Danny Murphy And His Boot Lacing Opinions-Image Credit-LiverpoolEcho.co.uk

Danny Murphy And His Boot Lacing Opinions

Have you ever said something but then after saying it you have immediately regretted saying it? I’m sure many of you have. I wonder if Danny Murphy, ex-Liverpool midfielder, has had that thought in the last day or two? Maybe he hasn’t. If that is the case then fair enough. Football is all about opinions. And of course Murphy is entitled to his own opinion. Just like the rest of us. Having said that the problem with the Danny Murphy’s of this world is that, as a media pundit, his opinion is very often in the public domain. Whether he likes or not. That’s where getting paid a pretty penny as a pundit softens the blow I suppose. I’m sure he does like it being out there though.

Danny Murphy

Danny Murphy And His Boot Lacing Opinions-Image Credit-LiverpoolEcho.co.uk
Danny Murphy And His Boot Lacing Opinions-Image Credit-LiverpoolEcho.co.uk

However, on the other hand, he may feel that not enough of his comments are being splashed across Social Media. So, how better to make an impression and get yourself noticed than make a controversial statement. Not only a controversial statement, but a statement that is an attack on the players of his former employers and a put down on the annual, traditional, symbolic gesture of the current league Champions being afforded a guard of honour by your next opponents.

Firstly though, in case you don’t know what Murphy said, or you would like to be reminded, here’s what he said on TalkSport:

I think it’s a load of nonsense! I don’t know where it started and why it started, I would feel uncomfortable doing it.

I’d do it because you have to do it, but I wouldn’t want to do it, because it’s not done with sincerity.

If I was a Liverpool player and United won the league, you know they’re better than you, you respect that. You’re trying your best to be like them, so they know you respect them.

Kevin De Bruyne is the best midfielder, probably, in the world, and he’s clapping his hands. He is giving a guard of honour to players who can’t even lace his boots!

Danny Murphy – Guard Of Honour Is A Load Of Nonsense

On the one hand, that may well be construed as being a general opinion and it is a long held belief of Murphy’s. So, playing devil’s advocate, let’s have a look at when else he criticised this ‘nonsensical’ annual, customary tradition?

Did he say it back in 2016 for instance when Leicester’s last two opponents after winning the title, Everton and Chelsea, provided the current Champions the expected, traditional tribute? I’ve Googled it but can’t find any evidence of him saying anything derogatory.

What about 2017/18 season when Manchester City won it in a canter with a really impressive 100 points? An incredible 19 points ahead of second placed Manchester United. Nope, no comments from him then either from what I can see.

Hang on a minute then. Reading between the lines, maybe the ‘nonsense’ sentiment is not really an attack on the symbolic, respectful gesture at all. Maybe it’s ‘nonsense’ because of who Liverpool’s next opponents are? Maybe that’s the real message? Especially when you consider the second, and worse, part of Murphy’s statement.

What if Liverpool’s next opponents were somebody other than Manchester City? Does he still think the guard of honour is nonsense?

Danny Murphy – What Does He Think About Other Symbolic Marks Of Respect?

If the tradition of a guard of honour is nonsense, then I wonder what he thinks about other traditional signs of respect? Why bother with a handshake after the end of a game for instance? Anyone who has ever kicked a ball at any level will know that you normally say, “well played” to your opponent when shaking his hand at the end of the game. This same opponent though may have had a nightmare.

He may have scored a hat-trick of oggies and had a total ‘mare all round. Would you really break tradition and refuse to shake the player’s hand by announcing, “I think it’s nonsense to shake your hand because you had a ‘mare!!” Of course you wouldn’t. It’s traditional and respectful to shake his hand. Take note of those two important words. Traditional and respectful.

A top tennis player such as Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic may have just battered a rookie, 6-0; 6-0; 6-0. So, why go to the net and shake their opponent’s hand and say “well played.” Surely that’s a nonsense isn’t it? Again, of course not. It’s traditional and respectful.

But surely though, in Danny Murphy’s world, an Olympic gold medal winner who wiped the floor with all his opponents should have the whole of the award winning ceremony and the podium to themselves. Why have to stoop down and shake the hands of those who finished 2nd and 3rd? Giving recognition to non-winners in 2nd and 3rd place. What’s that all about? Why not just send their silver and bronze medals out in the post, hey Danny?

But of course, silver and bronze medal winners do deserve their place on the podium. It is again, both traditional and respectful.

Danny Murphy – It’s Called Showing Respect

Am I right in assuming that Pep Guardiola was asked whether or not Manchester City would be giving Liverpool a guard of honour on Thursday? And he said they would be. That to me suggests that it is not compulsory. Manchester City, as a club, didn’t break with tradition. Nor will they be showing Liverpool any disrespect. As a club, Manchester City have followed tradition and shown respect.

I’m also fairly sure that Pep Guardiola didn’t say that they would do a guard of honour with the exception of Kevin De Bruyne. Which brings me onto Danny Murphy’s second statement. What if Guardiola had said something along those lines. Yes, to a guard of honour but no, not for Kevin De Bruyne. And why’s that Pep? Oh, because he’s the best midfielder in the world.

Imagine the outrage. In fact, maybe even Danny Murphy himself would have jumped on the bandwagon in having a pop at Pep (do you like that – a pop at Pep!!!). What an ideal opportunity to make yourself seem relevant and make a controversial comment. But Pep didn’t break with tradition. Nor did he look to exclude any of his superstar players from such a potentially degrading and humiliating experience. So, why would Danny Murphy see fit to do so?

In football there’s a lot of banter (and not only banter) between rival fans, players, managers and clubs generally. If any of Liverpool’s arch rivals would have said what Murphy said, it would have been completely unexpected and underserved. Not to mention disrespectful. In a nutshell, it’s not the sort of statement you expect to hear from anyone. Let alone an ex-Liverpool player and a so-called Liverpool fan. Which makes you think he said it for effect and to try and grab attention. Why else say it this year and no other year?

So Danny Murphy – Which Players Are You Referring To?

In the second part of Murphy’s statement, he showed such disrespect to Liverpool’s players. Assuming he did mean what he said and his statement wasn’t a cry for attention with a “look at me, listen to me, I’m saying something controversial for the hell of it” announcement, then what players is Murphy referring to when he said that “players are not fit” to lace Kevin De Bruyne’s boots. He didn’t specify midfielders, so maybe he meant ALL Liverpool players. Do you hear that Mo, Sadio and Virgil (to name just three), you’re not fit to lace Kevin De Bruyne’s boots!!!

Who says so? Why Danny Murphy of course. So, name them Danny. Who are you referring to? While you’ve still got the shovel in your hand, why not carry on digging.

Also, I wonder what Kevin De Bruyne thinks of all this? As well as being a fantastic footballer (who probably manages to lace his own boots up), he comes across as a quite humble, down to earth sort of a guy. Maybe that’s wrong but he certainly doesn’t come across as a prima donna. I’d wager that even if he played in a Sunday League game with his mates, he’d even help put the nets up. So, why drag De Bruyne into it hey Danny? His own manager didn’t, so why should you? His own manager wouldn’t. Again, tradition and respect and all that.

Talking Of Worldies

Looking back to 2016 and the Chelsea guard of honour and following the same logic as Murphy’s Law, what on earth were the world class Eden Hazard and World Cup winner, Pedro, doing belittling themselves by standing in that guard of honour for such players like those upstarts from Leicester? Again, you already know the answer – tradition and respect.

I must say I liked Danny Murphy as a player. As a pundit? I’m not sure because being honest I don’t listen to that many pundits. But as a player, I liked him. Was he fit to lace Steven Gerrard’s boots? I’ll let you figure that one out with your own opinion.

I do think though that no player should be publically labelled as not being worthy to lace another’s boots. Whoever that player is and whatever that club is.

Or was Gerard Houllier right to bracket Danny Murphy with Michel Platini back in 2002? No such talk then of boot lacing and worthiness I seem to recollect. Maybe Platini wore slip ons.

Will we get to hear any backtracking from Danny Murphy? Don’t be surprised to hear the “taken out of context” type of comment. I think though that rather than do a PR focused backtrack, Murphy should actually name the unworthy players. Failing which, do we assume that he did mean all of them?

I’d love to be a fly on the wall the next time Murphy comes into contact with the “great unwashed” Liverpool players whether he names them or not.

Fields Of Anfield Road Blog

Thanks for visiting my Fields Of Anfield Road blog and reading this far. If you would like to read all of my other blog posts, then click HERE.

Fields Of Anfield Road Website

For even more information on Liverpool FC, you can find out more by clicking HERE.

Please Note

I earn commissions from Amazon for any qualifying purchases made from my Fields Of Anfield Road website.

Shop Safely And Securely From Amazon

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Previous Post
On This Day 1st July 1983-Bob Paisley Retires-Image Credit-wikipedia.org
July On This Day

On This Day 1st July

Next Post
Liverpool Are Champions
Fans Corner

Liverpool Are Champions

Leave a Reply

Available for Amazon Prime