Legendary Premier League goalkeeper picks Liverpool icon as his worst opponent /Link
David James has faced some of the world's greatest strikers, but it's this Liverpool icon who he feared most.
David James may not have the honours of the Manchester United players who won multiple Premier League titles, or the Chelsea or Arsenal players who won the league in their heydays. He may not even have the European and domestic cup winner’s medals that some of his own teammates at Liverpool won after he had left. But he certainly is an English footballing legend.
Only Ryan Giggs, Gareth Barry and Frank Lampard have made more Premier League appearances than James, and only Petr Cech can boast more clean sheets. Put all that together and you have one of the most influential goalkeepers of the Premier League era. That means he’s faced a lot of strikers in his time, too.
Speaking at Betsafe Star Sixes 2017, James revealed the one he hated playing against the most. “My most feared striker was Michael Owen,” he said. “He always used to score against me. Owen, Van Nistelrooy, Henry, they’re all quality players but with Michael being an old teammate from Liverpool, he knew how to score against me.”
When James left Liverpool after the arrival of another Premier League goalkeeping stalwart Brad Friedel, he went on to play for four other top flight clubs in England, and so would face Owen a number of times as well as many other of the Premier League’s greats.
At clubs West Ham, Manchester City, Aston Villa and Portsmouth, however, James was rarely protected by the great defensive names throughout his career, having to pull off miraculous saves himself to keep his clean sheets. So it’s unsurprising, then, that James would pick two of the world’s all-time best defenders in his dream team.
“Two centre-halves and two first names on the team-sheet,” says James. “Bobby Moore and Cannavaro. Cannavaro was small in size but massive in heart and Bobby Moore because he is England legend and captain in 1966. With those two we don’t lose games.”
If he played for Liverpool now with those two offering protection in front of him, Jurgen Klopp’s defensive problems would fade away rather quickly.
Rivaldo, Roberto Carlos and David James were speaking exclusively to Betsafe Star Sixes. For all the odds and betting markets on England vs Brazil, please click here.
Published on 15 Nov 2017 at 05:20AM