Most of the time, I’ll try and think of a relatively punchy intro to draw the reader in when composing pieces for HLTCO but this time I’ll just come out and say what I think from the get-go. Danny Murphy is a fool.
It comes as little surprise to see that Wilfried Zaha is the subject of Murphy’s latest opinion piece for The London Evening Standard, given the obsession the national press have had with him over the last 12 months; what is a tad startling though, is the muddled line of attack adopted by the former Spurs midfielder.
Perhaps it’s a direct consequence of having to occasionally share a television studio with Alan Shearer but within the confines of the piece in question, Murphy manages to tie himself up in more knots than a toddler left alone with a ball of string for half an hour.
It’s difficult to know for sure if Danny does or doesn’t see Zaha as a talented player by the end of the feature, thanks to the back-and-forth nature of his comments; a development which leads me to declare that a permanent post within the newspaper industry may not be the smartest of career moves for the ex-England man.
Having read the article in question through four times now in a bid to gain a sense of clarity over its conclusions, I couldn’t help but feel as though it read like a coversation between two disagreeing acquaintances in a pub rather than one single, coherent piece of writing, such is the shift in tone from paragraph to paragraph.
Perhaps Murphy made a list of “Zaha’s pros and cons” in preparation for the article in question before deciding, in a moment of cheekiness, to submit the bullet-point list itself rather than going to the trouble of writing something new, all the while crossing his fingers and hoping that no one would notice. In truth, that explanation is the only one I can think of which would see Murphy coming out of this in anything approaching a positive light.
If he was trying to be edgy and controversial like so many of his contemporaries are these days, he fell well short of the first hurdle. Stick to monotone analysis on Match Of The Day, Danny. It will only end in tears otherwise.