Pulis critical of 'selective' Murphy

Stoke boss Tony Pulis today accused Danny Murphy of picking on "easy targets" and suggested the Fulham captain may have deliberately shied away from criticising bigger clubs when speaking about dangerous tackling last week.

Murphy claimed players are being injured because certain managers are sending their teams out too fired up, with the Potters one of three clubs - along with Blackburn and Wolves - that he named specifically.

His comments have created a storm and after Blackburn manager Sam Allardyce yesterday challenged Murphy to publicly apologise for the remarks, Pulis has now had his say on the matter.

Reading a statement aloud at today's press conference, Pulis said: "Two challenges this season have been committed by top players who represented their countries at this summer's World Cup.

"One challenge on Newcastle's Hatem Ben Arfa by Nigel de Jong of Manchester City recently led to a broken bone.

"Another by Joe Cole, one of our most technically gifted players, resulted in a sending off for one of our most celebrated clubs in the country, Liverpool, who are currently managed by Roy Hodgson, someone I have great respect for.

"Even the technically best players are prone to making mistimed challenges. But have they really been sent out to hurt a fellow professional? I don't think so.

"How ironic it is that Danny Murphy chose not to discuss either challenge or manager in respect of those tackles. How selective can someone be?

"Maybe Murphy's pursuit of a new career in the media does not allow him to criticise, or fall out with the Premier League big boys.

"Instead, in my opinion, he has selected easy targets that are based on his own perception and not facts."

As Allardyce had done a day earlier, Pulis referred to his club's recent disciplinary record and rejected any notion that tackling is worse now than it has been before.

"I'm very, very disappointed to have to sit here today and defend accusations against a club that I am very, very proud to manage," Pulis said.

"We currently lie seventh in the league and if you add last season's disciplinary league to this season's, we are currently joint 10th, alongside Arsenal, which is quite a feat considering we spend a great deal more time without the ball than they do! This is not fabricated - this is fact.

"I firmly believe the game is cleaner today in terms of bad tackles than it has ever been, but I wish I could say the same in terms of other ills - such as simulation."

He added: "We must absolutely guard against rash tackles, whether committed by a most gifted player or just a mere mortal.

"However, we must also be realistic in that we will never completely eradicate injuries in a contact sport."

Speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London last week about what he described as "ridiculous" and "brainless" tackles, 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."

Bolton boss Owen Coyle, whose side host Stoke tomorrow, has criticised Murphy for singling out individuals and feels the former Liverpool player may well change his mind on the issue if he decides to go into management himself.

"We send our players out to work hard and play well," Coyle said.

"Danny Murphy is a terrifically talented player and in time, if Danny decides to dip his toe in the water in terms of coaching and management, then I think if you speak to him, he might have a different perspective or angle on it."

Sport
England's women celebrate after their 3rd place play-off win against Germany
Women's World CupFara Williams converts penalty to secure victory and bronze medals
Arts and Entertainment
Ricardo by Edward Sutcliffe, 2014
artPortraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb go on display
News
newsHillary Clinton comments on viral Humans of New York photo of gay teenager
Arts and Entertainment
The gang rape scene in the Royal Opera’s production of Gioachino Rossini’s Guillaume Tell has caused huge controversy
music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

The science of swearing

What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

Africa on the menu

Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'