For me, I’ll tell you what, oh my days, there’s something quite likeable about Danny Murphy – even if he has the sunken eyes of a man with a lot of demons…
When dressed to impress he favours the sales rep look of expensive, plain dress shirt and tight dark pants combo that appears to be handed out at the door of the BBC to all pundits. On other occasions, the close-cropped head, coupled with heavy beard shadow and dark sunken eyes, gives him the look of a man who, through narrowed eyes, will ask you to buy white cider for him outside an off-licence whilst cupping a fag behind his hand.
He speaks a kind of educated Scouse. More measured and calm than most, some would say his voice borders on a miserable drone. Excitement often appears to be expressed as though it is misery. Loves a rhetorical question such as “I’ll tell you what…” but then often fails to actually tell us what…which can lead to some degree of carpet-biting. However, he is distinctive. There’s no-one quite like Danny. Prone to starting sentence with “for me…” as though we needed it clarifying. But he is in command of wider vocabulary than yer average pundit. Occasionally lapses into quaint Dickensian expressions such as “oh my days”.
Hits & Misses
Took a fearful online kicking during a Manchester United v Arsenal cup game last year, mostly due to sounding as though this was possibly the most boring day of his life. Often does serious, expressionless staring in pre-game interviews in the ground but is rarely short of a word or three and he can do fearless analysis on occasions. He doesn’t seem shy of being critical of players.
Big Club Bias
A career that toured the top, the middle and the bottom of the league, Danny doesn’t seem to be over-enamoured of the shiny lights. Then again, he doesn’t seem over-enamoured of anything.
Loved or loathed
A quick trawl of the internet reveals a wide, if not deep pool of antagonism towards him. Some have suggested he is especially unqualified to criticise a player’s workrate when he was hardly an industrious player himself. His under-stated co-comms work doesn’t have a lot of vocal fans but it all seems a little unfair. We don’t want manic, over-excited pundits who are so in love with the game that they find it interesting even when it’s not.
Proper Football Man
Seems to like ‘arry, which is a good start. Not happy – which every PFM knows is the correct, emotionally repressed response to life. Good-looking wife off the telly too. Classic. Was reported as having been stung in a tax avoidance scheme – again the PFM would love this as he feels like all of his tax is wasted on lesbian dance troupes, schemes to give teenage murderers holidays and free houses for pregnant junkies. Danny might, in all seriousness, use the expression “a proper football man” too, which every PFM knows is an essential part of the ex-pro’s lexicon. So this is all good for his PFM status.
But then he goes and lets himself down with being moderately educated and he was a mercurial, gifted footballer, whereas the PFM’s preferred player is a box-to-box man with “a great engine” or a defender who can “get right up their backsides”. The creative footballer is viewed with suspicion by the PFM as someone who might go to a spa or use moisturiser.
Absolutely no chance of surviving a night out with Reidy, drinking gloss paint smoothies in a skip out the back of a TK Maxx on a retail park in Skem. Also seems very unlikely to be papped emerging from a nightclub in Oldham called Thongs n Things with Miss Newton-le-Willows 1991. Also dressed, rather convincingly, as ‘Danielle’ last November for charity. The PFM is not averse to donning a dress, but knows it should only be done after drinking brandy for three days. All of this means Danny is on PFM probation.
Beyond the Lighted Stage
Has often been touted (wrongly) as being the Secret Footballer and he certainly gives the impression that his life isn’t all golf and coffee table books about the Nazis.