‘Ultimate professional’ is Newcastle United’s new unsung hero after what he did v Crystal Palace

Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images
‘Ultimate professional’ is Newcastle United’s new unsung hero.

A team that has gone from battling Premier League relegation to thrashing Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League is, of course, full of unsung heroes. But Saturday’s 4-0 win over Crystal Palace was a reminder that Jacob Murphy firmly fits into that bracket.

Handed his first league start of the 2023-24 campaign, and just his second in total, Murphy was the star of the show against The Eagles with a goal (was it a fluke?) and two assists of the highest quality for Anthony Gordon and Callum Wilson.

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When called upon by head coach Eddie Howe, the 28-year-old rarely fails to deliver. And best of all, he does it with a smile on his way, taking in every moment with his boyhood club.

Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Newcastle United winger Jacob Murphy. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images) | Getty Images

“Yes, think he probably is [an unsung hero],” Howe told NewcastleWorld. “He played really well today – I think the right-hand side in general performed very well during the first half. Kieran [Trippier], Sean [Longstaff] and Jacob [Murphy] were dovetailing, interacting really well and they got into some dangerous areas.

“Jacob scored the goal, of course, and I’m delighted for him. He’s someone who is the ultimate professional. He’s reliable, plays multiple positions and has never let me down.”

Every member of this Newcastle team has their own unique journey, and Murphy is no different. Struggling to make an impact following his £12million move from Norwich City in 2017, loans to West Bromwich Albion and Sheffield Wednesday had looked to signal the end of his Newcastle career.

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But he was brought back in from the cold by Steve Bruce and found a home at right wing back as United finished the season strong to retain their top-flight status in 2020-21.

Not long after, the PIF takeover happened, and it wasn’t wrong to presume Murphy would be one of the first players out of the St James’ Park door given the little that had come before.

But here we are, two years later, and Murphy has found a vital place. A shoutout to his persistence, reliance, hard work and determination to make a success at his boyhood club.

And you only have to go back to a Champions League night at the San Siro last month to prove he’s reaping the rewards.

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“For me, it’s all about consistency,” Howe said. “What you’re looking for from the player’s perspective is that they turn up every day and give their best. Now, you’re going to have some good days and you’re going to have some bad days. I always say that the key response is how you handle the bad days.

“Before I came here, Jacob had some difficult moments, but you have to keep coming back. You have to be really resilient, you have to keep turning up, and I believe that if you do the right things off the pitch, then eventually you’ll show the right things on the pitch.

“For me, he’s just been that model of consistency in his approach and attitude. It’s great to see someone who puts that work in rewarded with an opportunity, and then it’s all about taking that opportunity. He’s done that, and it’s great to see.”

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