In Depth: Danny Murphy criticises U17s for celebrating with shirts on backwards – but is he right?

Murphy criticises U17s for celebrating with their shirts on backwards – but is he right?

31/10/2017 at 13:29Updated 01/11/2017 at 09:17

Danny Murphy has criticised the England Under 17 side for celebrating their World Cup success with their shirts on backwards.

Here we take a look at the incident and whether or not the former Liverpool midfielder, who won nine caps for England, was right to slam the move.

What happened?

Fresh from their 5-2 comeback win against Spain, England’s Young Lions celebrated as you’d expect…

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What did Murphy say?

The former midfielder was not impressed by the celebrations because he believes it showed they were thinking about fame instead of their country.

“They’ve all turned their shirts around because they want their names across their chests, so everybody across the world can see who they are.

" They’re all saying, ‘I’m a good young player coming through, look at me’, but that in itself is what is wrong with society."

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“In effect, they’re thinking about fame as well as being a footballer and I think it creates a big debate here.

“I thought the way they played was amazing and the way they’ve been coached has been fantastic and Steve Cooper deserves great credit.

“Some of those players could go on to be superstars. We’re talking some amazing talent in that group and the freedom they played with, everybody should be happy to see that in an England shirt, and I am too, I was proud of them.

" But the England badge not being in that picture says a lot."

“The fact they want their names to be on the front of their shirts and think about getting their name out there so people know who they are – they are not wrong, but it’s what is wrong at the moment.”

What was the reaction?

As you might expect, there was differing reaction on social media. Some agreed with Murphy...

Others thought he was being pretty harsh...

Our View: No need to get shirty, Murphy!

What a killjoy. The England youngsters – and remember we are talking about 16 and 17-year-olds here – were ecstatic after their victory, which not only was a remarkable match but also saw them exact revenge on Spain after they lost on penalties in the European Championship final in April. Anyone who watched their incredible comeback from 2-0 down to triumph 5-2 can surely not believe England are any less of a team because they flipped their shirts around when the whistle had gone.

Those who were gripped by the preceding 90 minutes know who was playing – so there is no need for an England badge to be in the celebration snaps, or for this jingoism from Murphy.

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This could be the highest point in the career of some of these youngsters, given that they will face the fiercest competition from across the globe just to get into the first team of their club sides. There are no guarantees that any of them will have a professional career, they have to make the most of their opportunities. The whole point of this tournament is to develop youngsters for their clubs and national teams, to put them in the minds of managers around the world. Their futures are at stake as well as multi-million pound contracts, so why shouldn't they want to advertise their skills?

By winning a World Cup you earn the right to be proud of yourself, proud of your name and, yes, to turn your shirt round the wrong way if you want.

Teenagers often do stupid, reckless things. This, however, was not one of them.

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