Crewe Alexandra: Luke Murphy wants to be club's new captain
LUKE Murphy says he would love to keep the Crewe captaincy he was handed last week.
The 22-year-old will skipper the side at home to Tranmere today having been given the armband for last week’s 1-0 win over Coventry.
The Crewe captaincy hasn’t been a particularly exclusive club in the last 12 months.
In fact Dave Artell, Lee Bell and Ashley Westwood shared the responsibility at the start of last season.
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Artell eventually skippered the team to promotion before he was released in the summer. Ashley Westwood took on the job, but his £2m move to Aston Villa on deadline day last Friday means the position is vacant once again.
Murphy believes Crewe should have just one skipper, and would be honoured if he could keep the job.
He said: “Personally I don’t think switching the armband worked. As a player, I always liked to have one captain so you knew who to look up to and who to go to if there were ever any problems.
“But Dave, Belly and Westy were all good captains when they did it.”
In the absence of an experienced leader such as Artell, Crewe boss Steve Davis admits he wasn’t exactly spoiled for choice when he decided which of Crewe’s youthful side should skipper the team last week.
However, Davis believes the extra responsibility will be good for Murphy.
The popular midfielder, from Rode Heath, loved the experience, having got the job at short notice.
He said: “I didn’t know until I got to the ground and Steve chucked me the armband.
“I am a local lad and it is an honour to lead my local team out.
“We have such a young side so I suppose we could have picked anyone really.
“I was surprised, but when you think about it, I have played a lot of games.”
Murphy will play his 144th game for the Alex this afternoon, and is planning to make a few more appearances now he’s poised to sign a new contract.
The midfielder’s current deal runs out at the end of the season, but the new contract will tie him to the club for a further 12 months.
He said: “I just need to have a meeting with Steve to tie a few things up so hopefully we will get it all sorted.”
However, Davis admits he wouldn’t be surprised if the talented midfielder has been sold by the end of his new deal.
That’s a fact of life at Crewe where the club’s superb academy system has generated two more big-money sales this year with Nick Powell’s £5m move to Manchester United and Westwood’s £2m switch to Villa.
Murphy says Westwood’s move to the Premier League shows why youngsters should stick with the Crewe academy.
He said: “It is a great move for him and he deserves it.
“It is what everybody aspires to. Although everybody would love to play for Crewe for as long as they can, in the end the aim is to move on and go higher and make a good living for themselves and their family.
“For anybody at 15 who is thinking of leaving and moving on to a higher club, this just proves they are at the right place.”
Of more immediate importance is this afternoon’s game with League One leaders Tranmere.
Rovers are unbeaten in the League, but don’t expect an easy game at Gresty Road against a Crewe side who proved too good for Coventry last week.
Davis couldn’t have asked for more from his side, especially after they were hammered 5-1 at Brentford in their previous outing.
They responded with a much improved performance in the 2-0 Carling Cup defeat at West Ham, but the league victory was more significant as Davis’s side continue to find their fee.
Murphy added: “We’d had two disappointing results before the Coventry game, so it was important we bounced back with a good performance and got three points.”