Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel takes swipe at Gareth Southgate for Reece James selection

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has joked that injured Reece James might well have been called up for the England water polo team following his surprise inclusion in Gareth Southgate's squad

Posted Saturday, October 02, 2021 by

Thomas Tuchel has taken a swipe at Gareth Southgate for calling up injured Chelsea defender Reece James.

Southgate selected the full back in his squad this week for England’s World Cup qualifiers against Andorra and Hungary - but that came as a shock to Tuchel, who ruled James out yesterday because he is not even back in training after an ankle injury.

The Blues boss said “When I saw it I thought maybe Reece goes with the water polo team as right now he trains in the pool!

“I was a bit surprised… He was selected for the team but this will not happen because he is training in the pool. My last information is that he will not go. It can only be a misunderstanding and nothing else.”

Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel takes swipe at Gareth Southgate for Reece James selection
Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel has insisted that Reece James won't be joining England

Southgate was criticised by Jose Mourinho when he was Tottenham boss for failing to make contact with him over injured players.

But asked whether he was surprised Southgate failed to contact him directly about James, Tuchel said: “No. Imagine if every national team coach calls!

“I am very bad at answering calls and emails. If nobody could reach me, I can’t go mad. But obviously the club is in touch.”

Southgate also called up Mason Mount despite the Chelsea midfielder missing his side’s last two games through injury.

But Tuchel said: “Mason is back. It was a minor injury. It’s obviously a given that he is nominated.”

Southgate also snubbed Chelsea full back Ben Chilwell, who has lost his place in the Blues team to Marcos Alonso.

Tuchel said: “He’s been a bit unlucky. But I can understand that he has to earn it with minutes. It’s not a big drama. I think we can accept it.

“There’s no need to worry about it. When he plays more minutes for us he will have the chance to be selected.”

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