In what is proving to be a remarkable season, Jacob Murphy is most certainly Newcastle United’s unsung hero.
Eddie Howe easily could have dropped Murphy to the bench. He was not great against Aston Villa, while Miguel Almiron was pushing for a return to the starting lineup.
But Howe stood by the 28-year-old winger, and it was a decision that paid off massively. He scored Newcastle’s opening within a couple of minutes, reacting quickest after Joelinton’s shot was saved.
Then Murphy scored again, with a powerful strike from distance leaving St James’ Park stunned. The noise after that goal was so strange – the Toon Army simply could not believe it had gone in.
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The Rafa Benitez signing received a standing ovation when he left the pitch, and it was richly deserved. He is turning into a real fan favourite, and Howe has now explained exactly why Murphy is so important to this Newcastle team.
Eddie Howe shares three reasons why Jacob Murphy has been ‘brilliant’
After the game, Howe spoke to NUFC TV. He was asked about Murphy being an unsung hero at St James’ Park following his two goals against Spurs.
“Spotlight is rightly on his performance today because I think he’s been brilliant for us this year,” he said.
“Out of possession – first class. Tactical delivery and understanding – highest level. All round game, assisting players continually throughout the year with a lot of good passes and crosses.
“Great to see him get the recognition that his goals deserve him to get.”
Every squad needs a player like Murphy
Howe speaks so highly of Murphy, who has been incredibly reliable this season. He is never going to be one of the star attractions, but he is always there to do a job when called upon.
Whether it’s starting or just coming on to kill time, Murphy is happy to do anything to help the team out. That is why he is such an important player during what is turning out to be an incredible campaign.
Howe really appreciates his ability, particularly his work off the ball and tactical awareness. That is what makes him a manager’s dream, and is why he kept his place in the side against Tottenham.
Murphy has basically made himself undroppable now, with Everton next up on Thursday night.