Captain Marvel

Last updated : 07 April 2013 By Jim Bonner

Cast your mind back to September 1st, 2012. Pompey were playing at home to Oldham Athletic and a certain Johannes Ertl was making his debut for the blues.

It turned out to be a bit of a disaster as his own goal saw the Latics win 1-0 and his early performances at centre back saw him become a scapegoat for Pompey fans who claimed he was sluggish and clumsy.

Fast forward to the present day and Johnny Ertl has arguably been Pompey's most consistent performer since the turn of year and if there is to be an award for "Pompey's player of the season" then the Austrian is in with a good shout of winning it.

Since moving to the centre of midfield, Ertl has shown a tenacity and a willingness to get stuck in which always goes down well with Pompey fans. His passing has massively improved since his early days and is even capable of going on surging runs to create attacks or have a shot himself.

In fact, the only thing missing from his game now is goalscoring and Portsmouth supporters now clamour for him to score the goal he deserves before the season is over. It's a far cry from the clamour of wanting him to be substituted earlier in the season.

It is no surprise that when Pompey finally ended that long winless run that Johnny was instrumental in that victory at Crewe, arguably turning in the individual performance of the season that saw him dominate the centre of midfield.

That dominance has continued since and hopefully the skipper, who seems to be popular off the pitch too, will stay at Portsmouth and be a key figure in the League Two season next year.

Perhaps more Pompey players should score own goals on their debuts! Then they might follow in the footsteps on Ertl and Linvoy Primus before him and turn the opinions of fans around to become cult heroes in the making.