World Cup 2010 - James hates 'dreadful' new ball

PA Sport - Wed, 02 Jun 09:48:00 2010

England goalkeeper David James has joined his Spanish and Italian counterparts in criticism of the new World Cup ball, describing it as "dreadful" and "horrible".

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The 'Jabulani' has already been criticised by Iker Casillas and Gianluigi Buffon and James fears the movement of the adidas ball - particularly at altitude - will be a cause for concern for goalkeepers across the tournament.

James said: "The ball is dreadful. It's horrible, but it's horrible for everyone. You saw from Frank (Lampard)'s free-kick in the first half against Japan which dipped wickedly, so it'll be interesting."

The Portsmouth man fears he or another number one could be made to look foolish by the Jabulani.

"There are undoubtedly going to be some goals scored in this tournament which in previous tournaments with different balls wouldn't have been scored," he added.

"It'll allow people to score extra goals, but leave some goalkeepers looking daft."

Italy goalkeeper Buffon described the ball's trajectory as "unpredictable" and insisted it would not just be goalkeepers who would suffer.

He said that a misplaced pass from midfielder Andrea Pirlo which would normally miss its mark by a few inches could be off course "by three metres... every touch comes with the unknown."

Spain's Casillas called the Jabulani "a beach ball", and James added that it will take time for keepers to get to grips with it.

"There's no real way of coping, other than lots of shooting practice," added the Portsmouth player. "We've been doing shooting practice every day, and I've been standing behind the goals watching the ball, so we'll be prepared."

PA Sport

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