Goalkeeper David Jamesholds the all-time record for English Premier League appearances and shutouts and played more than 50 times for England, including three games at the 2010 World Cup. In his column for the Guardian, James details some of the differences between life in the EPL and the Championship League (second division), in which he plays for Bristol City.
"Even basic moves cause problems. I like to throw the ball out quickly, but my automatic thought of rapid attack sometimes needs suppressing because in this league the players are more used to keepers hoofing it up the other end."
James says his not criticizing the players, but when it comes to the ball: "It's horrible, it's like kicking a shot put around! It definitely has a detrimental effect on the way the game is played and that can't be good for a league competing for attention with the top flight."
Then there's the shoes: "In the Premier League you want for nothing. Players have 15 pairs of boots, goalkeepers have 15 pairs of gloves. Turn up for training and your boots are clean, everything is done for you. .... At Bristol. You bring your own boots in, and you've got to clean them yourself. I slipped up last Saturday because I forgot my boots – luckily I managed to find a box with a few spares, but the only pair in my size were covered in mould. So it was a quick scrub in the sink and then off I went. At times it feels like I've come full circle in my career."