Murphy plays into Eriksson's plans

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The Independent Football

Murphy won nine England caps between 2001 and 2003 but his impressive form for Charlton has catapulted him back into Sven Goran Eriksson's plans.

Eriksson names his squad on Sunday for the crucial qualifiers at Old Trafford and, according to Grip, will run the rule over Murphy during the previous day's clash against Tottenham.

"In midfield we have had some good players like Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, Joe Cole and David Beckham," Grip said. "But if Murphy goes on playing like he has done so far we will watch him - Sven is going to see his game on Saturday. We will see.

"He is doing so well for Charlton and, of course, if you pick a player from a team doing well then you know that you will have a confident player, that's for sure."

Murphy has been instrumental in Charlton's stunning start to the campaign, firing three goals to help Alan Curbishley's side claim second place in the Premiership table. The 28-year-old attacking midfielder joined Charlton for £2.5m in August last year but made a slow start to life at The Valley, initially failing to make the impact Curbishley had hoped.

But he has raced out of the blocks this term, revelling in the 4-5-1 formation used by the Addicks and producing a string of eye-catching performances which prompted Curbishley to label him England's in-form midfielder.

Grip went to watch Murphy in action during the 2-1 victory over West Bromich Albion at The Hawthorns on Saturday and was hugely encouraged by what he saw.

"Danny has been terrific. He did well even last season but this season Charlton are playing him alongside Alexei Smertin and one holding midfield player so he can go forward a little bit more.

"Murphy is very good. He has some sort of free role, is good on the ball and came in to the box and scored the second goal on Saturday, and that was very nice."

The Charlton winger Jerome Thomas also caught Grip's eye with Eriksson's right-hand man impressed by the 22-year-old's development. "Jerome on the left is an interesting player because he's also a very tricky player - he's quick and has good technique and likes to beat people. He's doing very well, too," he said.

* Kim Milton Nielsen, the Danish referee who sent Wayne Rooney off during Manchester United's Champions' League match against Villarreal, is to officiate England's crucial World Cup qualifier against Poland at Old Trafford next month. Nielsen is also the referee who dismissed David Beckham, the England captain.