Last summer, us Albionites were treated to the wonderful homecoming of Bobby Zamora. This summer we’re being treated to the wonderful homecoming of Glenn Murray. What exciting return can we expect next summer? Kurt Nogan?
When news filtered through to TSLR Towers last weekend, the race was on. Which issue did we publish the famous cut-out-and-keep Murray hand? After searching through the vault, we found it (TSLR028, in case you were wondering). Better than that, we found an electronic version to adorn the top of this very post.
When Albion let Muzza leave for free five years ago, I was gutted. When he signed for C*****l P****e later that summer, I was lived. But back then, I trusted in Gus - and if he felt Murray wasn’t worth the wonga, then who was I to argue? And I was confident that the money saved on Glenn’s contract would be better spent elsewhere.
Indeed it was. At the time, spending loads of money on Craig Mackail-Smith seemed the perfect response. CMS was the only player to score more goals (27) than Glenn Murray (22) during our 2010/11 Division 3 title winning season. So, in July 2011 there I was, wishing Murray the worst of luck at P****e and looking forward to witnessing CMS destroy away teams at our brand spanking new football ground.
I knew then that time would be a healer. And indeed it was. In fact, by the next summer things were already better, and we were far more positively reflective of Muzza’s contribution to the good ship Albion in this July 2012 post. And that was even after the famous #FFSMurray scoring against us incident.
I completely understand that some Albionites will forever hate Glenn for joining our rivals five years ago, and will always struggle to welcome him back. But it’s a great signing. After our lack of goals (two, precisely two, actually) ultimately cost us a place in the top flight last season, bringing in someone who knows where the net is will always be a great move.
Last year I analysed some Albion strikers and their goals to cost ratio. I worked out that - based on transfer fee only and not wages - CMS cost £119k for each goal he scored for the Albion. Gary Hart had been the cheapest of strikers I bothered looking up - at £23.26 per goal. The most expensive? Jason Peake's only goal cost us £120k. Muzza? Under £10k a pop.
And whatever you think of Glenn at 32 years old, if he has a 30-goal season for us next year, he’ll be an all-time top five Albion goalscorer. Right up there with Bobby. And, if it fires us into the top flight, he’ll be an all-time legend too. Despite his love of the scum up the A23 and the offside flag, there’s no denying the Cumbrian’s quality.
Welcome home, Muzza. Let’s hope for a decent cup draw this season - then maybe, just maybe, it’ll be some plonker at Selhurst saying ‘FFS Murray’ this time.