At the back end of 2019, it’s fair to say the first half of Jacob Murphy’s loan spell with Sheffield Wednesday was not going well.
He wasn’t getting regular game time and was doing anything but impress Owls fans when he did, with many questioning his ability and desire and some asking for him to be sent back to Newcastle as a result! (see below).
To set the scene, here’s some comments I took from Twitter for an article on Murphy back in November last year:
“Wish we could send Murphy back to Newcastle, bloke looks completely lost”
“Put more effort in when you’re on the pitch & look like you want to be there then…SIMPLE!”
“How bad is Murphy tho #swfc he looks like he’s never played football before in his life”
“He doesn’t look like he’s enjoying it. On or off the pitch. I think that’s been part of the problem in the relationship between him and the fans. Not only have his performances been below average but he looks like he doesn’t want to be here.”
“Jacob Murphy is truly awful. I don’t like calling #swfc players but he offers nothing at all”
“If you believe you belong in a premier league side, you should be ripping the championship apart. He hasn’t. He needs to have a word, along with a few others in the squad, and think what they really want out of their careers.”
“Don’t think he’s actually that poor just seems to lack willing.”
“Very poor player!! Should have signed Rolando Aarons instead”
A few months later, it would be an understatement to say Sheffield Wednesday fans have changed their tune on the NUFC loanee.
He’s now bagged 8 goals and 6 assists in the Championship this season and well and truly gone from zero to hero at Hillsborough.
Just look at what their fans are saying about him on social media now:
“If there’s a chance Jacob Murphy could return next season we need to take it. He’s massively improved over the past 12 months.“
“We’ve not had a player as good as Jacob Murphy since Forestieri 15/16“
“We need to do everything and anything to keep Jacob Murphy for next season“
“Jacob Murphy is a an absolute baller. Pass it on“
“Jacob Murphy is a must for next season if we can. A class above anything we’ve got or had for a long time. I don’t get how some Wednesday fans don’t see this.”
“Too good for us unfortunately. Wednesday will be his last game I’m sure.”
“I was Murphy’s biggest critic before Christmas but got to hold my hands up. Last 15 games or so he’s won me over. I’d have him back in a heartbeat next year.“
“Shout out to Murphy, who is head and shoulders above the rest of the team right now. Quality and would love him back next season if it’s on the cards.”
Notice the difference!
Here’s some of his best bits, including his stunning finish at QPR a few weeks ago:
The best case is he comes back a different player and can actually turn around his career on Tyneside, the worst case we are now in a position to at least get our money back on a player who looked like a real Rafa Benitez flop not so long ago.
Who knows what will happen, but perhaps he’ll be given a chance over pre-season to prove himself to Steve Bruce?