Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murphy Keen to Show His Worth

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murphy Keen to Show His Worth

Article excerpt


IF THINGS had worked out slightly differently this summer Danny Murphy could have been working with Alan Curbishley at Anfield.

The story doing the rounds is that when Liverpool were considering potential new managers chief executive Rick Parry consulted some of the players and the Charlton man was picked out as the best English option.

Murphy and Steven Gerrard were among those asked and for a while Curbishley became one of the favourites to succeed Gerard Houllier. The Anfield board eventually decided to look abroad and Rafael Benitez's Spanish-leaning era started in June.

Murphy was subsequently told he would not have a big role to play and when they said he could leave last week he had a choice of joining Tottenham or Charlton.

Most of football thought Spurs would win the day, so the midfielder's decision to join Curbishley at The Valley raised a few eyebrows.

He signed a four-year deal with Charlton for [pounds sterling]2.5million on Tuesday and the deciding factors were lost among what was described as sour grapes from White Hart Lane and criticism of foreign managers.

But at Anfield it was no surprise that Murphy had decided to work with Curbishley.

"Both clubs were impressive but Charlton had the edge because of Alan," the 27-year-old said.

"He shares my ideas of how football should be played and I liked what he said about the club.

"I spoke to Gerrard, Jamie Carragher, Michael Owen - the lads who I am close to. They understood my reasons. Charlton are seen as having a spirit which not many teams have. They have grit but there is quality as well.

"Stevie is my best pal and his view was that they are a good side and better than many people think.

That shows the sort of respect there is now for Charlton."

There was another pull from south London, with Murphy's friend and Charlton star Jason Euell encouraging him to join.

The prospect of having another mate and Merseyside exile on board, Francis Jeffers, also helped make up Murphy's mind.

His first couple of days training have started to confirm that he made the right decision. …

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