Davies’ impact was up there with Pompey’s best short-stayers

Ben Davies. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ben Davies. Picture: Joe Pepler

Fratton Park  Picture: Joe Pepler

Heavy cost of keeping Pompey’s home fit for football

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This week saw the inevitable departure of Ben Davies.

The midfielder turned right-back penned a one-year deal at newly-promoted Grimsby Town.

In his departing interview with The News, he spoke of a great affection for the Pompey fans and the club as a whole.

I think we all underestimate just how good a season Davies had.

Because, the position of right-back was a fairly new one to him.

He went on to play 51 games in this position, at the age of 35, performing consistently well and offering a constant attacking threat.

It was like he had played in that position all his career.

He will be missed but hopefully Drew Talbot will prove an adequate replacement.

Despite his short stay on the south coast, I’m sure Davies will be talked about with admiration for years to come.

And that got me thinking of other one-season wonders who endeared themselves to the Fratton faithful in recent years.

What about Paul Robinson? The former Millwall captain arrived two years ago with the task of plugging a leaky defence and providing much-needed leadership.

He quickly did just that and seemed a constant when it came to heading and kicking a football.

His end-of-season absence was all-too notable after he suffered a facial injury.

And then much to fans’ surprise, Paul Cook moved him on. He signed for AFC Wimbledon and was man-of-the-match in their League Two play-off final win over Plymouth Argyle.

And then there’s Wes Fogden. The attacking midfielder ran from minute one to minute 90 and gave life to a lifeless attacking midfield.

He played a crucial part in securing Pompey’s football league status, scoring the winner against Bristol Rovers.

But Fogden was, unfortunately, sidelined for the whole of the next campaign before being released.

Jason Pearce. The Pompey Academy product returned to the Blues from AFC Bournemouth – and quickly proved why he was captain material.

His athleticism at the back and trademark last-ditch tackles made him an instant favourite.

No wonder he was quickly snapped up by Leeds United the following summer.

And who can forget Erik Huseklepp?

The Norwegian forward was signed from Bari for a reported £2m fee.

He was seen as a marquee signing – largely down to a very promising five-minute compilation of highlights on YouTube.

Maybe he didn’t get the chance to adapt to English football but he will always be remembered for a last-minute scissor-kick winner against Blackpool.

His tricky skills provided flashes of his ability and he always played with a smile.

Financial problems prompted the end of Huseklepp’s short Pompey stay.

Sulley Muntari. What a player.

It’s easy to forget the 2008 FA Cup winner only stuck around for a year but he made quite an impact, proving an engine in the midfield, with the ability to spray the ball across the park.

He also provided some stunning strikes against Aston Villa and of course, that penalty at Old Trafford.

The composed Ghanaian left in the summer of 2008 to Inter.

I’m certain Davies will be remembered with the same affection as these short stayers.

And I wish him all the best at Grimsby.

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