David James returns from injury this weekend, tracyc asks who should be in goal against Sunderland though? James or his able deputy Asmir Begovic.
It’s no secret that, like most female Pompey supporters, I’m a huge fan of David James. I still think he’s the best English keeper, and I like to think he will stay at Pompey till he retires. I also want him to win the world cup with England – OK, well at least play in his last world cup in South Africa this summer. I want that to happen as an England fan, as much as a Pompey fan and Jamo fan.
I admire the way that Jamo has fought adversity, following the ‘calamity’ years, forcing his way back into the England reckoning. Even the ‘wally with the brolly’ couldn’t ignore him completely, however hard he tried.
Recently Jamo has had a few injuries. There was the calf tear before the FA cup final, when Jamie Ashdown stepped in for the last few matches, but admitted he knew he would have to stand aside for the big day itself. Then there was the niggling knee and shoulder that he had surgery on last summer, missing the last couple of matches as well as a couple of England games, once Pompey were safe. That gave a chance for young Asmir Begovic to step up and get some prem experience.
This season he’s been dogged by some kind of knee injury, which has caused ripples from Fabio Capello. And now he’s just recovering from another calf tear which has kept him out for the last 4 matches. The last 3 of those have been covered admirably by Asmir. He was recalled from his loan at Ipswich. It hasn’t been an easy ride for him. It wasn’t his fault he conceded 8 goals in 2 matches, and this must have hurt his confidence a little. But he still managed a clean sheet, some outstanding saves, and arguably a man of the match performance against Burnley, and that must have restored the confidence back again.
So now Jamo is due to be fit to play against Sunderland. He’s our number one keeper after all, so he comes straight back into the side, right? Or is that right?
There’s a part of me, the part of me that loves David James, that says of course he must come straight back in. After all he’s our number one, and he needs to play regularly to ensure his world cup place. Otherwise he might leave! Aaaaagggghhhh!!
But then the rest of me knows that this part of me is being biased and unfair. Surely Asmir has earned the right to keep his place? And no player is so big that he doesn’t have to compete for his place. And to keep Asmir Begovic sweet is to invest in Pompey’s future. Do we keep the 39 year old in so he can limp on to his retirement, or do we give the 22 year old the experience he needs? After all, if he doesn’t play regularly, Asmir might leave! And in the long term that would really be a bigger disaster for Pompey.
I suppose either way, we have a fine keeper in the goal, so it’s win/win. And its a tough call. But I think, despite myself, I’m coming down on the side of Asmir keeping his place. What do the rest of you think?
Written by tracyc.
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