Is the Portsmouth goalkeeper the best in the world?

England fans on Wednesday night might beg to differ but it’s clear that David James is having an astonishing season for Portsmouth, which could result in them winning the FA Cup and landing a place in the UEFA Cup. Just when you thought he had hit the peak of his form, the performance against Wigan on Saturday was nothing short of sensational.

The ITV website reports that manager Harry Redknapp couldn’t be happier with the 38-year-old, who was arguably more of a match-winner than Jermain Defoe, despite the latter scoring a brace of goals against the Latics. After saving Ryan Taylor’s penalty and then continuing to keep the visitors at bay throughout the second half, his gaffer has drawn comparisons with a certain Manchester United winger…

He said: “James is fantastic. Without a top, top keeper you are nothing and he’s the best one around at the moment.

Redknapp added: “For me he’s the Ronaldo of goalkeepers, someone who does that little bit special.

“The England thing was difficult. He was caught in no man’s land and it was virtually a collision between him and Nicolas Anelka. But I don’t believe it has upset him. He just moves on now.

“When I knew there was a chance of signing him last season I jumped at it. A lot of other silly names were thrown at me but he was always the one.

“He does fantastic things even in training, saving one-handed after diving full length, things like that. He moans on and on when we’ve conceded from a free kick but that’s because he is determined to get it absolutely right.

“He’s more concentrated now. Sometimes at Liverpool he used to make mistakes because he lost concentration and came flying out for crosses that he could never get. I think he used to get fed up and want to get involved in the action, but he’s learned from that now.”

Surely even the respective managers of Manchester United, Arsenal, Chelsea and James’ former club Liverpool would love to have James between the sticks for the rest of the season? Although it’s clear that Ronaldo will win countless player of the season awards, surely the Pompey keeper should be selected in the team of the season. It’s just a shame that it’s taken until this stage of his career for him to become outstanding, although he can kick on for a number of seasons providing he keeps himself fit.

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