Murphy: Managers to blame for foul play

Bobby Zamora, the Fulham striker, suffered a broken leg in a

challenge by Wolves’ Karl Henry and the same player was fined two

weeks’ wages by his club after another savage tackle on Wigan’s

Jordi Gomez. Murphy called some tackles “ridiculous” and

“brainless” and said managers had to take responsibility. Speaking

at the Leaders in Football conference in London, Murphy said: “Your

manager dictates what your players do and how you behave. “You get

managers who are sending their teams out to stop other teams

playing, which is happening more and more – the Stokes, Blackburns,

Wolves. “They can say it’s effective and they have got to win games

but the fact is the managers are sending out their players so

pumped up there is inevitably going to be problems. “Every ship has

a captain and that’s the manager who is in charge.” Murphy said

there should be tougher sanctions for dangerous tackles –

especially for repeat offenders. He added: “The pace in which some

players go into tackles now is ridiculous. There’s no brains

involved in the players who are doing that. “I don’t believe

players are going out to break another player’s leg but there has

to be some logic and intelligence involved. “If you are going at

someone at a certain pace and you don’t get it right you are going

to hurt them. “Players should be culpable for that, in terms of

punishment I don’t know what – but they need to show a little bit

more intelligence, especially the ones who are doing it

repeatedly.” Fulham always topped the Fair Play league during Roy

Hodgson’s time as manager – something that was no coincidence, said

Murphy. “If you have a manager like Roy Hodgson in charge you don’t

get discipline problems,” he said. “If you have a manager that’s in

control of the team and doesn’t allow these type of things to go on

then you are going to have a more disciplined team. “I’m not saying

tackling is a bad thing but we want to watch the best players on

the pitch. “Under Roy Hodgson at Fulham we were always top of the

Fair Play league because he wouldn’t accept talking back to the

referee and he wouldn’t accept stupid tackles.” However, Everton

skipper Phil Neville insisted tackling was much harder at the start

of his career than now. “Ten or 15 years ago when I was faced with

a tricky left winger the first thing I had to do was boot him up in

the air,” said Neville. “I don’t think we tackle as hard as we used

to. Tackling is part of the game, we just need to outlaw the

two-footed challenge that has crept into the game.”