Tuesday, 21 January 2020

Has Steven Gerrard just made a big mistake?

With the departure yesterday of Jamie Murphy on loan to Burton Albion in England’s League One, we have to wonder how bad he must now be to have gone instead of Sheyi Ojo or Brandon Barker.

These two were signed in the summer, Ojo just as a talented player with a better CV than Ryan Kent, and Barker as a bit of a panic buy in the event of the failure to get Kent.

And while Ojo has had one maybe two brighter matches, his overall performances have been diabolically shocking, where Barker’s haven’t even been at that level.

And yet it’s left winger Jamie Murphy, a former Scottish international with PL experience and a CV well beyond either of them that is regarded as excess, and not good enough to beat either Barker or Ojo.

Obviously it’s Steven Gerrard and his management who see these guys in training, week in week out, not us, but we have to wonder just how rank rotten Jamie Murphy has ended up being to lose his place at Ibrox to Ojo and Barker, both of whom are among the least popular players in the shirt.

And yet, he’s actually managed a decent gig – Burton have a decent shout at a playoff spot, and could well be a Championship side next season – and manager Nigel Clough knows him well, and will have watched him in dev squad matches. He will know the player he’s getting.

So is this the right call?

It’s a well known truth that, right or wrong, Steven Gerrard has his favourites – Murphy actually fell into that category last season during the UEL run, but once injured was binned ruthlessly. That is how Stevie works, and we’re not judging it.

But for Barker and Ojo now to be the main competition to Kent and Aribo, along with Jones, really makes us wonder:

1: How bad Murphy has to be to fall behind those two in the pecking order.
2: If it was the right call letting him go at all.

Answers on a postcard.

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