David James says stranger he wrongly invited into his house revived his career

Former goalkeeper David James has revealed how a stranger he invited into his house – wrongly thinking he was a sports psychologist – revived his career.

The ex-England goalie said he had been having some bad games, earning him the nickname “Calamity James” when his performances dipped, as did his confidence, while at Liverpool. James said: “I couldn’t understand why I wasn’t playing well. And the club doctor got me in touch with what I thought was a sports psychologist.

“He came round the house. I didn’t let many strangers in my house. And we sat in the kitchen for two hours.

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“He goes ‘So what is the problem?’. I said ‘I’m having a bit of a problem with crosses’.

“So he goes ‘When was the last time you practised crosses?’ and I’m like ‘Yeah, erm, we haven’t really done much practice for a while’. And he went ‘Maybe you need to do some more practice’.

“So I addressed that situation. When he walked out I was like the weight of the world had been taken off my shoulders.

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“I went into work the next day and I’ve seen the doc and I’ve gone ‘That sports psychologist – amazing’. And he goes ‘It’s not a sport psychologist’. I actually don’t know what he does – I never found out. I’ve never seen him since.”

But James said after the chat his performances got better. He said: “I could actually deal with the stuff that beforehand I was questioning, ‘why am I not playing well?’. It was enlightening.”

Following the lul in his career at Liverpool where his confidence dropped and lost his place, he was sold to Aston Villa before rebuilding his career.

His career revival came as he moved around the country with stints also at West Ham and Manchester City. The keeper moved to Portsmouth where his career was truly kickstarted again. The Englishman won the second trophy of his career when he lifted the FA Cup in 2008 before going on to be named in the PFA Team of the Year the next season.

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