All Whites captain Ryan Nelsen has already caused a stir at his new English Premier League club after he took the playing number of outspoken Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton.
Barton was a high-profile omission from the west London club's list of squad numbers when they were announced yesterday - with his old number, 17, being handed to Nelsen.
"Heard my shirt number's gone to someone else. News to me," Barton said on Twitter.
"Just come off the golf course so only just heard. A call would have been nice. Ah, well life goes on."
Barton must serve a 12-match ban to start the new season, after getting involved in an unseemly fracas in the final game of last season against Manchester City.
As a result of the incident, the one-time England international was also stripped of the club captaincy amid reports that the club would try to sell the controversial figure.
Meanwhile Nelsen - who recently turned out for the Olywhites in an unsuccessful Olympic campaign - will be working hard to cement his starting spot in a QPR backline which boasts Anton Ferdinand, Armand Traore and Luke Young.
The 34-year old centre back transferred from Tottenham Hotspur at the end of last season after coach Harry Redknapp left the club.
QPR kick of their Premier League campaign this weekend when they face Swansea at Loftus Road.
- HERALD ONLINE