After years of promise, and patience, we have two superstars on our hands. And they are identical. Jon Rogers, looks at the present and future of these supertwins.
I’m a big old fan of musicals. And although I can hear the echoing scoffs raining over me, they can be marvellous. Not so much the Lloyd Webbers, but the meaningful plays which happen to have evocative music slapped alongside. One of my favourites is Blood Brothers. Willy Russell’s folky-comical, everyman epic. The musical for people who don’t like musicals. Try it. You might like it.
Set in Liverpool in the 1950s, it’s a superstitious tale about twin boys who are born into desperate poverty and their mother is forced to sell one of the twins to a wealthy lady who can’t have children. It follows the twins’ ups and downs for twenty plus years. You watch as they both excel and struggle within each contrasting class systems, rich and poor, never knowing that they are brothers. The moment they do find out, they are both killed tragically. Spoilers.
A twin in Liverpool. Imagine that.
Now I’m not saying that the Murphy twins were deprived, or will die on the same day. Or at least I don’t think I am. What I am saying – is that one is eventually going to become more successful, more famous and probably more wealthy, and the other one is going to have to sit there and take it on his big twinny face.
Let’s get one thing straight, twins are weird. Weird, weird. Imagine a strange little world where someone who looks, sounds and thinks exactly like you do. And people call you by the wrong name, day after day. What must it be like to have the other ‘you’ on the back pages of national papers and being sung about by thousands of grown men and women?
Even early Louis Theroux would think that’s weird.
And although every time Jacob pushes ahead and plonks himself in pole position as the chosen one, Josh goes and scores the eventual winner against Cardiff, or a phenomenal goal at Everton.
At the start of the season, everyone placed their bets on Jo. His performances and players’ player of the year award in the Championship with MK Dons was a fair indication. However, it is Ja who is now our top goalscorer, edging in front after his impressive run a league further down the ladder. Maybe a year of defeats and relegation took the swagger, flowing through his play since the under 14s.
Brothers and twins in football seem to naturally develop a clear divide in talent – and it must be interesting to know how the relationship is affected as their career moves on. Phil and Gary. Yaya and Kolo. Bobby and Jack. The identical da Silva twins who played for Manchester United, the Laudrups, the De Boers, and Rio and Anton. Nearly all started at the same club, and all drifted apart eventually.
I have a theory about footballing brothers, especially twins. Throughout their lives, they have consistently and subconsciously, had to compete against each other. Either for a parent’s, teacher’s, coach’s, or manager’s attention. And that hunger, desire and will to be the best, that sibling rivalry, fuels their progressive nature. They have grown together, shared everything from the first day of their existence, and that drive has undoubtedly created huge potential for #TeamJaJo.
Always looking to shoot, turn their defender, to shoot, to swivel, and shoot again. And then shoot again. And then shoot again. From two yards or thirty-two. If a Murphy can see a goal, they are kicking a ball at it.
When it doesn’t come off, it is frustrating. I’ve seen the average Galway Roaster throw his arms up with disgust many-a-time. Even Wes did it against Wigan when he wasn’t slipped in for a one-on-one. But when it does come off, that is the reason why we all come to football. Those sparkling moments of pure joy. If there isn’t an opportunity to bend the ball into the top or bottom corner from twenty-five yards, it ain’t worth the Murphs’ time, man.
If they keep it up, we’ll have to add Murphy to the list of Novi Sad, Rouen and Koblenz as the things Norwich is twinned with.
They’ve both stuck out like two sore identical thumbs since the Youth Cup winning days, and with Pritchard, Canos, and Jarvis all waiting in the wings to be on the wings, both Murphies need to keep using each other as the benchmark. To push each other on. Compete. Stay in their weird little world. Be twins.
With both contracts running out, this season really did feel like the curtain was closing. So, let’s do our part, allow the twins to flourish in the bright lights and let Carrow Road be their stage. They’re both one of our own.
Jon Rogers tweets at @BigGrantHolt