Date: 10th November 2009 at 1:32pm
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From Vital England:

Former Pompey keeper Alan Knight believes that current Pompey keeper David James is ‘still the best man for the job’ – but is not saying this just because he plays for Pompey…

He has told The News that he feels using the suggestion that James is unable to train for a day or so after a game would be a ‘cop out’ because his knee injury is one that is ‘manageable’, even more so given the other options available to Fabio Capello in this position, or lack of options: ‘if James wasn’t to be England’s first choice because he is managing an injury it would be a cop out.

‘When you consider the goalkeeping situation and the other players in contention, he is easily the best option.

‘When you are playing games in a tournament you wouldn’t expect to train the day after a game, so I don’t see why James needing rest would be a problem.

‘There will be a lot of players going into the tournament carrying injuries. In fact, I reckon most players will be nursing knocks and pulls.’

These issues do not affect the performances that James is able to give, and for me a keeper having to sit out a day, maybe a couple of days, after a game is not a ‘major issue’ is it – whilst you cannot ‘carry passengers’ a keeper is more able to sit out training if needed, right?

If his knee problem was affecting his performances then it would be right not to take him, but you can cut off your nose to spite your face, and would Capello be doing this here…

Like I say this ongoing problem does not affect how he performs and as it is a bit of rest does the trick as physically the 39-year-old is in great shape and looks after himself extremely well and is still ‘the best that we have’ according to Knight, who feels that other countries will take ‘calculated risks’ with players so doing this with James is something we should do: ‘Jamo is easily his best choice. He is a professional and knows what he has to do to stay fit.

‘Harry Redknapp used to do the same with Steve Stone and Paul Merson. They would have rests, but be ready to go for games.

‘Can you imagine Spain not taking Fernando Torres because he is nursing an injury?

‘Will he not take Steven Gerrard if he is carrying a bit of a knock? The same has to go for Jamo.’

You just have to look at the keepers currently in the squad, Rob Green, Ben Foster and Joe Hart – whilst Green is not exactly inexperienced in footballing terms, in international terms he is! Between the lot of them they can only have around 10 caps, and for me this is not enough experience to be carrying into a world cup finals. All it needs is for the one ‘seen’ as the no.1 to freeze, or bottle it and we could be done.

If James does not make the squad then surely someone like Paul Robinson from Blackburn would have to, due to his experience?

As it is I still maintain my thoughts, much like Knight, that James is the best English keeper around and he would be my no.1 in South Africa – hopefully leaving him out of the Brazil squad is just giving James more time to rest his problematic knee whilst also taking another look at other keeper before deciding who goes to the world cup, along with James…

Read the full article: England – The best man for the job.