Date: 26th June 2006 at 11:47am
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The playmakers curse?

I`m not sure of the history of this curse because I`m only in my twenties. If the more mature generation of Vital readers can confirm or deny that the curse has been going on longer I would be more than interested to hear.

The story that Harry Redknapp is interested in Petrov, a Celtic playmaker, got me thinking about past playmakers in recent years and I noticed a “curse.”

This article only dates back as far as Robert Prosinecki (however you spell his name.) Wow what a legend this guy was, he smoked 50 cigarettes a day and cut down for Pompey`s sake to 30 a day. Milan Mandaric described Robert as his best ever signing. He gave Pompey fans a lasting memory. He did however only play a year in the Pompey shirt as we could not afford his high wage demands for another year.

Next Harry Redknapp brought Paul Merson to the club. Super Paul performed his magic and was an instrumental part of Portsmouth`s promotional season. He scored some vital goals but was mainly a provider for Toddy (and towards the end) the Yak. Paul Merson was all set to sign an extension to his contract and play for Portsmouth in the Premiership until the curse hit. The playmaker had an argument with Milan after he didn`t turn up to Portsmouth`s promotion party and he left for Walsall.

After that Portsmouth needed a playmaker and Harry managed to get in Eyal Berkovic just before we faced his old club Man City. (In fact it was so close to the encounter that Eyal`s name was under Man City`s squad list in the match day programme. Eyal Berkovic would rarely play away from home because of how attacking we where with him. Berkovic had this fantastic ability to read the game and could always pick a pass. He would however only play a season before leaving on a free transfer.

Next up was the last deadline day signing of January, Andres D`Alessandro. Most Pompey fans, seeing that it was a last minute loan signing, where not expecting miracles from this guy. Websites and Newspapers looked into the player`s profile and it wasn`t long before he was the talk of the pub (and I live in London.) D`Alessandro would go onto make his debut against Bolton and wow all the crowds (I will always remember him for the amazing goal he scored against Charlton.) He looked like he would be signed on a permanent basis as the fans sang his name and his kid wore a Pompey shirt. Although the curse struck again and a move to Portsmouth collapsed after we couldn`t afford his wages.

I may be wrong but I think all the above only lasted a year at Fratton Park, does the curse go back beyond this? Has a Pompey playmaker ever lasted more than a year?

So a word of warning to Petrov or Gera, the chances are you won`t last more than a year!