A problem? There is no problem…
I have read many a comment dismissing Danny as “old”,”losing it”,”not the player he used to be” but by far the most common complaint seems to be that our Captain Fantastic is “losing/has lost his legs”. Well doubters, look no further. Danny Murphy is very much the player he “used to be” and he definitely has NOT lost his legs.
Lets have a look at Danny’s passing range against QPR- 52 successful passes and just 9 that were misdirected… but its more the direction of the passing that I’m looking at here. For a 34 year old to be bossing that central midfield area with a delightful selection of passing to the left flank as well as a few tasty balls to the right that is the sign of a player who is not on his last legs. As for that assist….it has Danny Murphy written all over it. Quick thinking and sublime execution is the sign that Murphy still has a few more years as our Captain Fantastic.
“One match!” I hear you cry at your computer screen. Oh no. I’m not done yet.
It gets better. For a man who’s “lost his legs” this chalkboard will suggest otherwise. This would look good if the Mighty Whites were playing at home…but this is for an away match! I don’t think we’ve bossed the midfield at an away match for this long. Murphy stuck a big metaphorical middle finger to all doubters with this scintillating passing performance.A grand total of 80 successful passes, Danny displayed his ever green selection of passing, with some brilliant passing to both flanks this time, as well forming a good “one-two” relationship with Sidwell in the middle whilst deciding to use both Dembele’s and Dempsey channel movement with a number of well placed passes forward. He even played as a kind of sweeper in front of the back 4 on this occasion, with no stray passes back to the Thames barrier, allowing the impressive Kasami to whip forward more often.
“But both of these are against weak opposition!”…I’m not finished yet.
This is against Manchester City,that money power house of the north who seem to buy a player to simply prevent him playing for someone else…. anyway, to end with my moaning. We’re focusing on Papa Smurph’s excellence here. So, faced with the possibly the strongest midfield to ever grace Craven Cottage,Mr Murphy decides to do what he does best, and show them that some English brains can do just as much as Continental trickery can. He spotted Man City’s weak point (Yaya Toure’s lack of closing down/lack of interception ability) and exploited it, with a number of balls through the center, the vast majority of which were successful. But this is where it gets better- he noticed Man City playing a high line, and decided to play a number of balls over the top. Top Work Danny. Not only content with exploiting both of these weaknesses he once again bossed that center circle area, controlling it with a number of short passes of which NONE were unsuccessful. And people claim he’s too old…
There is no way that we can abandon Danny Murphy yet. He still carries a sublime, sometimes magical array of passing coupled with a astute tactical brain that is capable of not only reacting quickly to a situation but also adjusting the playing style to counteract the oppositions tactics. He’s our Captain Fantastic, the man who has lead the team to the top, the man who scored that goal to keep us up on that fateful day in 2008. Papa Smurph may be outspoken at times but he has a fiery passion that has not been lost in these past few seasons- and he’s a main focal point for the team to play off.
If there is one thing we can’t do, it’s get rid of Danny Murphy.