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If Fire Joe Morgan followed the Prem …

09 October 2010

According to Bryan Douglas, there was no contact here.

Every once in awhile, it’s fun to read an interview that starts making some semblance of sense and then devolves over its course into debatable discourse and then finally ending in farce. Today’s contestant is former Blackburn legend Bryan Douglas, who said Danny Murphy was “disrespectful” and “should be hauled over the coals” for his depiction of Rovers as one of the Premiership’s dirtiest clubs.

Douglas starts off his defense with stereotypical generalities about how Blackburn’s not that type of team, saying, “Of course we compete on the field but you look through our team and I can’t think of one player you would consider a hard man.” (Although, the team’s mascot has unfortunately fallen into that category.)

Interestingly, 42 percent of the responders to this poll in a local Lancashire paper actually agree with Murphy, but hey, when slightly more than half of your biased fans think you’re right, who am I to argue?

Then it starts to get even better, so a Fire Joe Morgan-style treatment is in order…

“If I was his manager, Mark Hughes, I would be furious. Mark Hughes’ teams were not exactly shy of a tackle.”

Fair point, to an extent. Hughes’ Rovers teams finished bottom of the Fair Play table in all four of his seasons and had a very physical reputation. That said, his current Fulham side plays an attractive, attacking brand of football and is one of the least-fouling sides in the league.

“Danny Murphy is just a run of the mill player anyway. He is better off shutting his mouth and concentrating on his game.”

Hmmm. Despite his advancing age, Murphy has continued to be a quality conductor in the middle of the Fulham setup and has had a terrific last couple of seasons at the Cottage. A lot of Prem sides would be happy to have such a run-of-the-mill center midfielder.

“Who knows, he might want to play for Rovers one day.”

Yeah, no. Although it would probably add a few years to his top-flight career playing for a side with a system that completely bypasses the midfield. You can’t get hurt if you never have the ball.

At this point, the interview still has some credibility, even if it’s the classic “former player backing his club” genre. Then Douglas, in the process of defending the overall state of physicality in today’s game, uncorks this gem:

“I was at the Wolves game the other week when Karl Henry was sent off for his challenge on Jordi Gomez. It looked bad, but it looks worse because the players are so quick now, you mistime a tackle and it will look bad. I’m not even sure he really touched him and if it was me I would just have given him a yellow [card].”

Ummm, wut?

Sorry, Bryan. I was with you for a bit there, but when you make a statement that ridiculous and non-factual, it sort of invalidates anything else that came before it. Oh, and Murphy’s right. Your team’s a bunch of hacks.

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