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I don't know if many of you have been to football365, but I just read this article there and
found it quite interesting coming from David Icke!

THE demolition of David James after Saturday’s FA Cup Final is a disgrace.

The guy has had a fantastic season, deservedly gets back in the England squad – and yet
now he is pilloried for one mistake and one that was nothing like as bad as it has been
portrayed, either.

Joe Melling in the Mail on Sunday produced a typical reaction: “It may be cruel, it may even
be harsh, but now he is condemned to be forever remembered as 'Calamity James'. Yes,
Joe, you are probably right, but it shows just how grotesquely efficient your industry has
become at labelling people for eternity on the basis of sometimes a single incident or error.

Once the media comes up with what it believes is a good headline or 'tag', it can’t contain
its enthusiasm for finding ways to constantly repeat and confirm it. A mild example: How
many times did you see the headline “Worthy Winner” or “Worthy goal” during the career of
Leicester and Huddersfield’s, Frank Worthington? Over and over it was repeated, week after
week and I’m sure they all thought they were being original every time. Once “James” and
“Calamity” were brought together, a very fine keeper was tagged for life.

Other goalkeepers can make mistakes, as they all do, but every one James has made
since his one bad spell at Liverpool has been jumped upon and highlighted with the same
boring, boring, headline. After Saturday, it was "Oh Calamity, It’s Another Clanger". Another
since when? Last week, last month, when he had a confidence crisis at Liverpool?

The man has been Mr Consistency all season. Even his boss, John Gregory, calls him one
of the world’s best goalkeepers and he sees him every week. If you allow for a manager’s
exaggeration, you are still looking at a guy who can play at the highest level.

But the media just love to put people in a box and then keep nailing down the lid. One box,
for example, is labelled “Beckham is thick” and so over and over… yawn, yawn… we have to
keep being told that Beckham is thick. Ironic given that many of the journalists who relish in
this Beckham baiting do not have brain cell activity themselves that would in any way
trouble the Richter Scale.

The truth is never black and white; it is always, but always, a shade of grey. Yet the media
reports the world in black and white. Hence it presents a travesty of the truth on every
subject, no middle ground, no subtlety, no if or buts. Do you want black or do you want
white? Take yer choice.

So it was at Wembley. Joe Melling, one of better reporters normally, wrote of “...an
innocuous free kick” which turned James into “a squidgy mass of butter fingers”. Exactly
what “a squidgy mass of butter fingers” could possibly look like I can’t imagine, but the free
kick was anything but “innocuous”. It was, in fact, the worst kind of cross a goalkeeper can
face. It was struck very hard and, crucially, it came over at head-height, so removing the
goalkeeper's arm-advantage. James had to make six yards to meet the ball, while Chelsea
players were already standing where the ball was targeted. The six-yard box was packed
and James had to make an instant decision. Even then, he made enough contact to block
the immediate danger and on most other days he would have got away with it.
Unfortunately, the ball hit Southgate, dropped to Di Matteo, and bang, one-nil.

James immediately and visibly accepted responsibility, perhaps too obviously because it
helped to concentrate the media on the scapegoat they so love to identify in all
circumstances. Yes, it was an error, of course it was, by the standards of a Premiership
keeper of James’ quality. But a terrible error, a schoolboy error, a “calamity” error? Utter
nonsense. He failed to make a clean contact in very difficult circumstances, but because
only black and white will do, it has to be reported in that way. The truth is too complex, too
subtle, when you have a good headline going to waste.

Another fact, which hardly helps in situations like this, is that journalists, commentators,
and even so many outfield pundits, know so little about goalkeeping (Andy Gray, usually, an
honorable exception). Every week I see keepers praised for “magnificent” saves when I
would stop the same shot myself even now at 48 with arthritic hands.

I mean, if I am standing there minding my own business and a bullet header hits me in the
chest or smacks me on the side of my face, it could hardly be construed a “wonder save”.
But I have heard these descriptions for stops that the goalkeeper could not help but make
unless, in some way, the ball could pass through him. On other occasions, exceptional
goalkeeping goes by without a mention and keepers are said to have “no chance” with goals
they should have stopped quite comfortably.

Like most “beliefs” that people have, and the media perpetuate, they are based on little
knowledge and no research, just a vague image. As a result of media headlines, for
instance, people will have an image of David James that he is a comic keeper who is always
making mistakes, when he is an outstanding natural talent. Ironically, people also believe
that the original Calamity Jane must have been accident-prone or something. Well, it stands
to reason, doesn’t it? They called her “Calamity”, so she must have been associated with
things going wrong.

Anyone ever checked?

Thought so.

1,095 Posts
i think all this talk about him being a calamity has blown up
wat about martyn
hes made a few mistakes this season
james i think is a great keeper, and the only reason why he didnt suceed at anfield is beacuse he had a crap defence in front of him


6,990 Posts
I agree, and he was made a scapegoat for that defence. If you look at Grobs before him, he was great, but he had a great defence in front of him.

17,861 Posts
Looking at Seaman as well, he has been far from his best...but yet he is never rubbished in the media!

To be honest, I never blamed James for the goal because it was obvious that it was coming...if James had messed up alone then maybe he would deserve the criticism but the truth is he doesn't!

I agree 100% with the article!

6,990 Posts
I felt for David James when he was at Liverpool. Had he have still been there this season he'd have been rated as the best keeper in the land for helping to shore up our leaky defence. (Can you guess I'm a Liverpool fan?? :) )
Instead after having his best season in years he is still classed as a joke. The English press certainly have a way with trying to destroy the best talent in the land. I mean (again Liverpool), look at the treatment of Owen after the Euro qualifiers v Scotland, he was rated as a poor player. The poor kid had just got back from injury and had only played 2 games before that.
Mindless morons ,thats the UK press!

17,861 Posts
I agree with you Razor...any attempt to drag a player down and the UK press will do it!

The media here is always taking a swipe at the sports press in other nations but they have to realise that they are just as bad!
Remember the anti-Bobby Robson and Graham Taylor campaigns...they did need to go that far!
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