Murphy: Managers to blame for foul play
Fulham captain Danny Murphy has pointed the finger of blame for the rash of dangerous tackles at the managers of Stoke, Wolves and Blackburn. 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."
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