Money always talks. Particularly when it comes to men of a certain mind-set.
People like Mike Ashley. Phil ‘BHS’ Green. And Ipswich Town’s reclusive owner Marcus Evans.
It’s always just business. Flogging Wimbledon hospitality packages for a couple of strawberries in a suburban garden down the road.
That kind of business.
So as City boss Alex Neil continues to hunt high and low for a new No9 after today’s 1-1 derby draw, here’s one to ponder.
A third Murphy to add to his promotion hungry pack.
Six-foot three and 33, the Town striker is not exactly one for the future, granted. He’s one that will do someone a job. Right here, right now.
The kind of big-hearted job he did on Timm Klose and the rest of the City defence this lunchtime – proving big, strong and thoroughly awkward all afternoon; not least in the run-up to Jonas Knudsen’s 46th minute leveller after Cameron Jerome’s earlier opener where the watching Chris Sutton looked on with admiration.
A fellow striker who knew – just like Sutton himself did – what his body was for, ball-wise.
Dig a little deeper and Murphy’s goal-scoring record of 50 goals off 120-odd appearances for Town is hardly shabby – particularly given the invariably shabby, second tier service he’s been asked to feed off.
More importantly, he gives a side a focal point. Something strappy and stroppy to punt at in true Championship-style.
As importantly, he must already live relatively local; his Mrs probably shops in Norwich.
And as far as Marcus is concerned will be worth sweet FA next summer when his latest, two-year contract expires in 2017. Marcus does discount deals; he doesn’t do frees.
Daryl Murphy will walk out on Marcus next summer. Unless someone greases his palm with more silver.
Let’s keep the thought-process running.
Norwich need a short term fix. If only – politically – to stem the growing tide of message board and the straw-to-clutch-at belief that Kyle Lafferty may, somehow, be fashioned belatedly into the answer.
Someone comes in, does a job for 12 months; gets you to yo-yo, and then you have Premier League football as bait. Not a night out in Burton.
City need a workhorse; not a show pony. They need a new Grant Holt. An old-fashioned No9.
Again, let’s put it into supporter thinking as we ponder the unthinkable – of a player crossing the great divide. Of having to drive north through Diss every morning.
Because, played right, a Murphy exit ought to prompt a delicious frisson among the more open-minded of the Canary faithful; of potentially prising Town’s prize strike asset out of their hands and putting a large spanner in their own promotion works.
Larger than dropping two home points against the auld enemy.
A spanner thrown – ideally – so many minutes before midnight.
Giving Big Mick little or no time to replace.
How many problems would that cause Ipswich? As parachute money talked. And got Murphy (Daryl) to walk.
Anyway, enough – where were we?
Jonathan Douglas did open the scoring for the home side, only to be ruled – wrongly – offside.
Second-half substitute Steven Whittaker slammed a decent effort against a post in an all-too rare piece of joined up play from the visitors. Wes did the odd party piece; Murphy (Jacob) caught sight of goal before the end.
And that was largely it.
“A sloppy goal killed our momentum and they were unlucky not to get three points but we’ll take a good draw,” was Wesley’s immediate verdict to Sky Sports afterwards.
He had a point. In many senses.
Four games in; unbeaten; just two goals conceded. It’s still not the worst start in the world.
Even if it does come with the frustration of knowing the Canaries could have been top this afternoon if they had been a little less sloppy a minute into first-half stoppage time; a little surer in front of goal as Whittaker found the woodwork for the third time in two games.
Fine margins and big calls.
The same big calls that the club will need to make in the transfer market over the course of the next ten days.
Someone, somewhere, fits the bill.
So why not look at someone plying their No9 trade right under your nose, right on your doorstep?
Maybe, just maybe, one answer is staring you in the face.
colin m says
Rick, you’ve got me sold on this one! He looks frustrated too by poor quality service. My preference was for Ricky Lambert but with three Murphys’ would the fans be bitter!
Great point,unbeaten and better to come. Would like to see Pritchard given an outing.
Jon Fearnley says
Rather have Mbokani back but looking unlikely. As for Murphy, I’d be comfortable with it. Alan Lee came in a few years ago and showed good commitment.
Stewart Lewis says
I’ve heard far worse ideas.
Keith B says
I’ve heard worse ideas too but there are 2 reasons I’m not convinced:
1. He scored a hatful of goals 2 years ago, but that fell considerably last year. Yes he played 10 fewer games, but at his age whether that’s through proneness to injury or lack of form it suggests to me that he’s simply too far past his best.
2. Ipswich is the only team he has ever scored significant numbers of goals for. He clearly gels with that club and their fans very well. Elsewhere it hasn’t really worked for him – his record at Celtic isn’t a patch on Gary Hooper’s for example.
So my feeling is that he wouldn’t score those goals for anyone else at our level – and especially at a club where regrettably a significant section of fans would be too narrow-minded to get behind him simply because of where he had been before.
Gary Field says
As short term solutions go Murphy would do a half decent job; no doubt. However, would he be prolific enough and, more importantly, would it mean a change of formation? Alex loves his one up top.
Michael D says
Well, this one isn’t going to happen, but AN now has only just over a week to bolt a striker inside the doors. Considering he said we would DEFINITELY bring in at least one striker if not two before the end of the transfer window, it’s going to be interesting to see just how he lives up to those words. It’s extremely clear we cannot go till Jan with only Jerome as a recognised striker, that’s for sure…
Ben K says
Is he better than Jerome? Regardless, you speak of straw-clutching and yet to sign Murphy last minute would surely be an example of that? We can do better. I agree with the right here, right now view; there’s youthful promise in the team so a new number nine wouldn’t have to be one for the future. But we can do better than a 33 year-old who, as someone said earlier, is surely long past his best, can’t we?
Jesus Christ NO NO NO if Murphy is the best we can do then we deserve to stay in the Championship for years to come. Newcastle and Villa have had no problems signing top strikers Norwich need to start acting like a team just out of the top flight too.
What we really need is new owners untill that changes we will always be little old Norwich .
Would show lack of ambition, which has always been a criticism of the club in recent years. If Brady is sold – which is something the club should be actively pursing! – then we will have more ammunition, but why should it be such a problem to attract a good Championship striker to a club that is allegedly got money to spend?
Why did you ever stop with Archant? Like Darren Eadie versus Adrian Forbes as a commentator, or Chris Sutton or Dean Ashton against Daryl Sutch…. You don’t try and impress the Club. Like Neil Adams as a pundit, your analysis is always spot on. Factually, tactically, reading between the lines, you’re always right. Instead we have to put up with PR spin from Paddy and Michael who never call a spade a spade.