Writer: Andrew Joyce
Date:Friday August 15 2008
With our previous club captain, Brian McBride, having left to return to his homeland, America, there has been a bit of speculation as to who Roy Hodgson would select for the role this season.
Roy has probably surprised a few people by going for Danny Murphy, especially as the midfield player is only on a one-year contract with the possibility of a further year to be added on.
But Danny comes with bags of big-time experience, with Liverpool, and his experience is sure to stand him in good stead in the role.
After being announced as the new club captain, Danny talked, at length, to the media discussing various issues.
First on the agenda was a look back at the horrors of last season and our eventual escape with Danny remarking,
'For the majority of last season, we weren't good enough. Beating the drop is going to live with me for the rest of my life because it was so memorable.'
'But our position was reflective of a bad season and one in which we under-performed. So we need to improve, individually and collectively.'
'The new signings and the players still here from last season need to gel quickly. And a good start will be imperative.'
'That is important because it sets the tone and gives you the confidence to go out and play rather than having to chase all the time like we did last year.'
A very fair point! Teams that get marooned in the bottom six or seven during the early stages of the season, very rarely escape form the haunting fear of relegation, the season becomes a battleground rather than grounds for entertainment, hence the requirement to get three points at Hull this weekend.
Moving on, Danny discussed the sort of playing style Roy is trying to introduce in his first full season as Fulham manager, commenting,
'The way the gaffer wants to play is more suited to me, but also, in my opinion, the majority of the players we've got.'
'If you look around out squad, most of them are talented footballers and the additions we've made are that way too.'
'Off course you need to be able to mix it up and not be one-dimensional. But I believe we also have a good size in the squad and people who are capable of scoring from set-plays.'
With a whole pre-season to mould the players, some of whom were brought into the club by Roy, we could be in for some exciting times. I'm looking forward to the set pieces Danny mentions. We have the players to score direct in Jimmy Bullard and Danny himself and we also have the aerial presence to make opposition defenders apprehensive. So how does Danny see the season going?
This is what he had to say,
'We have the potential to be a really good side. But we will need a little luck along the way to steer clear of injuries. If that happens, then with the squad we've got, I see no reason why we can't have a very productive season.'
'I never get carried away and I think the manager is that way too.'
'Keeping a level head is important and the best example of that was the last month of last season when I thought we showed more maturity than those teams who went down.'
'We looked like a team of players who were more comfortable with the situation we were in. That shone through and if that continues into this season then it's going to be beneficial.'
As we mentioned yesterday, there will be no gallop up to the higher echelons of the table but more a gradual climb, a climb that should see us sitting in the comfort zone above the relegation skirmish. But what about Danny's future, especially as he's only on a one year contract with a possible one year extension,
'I've got no intention of playing my football at any other club from now until the end of my footballing days.'
'Obviously, I can never say for sure that is going to happen but I've a good relationship with the manager and the fans are brilliant.'
'We've had a difficult time and come through it. Now I want to be part of the clubs progression.'
Here's to you Danny Murphy, the new captain of Fulham Football Club, let's hope we're all toasting to your success come next May!
Date:Friday August 15 2008
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