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The Worst Pompey XI Of All Time
Published : 09 Oct 2011 20:15:03
This team will send a shiver down your spine.
The good folks of Fratton Faithful have been voting on the messageboard for the worst ever players to don the Royal Blue of Portsmouth over the years.
The result is a terrible concoction of atrociousness, a team so inept that it would make your Sunday pub team look like Barcelona.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Fratton Faithful presents.... the truly worst Pompey XI of all time.
Goalkeeper: Kostas Chalkias (5 appearances: 2005-2006)
Some fans called him "Cost Us Chalky Arse" after a string of inept performances. Signed by Velimir Zajec as a possible replacement for Shaka Hislop, poor old Chalkias was thrown straight into a south coast derby against Harry Redknapp's Southampton and never looked back.
After a shaky performance that saw no communication with his defence and a sudden urge to rush out of his goal to play an offside trap, Chalkias' Pompey career just went from bad to worse as he inspired no confidence in his team-mates with basic errors and flaps from corners.
I will always remember him for one strange incident against Aston Villa in 2005 when Arjan De Zeeuw scored an own goal and Chalkias went over to him, bent him over his knee and spanked him. This bizarre character was soon dropped in favour of Jamie Ashdown and was sent on his way, where he would somehow regain the number one shirt for Greece.
Right Back: Chris Lawler (40 appearances: 1975-1977)
Lawler was one of the first names on Bill Shankly's team sheet when he was a mainstay in the Liverpool side that went on to achieve so much in the 60's and 70's before joining his old team mate Ian St. John at Pompey.
Seen by most fans who watched him as way past his best, Lawler seemed to lack interest and the ability he was once known for back in his glory days at Anfield.
Centre Back: Colin Blant (73 appearances: 1970-1972)
"Bazooka boots" Blant is a name that the older generation of Pompey fans remember for all the wrong reasons. His ability to hoof the ball out of play and his general clumsy approach to defending saw him voted into the worst ever Pompey XI.
Blant signed Rochdale in 1972 and later said he regretted the move. It's safe to say that the Pompey fans certainly didn't.
Centre Back: Carl Tiler (19 appearances: 2001-2003)
Costing £250,000 from Charlton, The journeyman centre half was probably Graham Rix's worst signing during his short spell at Pompey.
It didn't take a genius to discover just how terrible Tiler was. I remember watching Pompey play at home to Norwich in a league game on TV with my Nan where he proceeded to score an own goal.
Nan then pointed at the screen and yelled "That man is useless ain't he!" and I could only nod in agreement along with all the other thousands of fans who buried their heads in their hands almost every game he played until he was forced to retire due to injury in 2003.
Left Back: Djimi Traore (15 appearances: 2007-2009)
Many gasped in horror when Harry Redknapp decided to sign "Bambi on ice" from Charlton back in January 2007. The Mali defender somehow managed to earn a Champions League winner's medal when at Liverpool but looked more like a pub team defender at times when he played.
Despite his constant mistakes and poor decision making, Traore currently plys his trade at Ligue 1 giants Marseille. However, when he eventually retires he will always be remembered for this gem of an own goal.
Right Midfielder: George Lawrence (14 appearances: 1992-1993)
"Chicken George" was always brought on as a substitute by Jim Smith to run aimlessly down the wing for the last 15 minutes of a game (he never started a game). His abilities included running the ball out of play, beating a man only to see the ball go into touch and passing the ball straight to the opposition.
After his disasterous spell at Pompey he went to Malta where he would win two league titles with Hibernians F.C. The Maltese league must have been extremely poor back in the early 90's!
Centre Midfielder: John Lathan (62 appearances: 1977-1980)
To be voted into this team is bad enough, but to be one of only two players in this side to have played for Pompey whilst they were in the bottom tier of English football is nothing to be proud of.
Pompey fans who voted him in didn't mince their words, branding him "utter dogshite" amongst other such insults. Given the amount of competition for the central midfield positions in this team, for Blant to come out on top is some achievement.
Centre Midfielder: Aaron Mokoena (66 appearances: 2009 - present)
The South African's inclusion in this team may be harsh but he just about managed to fend off the "challenge" from Giannis Skopelitis due to how exceptionally poor he is as a midfielder.
As a centre back, Mokoena wasn't too bad and will always be remembered for his superb performance against Tottenham in the FA Cup Semi-Final of 2010. However, when he is moved forward into midfield he justifies his nickname "the axe" with his mistimed challenges earning him many yellow cards and I'm struggling to think of a worse passer of the ball than Aaron.
He also has the turning circle of a tank and that is just another reason why fans always groan when his name is announced in the starting line-up these days.
Left Midfielder: Jimmy McCaffrey (12 appearances: 1977-1979)
The other player in this team to have played in Division 4, McCaffrey is described by one fan as the "slowest player I've ever seen in a Pompey shirt". Others say his terrible first touch was the smelly tip of a very foul iceberg of inability.
To only make twelve appearances in a team that were scraping the bottom of the barrel, Jim may well be the worst player in this team period. He moved on to Northampton Town and was never to be spoken of again, until now.
Centre Forward: Ian Baird (22 appearances: 1987-1988)
Most Pompey fans will remember Baird for his ridiculous red card against Charlton. Pompey were a goal up and cruising until Baird gave away a free kick. As the ball was sent into the box an angry Ian laid out an Addicks player by charging into him and got sent off. Charlton scored the resulting penalty and went on to win 2-1.
Baird's career never really recovered after that and his poor attitude and uselessness in the air contributed to his sale back to Leeds United for barely half of what he was originally bought for.
After retiring from playing, the ex-Southampton forward became manager of Havant & Waterlooville before ditching them for Eastleigh in 2007.
Centre Forward: Lee Mills (29 appearances: 2000-2002)
Signed by Tony Pulis for what was then a club-record fee of £1.25 million, Mills is often cited as the worst "striker" in the club's history due to only scoring five goals during his time at Fratton Park.
To make matters worse, Pompey couldn't afford to pay Bradford the transfer fee owed for Mills and were placed under a transfer embargo. If there was ever a definition of poor value for money then Lee Mills is just that, even if John Utaka runs him extremely close.
Manager: Terry Fenwick (1995-1998)
Fenwick's tenure in charge of Pompey can only be described as dire. Replacing Jim Smith, his team only just managed to avoid relegation by virtue of goal difference after his first full season in charge of the club.
Despite leading the team to 7th in Division One and an FA Cup run that saw Leeds beat at Elland Road the following season, Fenwick's lack of man management skills and his abrasive character saw his popularity with fans take a nose dive.
Fenwick finally bit the bullet in January 1998 with Pompey languishing at the bottom of the table. His win ratio may not be the worst of all Pompey managers but he is almost certainly the most dislikeable of them all and so deserves his place as the manager of the worst Pompey XI of all time.