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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Never again...
Ramon Vega raises his arms in celebration
Ramon Vega acknowledges the "cheers" of the Spurs fans

Last week we asked which player from each Premiership club's past would most benefit the current-day team.

We had a young Tony Adams returning for Arsenal, Bryan Robson slotting into the Man United midfield and Bobby Moore ruling the West Ham defence.

But there is a darker side to every story - and it is to that that our attention now turns.

Forget the great and the good. Who would you least like to see back in your side? In short - which player would do most damage to today's team?


A simple starter, and one which could lead to accusations of, "Et tu, BBC Sport Online?"

Yup, you've guessed it - it's Gus Caesar. Was there ever a defender so ill-suited to football's top division, or one so frequently maligned by desk-bound critics?

For readers with short memories, Gus was a centre-back so inept that Luton Town were able to put three goals past Arsenal in the League Cup final. Honestly.

Aston Villa

It seems unfair to castigate Ivo Stas when he never made a first-team appearance, and Bosko Balaban has taken enough flak on this site already.

No, for his flabby stomach, weak crossing and gruesome mullet, Nigel Callaghan must get the nod. Even ahead of Gary Penrice and his moustache.


City have struggled for goals this season - which must make the re-introduction of Kevin Francis an absolute no-no at St Andrews.

Francis, who looked like Snoop Doggy Dog after a week on the rack, looked so mournful when failing to get anywhere near chances that you feared tears were only ever seconds away.


If today's Blackburn need a striker, they could certainly do without blowing another cool 7.5m on Kevin Davies.

The lad wasn't all bad, it's true - but neither was he worth a fifth of what Roy Hodgson paid for him.

Blackburn fans - next time you feel like moaning at Andy Cole, think about a dream partnership of Davies and Ashley Ward. Suddenly life ain't so bad, is it?


There are candidates stretching back down the years - but, for his ability to go out on the lash when he should have been practising his defensive skills, Djibril Diawara is the man.

He was actually a Senegalese international, so there have been technically worse players on Bolton's books - but none so happy to go clubbing the night before a crucial relegation clash.


Ralph Milne is a name that crops up in discussions for several clubs, but he escapes the ultimate censure for Charlton.

That honour goes to Andy Jones, a player who remains a hero at Port Vale for his scoring exploits and who scored with a sumptuous volley on his Wales debut.

Yet for the Charlton he was shocking, unrecognisable from the lower division goal machine. One miss, from four yards against Liverpool, is still talked about to this day.


Graham Wilkins, Slavisa Jokanovic - relax. This does not concern you.

No, the very last thing Chelsea need now is to lose Carlo Cudicini and have him replaced by... Dave Beasant.

Who could forget that display against Norwich, when two shots with the combined power of a light breeze slipped through Lurch's grasp?


One of those clubs where the list of possibles could be discussed all day.

To separate Brett Angell from a motley list that also includes Bernie Wright, Rod Belfitt and Marc Hottiger might seem harsh.

But not if you ever saw big Brett in action.


One from the history books. Barry Lloyd was far from good, but for his name alone, Frank Large deserves the ultimate recognition.

The classic journeyman striker, Frank gave it Large at nine clubs in the late 1960s and early 1970s, seldom impressing anyone long enough to hang around.


Peter Reid could certainly do with some goals right now.

He certainly wouldn't get them from Tomas Brolin, a striker who arrived with an enormous reputation and left with an even bigger gut.

Baby-faced but giant-stomached, he cost Howard Wilkinson 4.5m - but gave almost that much back to the local catering economy with his dedicated munching.


How could Sean Dundee and Eric Meijer escape from this witch-hunt?

Because Torben Piechnik allowed them to, much as he allowed centre-forwards pretty much unhindered access to the Liverpool goal.

Man City

Steve Daley, breathe again. You might have been a waste of millions of City's precious pounds, but Lee Bradbury cost even more and did even less.

3m? What was Frank Clarke thinking?

Man Utd

Massimo Taibi at least won a match against Liverpool for Alex Ferguson before going off the rails.

William Prunier didn't even do that. This shiny-headed centre-half, reputedly a pal of Eric Cantona's, enjoyed only the briefest of stays at Old Trafford in 1996 before being shipped out sharpish.


Hamilton Ricard, Vladimir Kinder, Mikkel Beck - three names to strike fear into the hearts of Boro fans even now.

But for utterly failing to live up to his billing, and clearly not caring the slightest whether the team won or lost, Brazilian star Branco is your man.

Rumour has it he once attempted to boost pre-match moral by shouting, "Pass pass pass, goal, lager lager nightclub!" at his bemused team-mates.


With Jonathan Woodgate now over his injury problems, Newcastle are looking solid at the back.

What they don't need, then, is a return for Elena Marcelino - a legend at Real Mallorca and a useless crock at St James's.


How could anyone hope to compete with Ali Dia?

Dia was the student from Portsmouth who got a pal to pose as George Weah and recommend him to then-manager Graeme Souness.

Unbelievably, Souness threw him into the November 1996 clash with Leeds as a substitute for Matt Le Tissier - only to be forced to take him off again as the true, sub-amateur nature of Dia became horribly apparent.


Seamus McDonagh was a goalkeeper from hell, and Brett Angell - well, he's already been discussed in the Everton section.

No - no matter how bad things are at the Stadium of Light, they could only get worse if Thomas Hauser lumbered back into view...


While there must be honourable mentions made of Kevin Scott and Bobby Mimms, neither can approach the fear with which Spurs fans would view a return for Ramon Vega.

Pace, ability to read the game, fine distribution - Vega had none of these skills. Went on to damage both Celtic and Watford - on reputedly massive wages.

West Brom

The Baggies could have done with a 25 goals a season forward this year.

In which case Colin West would certainly not have been the man for the job. Actually worse at Sheffield Wednesday than West Brom, he was still a striker for no occasion whatsoever.

West Ham

You know what's coming, Hammers fans. The claims of Iain Dowie and Paulo Futre must wait for another day.

This is Marco Boogers' moment.

What a man. Signed for 1m by Harry Redknapp on the basis of a video tape of highlights, the Dutchman's only contribution to the cause was scything down Gary Neville and getting sent off.

Subsequently rumoured to have gone mad and holed up in a caravan in Holland.

Blast from the past: Part one
24 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part two
25 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part three
26 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part four
27 Mar 03  |  Premiership
Blast from the past: Part five
28 Mar 03  |  Premiership

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