|Org||xxxx National Team|
|Club as Player||Fulham|
2016 03 21 Retrieve
[About Kane deserving selection in the England national side] Not just selected but in the team – and build the team around him. He’s so young, but he’s so powerful. I’m struggling to see a weakness in his game
2019 07 18 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Ousmane Dembele would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool] Dembele would be a fantastic signing for Liverpool. He’s not had the best time at Barcelona, but clearly has an abundance of talent and the ability to win games by himself. If he can recapture his belief in his ability then Liverpool would have a formidable front three with him, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah. When playing to his potential, I think he would edge Roberto Firmino out of the first team. Firmino is the type of player that would raise his own game and everyone’s around him if Dembele came into the team. He’ll fight for his place week in, week out and, if you’re not giving your all on the pitch, then Firmino will be right there to take it
Liverpool would be taking a step backwards if they re-signed Coutinho. Coutinho is at his best when playing in a central three, not wide left. If he were to come back, he would change the dynamic of the team and it would disrupt the balance. Liverpool’s midfield three are all super athletes who defend as much as they attack, which they’ll lose if playing Coutinho there. Klopp had the ability to try a different formation once Coutinho departed and the results speak for themselves. It would be risky to revert back to accommodating Coutinho. There’s always room for a creative player, but Liverpool should be looking at a player like Ousmane Dembele or Wilfried Zaha, not Coutinho.
2019 07 18b Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Tottenham have to tie Christian Eriksen down with a new contract] Tottenham have to tie Eriksen down with a new contract if he doesn’t leave this summer. They may have to add a clause to the contract that allows him to leave if certain teams come in for him, but they can’t afford to let him leave on a free next season. I don’t believe Eriksen will sulk if he doesn’t leave this summer, but he needs to make sure his head is 100% in the right place come the first game of the season. If he does kick up a fuss then [Mauricio] Pochettino will have no issues dropping him and that will only make matters worse. I really don’t think Eriksen is that type of player though. These situations are the exact reason why teams shouldn’t let players get down to one year on their contract. Tottenham can’t afford Eriksen to leave on a free next season so will want him to sign a contract if they can’t sell him. Eriksen then has to put his faith in the board if he signs a contract, that they will let him leave if a big team comes in for him
Tottenham need to sign Sessegnon regardless of whether Danny Rose stays or not. Being young and English makes Ryan Sessegnon a typical Tottenham signing and one they should definitely make. Pochettino’s track record with young talent means he will be confident that he can unlock Sessegnon’s full potential. Rose had a fantastic end to the season and I don’t think Tottenham should let him go, but Sessegnon is the ideal replacement in the long term. Rose was back to his best at the end of last season and I think he’ll have a great season. Keeping them rotating will keep them fit and there’s plenty of games to get minutes under their belt
2019 07 28 Retrieve
[Harvey Elliott - Liverpool’s new wonderkid out to become the next Bale] He’s a great dribbler, he’s very sharp and he’s got good feet
2019 08 13 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Alexander-Arnold gets English football’s best crosser since Beckham] Gareth Southgate’s got a massive headache but a good one – I think England have three of the best right-backs in Europe. We’re spoilt. We’ve got three wonderful right-backs – Kyle Walker, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Aaron Wan-Bissaka – there’s so much quality. Trent’s display of passing and technical ability that we’ve not seen in a full-back for many, many years. Trent, for me, is as good a crosser of the ball I’ve seen since David Beckham. His crossing is already as good as Beckham, definitely. His set plays and crossing are both phenomenal. His technical ability, his passing ability is very unusual for a full-back, normally it’s a midfielder who posses those type of quality.
Ideally you want to see him as a wing-back. He gets caught out in defence sometimes, but he will create and make goals in whatever position he plays. Trent Alexander-Arnold is 20 years old and he’s played in the last two Champions League finals! He’s a Scouser living the dream and he’s technically superb
2019 10 01 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool have been warned that their luck will run out eventually] I think he will be a bit concerned. When you are a top team and you’re having the success Liverpool are having, you play sometimes in a comfort zone; what I mean by that is, you’re playing Sheffield United away and you start the game a bit lackadaisical, thinking ‘we’re better than these’ and with a ‘we only have to turn up’ type attitude. And then you are on the back foot. But they never went a goal behind, and they do what they need to do to get through the game. But you can’t keep doing that and getting away with it.
They got the win through a bad goalkeeping error, but the mindset has to be a bit better and sharper from Liverpool, because they have got away with it in recent weeks. I’m all for them winning ugly, but the overall performance in recent weeks will be concerning, because a performance, if it is bad, will generally get punished. And good performances get you wins generally. Liverpool can play better than they are, which is great, and if they play better they will probably win more matches. But the thing at the moment is playing average and winning games is a great habit to have, but you have to be careful, because the level of performance for Liverpool and bar they’ve set themselves hasn’t been good enough
2019 10 06 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Tottenham will not be signing Paulo Dybala in January and the reign of Mauricio Pochettino looks to be coming to an end] Tottenham won’t sign Dybala unless they’re planning on shipping another big name player out. Tottenham have a wealth of attacking players that play in a similar position to Dybala and I can’t see them waiting around if he’s signed. Dybala would be an amazing signing for the club, but if he starts, I can’t see the likes of Dele Alli or Lucas Moura being happy with moving down the pecking order and sitting on the bench. Dybala isn’t going to be cheap and I think that will be the main reason the transfer doesn’t materialise
[Murphy admits a parting of ways could be on the cards at some stage] Pochettino’s the right man for the job at Tottenham, but it’s looking more and more likely that his time at the club is coming to an end. He’s been a real breath of fresh air for the club and the Premier League, but a few of his statements in the past few months have clearly shown that something isn’t right. There’s definitely a good opportunity for him to progress the team and once all the new signings are fit, they will definitely improve the team, but it appears that he’s questioning his future. I can’t see him making a decision until next summer. Whatever happens, he’ll want to see this season out and then decide where he wants to go from there
[Pressed on whether Pochettino would be a good fit for Real Madrid, who continue to be linked with a move to take the South American to the Santiago Bernabeu] Pochettino would have to massively adapt his managerial style if he were to take over at Real Madrid. He’s use to motivating and managing young hungry players, which is a different kettle of fish to motivating and managing superstars. It would be a very different job for him, but I feel he would be able to deliver. He’s shown his coaching ability and ways of being able to adapt to different circumstances, so it would just be a case of changing his mindset. He’s used to working with players for long periods of time and pushing them to constantly improve, but we know that there will be a higher turnover at Madrid and a different mentality. Overall, I can’t see Tottenham letting him leave without a fight
2019 10 06b Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Harry Kane will want to leave Tottenham on a high if a move is to be made] Rio Ferdinand has said Harry Kane could leave to win trophies. I personally think Harry is the type of lad who would prefer to go out on a high rather than jump ship when things are tough, as they are now. Harry will want to repay the club’s faith and turn things around. Another performance like Brighton cannot be tolerated
[He added, with a number of players either into the final year of their contract or sparking exit talk] There has been speculation about dressing-room harmony. I don’t see team-mates who don’t like each other, I just think there are a lot of players who have been at the same workplace for a long time and it’s going stale. Pochettino has been at Tottenham more than five years but Danny Rose, Jan Vertonghen, Christian Eriksen, Hugo Lloris, Erik Lamela, Kane, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Winks have been there longer. It’s too many to have in that situation. When you get senior pros feeling their time at the club has run its course - I am thinking particularly about Vertonghen, Rose, Eriksen and Alderweireld - it is natural that their mind might be on pastures new, even if they are not saying it
2019 11 05 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Sadio Mane is the best player in the Premier League at the moment and will make Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola regret his comments regarding diving] I don’t think Pep went into [the press conference] with that in his head, I think he was just triggered by a question about the result at Villa Park and it’s just come out. In hindsight he might look back on that and think, ‘I wish I hadn’t said that’. If I was him, the last thing I’d want to do is wind up the best player in the Premier League at the moment and before you play him next week.
Mane is playing incredibly well and if it does spur him on a little bit more, then why take the risk? I think we should emphasise that Mane’s form from the start of the season until now is the reason why Liverpool are six points clear. In certain games he’s carried them through. He’s been phenomenal. And his fitness and his durability, by the way, considering he played the whole summer and he rarely misses a game. He deserves great credit. Of course he goes down a bit too easily and too regularly, but he’s not the only one
2019 11 11 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool still have more gears to go through this season] Liverpool haven’t hit the heights of last season and they’ve got a bit lucky with some of their results. But they’re still winning every game, which is incredible, and it shows how far they have come with this hunger to win games and stay in games. The thing about Liverpool that’s really positive is they are nine points ahead of City and eight points ahead of Leicester and Chelsea without playing that well. If Liverpool get better, woah.
At the moment, their energy, the quality, the balance, the defensive stability, the pace, the quality in the final third with the two full-backs who every time they go forward look dangerous … And Sadio Mane has been the best player in the Premier League this season, for me.
They could go the whole season [unbeaten], although I don’t think they will because you need a bit of luck to do it. Liverpool can even play with a little bit of freedom now with that cushion, whereas City know every time they go on the pitch now they have to be on it, because if they lost another and the gap gets to 12 points, all of a sudden it would look impossible
Is the title over? From what I saw, Man City are more than capable [of catching Liverpool]. They did fight back, they didn’t give it up and they’ve still played with quality. They’re more than capable of going on a 10 or 15-game run of winning every game. At the moment it’s not over. Some City fans are disgruntled but there were a lot of positives from that performance, the simple fact is defensively they are very vulnerable, but they did come up against one of the best front threes we’ve ever seen. Are Leicester and Chelsea in the race? I don’t think they’re going to compete with Liverpool and City for the title, Liverpool have already beaten Chelsea and Leicester, but I think they could cause some upsets on the way
2019 11 12 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Virgil van Dijk is the obvious choice for the 2019 Ballon d’Or] For me, the winner is obvious: Virgil van Dijk. I believe that because of the massive impact he’s had on Liverpool Football Club. There are so many facets to him: his leadership qualities have grown, and his influence on others is probably the biggest reason. His impact on the performances of the players around him, especially the back four, is phenomenal.
When you think of the full-backs, they’ve improved tremendously and that’s partly because of the security he gives them to go forward, knowing he’s so capable when other teams counterattack. Joel Matip has gone under the radar with his performances. He’s been sensational, and I think that’s because of the reassurance he has when he’s playing alongside Virgil. Joe Gomez was also improving massively until the injury setback he had. But the impact on others is fine as long as you’re playing well yourself, and Van Dijk’s performances have been sensational.
Could Liverpool have won the Champions League without him? I think the answer is no. Of course, when you look at Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino, there are loads of big performers. But take Van Dijk out and I really don’t think Liverpool could’ve won it
[Murphy can appreciate why many will be siding with Messi as he seeks to add a sixth Ballon d’Or to his collection, but he considers Van Dijk to have made a bigger impact at his club across 2019] Obviously, you’re dealing with the best players in the world and when you look at Lionel Messi’s goalscoring record, if he did win it over Van Dijk, you would have to understand why. But his form didn’t help Barcelona win the Champions League. Usually (nine out of the last 12 years) the winner of the Ballon d’Or comes from the winner of the Champions League. The criteria is there and I don’t see why that should change. In terms of a defender winning it, there are some people who would say it’s easier to destroy than create and I understand that philosophy. But when you look at the impact on others and the way he gets others to perform around him, that’s a wonderful quality. The thing about Van Dijk that’s very unique is the fact that you can’t really replace what he brings. If you take out Mane, then Salah could easily win a game for you. Firmino could win a game for you. Divock Origi scored in the final. There are other attacking options
2019 11 14 Retrieve
[Former Reds star Danny Murphy says Harry Kane would get into the Liverpool side ahead of Roberto Firmino] Liverpool or City, would he get in both teams? Would Liverpool and City fans take Harry Kane now? I think Harry Kane would get in Liverpool’s team ahead of Firmino, because I think he’d score more goals. I love Firmino but he’s not Harry Kane.
And I think with Aguero being nearly 32, I think City fans would welcome Harry Kane with open arms. That’s not to say he’s better than Aguero, City fans aren’t going to have that argument, it’s not about that. But right now if Harry Kane was on the shopping list, would City fans be happy? What would he cost? That’s another question. Because you’ve got FFP as well. It could be a world record
2019 11 16 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy among those to have talked up Van Dijk’s claims of Ballon d’Or] For me, the winner is obvious: Virgil van Dijk. I believe that because of the massive impact he’s had on Liverpool Football Club. Obviously, you’re dealing with the best players in the world and when you look at Lionel Messi’s goalscoring record, if he did win it over Van Dijk, you would have to understand why. But his form didn’t help Barcelona win the Champions League. Usually (nine out of the last 12 years) the winner of the Ballon d’Or comes from the winner of the Champions League. The criteria is there and I don’t see why that should change.
In terms of a defender winning it, there are some people who would say it’s easier to destroy than create and I understand that philosophy. But when you look at the impact on others and the way he gets others to perform around him, that’s a wonderful quality
2019 11 18 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy claims that Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson is the only midfielder who should be guaranteed a place in Gareth Southgate’s England line-up] Jordan’s always in it. There are good options in there for Gareth, but I don’t think it’s worth saying now that should be the three, because if I was playing a lesser nation, I’d have no problem playing Maddison and Mount, ahead of Henderson or Winks or Rice. But if you’re playing France - the best team in the world - then you might go for Winks, Henderson, and Oxlade-Chamberlain, because they can all do the defensive bit, they’re all disciplined. I think it’s good Gareth’s got options. I’m glad that Winks and Rice are fighting it out. I’m glad they’re both in the squad because I think they’ve both got big futures and are very capable
[Murphy went on to warn of the potential pitfalls a 4-3-3 formation could bring for England] The other factor is if you’re playing a midfield three, England have got at the moment two brilliant attacking full-backs but if they’re going to go as well then the midfield three, if they’re too attacking [then] England, are going to be too open. So you’ve got to work out who you’re playing against. In another three months as well players lose form and get injured. The fact is there are some good options, and we’re capable. It’s more at the back that I think England fans worry than in the midfield
2019 11 21 Retrieve
[Ex-Reds midfielder Danny Murphy on raiding Mourinho’s Tottenham] Would Liverpool and City fans take Harry Kane now? I think Harry Kane would get in Liverpool’s team ahead of Firmino, because I think he’d score more goals. I love Firmino but he’s not Harry Kane. What would he cost? That’s another question. Because you’ve got FFP as well. It could be a world record
2019 12 17 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says The Premier League title race is done before Christmas] I think it [the title race] is done. Is anyone capable of winning three of four games if Liverpool lose three or four? They’ve got to lose four, really, and the other teams have to win while they lose. No other team is showing that. Leicester are on a good run, but they have not got the capability of winning games until the end of the season, whereas City did that last year to catch Liverpool [with 14 successive wins]. I’d be amazed now if Liverpool threw it away, I’d be devastated
[Klopp’s men will then have a Champions League last-16 encounter with Atletico Madrid to look forward to in February] Atletico Madrid will be more disappointed with that draw than Liverpool. They’ll be going ‘Oh, do you know what? We could have done without them’, because Liverpool, on their day, they’ll roll over anybody. The second game at Anfield is always a great plus
2019 12 23 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Prioritising Club World Cup success over a Carabao Cup run was always the right decision for Liverpool] It was always the right decision by Jurgen Klopp to send his first-team squad to Qatar and the kids to Aston Villa for the Carabao Cup. Liverpool’s history is based on winning trophies and world champions is not something they had achieved. And while the League Cup is not a competition that should be belittled, the truth is competing against the champions of each continent is globally more important, both to the fanbase and marketplace. The second aspect has been less publicised but by Klopp taking his full squad away, it should refresh them and recharge their batteries for the second half of the season which they want to finish as Premier League champions. Going away together, to warmer climes, a change in environment, is a massive benefit at this stage of the season, and just spending time together like that will solidify the team spirit. Say Klopp had left Divock Origi, Adam Lallana and James Milner back home to play Villa, I don’t think they would have felt rested and raring to go for the new year as they will do now
2020 01 08 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Granit Xhaka would look a hell of a player at Liverpool] If Xhaka was in Liverpool’s side with Henderson and Fabinho, he would look a hell of a player because he is technically good, a good passer, has a great shot on him and he has the ability with his great left foot to open you up. But when you are playing in a team that is struggling a bit, he is a passenger defensively and a liability. It is a dilemma for Mikel Arteta because he has a squad that needs a bit of tinkering
2020 01 13 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool can now overpower teams] This Liverpool side are something else. To win 20 of 21 matches in this Premier League, which is probably the most competitive in the world, is breathtaking.
Liverpool’s consistency is phenomenal. They can overpower teams, as they did at Leicester on Boxing Day. They can also control games and see them out. They did it in the Champions League final against Spurs and they’ve done it repeatedly this season and that is why they are champions-elect.
At one time, Liverpool under Klopp only had one gear, frenetic. Now they have Alisson and Virgil van Dijk and can win matches in different ways. To have the best start of any team to a season is a fantastic achievement. As pundits and football fans, we’ll be talking a lot about whether they can go the whole season unbeaten like Arsenal’s Invincibles, or beat Manchester City’s points tally of 100, which was historic in itself. But the way Liverpool are playing, I honestly don’t think they are considering those milestones. To win the league after 30 years is enough in itself.
Personally, I don’t think they will go unbeaten. You only need one off-night and the record is done. But it won’t matter if they still end up as champions. And the way Klopp is going he might win the league early and be in the latter stages of the Champions League, and have the ability to rest players. What a wonderful position that would be
2020 01 14 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Football supporters have taken Sergio Aguero’s talents for granted] I think we have taken him for granted. This isn’t a slant on Manchester City supporters, it’s more about the brand Man City and the club and the history, but is it because he plays for Man City? Would we be talking about him more and putting him on a higher pedestal if he played for Liverpool or Man United?
I think he’s been part of the Man City evolution where a lot of people have linked that to money. You are going to be a striker who scores goals if you are in a team who has all the best players, that flippant view. It doesn’t matter what team you are in or how good the players are, scoring goals is an art form. I think we have taken him for granted. Can we put him in the same breath as the likes of Henry or Shearer?
Henry and Shearer, probably two of the best examples, the two greatest strikers we’ve seen in the Premier League, I think, they had the ability to lift the team on their own. They were the talisman for their teams. They grabbed games by the scruff of the neck when no one else in the team was. I know Henry became embroiled in a wonderful Arsenal team but he was still their main man. Arsenal without Henry were never as good. Do opposing fans think Aguero is up there with the likes of those? Or am I right that we don’t give him the credit he’s deserved?
There’s always a bit of jealously where a club buys success, if you like, spends millions and millions on players to make them better. You are always going to get fans who have a degree of jealously around that. That’s part of life. Therefore is there a consequence of that for players who are bought and are brilliant.
Has Aguero been in amongst a group of wonderful players and team rather than making that team wonderful? Henry was the complete player in every respect and the best I’ve ever seen in terms of strikers because he could get goals from anywhere but he could also drop deep and kill you with his dribbles, skills and power. That’s no belittling Aguero or Shearer but for me, he’s the best
2020 01 17 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Jordan Henderson has become the complete midfielder] It has not always been plain sailing for Henderson at Anfield, and I think he suffered at first from being compared to Steven Gerrard - which was unfair. That was an easy thing to say when he signed aged 20 in 2011, because he was a young England midfielder, but he was not like Gerrard, because no-one is. It was always going to be impossible for him to live up to that. As a player he is the best he can be, but he will never be able to do the things that Gerrard did. Playing alongside Gerrard at first was not very helpful because when you are around one of the best midfielders there has ever been, you are never going to look as good as him. It is only since Gerrard left in 2015, and the team started evolving under Jurgen Klopp, that people have been able to see Henderson’s own qualities. At 29, he has grown into a complete midfielder, and is a fantastic example of someone making the absolute maximum out of their ability
He used to get criticised for making too many sideways passes but it was not about direction, it is called playing safe. A lot of midfielders do that when they are trying to establish themselves in a team, or keep their place, because giving the ball away is the worst thing they can do. Henderson does not have to worry about his place anymore, because he plays such a vital role in this Liverpool side - well, not just one actually.
One of the biggest compliments you could pay him is that he nailed down the holding midfielder position and became pivotal there for a while. Then, with Fabinho’s emergence, he adapted back to being more of a box-to-box player.
While the Brazilian has been injured in the past few weeks, he has gone back to his old position and it has not affected Liverpool at all. His versatility is really important for Liverpool but he does not just fill a gap - he brings something to every position he plays. He fits perfectly into this Liverpool team and the way they play, and it is the same with England. If he is fit, he will start every game at Euro 2020, because it is not just Klopp who appreciates him.
Whatever Henderson’s numbers are, ultimately he captained the champions of Europe last season and is leading a team that are breaking all sorts of records this time around. I think that says more about him than any statistic ever could
2020 01 19 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Van Dijk is the best centre-half I’ve ever seen] He’s the best centre-half I’ve ever seen. Calm, assured and someone the whole group looks up to. If you wanted a computer program to create the perfect defender, it would come up with Van Dijk. Nobody can outrun or outfight him and, though he’s a bona fide star, there is nothing flash or celebrity about him
2020 01 27 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Jurgen Klopp should be on the touchline for Liverpool’s FA Cup fourth round replay with Shrewsbury] I’m completely with Jurgen Klopp in protecting his players when they’re pushing for the league for the first time in the 30 years and they’ve got the Champions League still. Protect your players, I understand that; you’ve got a big squad, you’ve got good youngsters, rotate the team – no problem. But I think he should be there. He should be at the game. I don’t think there’s any reason for him not to be there
Wherever he’s flying to, whatever holiday he’s got with or without the players, whether they’re going away together or he’s given the players time off, he is the manager. He’s not running round the pitch every three days, he’s just walking about the training pitch and in the dugout. As the manager, the impact of being there for those younger lads who play on the day is massive.
I’m telling you it would make a difference to their performance. I know as a young player, when the first-team manager comes to watch you, even at a training session, the tempo goes from seven to ten. A part of his thinking may be that he doesn’t want to overshadow Critchely and what he’s doing with those young players … but I don’t think it would. So wherever Klopp is, this is at Anfield so he can get to the game.
I completely understood the Club World Cup; it was nearly impossible for him to be at both games in 24 hours, but this is a bit different. I’ve not got a problem with what team they put out, but I think he should be there and I think it would help the players if he’s there. And I’ve got a feeling he will be there. I think this might change
2020 02 11 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool should be doing all they can to keep Roberto Firmino at the club] Could you get in another striker who gets in as many goals as Firmino? Yes. Would they make as many assists as Firmino, and help the cohesion of the team as good? Maybe not. But there are players out there. Firmino is a beautiful kind of complement for the Liverpool system and the way the two wingers play. As a three they’re tremendous, aren’t they? But if you were to say ‘no-one is like Firmino. He’s quite exceptional and unique and he’s a wonderful player’, it’s a bit like when Kevin Keegan left; Kenny Dalglish came in. Luis Suarez left, ‘Oh my God, who’s going to replace him?’ And then you’ve got [Sadio] Mane, [Mohamed] Salah and Firmino now. Firmino is well loved, as Suarez was. Rush left, [John] Aldridge came in and scored goals. Football does move on. Is he replaceable? Yes. Anybody is. It would change the dynamic
If Liverpool were to lose Firmino and go and get Mbappe, would that be a more scary front three? Would he complement the two as much? It’s a debate. Nobody can give me a fact. I think if Mbappe was playing up front with Mane and Salah then that would be more scary than Firmino, Salah and Mane. That’s just me. I’m not belittling what Firmino’s done, he’s a wonderful footballer
2020 03 01 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool should go all-out to sign Jack Grealish from Aston Villa this summer] If you look at the top teams, Manchester City and Liverpool, it’s noticeable they like players who can perform exceptionally in more than one position. Think about Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mo Salah.
Grealish has that in his locker. He has the mix of physicality and technical skills to operate in a number of areas. If you’re Klopp for example, having that variety at your disposal is a Godsend. I’d already put Grealish ahead of Naby Keita or James Milner and the only thing Gini Wijnaldum has over him at the moment is experience of consistently playing big matches.
Grealish has been heavily linked with Manchester United, particularly if they lose Paul Pogba, but I don’t think they will be the only ones interested if he decides to move from his boyhood club this summer to maximise his career. He fits Klopp’s philosophy, and although Guardiola has Phil Foden he’ll still be interested in other good players with David Silva leaving this summer
I don’t think Pep’s mind would be made up by one game but it wouldn’t do Grealish any harm to turn it on on Sunday afternoon. It worked for me once - I played so well for Charlton against Tottenham, Martin Jol took me to White Hart Lane
2020 03 04 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool would happily sacrifice every cup competition to win the Premier League] The better team won overall, but Liverpool can take some positives. It was a better performance than against Watford and, considering in the last two rounds he’s played weakened teams, I don’t think Jurgen Klopp will be too distraught that he’s gone out. I think it’s been over-egged in terms of the relevance of some of the defeats. Let’s put it in perspective: Liverpool haven’t won the league in 30 years. The demand to win the league is huge now and It’s nearly done, it’s nearly over the line. Every Liverpool fan on the planet would happily have sacrificed every cup competition, including the Champions League, to get the league over the line this season. The fact they’ve done it so convincingly and so comfortably, I think fans get a bit greedy and think, ‘actually we could win the Champions League again
But at the beginning of the season nearly every Liverpool fan on the planet would have said, ‘it’s the league this year and that’s it’, they would take it with open arms and grab it. So I don’t think Liverpool fans are the ones who are worried. Yes, the performances haven’t been great; they’re missing Jordan Henderson, Fabinho doesn’t look back to his full fitness and there are a few little problems. But ultimately they’re going to win the Premier League and that’s the Holy Grail for Liverpool Football Club
2020 03 08 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Mourinho’s hammering of Tanguy Ndombele unjustified] It was unjustified, to be honest. There were at least six of them, seven of them, that were not quite at the races in the first half. We are also talking about Burnley’s quality and tenacity and willingness to get at them and stop them playing. Ndombele was no worse than half a dozen others. So I think it is harsh to use him as a scapegoat. All in all, you cannot blame Ndombele for the first half. Burnley were quality and Tottenham were tactically wrong
2020 03 10 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Salah is probably Liverpool’s best signing of the last 10 years but everybody leaves in the end] Mo Salah is a unique player. To score this many goals so quickly from that wide position is sensational. To compare him to strikers is difficult because he doesn’t play centrally, but to achieve what he has so quickly from a wide role is a better achievement than what any of the strikers at Liverpool have achieved. He’s probably been as good a buy for Liverpool as anyone over the last ten years. I know Luis Suarez was sensational, but Salah’s consistency and his durability as well, he very rarely misses games. And he’s so unassuming, he goes about his business so under the radar. He’s not flash, he doesn’t do any silly provocative celebrations, he just keeps banging in goals. The love for Mo Salah is there – I just think it’s subsided a bit due to [Sadio] Mane’s brilliance this season, and [Roberto] Firmino, too. But ultimately when, or if, Mo Salah leaves Liverpool he’s going to be remembered not just because he’s a wonderful goalscorer but because he’s been part of this team that has won the Premier League after 30 years and has won the Champions League. That’s why he’ll be remembered. All the goals only matter if something comes at the end of it
2020 03 17 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy claiming that Grealish boasts the versatility and ability to slot seamlessly into Klopp’s squad] If you look at the top teams, Manchester City and Liverpool, it’s noticeable they like players who can perform exceptionally in more than one position. Think about Raheem Sterling, Fernandinho, Kevin De Bruyne, Jordan Henderson, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Mo Salah. Grealish has that in his locker. He has the mix of physicality and technical skills to operate in a number of areas. If you’re Klopp for example, having that variety at your disposal is a Godsend. I’d already put Grealish ahead of Naby Keita or James Milner and the only thing Gini Wijnaldum has over him at the moment is experience of consistently playing big matches
2020 04 05 Retrieve
[Former midfielder Danny Murphy labelled Liverpool’s decision to furlough some of their staff as grotesque] It is grotesque because it wasn’t introduced for Premier League clubs who have more than enough money to look after their own. I’m particularly disappointed with the decision coming from Liverpool yesterday [Saturday] because it runs against the togetherness and unity the club has always been renowned for, particularly over the last 30 years since Hillsborough. I think there will be a backlash and while the club’s business people might think it will save them some money in the short-term, it will cause reputational damage
The furlough controversy put those players in a predicament. I’m sure the players would have wanted to come together and find the money to enable other club employees to continue receiving their full pay packets. The furlough clubs put them on the back foot and even the health secretary jumped in. The Premier League has now ‘advised’ players to take a 30 per cent pay cut, apparently agreed by the clubs. I don’t think the players would object to the principle but they deserve to know first what their money would be used for instead. We are talking significant amounts, millions of pounds. If it went to the frontline NHS or charities, that’s one thing. If it remained in the clubs’ pockets, that is another
2020 04 11 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Man Utd must sign Tottenham star Kane even if it’s a club-record fee] Manchester United are closer to challenging for the Premier League title and Champions League than many people think. The final piece in the jigsaw is a world-class centre-forward. We know it and they know it. It is why they tried to sign Erling Haaland in January. If Harry Kane is available, even for a record price, United would be mad not to look a gift horse in the mouth
They are the richest club in England. If there is ever a time to use that financial power, it would be to prise the best striker in the country away from Tottenham. If United have the money, they should spend it on Kane. He can turn them from a team with potential, into genuine challengers
2020 04 26 Retrieve
[Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy says he regrets leaving the club before they won the Champions League under Rafael Benitez] I feel very blessed. I feel lucky to have played for the team I supported and loved growing up. It’s all I ever wanted to do. To win trophies playing for the team you love as well is very surreal. It’s probably only when you look back now in hindsight that you realise the enormity of it. The only thing for me of course is that the year I left they won the Champions League. Maybe I could have stayed and fought a bit harder under Rafa. It was a difficult decision for me at the time because I was so used to playing and I loved playing. He made it clear to me more than once that that wasn’t going to be the case, so I had a difficult choice to make in a short period. People say they have no regrets. Well, I do, I regret not staying, but life is what it is. It was a wonderful seven years for me and being part of that Liverpool family is still very special to me
2020 05 04 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Jordan Henderson is the biggest miss for Liverpool’s midfield when he is not available] I appreciate them all, to be honest, in terms of their ability to fit in. Very rarely do you watch Liverpool play and think, ‘Oh, they’re weaker today. Jordan is probably the one biggest miss when he doesn’t play, partly because of his leadership as well. I’m a big fan of Wijnaldum. He’s very good on the ball and in tight positions. Very, very often he is one of those players who wriggles out of a little tight situation and gets Liverpool on the front foot. The one thing more about that midfield I say when I talk about it is every single one of them – I call them ‘proper midfielders’ – does all the bits needed. They still go forward and press and try to get in the box. Ox is probably one of the best at it when he plays more often. But they all do their defensive work – they all track runners, they all fill space, they all spot danger. And I don’t think that Liverpool system would work if one of the three didn’t have the discipline to do that. They all know the job
I think the team has evolved from when Klopp first started. It has got a bit more wisdom in it, in terms of when to take your foot off the gas from pressing, when to see out a game, when to drop off sometimes. They are much more tactically aware. Yes, they are a high-press team with great energy and the fitness levels are unbelievable, and Klopp’s coaching staff and sports science team deserve great credit for that. But when people talk about Liverpool this season not hitting the heights of maybe last season or the one before in terms of sometimes steamrollering teams and loads of free-flowing football, it’s because they’re managing games better. It’s because they don’t necessarily, when they go a goal up away from home or two up, go all-out, 100 per cent press, hell for leather. I think the biggest thing with the Liverpool side at the moment is the hunger and the discipline
2020 06 09 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Alexander-Arnold’s great but won’t win Ballon d’Or] I think Cafu could’ve praised him without talking about the Ballon d’Or. The Ballon d’Or is generally for the goalscorers and the superstars isn’t it? But he is a wonderful, wonderful talent […] He won’t win the Ballon d’Or. I think even in a midfield position it’s difficult. Can he score goals from midfield and bend in free-kicks and open defences with his passing? Yes. But will that ever be enough to be enough to win a Ballon d’Or? [Luka] Modric won one, didn’t he? Yeah, it’s possible, you never say never, but I don’t think so. There’s that much talent around at the moment, defensively you think a centre-half like Virgil van Dijk would probably be one of the few who has the capability. But he’s on a different level because he’s an out-and-out defender
2020 06 22 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Liverpool will need to dip into the transfer market for additional firepower when the transfer window re-opens] I do think Liverpool could do with some additional firepower, especially as next season there will be the Africa Cup of Nations. That’s going to mean that both Salah and Mane are going to be missing for a chunk, a big chunk of the games. I would be amazed if when the window does open, or when the season ends, that Liverpool don’t sign someone in attacking areas. But you also have to remember that for two years they got to the Champions League final and got 97 points last season and are going to win it this year, so who are we to argue with how he’s [Klopp] balanced his squad
I think Liverpool will inevitably win the title. The fact that everybody wants it done so quickly, or the desire of everyone associated with Liverpool wanting to get it done quickly is obvious because it’s been 30 years. It’s going to happen. You’d think they will beat Palace on Wednesday and it makes the Man City away game [on July 2] really interesting because Pep and those Man City players are not going to want Liverpool winning it there
2020 06 25 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Salah & Mane will be knocking on Klopp’s door] If they were in the Champions League, I’d understand [resting players] more. But if I’m Mo Salah and I’m going for the golden boot or Mane or Trent [Alexander-Arnold, on track to challenge for the record of most assists in a Premier League season], I’d be knocking on [Klopp’s] door saying I want to play these last few games. You want to be a part of the greatest team in Premier League history
2020 06 29 Retrieve
[Danny Murphy says Trent Alexander-Arnold has become a mix of David Beckham and Kevin De Bruyne] Not known anyone with his quality from wide areas since David Beckham. It’s like having Kevin De Bruyne at right-back. Could play there for the next 10 years but he’s good enough to also switch into midfield. A local lad, he has the chilled personality to cope with the extra pressure.
The best Liverpool teams have always included at least one Scot. Incredible fitness levels to get up and down from left-back and one of those bubbly characters that’s good for the dressing-room
[Murphy on Mohamed Salah] Everyone expects him to repeat the 44 goals he scored two seasons ago. That’s not possible but his record is still remarkable for someone who rarely plays as a centre-forward. The happiness he showed when scoring his first goal against United at Anfield was one of the season’s highlights
[Murphy on Roberto Firmino] Not managed a Premier League goal at Anfield but he’s a major reason Mo Salah and Sadio Mane have scored so many. We rarely see strikers get as much pleasure from assists but he also scored a beauty to win the game at Spurs
[Salah and Firmino have further underlined their value to the Reds cause, while Jordan Henderson is another to have enjoyed a remarkable season, but Murphy believes it is Mane who has been the pick of the bunch] My player of the year. He’s been Liverpool’s match-winner on so many occasions, deceptively strong and good in the air besides his obvious pace and shooting ability - but he is great going the other way too. Robertson must love playing behind him knowing the defensive work Mane does