David James Stalls on Portsmouth Contract

Antony Herbert@LeeUwishWritingAnalyst IIIJuly 13, 2010

BLOEMFONTEIN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 27:  David James of England looks on during the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa Round of Sixteen match between Germany and England at Free State Stadium on June 27, 2010 in Bloemfontein, South Africa.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

At certain moments in his career, David James was cast with unwelcome nicknames. The most recent of these, "Calamity James" was born out of his regular occurrence of silly mistakes.

These often proved costly and left those who had once admired him in a position where they had to look elsewhere for talent.

He was replaced as England's No. 1 by Rob Green, and as he closed in on the age of 40, his career seemed in decline. He was heading for the exit door.

Yet Green's catastrophic error against the USA gifted James his place back. In the games that then came into fruition, he joined an elite list of England players who emerged with even a tiny bit of credit from the team's disastrous campaign.

Once again, he was afforded the positive reputation that saw him gain the position in the first place.

It forced his career into a full circle as we must also remember his season at Portsmouth.

On a team so destroyed with financial and quality worries, James often emerged from games as the player of the match. Without him, Portsmouth would have undoubtedly gone down with various unwanted records falling at the wayside.

Now, however, Portsmouth have decided that he could be leaving after he failed to make a decision over a one-year contract.

And can you blame him?

Even if he is now on the wrong side of 40, the keeper is still one of the best that England has to offer.

As a player, he is wonderfully intimidating and his increased maturity has now appeared to have engraved an enhanced amount of control into his game.

Would such a player in his current form really want to finish his career outside of the Premiership?

The simple answer is no.

It is unclear where he could go if Portsmouth do release him.

Many teams in the Premiership could do with a consistent goal stopper. Arsenal are one team who come to mind. They could utilise his skills and aim to halt the insecurities they have in front of goal.

What is clear is that a player of James's stature needs to acquire a role for the upcoming season that complements his style and reputation.

Anything else would be a travesty for the finale of a career that has had its ups and downs, yet ultimately has brought fruitful rewards to those who put their trust in him.

After all, amongst the vast array of eclectic hair styles and the abundance of personality that he brings to the sport, David James is, at the end of it all, an absolute legend.