Fulham - Marvellous Murphy
Not so long ago I published an article highlighting Danny Murphy's weak spots and the need for a younger more fruitful player to take his role. In general, I'd say people agreed, yet, over the past week, in my eyes, he's been nothing short of amazing.
Against Portsmouth and Burnley in particular he looked to be 'at his best', which, at his age is the most you could ask for. He, for once, looked threatening and his distribution was top-notch.
One thing I've known Murphy holds over most midfielders of his style, is his sheer dogged spirit. He never gives up; If he loses the ball, he'll win it back and he certainly isn't afraid to run from one end of the pitch to the other or stick his foot in for the odd rough tackle.
It's that side of his game that would set him apart from any foreigner we could bring in to replace him. Obviously, plenty of central midfielders have brute force and a reasonable amount of determination, but not many can mix that with the range of passing and attacking contributions Danny can bring us.
His goal really capped off his week as well. It was a cool, calm and collective finish any striker would have been proud of (especially Okaka!)
So this is the time I apologise to Murphy, if he is at all reading this, and congratulate him on what has been a good week for the club as a whole and for him, with some fighting performances on the pitch.
All that aside though, the question does still remain if he's got it in him to sustain these performances week in week out. I certainly hope his recent poor performances were merely a blip and this last week or so is more of a sign of what to expect from him.
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