Pompey players who split the Fratton faithful

Former Pompey player Ricky Holmes will be reunited with the Blues tomorrow
Former Pompey player Ricky Holmes will be reunited with the Blues tomorrow
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Pompey’s trip to Northampton tomorrow will see Ricky Holmes reunited with his former club.

The midfielder divided opinion during his short stay at Fratton Park, despite winning The News/Sports Mail 2013-14 Player of the Season.

Lomana Lualua

Lomana Lualua

He scored just twice in 62 Blues appearances, with some sections of supporters expecting a greater return.

Others, however, thought he deserved more of a chance to shine before being loaned out to the Cobblers in January – a move he soon made permanent.

As a result, The News has taken a look at some other players who have divided opinion down the years.

Let us know if we’ve left out a player who believed divided the Fratton faithful...

Eyal Berkovic

Eyal Berkovic

Nigel Quashie

In his five years on the south coast the midfielder made 163 appearances for the Blues, scoring 14 goals.

The Scottish international was vice-captain when Pompey gained promotion to the Premier League in the 2002-03 season, before being made club captain.

With bundles of energy and a fierce shot, it can be questioned why he split opinion at Fratton Park.

John Utaka

John Utaka

But when Harry Redknapp left for Southampton in 2004, it was reported that Quashie had lost his desire to play for the Blues and simply refused to turn out under new boss Velimir Zajec.

It was later revealed that the rumour was far from the truth.

Yet at the time fans were outraged and chose to ignore the five years he has just spent at Portsmouth.

Papa Bouba Diop

Jimmy Carter

Jimmy Carter

The Senegalese midfielder looked to be a great signing when he arrived at Fratton Park for the 2007-08 season.

He provided a wealth of experience, having played for successful Ligue 1 team Lens and then-established Premier League side Fulham.

The £3.5 million man will, of course, be remembered best for helping Pompey lift the FA Cup at the end of his opening season with the club.

The Wardrobe’s solid defensive and consistent performances were crucial in a season that ended with silverware and an eighth-place finish in the Premier League.

However, fans were still critical, mainly due to his awful shots-to-goals ratio.

In his opening season with the Blues, records show that he had 48 attempts (just 15 of which were on target) in his 23 games and failed to find the net once.

John Utaka

When John Utaka joined in July 2007, he was Pompey’s record signing, costing £7m.

The pacy winger went on to make 114 appearances, of which around half came from the bench, scoring 13 goals in total.

In 2009-10, when manager Avram Grant had just 17 outfield players to choose from, Utaka was frequently left on the bench and failed to make Nigeria’s African Cup of Nations squad that January.

Despite playing a role in the 2008 FA Cup-winning squad, he failed to maintain his form following that season, leaving questions over why he arrived with such a high price tag.

Hayden Mullins

Hayden Mullins moved to Pompey in 2009, picking up an FA Cup loser’s medal the following season.

He was a part of a turbulent period for Pompey, which saw four different managers in charge for the three years he spent at the club.

Mullins remained at Fratton Park following relegation to the Championship in 2010 and picked up The News/Sports Mail Player of the Season award a year later.

However, there were still those that weren’t convinced and chose to focus on his dogged style of play in midfield.

Lomana Lualua

Despite Lualua scoring on his Pompey debut against Tottenham in February 2003, helping the Blues avoid the drop that season, his following three years at the club were mixed.

An inconsistent performer capable of quality moments, his finest arrived during a match-winning display in the April 2005 4-1 success over Southampton.

The Congolese forward started the 2004-05 season with a groin injury, ended it with a hamstring problem, and was fined by the FA for abusive behavior in December.

Lualua was then sent off against Blackburn in January, got fined £5000 for his behaviour as a result, and was given an extra one-match ban in addition to the three he already had.

He certainly did not give off the right impression to an expecting Fratton crowd.

In the August of 2005, he also missed several games due to contracting Malaria on a visit to Congo, and the following season injured his foot while celebrating a goal against Arsenal, causing him to be out again.

Therefore, there are plenty of reasons why some fans do not hold him in high regard.

Johnny Ertl

Now a member of the Pompey Supporters’ Trust board, during his playing time the midfielder was far from a fans’ favourite.

In his three years at the club, he certainly divided opinion.

Despite picking up the fans’ player of the season award in 2012-13, he found himself on the fringes of the team in the seasons that followed.

While some loved him for his diversity and ability to play at centre-back, right-back or centre-midfield, in his final campaign with the Blues he made just 14 appearances in League Two – seven of which were off the bench.

Eyal Berkovic

Berkovic arrived at Fratton Park in January 2004 after a fall-out with the then-Manchester City boss Kevin Keegan.

Upon his arrival, there was a lot of expectation, particularly after Harry Redknapp described him as a ‘special footballer’.

But while Berkovic helped Pompey stay in the Premier League after a tough campaign in 2004-05, he only scored twice in his 20 appearances for the club and failed to hold down a starting place as a new campaign kicked off again.

He left just a year after being signed.

Jimmy Carter

Pompey manager Terry Fenwick had to fight hard for Jimmy Carter’s signature in 1995, but the winger’s three-year spell at the club did not go according to plan.

The Blues were hoping for promotion in Carter’s first season, but instead 1995-96 turned into a relegation battle that went right down to the wire.

The winger was quick to admit he had under-estimated the difficulty of the division as his own standards had dropped.

His form saw him dropped to the bench a few times, something that was slightly more frequent the following season.

Carter really struggled to maintain a starting position in 96/97 and had to rely on injuries and suspensions to get back in the side.

Although, he did pop up with some important goals.

Mike Trebilcock

Treblicock played five seasons at Pompey.

Initially brought in to help secure promotion to Division One, Pompey splashed out £40,000 - a then club record - on the winger in January 1968.

It wasn’t long before he had the Fratton Faithful on their feet as he scored on his home debut in the 3-2 victory over Derby.

However, after this, Trebilcock failed to score in his next 12 appearances and as a result Pompey finished the season in fifth, despite being top at Christmas.

His Pompey career was rather up and down, as he enjoyed some highs in the FA Cup, but also some lows, ultimately not really justifying the price tag he came with.

Carl Dickinson

Dickinson only spent one season on loan at Pompey, arriving for the 2010-11 season.

Despite playing 39 times for the Blues, he never really got the chance to win over the Fratton Faithful and some questionable performances did not strengthen his reputation.

David Connolly

The Republic of Ireland international got his Pompey career off to a good start by scoring his first goal against MK Dons a month after he arrived on loan.

But despite the proven goalscorer’s reputation in the game, he soon fell out-of-favour with then-boss Andy Awford.

The Irishman did not played a match in the 2014-15 season, before his departure to Wimbledon in January.

He had also been loaned out to Oxford for the latter half of the season before.