David James backs Pompey to banish FA Cup demons

David James played the last time Pompey won in the FA Cup - a semi-final victory over Spurs in April 2010
David James played the last time Pompey won in the FA Cup - a semi-final victory over Spurs in April 2010
4
Have your say

DAVID JAMES has backed Pompey to banish their FA Cup demons against Macclesfield Town tomorrow (3pm).

That is after the Fratton Park hero expressed his amazement at being a part of the last Blues team to win in the competition – more than five years ago.

Wow, that’s amazing. I am surprised, seven games – you would think they would get a win surely

David James

James skippered Avram Grant’s underdogs to a 2-0 semi-final victory over Spurs at Wembley in April 2010, before narrowly missing out on lifting the Cup for the second time in three seasons with defeat to Chelsea in the final.

Since then, 2008 winners Pompey have played a further six games without success – with last season’s humiliating first-round replay defeat at Aldershot the first time in the club’s history they had lost out to non-league opposition.

It is a dismal run that James expects to be put right at the eighth time of asking, against the National League Silkmen.

When informed of the Blues’ painful run, the former England keeper said: ‘Wow, that’s amazing.

‘I did not know that – that’s an interesting statistic.

‘I am surprised, seven games – you would think they would get a win surely.

‘They are in a good position this season, so this should be the year with Macclesfield at home.’

In the 2010 semi-final, Frederic Piquionne’s extra-time goal put Pompey ahead against Spurs after the first 90 minutes ended goalless.

Aruna Dindane then won a penalty, which was converted by Prince Boateng, to finish the job.

James admitted the underdogs tag given to the Blues that day only proved to inspire them – which was more than could be said for the club’s commemorative polo shirts.

‘The semi-final was memorable, facing Harry Redknapp again,’ said James.

‘It was shades of the Manchester United game in 2008 in that Tottenham were going to go through because they were better than us.

‘It was a case of: “Well done to Portsmouth for reaching the semi-final”.

‘I was going through some boxes this week and I found one of the polo shirts we had made for the game.

‘It said “Portsmouth, 2010 FA Cup semi-final” on it.

‘I remember thinking it was wrong, getting a special polo shirt for the semi-final. That is almost a submission we are not going to get to the final.

‘Again, it was 0-0 and we got to extra-time and then Mr Dindane did his stuff and that was it.

‘We had beaten the clear favourites once again.’

Now working for BT Sport, James will be on duty as a pundit when Didcot Town take on Exeter City on Sunday.

And he is hoping another famous upset could help pave the way for a third-round showdown between two of his former clubs.

The 45-year-old added: ‘I am covering the Didcot against Exeter City match.

‘Hopefully, Pompey will have Didcot in the second round and Liverpool away in the third round!’