Captain's curse

Last updated : 17 January 2005 By Keith Allman
Wearing the captain's armband of Portsmouth FC should be an honour for any player. But yet at the same time, it seems to carry with it some sort of evil gypsy curse laid down out of pure spite and anger that whoever shalt wear it, shall find themselves CAST OUT!

Quashie was meant to have become captain three years ago, before the signing of Paul Merson. Ever since then, he's been vice-captain at the club; always willing to pick up the armband should the first choice captain be missing for some reason or other. Whilst enjoying a fairly successful time here, he's now gone and "done a Harry" and forever soured his memory. No longer will he be remembered as the committed midfielder who scored a few goals from 30 yards plus, instead as "that twat who went to scummers".

But he's not the first, and no doubt will not be the last.

Last season's captain was Teddy Sheringham, who had a mixed time here. Although he finished second highest scorer and in my opinion did well, he was still mercilessly slagged off by a section of the crowd, and eventually was released and moved on to West Ham on a free transfer in the summer. Whilst it was nice to have an ex-England international with the profile of Sheringham here, he was cast aside pretty readily.

Before him we had Paul Merson, a man at the heart of our promotion. Even when he wasn't on top of his game, his mere presence on the pitch seemed to add an extra "oomph" to the team. And then what happened? We signed Sheringham, and although Harry assured Merse that he was still undisputed captain and that there was room for two playmakers in the team, he then flogged him to Walsall where he proceeded to ruin the memory through a series of bitter swipes at his old employers.

Robert Prosinecki was yet another "one season wonder". After giving us a fantastic show of his tricks and flicks - and at the time, being the only player who could successfully play a crossfield pass - he suddenly vanished amid rumours of a £50,000 a week contract in Japan. When that didn't come off, he appeared playing alongside Mladen Rudonja in the Slovenian First Division. A rather shocking drop for a former Real Madrid and Barcelona player.

The further back we start going, the more desperate it gets - Shaun Derry sold on the cheap to Crystal Palace after giving the North Stand a "one finger salute"; Scott Hiley discarded and released, eventually ending up at Exeter; Darren Moore - the big man with the big heart - sold behind his back after one bad performance against Colchester, being told that his style of play didn't fit in - we went on to concede 72 goals that season, and it probably served us right.

Watch your back, De Zeeuw.