Saturday, February 4, 2023

Is Glenn Murray The Best Striker Brighton & Hove Albion Have Ever Had?

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Adam Stenning
Adam is the Brighton Correspondent here at The 4th Official. He is a 21-year old Sports Journalism graduate. He is not only passionate about football but also has a keen interest in cricket, tennis and Formula 1.

Glenn Murray turns 35 at this end of this month but is one of the best strikers Brighton have had. A lot of people may think of different names for different generations, e.g., Tommy Cook, Kit Napier, Peter Ward, Bobby Zamora, Nicky Forster, Leonardo Ulloa, Gary Hart. The names could go on forever. 

However, Murray should now definitely be in the mix with these sorts of names not just for his goal-scoring, but his work rate and all the little things that go unnoticed. By the little things I mean his hold up, his runs, his flick headers and for me all that combined makes him one of the best strikers Brighton has ever had. 

I have had the pleasure of seeing strikers like Bobby Zamora, Leon Knight, Nicky Forster, Gary Hart, Leonardo Ulloa, Ashley Barnes and Murray grace the pitch for Brighton. However, none have impressed more than Murray and have scored as many goals for the club.

Murray got a brace in Brighton’s last game at home to Fulham in a 2-2 draw, which took his tally for Albion in two stints to 97 goals. This has put him third in the top goalscorers list for the club behind Kit Napier and Tommy Cook. Cook is on top with 123 goals, meaning Murray is 27 goals off going level or 28 away from becoming Albion’s record top goalscorer. 

His 97 goals also mean he is now only three goals off becoming Albion’s record post-war goalscorer, with Kit Napier top at the moment with 99 goals. 

Murray stats

The stats behind Murray goal-scoring are fantastic, particularly when you consider the fact that the first time around he cost £300,000 in 2008. His subsequent arrival for £3 million in January 2017 was also cheap when you look at it from a modern day inflated transfer window perspective. So let’s get into Murray’s stats.

60 of Murray’s 97 goals have come at home, with him scoring 30 in 68 appearances at The Withdean and another 30 in just 44 appearances at The Amex. 

Murray is the 8th highest scorer in the Premier League since August 2017, with 15 goals. Only Mohamed Salah(13) and Sergio Aguero(12) have scored more Premier League home goals in 2018 than Murray(8), who is level with Harry Kane.

The Brighton forward has also been top goalscorer in 3 of the 5 seasons he has played for Albion, in 2009/10(22), 2016/17(23) and 2017/18(14) and he is currently Albion’s top goalscorer this season, with three goals in the first four games of the season for the Seagulls.

The praise Murray has received

Murray has received a lot of praise from a former legendary striker and his ex-manager. Murray made it into Alan Shearer’s Premier League team of the week, and Shearer had this to say on premierleague.com: “Two goals and now three for the season already for the old stager. He’s 35 this month and is still going strong in the big league.” This is high praise from the Premier League’s all-time top scorer, with 260 goals in England’s top flight. 

Murray’s manager, Chris Hughton also praised him saying the following to the club’s official website, Seagulls.co.uk: “He has a big desire to score goals; if there’s build-up play which works its way into the wide areas, then he’ll be in the box.

“Glenn can have a poor game where his touch is not so good, but then he will pop up with a goal. He gives himself the best opportunities to score goals but overall, he leads the line very well.
 
“We provide a platform for him, but it’s all about himself and his desire to do as well as he can for as long as he can.
 
“He’s a good professional, and certainly looks after himself with regard to how he goes about his life in terms of what he eats. He does everything right.”

How Murray compares to other top strikers

The big question is how does Murray stack up to other Albion greats? Murray has scored 97 goals in 202 appearances for Brighton over two stints. Let’s compare him with other top strikers in Zamora, Ward, Cook and Napier. 

Let’s start with Zamora, who scored 83 goals in 151 appearances for The Seagulls over two stints. Then you have Ward, who scored 81 goals in 194 appearances for Albion. Thirdly you have Napier, who scored 99 goals in 256 appearances for Brighton. Last but not the least by any means, you have Cook, who made 190 appearances and scored 123 goals. 

From all of these strikers up here, you can see that they have all scored a hell of a lot of goals, but for me, Murray does everything so well, and despite not being as quick as he used to be, he seems to be getting better and better each year.

To score 14 goals in the Premier League at 34 is impressive when the strikers he has been trying to compete against at Brighton and in the Premier League are younger than him. One thing is for sure; if Murray continues to show the form he has shown so far this season, he would surpass that record and rightly take the honour of being Brighton’s record goalscorer. 

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