Petr Cech: When turncoat moves turn bad

Andy Marshall

Mere weeks after receiving the Norwich supporter’s Player of the Year award after almost single-handedly keeping the Canaries in the Championship Marshall upped sticks to East Anglian rivals Ipswich. The move ironically united the region in disapproval with both sets of fans disgusted at the unashamed turncoatery all done in the name of ambition; the Tractor Boys were flying high in the top flight and the stopper wanted to improve his international hopes.

Fast forward three years and Marshall performed miraculously in an Old Farm Derby and celebrated wildly in front of his new kith and kin. His actions would have secured any other player into legend with the Portman Road faithful. Instead he remained distrusted, disliked and a marginalised figure.

The ultimate comeuppance – a loan switch to Millwall. Nobody deserves that.

[embedded content]

Michael Owen

The diminutive goal addict may not have moved directly from Anfield to Old Trafford but the age-old football dictat still holds dear – you play for one and not the other.

Disgruntled Liverpool supporters watched proceedings with acute malevolence, still peeved from Owen jumping ship from his boyhood club for the “best team in the world” Real Madrid five years earlier. They watched and watched but only saw Rooney and Berbatov lead the line with cameos from Welbeck and Hernandez as United challenged for every honour going.

Oh look there he is on the bench. All snug and warm in his puffer coat made of fifty pound notes.
Owen’s meagre 31 appearances in the other red was a damp squib end to an explosive career.

Cast into the purgatory of his monotone thoughts. We endure them for 90 minutes on BT Sport. Owen hears nothing else all day long.

[embedded content]

Lee Clark

In seven successful seasons at Newcastle midfielder Lee Clark wasn’t just worshipped by the Gallowgate hordes for his tough tackling and fist-pumping passion: He was one of them; as Geordie as stotties and milk-bottle-white moobs.

Which is why his switch to the hated enemy Sunderland in 1997 for a club record fee wasn’t only unthinkable but damn right puzzling. It amounted to treason and every Mackem duly narrowed their eyes with suspicion at the sight of their former hate figure now sporting the captain’s armband.

They were right to be wary. After leading the Black Cats to promotion and partly winning over his doubters Clark ruined his fine work by attending that season’s FA Cup final sporting a t-shirt that read ‘Sad Mackem B*****ds’. His double agent reveal would have had John Le Carre nodding his approval but left Clark with nowhere to go but south.

A swift sale to Fulham to escape the baying mob.

[embedded content]

Emre Belözoğlu

The former Newcastle firebrand – whose stocky frame was such that his legs appeared to be only shorts and socks – need never have bought another raki in Istanbul again after breaking through at Galatasaray and winning the hearts and minds of supporters who can diplomatically be described as ‘passionate’. He was their son and subsequently left for Inter and the north-east with nothing but love and best wishes from one half of the city.

That all changed in 2013 when Emre returned to Turkey in the colours of Fenerbahçe with tensions suddenly running to biblical proportions. Things only escalated further when the player declared – rather unnecessarily – that he had always secretly been a Fener fan.

On the pitch Emre completed his own downfall by acquiring an unsavoury reputation for racial slurs with one particular encounter with Trabzonspor’s Didier Zakora meeting widespread condemnation across the continent.

Quite wonderfully this…

[embedded content]

Sol Campbell

It could be argued that two league titles and a trio of FA Cup triumphs ultimately justify the decision Sulzeer Jeremiah Campbell made in the summer of 2001 to shake British football to its core and take his boots and bulk across North London. But at what cost did silverware come?

Campbell will always be known as Judas and forever be despised by a Spurs fanbase that idolised the centre-back and supported his progress from boy to man. It stung then and it stings now with post-career apologies thrown back with the bitter acrimony of a scorned ex.

Even today feelings run high and the Londoner’s political aspirations are somewhat compromised with the inability to pound the streets canvassing in N17 for fear of reprisals.

A desire to become London’s next Conservative Mayor is surely doomed to fail considering his reputation with the majority of the capital.

[embedded content]