In a comical interview, Danny Murphy has had his say on Newcastle United’s chances next season.
By the sound of it, the player turned pundit hasn’t forgotten that Rafa Benitez instantly sold him after taking over at Liverpool in summer 2004.
The Spaniard took over in June 2004 and by August, Danny Murphy was a Charlton player.
Amongst his negative comments, Murphy says ‘I’m not so sure Newcastle are going to do as well as everybody thinks’.
He also says it wouldn’t surprise him if ‘Brighton finished above Newcastle’.
As for the reasons, he has came up with plenty, though has been careful to avoid any negative mention of the man who got rid of him at Anfield…
Danny Murphy claims the ‘expectancy’ of the Newcastle fans will be a major problem, with supporters demanding the team goes on all out attack, rather than a lot of the time accepting the need to sit back and counter-attack, not leave big gaps to be exploited.
Exactly how many of Newcastle’s 46 Championship matches has Murphy actually seen?
Those were the exact tactics used throughout the campaign, even at home there was barely any intention to commit too many men forward. Away from home you even had the extreme of beating promotion rivals Huddersfield 3-1, despite having only 24% possession.
He also says that having so many young inexperienced players will be a big handicap but the reality is that even in the Championship Rafa played very few young players, Isaac Hayden who is now 22 being the only real regular younger member of the Championship winning side.
The likes of Shelvey, Clark, Gayle, Ritchie, Elliot, Krul, Dummett and others aren’t exactly new starters. Whilst Yedlin & Mbemba and to an extent Lascelles & Darlow have all played Premier League football.
I agree with Danny Murphy that yes there will be ‘intense pressure’ but no more than any other promoted club.
He talks about Brighton just being ‘happy to be there’, try and tell that to their owner who has invested hundreds of millions of his own money in the stadium, club and squad to get this opportunity. I don’t think he will be going around just telling everybody to enjoy it, as though it is a nine month one-off holiday.
Ironic that as all the Newcastle players are saying what a help fifty thousand fans are at home as well as selling out away, the likes of Danny Murphy are setting up the NUFC supporters as a reason for the club to fail.
Danny Murphy speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live:
“If you look at Newcastle’s squad, they have got some good players and they are going to get better – the younger ones – but there is not much experience there of the Premier League.
“If anything, it wouldn’t surprise me if Brighton finished above Newcastle.
“Rafa has been there before but with Newcastle there is an expectancy. Let me explain….
“Newcastle turn up at home next year in the Premier League, against anybody, maybe apart from the top three or four – they are expected to have a go – and win and attack.
“Now you do that at home against good counter-attacking sides who know what they are doing, you are going to get picked off.
“They lose the first few and the fixtures aren’t nice, it’s all of a sudden the fans…fifty thousand every week.
“Brighton – happy to be there. They don’t mind if you sit back and play counter at home.
“I did it at Fulham, we could sit back and play counter-attack at home, fans weren’t on us.
“The expectancy level at Newcastle and Brighton is very different and that does come on top of the players at some time.
“I’m not saying that will definitely happen but there is a chance – because these young lads, sprinkled with a few additions, which I am sure they will (buy).
“They are going to have that intense pressure, which you don’t normally get when you come out of the Championship.
“Burnley didn’t have it, Bournemouth didn’t have it, Hull didn’t have it – Newcastle have got it.
“So, we will see how they cope, I’m not so sure Newcastle are going to do as well as everybody thinks.”