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Opinion

Not so sure this Newcastle player can conquer St James Park nerves

9 months ago
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As Newcastle fans, we have all seen numerous players signed down the years who were no good enough.

However, we have also seen an awful lot of players brought in, who do have the ability BUT don’t have the temperament to deal with playing at St James Park.

Plenty new signings come with the best credentials, and many then do well again after exiting Tyneside, but just can’t handle the intensity from the Newcastle fans – especially with 52,000 inside St James Park.

Plenty do thrive on it of course, somebody like David Ginola clearly loved it and in inspired him further.

Newcastle have also had a lot of players with less ability but who have also thrived on the St James Park crowd.

Kevin Keegan was surely the very best at spotting the players with the right temperament, as well as Shearer, Beardsley, Ferdinand and the rest, he also signed many players such as John Beresford (Dubravka now?) and others, who visibly grew in stature thanks to the buzz they got from playing here.

Jacob Murphy arrived last summer as Newcastle’s biggest signing – but so far he has disappointed.

He has got time on his hands but this is a massive season for him and the player admits it himself in his latest interview (see below).

I think he has got ability and in flashes we have seen it BUT no surprise maybe that this has happened almost exclusively in away matches.

That brilliant goal at Man City, played well at Chelsea and created Gayle’s goal, an excellent run for the winner at Stoke, played very well at Old Trafford in that first half as Newcastle went on the offensive.

However, at St James Park, Jacob Murphy has looked intimidated by the crowd and expectation.

The last season defeat to West Brom summed it up, Murphy came off the bench, made a few mistakes, the crowd groaned and he went back into his shell.

Can he do it this coming season?

I really hope so – but he has to conquer these confidence issues at St James Park and when things go wrong, just bounce back and show what he can do.

Jacob Murphy speaking to NUFC TV:

“As a confidence player, they (playing well and scoring/making goals) are the things I need.

“I thrive off them and I was buzzing to get that first goal at Man City, and now I’m hungry for more.

“Hopefully, this is my breakthrough season at the club but I know there is going to be tough competition from Matty (Ritchie), (Christian) Atsu and Rolando (Aarons), but I will be raring to go.

“Obviously I put that pressure on myself at the start of the season because I really wanted to make an impact when I first came in but.

“But, looking back it now, maybe I should not have been so hard on myself. I should have just let it happen all naturally.

“Now the fans know a little bit more about me, they will know even more about me this coming season, too, so I’m really looking forward to it.

“I really enjoyed my first season in the Premier League and learned lots and lots from it.

“It was a massive step up from the Championship. From the start I knew it would be difficult, but maybe not as difficult (as it turned out to be).

“I got that run of games around Christmas time and that’s when I thought I was kicking on.

“But in terms of the season I feel I have settled in well and now this (new) season is about cementing a place.”
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