Football NewsThursday 10th November 2016

Football: See ya, Joey! 7 memorable short-term spells to rivals Barton's Rangers sojourn

Football: See ya, Joey! 7 memorable short-term spells to rivals Barton's Rangers sojourn

1. Chop Souey

Graeme Souness has always come across as a tough and fearless character in his roles as player, manager and pundit, but even he probably still has nightmares about Ali Dia.

While in charge of Southampton in 1996, the Scot received a call from someone purporting to be George Weah, the Milan striker who'd been named FIFA World Player of the Year a few months previously. The caller advised Souness to sign his cousin, who'd supposedly represented Paris Saint-Germain in the past, and Dia was duly offered a one-month contract.

An injury sustained by Matt Le Tissier after just 32 minutes of Southampton's Premier League clash with Leeds saw the striker summoned from the bench, but it was clear almost immediately that something was amiss. "Bambi on ice" was how Le Tissier described a truly dreadful performance; Souness, realising he'd been had - the person on the phone was a university student rather than a world-class footballer - hooked Dia before the end of the encounter.

The youngster was released just two weeks into his deal, securing his position as the worst signing in Premier League history.

2. Heart, no Sol

Sol Campbell made a bold decision in choosing to join Arsenal from north London rivals Tottenham in 2001, but that wasn't the most eye-catching move of his career.

After three years at Portsmouth, the 34-year-old found himself without a club at the start of the 2009/10 campaign. It wasn't much of a surprise that the centre-back wanted to continue playing; what did come as a shock, though, was the identity of his next employers.

League Two outfit Notts County had recently appointed Sven-Goran Eriksson as their director of football, and it was the former England boss' influence - as well as the offer of a £40,000-a-week contract - that persuaded Campbell to drop down to the fourth tier. He didn't last long, though, departing after just a single appearance amid accusations of broken promises.

3. Didi really sign?

Dietmar Hamann was deemed surplus to requirements at Liverpool in the summer of 2006, with Bolton manager Sam Allardyce quickly pouncing in a bid to bring the German to the Reebok.

Hamann was won over by Allardyce's offer and penned a pre-contract agreement with the Trotters, only to change his mind and join Manchester City a mere 24 hours later.

It wasn't all bad news for Bolton, though: the club received £300,000 in compensation from City, which was a tidy sum of money for a day's work.

4. Guardiola sent packing

Hold your horses, Manchester City fans, we don't mean that Guardiola. It was Sergio rather than Pep who earned the wrath of his employers last year, with Barcelona terminating the youngster's contract just a day after it was signed.

His crime? Making offensive comments about the club on Twitter a few years before. Guardiola denied writing the posts himself and tried to shift the blame onto a friend, but Barca weren't buying it. The Spaniard moved to Granada shortly after and is currently on loan at Adelaide United.

5. Five-day all-inclusive in Turkey

Despite enjoying some success during his four years with Watford, Hameur Bouazza proved to be yet another poor Lawrie Sanchez signing at Fulham.

Few tears were therefore shed at Craven Cottage when Sivasspor swooped in for his signature in 2009, but the Turkish sunshine wasn't enough to prevent the Algerian's early exit. Bouazza played only one match for the club before departing five days after signing, the midfielder stating his desire to find a different project elsewhere.

Perhaps he just fancied a bit of sea air: Blackpool was Bouazza's next destination.

6. Take me home

It's common for players to retain an affection for the club where they began their career, particularly if they also managed to win a trophy during their formative years, as David Unsworth did at Everton.

The defender struggled to move on emotionally following his exit from Goodison Park in 1997; after a year at West Ham, Unsworth was sold to Aston Villa for £3 million, but a bout of homesickness brought his time in the Midlands to an end just one month later. Everton heeded his call and brought him back to Merseyside, where he remained until 2004.

7. Welcome to Sarajevo

A different language, culture and cuisine can all be difficult for players to adapt to upon moving abroad, but Javier Hervas had a very specific reason for failing to settle in Sarajevo after swapping Brisbane Roar for Zeljeznicar in the summer.

While walking his dog in the capital, the Spaniard and his wife were attacked by a group of stray dogs on the street. Understandably saken by the incident, Javier Hervas decided to call a premature end to his Bosnian adventure despite not having yet played a game, with the club agreeing to terminate his contract.

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