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Page last updated at 17:48 GMT, Friday, 8 October 2010 18:48 UK

Managers must take responsibility for tackles - Murphy

Bobby Zamora
Zamora faces missing much of the season after breaking his leg

Danny Murphy has urged managers to take responsibility for their players after what he termed a series of "ridiculous" and "brainless" tackles.

"They can say it's effective and they have got to win games," said the 33-year-old Fulham captain.

"But the fact is the managers are sending out their players so pumped up there are inevitably going to be problems [in games].

"Your manager dictates what your players do and how you behave."

On 11 September, Murphy's Fulham team-mate Bobby Zamora suffered a broken leg in a challenge by Wolves' Karl Henry, who was also fined two weeks' wages by his club following his tackle on Wigan's Jordi Gomez last Saturday.

In terms of players at Bolton, and the way we play the game, we never have played like that. We try to win the game in the best way we can, but no manager has ever said you are playing a certain side and you need to rough them up a bit.

Kevin Davies

Cottagers boss Mark Hughes criticised Stoke's Andy Wilkinson for a reckless tackle on Moussa Dembele in the Carling Cup.

And Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa will also miss most of the season after breaking his leg after a strong challenge from Nigel De Jong during Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Manchester City.

"Every ship has a captain and that's the manager who is in charge," added Murphy.

"You get managers who are sending their teams out to stop other teams playing, which is happening more and more - the Stokes, Blackburns, Wolves."

Professional Footballers' Association chief executive Gordon Taylor has said that reckless tackles are endangering the careers of too many players and Murphy has stressed that there should be tougher sanctions for dangerous tackles - especially for repeat offenders.

Murphy continued: "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."


Bolton striker Kevin Davies, who is in the England squad to face Montenegro in the Euro 2012 qualifier at Wembley on Tuesday, denied that his club side was in any way reckless.

"I haven't seen the comments but there is a lot going around at the minute and there has been a couple of bad injuries which is not nice to see," said Davies.

"In terms of players at Bolton, and the way we play the game, we never have played like that. We try to win the game in the best way we can, but no manager has ever said 'you are playing a certain side and you need to rough them up a bit'.

"If anything our players are little bit too honest.

"I play the game a certain way and with the speed of the game today you are going to be a little bit out in a few tackles.

"I take a lot of hits myself but I don't complain about it. It's a part of the game I enjoy. The physical side is going out of football at the moment."

And Everton skipper Phil Neville, who was also speaking at the conference, has stated that tackling was much harder when he started his career in the 1990s.

"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," commented 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."

Peter Coates, Chairman of Stoke, said he was surprised by Murphy's comments and pointed to his club's mid-table position in the Premier League's disciplinary lists.

"We are a strong team, we are competitive, but we like to think we are fair and play the game in the right spirit. That's how it should be," said Coates.

"If you look at the disciplinary league table this year, we are doing ok. We are sitting in 10th place and you will see in that league table some notable teams below us."

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see also
Brutality threatens game - Fifa
07 Oct 10 |  Football
Allardyce points finger at Wenger
16 Sep 10 |  Blackburn
Taylor issues bad tackle warning
05 Oct 10 |  Football
Henry apologises for Gomez tackle
05 Oct 10 |  Wolves
Hughes fumes at tackle on Dembele
22 Sep 10 |  League Cup
Zamora injury unfortunate - Henry
13 Sep 10 |  Wolves
Zamora has surgery on broken leg
12 Sep 10 |  Fulham
Zamora sidelined until February
16 Sep 10 |  Fulham
Wenger fumes at Blackburn tactics
03 May 10 |  Premier League

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