Jacob Murphy has told The Chronicle that he was left baffled by Rafa Benitez’s handling of him.
The former Norwich forward opened up on how he’d be in good form one week, before being left on the sidelines for a few weeks by the Spaniard, while then randomly being brought back into the fold.
Murphy said: ‘There was the game against Stoke where I played well and got an assist and then I didn’t start again for another month. The City game the next month, I started, played well there, scored a goal and then I didn’t feature again until the next season.
‘To get setbacks like that was tough because I was thinking: ‘What have I done wrong?”
The Englishman – who earns £25,000-a-week at St James’ Park according to Spotrac – is referring to his first season at Newcastle, and he is right to argue that he deserved a consistent run of games due to his performances in the matches he touches upon.
In the game against Stoke, Murphy got an assist – as he mentions – but also completed three dribbles and was fouled twice as he tried to take the game to the Potters as WhoScored shows.
In the other match he mentions – the 3-1 defeat to Manchester City – the 25-year-old was even better, and it’s baffling that he didn’t feature again that term following his display.
Again, WhoScored shows that Murphy completed a huge six dribbles and had two shots against Pep Guardiola’s men while scoring a goal.
That is a pretty impressive thing to do at the Etihad Stadium against what was then arguably one of the most dominant sides the Premier League had ever seen.
If we’d found ourselves in Murphy’s shoes back then, we would also be baffled.
Hopefully, he can kickstart his Newcastle career under Steve Bruce this term.