One of the more surprising moves by Rafa Benitez in the summer, was when late in the transfer window he brought in Daryl Murphy.
At 33 the striker was most definitely not a long-term investment and for a reported £3m up front transfer fee, plus £1m bonus if Newcastle get promoted at the first time of asking, it wasn’t cheap as chips either.
In the cold light of day though, you could see that this was a player with 50 Championship goals in the past three seasons and someone who can play out wide as well as through the middle. An ideal back up forward even though Newcastle already had Gayle, Mitrovic, Perez, Armstrong and as it turns out, Mohamed Diame as well.
As for the team he was leaving, Ipswich didn’t feel they could stand in the way of the move for Daryl Murphy and £4m for a 33 year old is hard to turn down, even if he is still your best striker.
Moving forward 11 weeks into the season and Daryl Murphy still hasn’t played a minute of Championship football for Newcastle, whilst Ipswich Town are relying on Freddie Sears and Leon Best.
Only one club, Derby County, have scored less than Ipswich Town’s paltry 10 goals. Before Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Burton, Ipswich had failed to score in any of the previous five Championship games.
Freddie Sears and Leon Best played up front together on Tuesday and are very likely to be relied on at St James Park, between them they have scored one goal in 18 Championship appearances between them so far.
In the last two seasons Daryl Murphy scored 37 goals in 80 Championship games for Ipswich, Freddie Sears scored 15 goals in 68 Championship appearances, 16 in the last 80 if you include this season’s matches.
As for Leon Best he has only scored 11 Championship goals in the near four and a half year since he left Newcastle, which includes five goals in 44 Championship games over the past two seasons, whilst appearing for Derby, Brighton and Rotherham.
Many Newcastle fans wonder why Rafa Benitez doesn’t play both Gayle and Mitrovic…but spare a thought for Ipswich fans who are now relying on Sears and Best for the goals on Saturday – whilst their former star striker Daryl Murphy hasn’t even got onto the pitch yet in a league match.
Newcastle fans of course don’t care about what is fair or not and indeed it is just a reminder of how ridiculous it is that NUFC ended up in the Championship yet again due to Mike Ashley’s ridiculous running of the club.
The Newcastle United players of course still have to do it out on the pitch but this is surely the best possible example of the haves and the have nots in the Championship.