Date: 25th March 2009 at 11:38am
Written by:

To be honest with you I am not entirely sure that the way The News is portraying what England legend Peter Shilton has ‘said’ regarding David James’ position with England, and what is should be, was said quite as they put it across, or if it was even the whole of what he said, but ‘if’ dropping James is the way forward for England I would be surprised…

The News’ spin is that Shilton has called for England to ‘axe James’ but I am not convinced this is exactly what he is saying: ‘every international keeper is going to make mistakes, but the best ones make fewer.

‘With David James and Paul Robinson that is why they both lost their spot when they had it, because they made mistakes in two or three games in succession which got them out of the England team.

‘That is the worrying thing with both of them – they can both be terrific goalkeepers ability-wise, but there is always that element of risk and silly mistakes.

‘I would like to see a young goalkeeper now in the next few games.’

To me, these very comments bare ‘remarkable resemblance’ to comments made some months ago by Shilton, so chances are they are just rehashed and reused, and were elsewhere before this…

I am not convinced that even if they are ‘fresh’ they are actually saying James should be ‘axed?’

Like most rational people, and maybe Shilts is not rational, it would appear that he is simply saying what most people with an interest in England are saying ‘we need some pressure put on him’ as he cannot go on forever with England can he – if he makes it to the world cup in 2010, which he could and probably should, that will almost certainly be it for him and England.

Lets just say, for arguments sake, that Shilts was saying ‘we should drop James’, who the hell are we going to drop him for?

He would have a short memory, as the last time we ‘looked to move forward’ by throwing in a rookie in one of the countries most important games for many a year it backfired horribly when Steve McClown called on Scott Carson – a move that probably set him back years, if he will ever recover from this to an international standard!

Carson has been mentioned, Chris Kirkland cannot keep himself fit enough for long enough to do this, Paul Robinson, well is just Paul Robinson, Rob Green although a top keeper does not have that ‘something’ about him for me and Paul Hart and Ben Foster – the best around for sure – are not even no.1’s at their clubs, so how can they be the nations no.1…

Friendlies are the ideal time to look at new players, and I agree that the keepers should be looked at, but these are a far cry from a crucial world cup qualifiers or major finals games – experience that James has with and can cope with, for me ‘experimenting’ too much in this area ‘post world cup’ seems unlikely, yep we start looking at options but the change surely has to come for the next qualifying campaign England embark on, the quest to get to Euro 2012, and not the 2010 world cup finals themselves?


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