Gini Wijnaldum and Daryl Murphy, two players who barely lasted 12 months at Newcastle United.

One of them scored 11 goals in black and white and the other one six.

One of them I don’t even think about as a Newcastle player and the other, I can’t help but check to see how he has done each match, after obviously first of all looking up how many Sunderland have lost by this time.

Wijnaldum wasn’t terrible for Newcastle, he did an ok job overall for an opening season in the Premier League but…

I can’t claim that I foresaw that he would desert us when Newcastle were relegated…but it was instantly clear that he had no intention of staying once the writing was on the wall.

After his move to Liverpool was confirmed, Wijnaldum claimed that it had been a difficult choice to leave Newcastle, his body language said something different.

Maybe Rafa Benitez sensed what the Dutchman was about very early on, leaving the midfielder out of his team in the vital relegation fighting games against Liverpool and Manchester City (Rafa’s sixth and seventh matches in charge) – the team picking up creditable draws in both of them.

When Newcastle faced Liverpool last Sunday, the former PSV Captain didn’t really register with me during the 90 minutes, watching Match of The Day 2 later, I realised it was Wijnaldum that had hit the woodwork, but during the game I honestly didn’t think ‘oh we are up against him who played for us…’.

In contrast, when we played Forest in the League Cup I actually was looking forward to seeing Daryl Murphy again – but sadly he didn’t get on the pitch.

He might have only made seven Championship starts (and eight sub appearances) last season but he made a great impression, never once complaining about being left on the sidelines and then getting left out even after playing well and scoring!

As well as Wijnaldum, you have Sissoko, Janmaat and Townsend, all of them desperate to leave despite being part of the relegation team.

I know most people want to always focus on Moussa Sissoko but I think Andros Townsend was the biggest joke. Newcastle rescued his career from being in no-man’s land at Spurs, he then started 12 matches for Newcastle, before joining Palace(!!) and saying he wished he could have stayed at Newcastle but had no choice but to look after himself…

Going back to Daryl Murphy, he accepted his was a one year short-term fix for Rafa Benitez and he would be dispensed with on promotion to the Premier League, though with the way things have turned out and no top quality strikers signed – Murphy must occasionally think if he had hung around at Newcastle he might have got his chance in these early stages – especially with Dwight Gayle having hamstring/confidence issues.

Not saying that Daryl Murphy would have been the answer this season but I don’t think he would have left us weaker is playing instead of Joselu – and the Irishman is definitely a better finisher.

In fact, he has been in phenomenal form, making 11 starts for club and country, Murphy has scored 8 goals already, two for Ireland and six for a very moderate Forest side.

Maybe Wijnaldum, Sissoko, Townsend, and Janmaat, will all go on to win shedloads of medals…but they certainly won’t have one thing. That is the kind of respect players like Daryl Murphy earn from Newcastle fans, by doing things the right way and showing the integrity that those four will never appreciate even exists.

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  • Mick g

    Totally agree, ultimate professional in a sea of money grabbing wannabes.

  • Grahame Johnson

    I think Murphy came on to a standing ovation just before Forrest scored their 3rd

  • gallowgate26

    I would have kept Murphy for one more season, he would have been more valuable than the £1m or whatever they got for selling him to Forest. He deserved it with his attitude and the form he was in. If he just wanted to play regularly then fair enough but it’s a real shame we didn’t hold on to him for one more season and give him some games in the PL. He was a role model on the training pitch and a club does need some experienced players.

    • Jimblag23

      I guess it’s out of respect for the guy that we sold him.
      He’s at the end of his career and wants more than a handful of games.

  • Wor Lass

    I completely agree about Murphy but I think it`s a bit unfair to have a go at Gini for leaving. Slag Moussa off – he deserves it. He practically begged for clubs to come and get him so he could play on the stage that befitted his talents (Ha ha). Gini kept his head down, never showed any disrespect and went for a good price (it`s not his fault if fatty got it stuck in his grubby paws).

  • Malc49

    The biggest disappointment for me of the players you mention was Townsend. As you say we rescued his career and he was very popular with the fans and then decided to jump ship for Palace of all teams. At least Gini and Sissoko went off to decent teams. I, and many other supporters at the time, expressed the view that this was very much taking a short term view as there was a good chance that Palace and us would be swapping places within 12 months. Well, it didn’t happen last season but he can’t be enjoying himself at the moment and he moved because of his international aspirations. It’s not going well for him at the minute – he should have stayed and was badly advised. No loyalty.

    • MadMag83

      Agreed. I could understand Wijnaldum and Sissoko leaving for top 6 clubs. But Townsend was merely jumping into another relegation battle with Palace. Had he stuck around he could be playing first team for us and getting that much desired England call up. Instead he’s stuck in a woeful palace team that look destined for the drop.

      At least he got his wish of playing for Woy Hodgson mind!

  • steve pearce

    Windybum could only play at home and when he was asked to play away he got a pet lip and did a great impression of a sleep-walker. Darryl Murphy was the real deal and I’m proud to say I joined in the standing ovation for him. As for Townsend I’d have him back in a flash and play him at number 10 instead of that pillow-biting little wimp Perez…

  • Jimblag23

    I don’t understand the complete negativity around Wijnaldum.
    We got good money for him, he never slated us and isn’t the first player to have a patchy first year in the prem.
    I like Murphy but I know who I’d rather us buy back if we had to have one.

  • steve

    True no contest, one was our player of the year and top scorer, the other was a bit part player.

    • Mal

      Player of the year? Not being funny but who gave him that accolade?

      • NUFCDan

        Scoring 11 goals from midfield in a dreadful relegated team despite spending most of the season playing out of the position on the wing. I doubt any of our current midfielders will get into double figures this season.

        • Mal

          Not arguing about his goal tally. Just asking who awarded him player of the year. I don’t recall any organisation doing that.

        • Haitchdee

          Do you mean player of the year at home NUFCDan ? Murphy would put a shift in anytime anywhere. I’d have him in my trench first.

        • Paul Busby

          Lets not forget 4 of those 11 were in one game against a team who were also relegated…

  • David Burton

    Murphy played for the unwashed window-lickers, but that isn’t an issue. He is a true professional – no moans, trains hard, plays to the best of his (limited) ability. If some of the so-called better players had the same attitude, they really would be world class.

  • Paul Busby

    I wouldn’t have been upset if we kept him for 6 months till January. Given what I know now, I wish we had.

    • Oooh bobbi fleckman

      Intriguing, what do you now know?

      • Paul Busby

        That Ashley wouldn’t invest on genuine “upgrades” up front….

        • Oooh bobbi fleckman

          Not sure how this impacts Murphy, he was at his most useful for us from January to May.

          • Paul Busby

            What’s that got to do with this season?

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Given that he was sold in the Summer, are you saying you’d have kept him until this January?

          • Paul Busby

            Yeah exactly. Literally what I said…

          • Oooh bobbi fleckman

            Ah, OK, I had the wrong end of the stick.

            Not sure if I agree, we have 3 options up front and I’d say all are better in he premier league than Murphy.

          • Paul Busby

            With Gayle having confidence issues, Mitrovic repeatedly suspended and Joselu missing sitters… right now Im not sure this is the case. I hope things change, but this is why I think its good to have someone as composed as murphy in the squad

          • Haitchdee

            I’m with you Paul, I thought at the time we should keep him.

  • NUFCDan

    Gini scored 11 goals for us from midfield, usually playing out of position on the wing. No doubt the Fat Man was desperate to sell him as one his appreciating assets in a dreadful team. the following season he went on to help the bin dippers qualify for the Champions League.
    Murphy was a handsomely paid impact sub who only managed a handful of appearances in a very weak Championship.

    • Mal

      In making your case for Gini it’s a pity you undermined Murphy’s contribution. He was a valuable player who scored some important goals. He certainly justified his fee and proved his worth.