Daryl Murphy: good for Celtic, good for us?

We’ve tried hard enough to send him on his way. Daryl Murphy clearly plays no part in Steve Bruce’s thinking when it comes to Sunderland’s future. But whatever the shortcomings of the Scottish Premier League, a move to Celtic for the 27-year-old, 6ft 3in Irishman would confound those who see him as no better than a Championship player …

darylmurphy Photo: Peadar O’Sullivan

If Daryl Murphy’s rumoured move to Celtic happens, the unfashionable, possibly minority view – or, at least, the view of the part of Salut! Sunderland writing this – would be to wish him well and acknowledge the positive aspects of his SAFC legacy.

The relief when Murphy went on loan to Ipswich last season was mutual. Most Sunderland supporters felt he was not right for our team, or perhaps for the Premier League at all, and he desperately needed a new challenge.

Most fans recall his poorer games for us, though in reality many of these were when he came on as a substitute and/or played out of position.

Yet they – we (since I have been critical too)- should surely be fair enough to remember that Murphy also did good things for Sunderland AFC.

That goal against Wigan when he latched onto Andy Reid’s glorious crossfield pass to charge towards goal and unleash an unstoppable shot. A goal of the month on Match of the Day. Then there was that crucial late winner against Boro to ensure survival.

Both of those goals were in 2008 and it didn’t happen nearly often enough. Murphy scored only 14 times in 110 appearances and sometimes gave the impression of being a poor player happy to sit out his generous contract at Sunderland. At Facebook, the Daryl Murphy Disappreciation Group – with just 125 members – declares “he’s lazy. he can’t tackle. he can’t jump. he can’t head. he has no positional skills. he can’t pass. he can’t control. he doesn’t score. he gets a game every week up front. It’s Daryl Murphy”.

But that’s over the top by a distance equating to the height of the Burj al Arab hotel in Dubai,

Murphy did well on loan at Portman Road (six goals in 18 games) and indicated a willingness to take a pay cut in the hope of attracting interesting approaches ahead of the 2010-2011 season.

The reported £1.3m bid from Neil Lennon could lead to the right move for him, and for us. Taking account of necessary caution about all transfer speculation, it is the case that joining Scotland’s second best team of last season, and on 42 occasions the best, would offer a great opportunity for him to rebuild his career at a higher (than Ipswich – nad yes, ultra-sensitive Hoops fans, I do mean a great deal higher)) level.

And he almost certainly won’t need anyone to teach him the words of The Fields of Athenry.

This, as a bonus, is a version I especially like (from the band Dance to Tipperary pre-match at Celtic Park: technically, probably not the best you’ll ever hear, and there’ll be plenty who’d be happy never to hear it all, but tough: the singer has a lovely voice, there’s a great atmosphere and it’s not necessary to be a card-carrying member of the Real IRA to enjoy:


Colin Randall

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20 thoughts on “Daryl Murphy: good for Celtic, good for us?”

  1. Countless visits to Ireland, north and south, have taught me that there is no monopoly on bigotry, and I’d guess it’s much the same in Glasgow. The “loyalist’ form, however, has always struck me as being nastier (even if that’s all we are discussing: degrees of nastiness and we’re just left hoping that humanity prevails and bigotry remains a minority pursuit). As an Englishman in what they call Ulster and nationalists call the north of Ireland, and worse as an English reporter, I invariably felt at much more risk in hairy moments in East Belfast, Sandy Row or the Shankill than down the Falls or in Catholic areas of Stroke City (Derry/Londonderry). I’m aware of an old affinity between some Sunderland fans and Rangers but to be perfectly honest, I assumed the appeal would be mainly to those of a BNP, NF bent.
    But I did once have a taxi driver in Belfast who, it quickly became obvious, was a Rangers man. When Sunderland cropped up, he said he supported us, too. But his reason shocked me: Charlie Hurley. A Shankill Prod liked SAFC because of a southern Catholic.

  2. Sorry Celts, but Sunderland would hammer the current Celtic (and Rangers for that matter) side. You would get better over time with EPL money, however.

    As for the other SAFC posters, it’s always Rangers over Celtic for me. After all, our FTM came from Rangers’ FTP due to the close affinity of the fans in the early 70’s. Anybody else remember the Rangers-Celtic chants in the Fulwell at that time?

  3. I don’t know what will happen to Murphy at Celtic, but I hope he does well. I like Sunderland a lot (my Premiership team at the moment) and take great joy in you finishing above the confused Zebras up the road.

    As for some of the comments.. it’s true, Celtic would do really well in the Premiership (after a few years of getting the revenues they were entitled to) as logically there are very few bigger clubs in Europe and that to playing in a tiny backward league.

    As for rolling contracts, nothing wrong with them, all part and parcel of the modern game. Good for both sides I reckon. Hopefully the Murphy to Celtic switch will be as well.

    Good luck next year SAFC. May the Force be with you.

  4. As a Celtic fan,it rankles to see us where we are. We are one of the biggest clubs in the world but due to Sky tv we cannot compete with the big boys down south. We are however, on the rebound from a couple of seasons to forget and are building our forces fot the challenge ahead. Sunderland can’t hold a candle to us and neither can most epl or championship sides. What they have is money and that’s the difference. We work within our financial remit and hopefully will buy wisely in the next few weeks. We are in the Champions League quals and will get into the group stages I’m sure. We’ll win the title and a cup or 2. I’ll take that. Wish them Mackems well this season-great club. Hail Hail.

  5. It was good to see your dimes worth Colin. Like you I have always had a big soft spot for Celtic. Massive club that would change the whole comfort of the EPL if they ever joined. It`s the main reason why the so called big 6 will never let them in!

    Good luck next season Hoops!

  6. Warm welcome to Celtic fans, even those determined to be still more sensitive than the Gooners who come here in high dudgeon each time we mention the advanced theatrical skills of Eduardo (cannot for the life of me remember against whom he was playing at the time).

    Perhaps one plane crash allusion too many today, but telling a Sunderland fan his team hasn’t done much for a while is a bit like telling an aircraft passenger he’s in danger as they hurtle towards the mountainside.

    Absolutely no insult towards Celtic was intended. I happen to have a soft spot for them, and always want them to finish top of the two-club league, but that isn’t the point.

    ALL players, good or bad or indifferent, can benefit from a change of scenery. Murphy was going nowhere at Sunderland but – as the original piece above made abundantly clear, Anthony and Henrik7 – he has performed well, not just at Ipswich but in the Premier. There is a very good player lurking within him and I’d be delighted, for him and for Celtic, if a move there worked out for him.

    “Survive with ease”? Yes, Anthony, that’s about how I’d see your team of last season faring in the Premier of last season, say in 14th place. And yes, you’d have the resources to grow.

    You’ve got the modern history and I take my hat off to your exploits in Europe; otherwise, it sounds not unlike us.

  7. hi all, as a digruntled celtic season ticket holder and occassional visitor and continued supporter of SAFC, i am caught between a rock and hard place if this is a goer. i do agree that a sunderland reserve player shouldnt be good enough to wear the hoops but such is the state of finance in the SPL and celtic are not the worst by any means lol, that this seems to be the sort of target we are able to afford these days unless the board help Neil Lennon, which i doubt in his first year of a 1 year rolling contract! and what of our other targets KEANE CAMPBELL LEDLEY very unlikely but one we might get and give us all a giggle LIAM LAWRENCE!! HAIL HAIL guys and good luck to both teams next season!

  8. Anthony, I don`t think that this is what Colin`s saying at all.

    The opposition that you face weekly is probably Championship standard at best (and at times a lot worse). That doesnt mean that Celtic are not a decent side.`As a Celtic fan you probably grow tired of hearing these comments.

    We were talking about Murphy scoring goals FOR Celtic, not against Celtic though. He will score goals for you. I can assure you that we don`t consider ourselves alongside Madrid etc, but if you think that the sort of defenders that feature in the SPL every week are of the same standard as in the EPL you are very much mistaken.

    We are not Real Madrid by any means, but truth be told, I`d rather be a goal post in our league than kings of the SPL. Most Celts know that. I have no doubts that if Rangers and Celtic were allowed to join the EPL that within a couple of seasons you would be competing at the top. As things stand, I don`t think your current side would trouble many of the EPL teams.

  9. Hello Colin Randall,
    I really dont know much about Mr Murphy, and maybe he will be a hit at Celtic or maybe not? But in your writing you brush of Celtic like some Championship side. We have lost our way the last couple of years and so has the Scottish SPL, but to talk like Sunderland are some kind of Madrid in around about way. Excuse my french but Celtic as a club and cups won here and in Europe destroy your team hands down. And even if we were to play you now I am sure it would not be a problem. With all due respect your team have won nothing and most probably never will. You will be mid table at best and most seasons just try and stay up. If we had the oppertunity to play in your league we would survive with ease and within 5 years be challenging. So please pick your words carefully in the future. Thankyou

  10. It`s nice to see Sunderland have joined the ranks of Europe`s elite.
    It`s a sad day when a Sunderland reserve is deemed to be Celtic class. I`m sorry lads. I am fond of your club, heck I`ve even been to a few of your games in the past. But to say one of your poor reserves would do anything for Celtic is insulting.
    Bear in mind the amount of Celtic reserves Sunderland have signed and done alright for you.

  11. If the move happens he’ll be an addition to the long list of ex-SAFC players that I look out for each match day and like to see do well. One appearance for Sunderland makes you a hero in my eyes.

  12. If he goes for 1.3m then thats OK.

    But, to add to the good things we remember about Murphy, I seem to remember him crossing a beautiful cross onto the head of Cisse in his first game for us away at Tottenham from which we scored.

  13. Murphy has become a figure of fun with Sunderland supporters. He’s no worse than a lot of players we’ve had, and in fact he did pretty well for us in the Championship. It’s really Keane’s fault that Murphy decided to stick around for longer than he was welcome, by offering him a long contract on better money than he would earn elsewhere. A move to Celtic would be good for all involved. He will probably do very well for them.

  14. 1998 Colin, sure? Where is time going these days?!

    I didn’t mind Murphy. I certainly didn’t boo when he came on last season like some narrow minded people around me, but I didn’t cheer. I just stood in stoney silence.

    He isn’t good enough for us, and his unwillingess to leave despite being pushed several times was frustrating because it seemed like he wanted every penny he could. He finally relented and had a good time at Ipswich.

    A £1.3m move to Celtic would be good for all parties concerned. Well, except maybe Celtic!

    I’ll wish him luck, everyone deserves that when they finally move on. And most of all, THAT goal against Wigan deserves him to be wished luck on its own. I remember it vividly.. despite apparently being 8 at the time.

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