They Screwed Up. But Left, Thankfully
JEAN-ALAIN BOUMSONG (Newcastle)
So bad he made Titf**k Bumble look like Newcastle's class defender. And yet for some inexplicable reason Graeme Souness paid a very grateful Rangers £8m for a player available for absolutely zero English (or Scottish) pounds just six months before.
His decent games for Newcastle can be counted on the fingers of one of Jeremy Beadle's hands, while a Google search for 'Boumsong mistake' reaped 11,300 matches. He has been truly, truly rotten and yet has just clinched a move to Juventus for roughly £3m. Yes, that's just £5m lost in 18 months. Nice work, Souey. Anyone who ever thinks of giving that man another job should only need to hear the sentence 'Newcastle paid £8m for Jean-Alain Boumsong' to have a very swift u-turn.
Apparently his nickname is 'un, deux, trois...BOUMSONG'. We can only assume this refers to a count of brain cells.
MATHIEU BERSON (Aston Villa)
David O'Leary spent pretty much the whole of the summer of 2004 chasing a little-known French midfielder from Nantes in an on-off-on-off-on transfer that was finally completed in August for a fee of £1.9m. So of course O'Leary didn't bother playing him until December and then gave him only seven Premiership starts, citing the player's homesickness.
Last year Berson went to Auxerre on loan and was so impressive he was mentioned in depatches ahead of the naming of the French World Cup team, leading to some Villa fans campaigning for him to be named Supporters' Player Of The Year in the absence of any other real alternatives. Sadly, this did not happen.
Berson, of course, is so homesick for France that he has now agreed to join Spanish side Levante.
ASIER DEL HORNO (Chelski)
Clearly always (at best) a third-choice left-back target after Ashley Cole and Kakha Kaladze, the Spaniard cost Chelsea a massive £8m from Athletic Bilbao in the summer of 2005. There followed a title-winning season in which he was rarely popular with either fans or the manager, who often preferred to play William Gallas or even Paulo Ferreira out of position. Even before he got himself stupidly sent off against Barcelona.
"Del Horno has already shown his capacity but he needs to learn to be more ambitious and demanding with himself. He has a couple of months more to make a step forward as a professional, otherwise he will take a step back," said the boss, amid rumours that the Spaniard was a little fonder of the bright lights of London than applying himself in training.
Clearly, Senor Del Horno did not make the required step forward as he has since hotfooted it to Valencia for just £4.8m, Chelsea clearly willing to lose a little of Roman's pocket change to rid themselves of his poor attitude. He will surely be missed by no-one except Peter Stringfellow.
FACUNDO SAVA (Fulham)
'Who?' might be the cry from two-thirds of you who don't know he was a £2m signing for Fulham four years ago. But just a handful of you might be saying 'isn't that the bloke with the mask?' And by God, you'd be right.
Sava was an Argentine striker whose preferred goal celebration was to whip a Zorro-style mask out of his shorts and strap it to his face. Unfortunately for us, he neglected to bring the wolf masks that earned him the nickname of 'Wolfie' in his homeland. And unfortunately for him, he only managed to celebrate six goals in four years at Fulham.
Last season was spent on loan at Celta Vigo and this summer Sava was released by Fulham, who were happy to write off £2m of Harrods profits on 'Wolfie', who was last seen playing for Racing Club in Argentina. Reports do not confirm or deny his renewed use of a wolf mask.
BRUNO CHEYROU (Liverpool)
He was the 'new Zinedine Zidane' don't you know? And he was - in that he was French, quite tall and prematurely balding. In all other aspects he was more Zebedee than Zizou (though, to his credit, Bruno himself declared himself to be more Robert Pires than Zidane. Hmmm.)
Cheyrou arrived at Liverpool for £3.7m in the glorious summer of 2002 that also saw Gerard Houllier spend £5m on Salif Diao. Four years later he's left for Rennes for pennies after 17 Premiership starts (17 underwhelming Premiership starts at that) and two season-long loan spells back in France with Marseilles and Bordeaux.
It could have been worse, we suppose - he could have been Bernard Diomede.
Drogballs: I think there should be more nominated. But somehow can't get the names out of my brain. Suggest some will you? Drogballssouts.
Thursday, August 24, 2006
They Screwed Up. But Left, Thankfully