James' contract offer withdrawn
The Pompey career of David James is now finally over with the offer of a contract to him being withdrawn this morning.
He was given a final 24-hours to decide if he wanted to sign the contract on offer to him at Fratton but his failure to do so has seen David Lampitt confirm, on Radio Solent, that the offer has been withdrawn: 'we have done everything we possibly could.
'Our first preference would have been to keep hold of him, but unfortunately in these circumstances we can't always get over the line with these things.'
Quite how much James wanted to be manager remains to be seen, although this did not happen - it is also unclear if he was actually offered a player-coach position, as had been 'claimed?'
What does seem apparent is the fact that the club highlight that keeping him as a player is what they wanted, hence perhaps a coaching role was not included: 'both myself and Steve Cotterill tried to get to the point where we might be able to retain him as a player.
'He's been a great player for this club, a real asset over a number of years.
'We held out for him for as long as we could, but we've got three weeks until the start of the new season and we need to continue the re-building process and obviously part of that is getting a good goalkeeper in.'
You might remember back along that I said I was unsure if Steve Cotterill would want someone as 'vocal' and 'opinionated' as James as a coach? The guy has been known to be quite a powerful presence in the dressing room in the past - so perhaps 'overstepping boundaries' is something that was a concern for Cotterill?
It goes without saying that I am gutted to see Jamo go, had we kept him this would have made a hell of a lot of difference to our season I am sure - although I am not in the least bit surprised as I have been resigned to him leaving for several weeks now and have also made no secret of the fact I felt this.
We could not wait indefinitely for him to commit could we, so there had to come a time when we said enough was enough - I can understand why he wanted to wait but can understand more that we could not wait any longer, we NEED another keeper!
Welcome back Jamie Ashdown then I guess, as it is a near dead certainty that he will return now, right?
I just hope that 'word on the street' that Liam O'Brien could join the youngster exodus does not prove to be the case as I retain my thoughts that in spite of his inexperience, which is only gained by playing, he is as good as Ashdown, arguably better - most certainly a better long-term prospect than Paddy and we WOULD regret letting him go, if we did.
Best of luck Jamo, thanks for all you have done for us over the years, it would have been nice to see you stay for at another year at least but all good things come to an end at some point...
PLAY UP POMPEY!
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