Murphys’ law is the science of increasing returns at Norwich City

Jacob Murphy was on England U21s duty over the past few days. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images

Jacob Murphy was on England U21s duty over the past few days. Photo: Steve Bardens/Getty Images - Credit: Getty Images

You wonder what those who lambasted Jacob Murphy against Barnsley made of his assist for England's Under-21s in the 4-0 friendly win over their Danish counterparts.

Jacob Murphy fires in his 10th City goal of the season against Barnsley.
Picture: Paul Chesterton/F

Jacob Murphy fires in his 10th City goal of the season against Barnsley. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Murphy's horrid sliced effort on his left peg at Carrow Road prior to the international break threatened the corner flag rather than the Reds' goal, prior to a far more assured finish that set the Canaries on the way to a 2-0 Championship win.

The 22-year-old's swinger was sweet enough, however, to pick out Ruben Loftus-Cheek to open the scoring on Tuesday night for Aidy Boothroyd's Young Lions.

If ever the doubters needed confirmation how fast Murphy's career is bending in an upward curve it was his double header in an England strip against the Danes following on from last week's debut against the Germans.

Murphy was the only player in a high class squad to start both friendlies before Boothroyd cut short his second shift to run the rule over Jack Grealish.

Jacob is replaced by his twin brother Josh Murphy earlier this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focu

Jacob is replaced by his twin brother Josh Murphy earlier this season. Picture: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd


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The City starlet will now justifiably feel he is in with a live chance of making the final squad for this summer's European Championships in Poland. That would cap a quite remarkable campaign, which began with a thumping strike in the opening day 4-1 Championship win at Blackburn.

Maybe it was the cut and dash of Murphy's work on the right of Norwich's midfield in those optimistic early months that raised expectations to an unhealthy degree in some quarters. His right-footed finish against the Tykes was his 10th of a breakthrough season that saw him sign a new longer term deal and touted with a whole list of Premier League suitors. Make no mistake, Norwich have a player on their hands and given he has emerged through an academy system which has had only limited success in producing Norwich first team regulars, he should be cherished, not castigated.

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The negative reaction amongst a pocket of home supporters at Carrow Road, produced by a wild miscued long range shot, perhaps reflects the latent frustration that is inevitable around a campaign which, barring a dramatic late twist of events, will end in the Championship.

Alex Neil may have been collateral damage but the Scot's faith in Murphy this season could reap a rich dividend in the seasons ahead.

Sergi Canos was jettisoned to Brentford during the January window on the strength of Murphy's emergence. There have been signs recently his twin, Josh, is making the same transition; from promise and potential to tangible end product. There will still be dips and maddening inconsistency. That is the nature of their game, their position on the field and the high tariff to their creative, attacking output. But as Neil alluded to in one of his final acts as Norwich City manager the time is fast approaching when both can hold their own at first team level.

'Jacob, to be fair to him, is at a stage where I have complete faith and trust in him to do a job regularly week to week,' said the Scot at his farewell press call prior to his dismissal earlier this month. 'You can tell Josh is miles better than development level. He has had a great impact when he has come on and shown real signs of progress.

'It won't be long, I imagine, where I am at a stage where I can comfortably put the two of them in my team. That is a big step forward for the two of them.

'Fans want instant impacts, instant success but young players will take time.

'Jacob, over the course of this season, has developed into a really top talent. Josh, equally, has as much talent. He just needs to be able to do the other side of the game as well as Jacob and he is definitely getting there.

'I think the two of them, for me, will be destined to play in the Premier League and we hope that is with Norwich because if I can get the two of them in my team and firing on a regular basis they will be really special talents.'

Neil was partly right. They are special talents and they can decide games at this level, but it will be Neil's successor who benefits. Along with City's fan base.

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