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James' contract offer withdrawn

The Pompey career of David James is now finally over with the offer of a contract to him being withdrawn this morning.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to him at Fratton but his failure to do so has seen David Lampitt confirm, on Radio Solent, that the offer has been withdrawn: 'we have done everything we possibly could.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...


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The Journalist

Writer: pompeyrug Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 21 2010

Time: 10:52AM

Your Comments

I can understand putting a time limit on James accepting the offer as we need to prepare for the new season, what I don't understand though is if Ashdown is the number one choice to replace him and isn't currently fit to play we surely won't be getting him to sign a contract until he's proved himself fit, that be the case it's going to be a week or two to wait so why not give Jamo until then? It's a shame as I think he could of been the difference between us coming 22nd and 24th this season...
He obviously wanted to wait til the last minute to see what other offers came in for him, trouble is we're not in a position to play the waiting game. It's a great shame to see him go as he was one of my favourite players and I bet he does well whereever he ends up. Good luck Jamo and thanks for the memories. PUP!
The other thing people need to remember is that although Jamo would without a doubt save us points this season he is getting on and with more games being played probably could not keep up the whole season playing every game. Especially playing every game without getting injured. I think O'Brien should be given a chance, more games = more confidence = better keeper(hopefully!).
There doesn't seem to be a lot to gain by withdrawing the offer - we should just wait for DJ's response
I am in the boat that says we could not wait forever, and Jamo has had weeks and weeks to decide. I understand that it is a tough decision but it is not one that we can hang around for.

I will wish Jamo all the best for the remainder of his footballing career. He has served us very well and given us some great (and some awful) memories. Thanks David.

As soon as Pompey refused the player and coaching role then the end result was inevitable, you have to say Pompey have not tried their best. I also think Cotterille isn't really sad to see him go as a well respected keeper with personality, articulated and with opinions could be a threat to him in the dressing room; I'm not saying it's wrong but the managers comments do seem a bit up and down manic at times. You also got a sense of that the way the manager lashed out by 09.30 the Monday morning after James was supposed to take a weekend to think about it, the Friday afternoon before it was hyper positive. Just a point isn't Ashdown supposed to be medium term injured? I still don't get why he is in the states. My other thought was; didn't we let Ashdown go as someone who wasn't going to make the grade?
If OBrien goes the same as the other; now bit good enough youngsters; who is the back up keeper for when Ashdown gets yet another injury?
This is such a great blow! I just hope that we manage to get in another keeper as I have no faith in Ashdown. I just hope that if he stays, he proves me wrong! Is Cudicini still with Tottenham? Can 'Arry loan him to us?
Pompey Malta
Very sorry to see him go - whether they tried hard enough to keep him or not, and whether he wanted to stay or not - he has been our rock. He will be remembered as a complete star at Pompey for a long long time, a wonderful character, and I still maintain the best goalkeeper that Pompey have ever had and ever will have. Nice (_|_) too. Good luck to him, and I hope his England career continues a bit longer as well.

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