Nick Faldo has put his head on the chopping block over his controversial Ryder Cup picks.

That's the view of triple major winner Padraig Harrington, who reckons Faldo has heaped pressure on his shoulders by leaving Darren Clarke out of the side to face a gung ho American squad.

Harrington is convinced that only a victory will save the English legend from going down in Ryder Cup history as Captain Cock Up.

Putting the ball firmly in Faldo’s court, Harrington said: “When the result is called in at the end of the week, if the team wins, the captain is a good captain. And if the team doesn't win, the captain is always thought of as a bad captain.

“It's up to him. It's him who's on the line for this and the players have to support him and pull behind him.

“There is always somebody is not going to get picked - but that's why you have two captain's picks and that's why you select a captain. So select a captain wisely and then trust that he knows best.”

Like many European stalwarts, Harrington was shocked when Faldo overlooked Clarke’s case for a pick and opted for Ian Poulter.

But there is nothing he can do about it now except pray that the skipper gets his pairings spot on at Valhalla in two weeks’ time.

Harrington explained: “Like most guys, I thought Clarke was the favorite in the betting to get the first pick. It's obviously very disappointing for Darren. But a captain has many reasons for picking guys, and that's why you select a captain.

“If we're unhappy with his picks, we should be unhappy with the selection process that put him in that place. You've got to be happy with his picks.

“Certainly the two players he has picked will add to the team and are good players and will help the team. I think you've got to focus on the fact that both those players are going to do a good job.

“On the other side it is disappointing for Darren, and as I said, we all expected it. But as a player on the team, you've got to go with the captain's choices, as we will during the week.

“Often times during the week, players, partnerships are put together that maybe we didn't think about, and that's for the captain to do.”

As the top ranked player on the European side, Harrington will be doing all he can to lead by example.

But he will be doing his talking with his clubs and leaving it to veterans like Miguel Angel Jimenez to take over from Clarke and Colin Montgomerie as the father figure in the team room.

Recalling his 1999 debut, Harrington said: “I know first shot I hit in the Ryder Cup I couldn't see the golf ball. It was gone by the time I had to hit it, I was just so nervous I couldn't even see it. You've got to expect that in your first Ryder Cup.

"I'll be giving the rookies advice in the team room. But without Monty or without even Darren, it kind of leaves Jiménez as the guy for people to look up to.

“We'll have to wait and see how that sort of works out during the week. But it is interesting not having a Monty there.”