Jacob Murphy is Norwich City’s future but fans must take the rough with the smooth

Jacob Murphy's move to Newcastle United was confirmed on Wednesday morning. Picture: Focus Images

Jacob Murphy's move to Newcastle United was confirmed on Wednesday morning. Picture: Focus Images - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Supporters love to see one of their own come through the youth ranks and thrive in the first team.

It gives fans an inner satisfaction to see a player that has come through the academy system and make the breakthrough on the big stage.

Overall this campaign has been a big disappointment for City, at least so far, but for Jacob Murphy it has been his breakthrough season. Nine goals in 35 appearances is an admirable return and, if City are to make a late bid for the play-offs, he is likely to play a prominent role.

However, the fact remains that Murphy is still learning his trade at Carrow Road.

Whilst he rescued a point with his fine strike against Ipswich, it was largely down to him that City were behind in the first place after failing to track Jonas Knudsen before the Dane headed home.

A lack of appreciation for his defensive responsibilities cost his side. Murphy's response was impressive – he didn't retreat into his shell like perhaps a lot of 22-year-olds would. He wanted to make things right and he did exactly that with his searing strike that caught out Bartosz Bialkowski at his near post.

But the episode also illustrated the advantages and the pitfalls of turning to youth.

Most Read

Whilst you could get the individual flashes of fearless brilliance, you also have to make peace with the fact that mistakes will be made.

Two years down the line and you would hope that Murphy has the concentration to be able to track his runner and stop his side from having a mountain to climb in an important fixture. The really tricky part is to install that responsibility without compromising any of the dynamism the youngster clearly has offensively.

That's the challenge facing Alex Neil and his coaching staff - to work on the raw materials that the likes of the Murphys, James Maddison, Louis Thompson and Ben Godfrey have. The art of a coach is to make their strengths even stronger and eliminate their weaknesses.

That's a tough line to tow in an unforgiving Championship with a club that has a clear ambition to get back to the Premier League.

It's a difficult process and one that will have a few bumps in the road. But perhaps City supporters will have to make their peace with that as the ability to make big money signings dwindles with every year the club sits outside the Premier League.