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Opinion

Newcastle United fans – Have standards dropped so low that this is seen as great step forward?

4 weeks ago
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Newcastle United fans are no different to any other set of supporters.

Capable of going way over the top in terms of reaction to both any signs of positivity or negativity.

I was left reflecting on whether this was the case on Tuesday, or was it just me?

Craig Hope of The Mail revealed (see below) that talks have been successful between Jacob Murphy and Newcastle United and that rather than exiting St James Park on 30 June 2021, a new deal has been hammered out and the 26 year old is set to be announced as having signed a new contract.

I was interested to read the response (see below) from Newcastle United fans to the man from The Mail’s news via Twitter.

NUFC supporters declaring ‘Top quality player’, ‘Excellent’, ‘Quality’, ‘Great player’ etc etc.

There is no right or wrong with what people have to say, football is always a game of opinions.

However, it does beg the question for me, if these kind of comments on Jacob Murphy are representative of Newcastle United fans generally, have standards dropped so low that this is seen as a great step forward?

For me personally, if Newcastle weren’t such a mess of a club, I would be seeing it very much in the balance as to whether Jacob Murphy should even be offered another contract.

Obviously we ARE that mess of a club BUT that still to me doesn’t make Jacob Murphy staying on, as some kind of massive positive on the level that many NUFC fans seem to view it.

If Murphy is staying on, even with our very very average squad as it is now, I see him still as a squad player, not as some suddenly great player who can be an automatic first choice in the team.

The return of Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie to the side as wing-backs did coincide with that run of better results late on, they were two of five changes for the home match against Tottenham at the start of April, having both been totally sidelined by Bruce before then.

I do think they both deserve decent credit for their contributions in those final nine matches but for me it was very much a temporary fix, that worked up to a point.

I don’t think either Murphy or Ritchie are great defensively and coming back in for that Spurs match, Newcastle still conceded 14 goals in seven games, before then playing the two clubs who were already relegated in the final two matches.

In reality, the star quality on show that more or less by himself transformed the final nine matches from more misery into relative success, was Joe Willock. Without his seven goals in those final nine PL matches (he was left on bench v Burnley and couldn’t play against Arsenal), would we really be sitting here looking back at those final seven weeks of the season a triumph and Jacob Murphy and Matt Ritchie as a significant part of that?

The only stand out players for me, who are / were clearly better than the rest, are Dubravka, Willock, Wilson and ASM…when he turns up and is fully focused.

It isn’t that I don’t like or rate at all any of the others BUT reality is that I wouldn’t lose sleep if any of them moved on and were replaced. The only possible exceptions to that are Fernandez who I think will always do a job but isn’t getting any younger and has to play in a defence that lacks pace and young legs generally, whilst Miguel Almiron is probably the player who has suffered most under Steve Bruce’s management and under a better team boss would be capable of far better.

Jacob Murphy seems a decent sort, a lifelong Newcastle United fan, so good luck to him. However, reality is that Newcastle do need a significant addition of quality into the team AND if Steve Bruce switches to a back four once again, then there is certainly no place for Murphy in the side, as he definitely can’t play as a full back and for me, hasn’t got anywhere near enough quality to play on the wing.

I have a horrible feeling that in the absence of bringing in the added quality that is desperately needed, Mike Ashley and his minions are going to be parading this summer the likes of Jacob Murphy and others (Carroll, Fernandez, Dummett, Schar etc?) as great ‘signings’ who have agreed new contracts.

Craig Hope of The Mail – 15 June 2021:

‘Expecting Jacob Murphy to sign new long-term deal at NUFC.

I’m told all parties happy with terms after recent talks and Murphy set to commit future.

There had been interest from elsewhere. Well deserved, I think.

He’s revived NUFC career when it looked to be done.’

Adam Hall:

‘Top quality player now who clearly loves the club. Great work.’

David Pick:

‘Agreed, he’s been excellent. It’s been a Victor Moses esque renaissance with the move to Right Back.

The 3/5 at the back really suits him and Ritchie.’

Michael Bell:

‘Very underrated, brought some good quality, energy and consistency as a right wing-back last season and made the position his own. Expect him to be a starter for the majority of next season.’

Gary Halman:

‘So happy for him he’s grown into a great player who can play on the wing or Rwb great to see.’

Gibbo:

‘One of the players that turned our season around.

Would like to see him up the pitch more instead of wingback.’

Dan Snowden:

‘He’s very dangerous as a wingback. Willems on the other side and we’ll look decent.’

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