5 reasons why Danny Murphy is proving age is nothing but a number

At 34-years old, Danny Murphy may be in the twilight of his career, but try telling that to someone who featured in all but one of Fulham’s Premier League games last season, and every match this year. Danny Murphy is not only Fulham’s talismanic skipper, but also the main creator from the middle of the park.

After a season where he failed to score in the Premier League, many thought that age had caught up with Danny Murphy. However, the Chester native has bounced back with a bang this season and is off to his best start in a Fulham shirt. Murphy has struck two goals already this campaign and assisted on three others, whilst adding a further 3 goals in the Europa League. But its not just goals Danny Murphy is providing for Fulham, he’s also giving the side creativity and a defensive resolve. Here are 5 reasons why Danny Murphy is proving age is nothing but a number:

1. Danny Murphy is completing Passes in the opposition half

Danny Murphy is blazing a trail in passes completed in the opposition half. Murphy’s aggressiveness to get up the field have meant that he has completed 238 passes in the opponents half of the field, which sees him sat sixth in the Premier League:


Passes Completed in Opposition half

Team

Team Possession %

Aaron Ramsey

295

Arsenal

57

Yaya Toure

268

Man City

58

David Silva

268

Man City

58

Mikel Arteta

247

Arsenal

57

Alejandro Faurlin

246

QPR

50

Danny Murphy

238

Fulham

50

.
While Danny Murphy is completing a large number of passes in the opposition half, what’s interesting to note is the amount of Possession his team has. Four of the top six players in this category play for Arsenal and Man City, teams which dominate possession in games. Murphy, and Alejandro Faurlin of QPR are completing passes in the opposition half, despite their team not enjoying the lion’s share of possession in a match.

2. Danny Murphy is king of the key pass

Danny Murphy is not only completing passes in the opposition half at a high rate; he is also leading the Premier League in key passes after seven matches. His 22 key passes already have him ahead of Samir Nasri (19), Mikel Arteta (18) and David Silva (16) this season. Not bad for a midfielder playing on a team that is not expected to challenge for the Champions League places. Even more impressive when you take in to account that Fulham only enjoy 50% possession in matches, much less than Arsenal (57%) or Manchester City (58%).

3. Danny Murphy is on pace to have his best year in assists

When you are completing passes in the opposition half and making key passes, then the goal assists should follow. For Danny Murphy that has happened this season, as he is on pace for his best year in helpers as a pro. The 2008/09 season was Murphy’s previous best campaign where he had six assists, but he is on course to break that this year, as he has three already in just seven matches. Dempsey, Zamora and Johnson have been the beneficiaries of Murphy’s passes this year, the 34-year old should set up many more goals this season if he continues at this pace.

4. Danny Murphy has been scoring goals

Danny Murphy has not only been setting up others to score, he’s also been weighing in with strikes himself. After three seasons of providing five goals in each Premier League campaign, Murphy had a dry spell in front of goal last year, as he failed to score in the League all season. This could have been taken as a sign that he was in decline, but the 34-year old Chester native has struck twice already this season, and is on course to be back at the five goal level this campaign.

The reason Danny Murphy has been more prolific this year is shots on target. Last season he only had a mere two shots on target, this year he already has four that have been on the mark.

5.  Danny Murphy is also making a case for the defence

Danny Murphy is not just providing offensive firepower for Fulham this season with his goals and assists, he is also playing on the other side of the ball too; winning tackles, intercepting passes and recovering loose balls:

This season

Position amongst PL Midfielders

Tackles Won

13

15th

Recovering loose balls

41

10th

Blocked shots

3

11th

.
While not at the head of the pack, Danny Murphy is 15th in tackles won which does have him in the same company as more defensive minded midfielders Anderson and Stilian Petrov. Surprisingly, he has made more tackles than Yaya Toure and Marouanne Fellaini.

When it comes to recovering loose balls, Cheik Tiote leads the way with 54, but Danny Murphy with 41 is still ahead of the aforementioned Anderson, Petrov, Toure and Fellaini, which is good going from the 34-year old.

Stilian Petrov leads the way amongst midfielders with seven blocked shots this season, but Murphy’s three see him eleventh and still head of combative midfielders like Cheik Tiote (2), Alexander Song (2) and Lucas Leiva (2).

Age is nothing but a number

At 34-years old, Danny Murphy may be one of the Premier League’s elder statesmen, but he is having his best season in a Fulham shirt this year. Proving that after a disappointing campaign last season, that age is nothing but a number.

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2 Responses to 5 reasons why Danny Murphy is proving age is nothing but a number

  1. oliver December 21, 2011 at 8:08 am #

    Danny Murphy is really a strong player. He gave a lot in Fulham and he can make the difference!

    • Mark Redford December 21, 2011 at 3:56 pm #

      Thanks for your comment Oliver. Danny Murphy is playing well this season, Fulham will need him and Clint Dempsey if they are to climb the table now they are out of the Europa League. Bryan Ruiz looks to be a really good addition as well.