in control of the team and doesn’t allow these type of things to go on then you are going to have a more disciplined team. I’m not saying tackling is a bad thing but we want to watch the best players on the pitch.
”Under Roy Hodgson at Fulham we were always top of the Fair Play league because he wouldn’t accept talking back to the referee and he wouldn’t accept stupid tackles.”