The Republic of Ireland hitman is yet to score for The Magpies, though his signing never really made sense in the first place.
While it’s certainly harsh to consider Daryl Murphy a ‘one season wonder’, the cold hard facts are that his prolific, 27 goal season of 2014/15 remains by far the most productive of his career. His other four campaign at Ipswich Town, after all, only culminated in a combined tally of 34 strikes, with just ten coming last season.
However, with the New Year already upon us, double figures already looks like a pipe dream at his new club. Newcastle may have the best attack in the Championship but, regardless, Murphy is yet to find the back of the net in any of his four starts.
While sporadic appearances and niggling injuries are hardly the ideal way to get up to speed in a new environment, it has become increasingly apparent that the Republic of Ireland international doesn’t exactly mesh with the approach of Rafael Benitez. Or in other words, the Republic of Ireland was the perfect match for Mick McCarthy – the tactical chalk to the Spaniard’s continental cheese.
At Ipswich, the dry-talking Yorkshireman ensured his side played to Murphy’s strengths. In particular, his strength. Murphy is renowned for his hold-up play, ability to bully centre-halves and batter opponents in the air. Benitez, as epitomised by his marginalisation by the high-jumping centre-forward Aleksandar Mitrovic, prefers diminutive, quick strikers a la Dwight Gayle and Ayoze Perez with the ability to run the channels and drift in behind opposition backlines.
Murphy, at 33 years old and 6ft tall, is hardly the most jet-heeled of forwards though, in his defence, that is not and has never been his game. Furthermore, The Magpies have only created five goals from crosses this season and rank only ninth for crosses per game, according to WhoScored.
McCarthy refuted claims of a return to the Tractor Boys for Newcastle fourth choice forward in quotes reported by The Chronicle, pointing out that Murphy is, indeed, heading for the Premier League. Whether he’ll play or not, is another matter entirely.