Chelsea defender Reece James left a revealing comment on an Instagram post by Ivan Toney after the Brentford striker fired an injury-time winner to defeat Manchester City on Saturday afternoon. Toney, who was left out of England’s 26-man World Cup squad by Gareth Southgate earlier this week, hit the mark for the Bees when they recorded a famous win at the Etihad Stadium against the defending Premier League champions. .
Toney put Brentford a goal up on 20 minutes when he headed in from close range, though the west Londoners were forced back just before the half-time whistle by a fine finish from City midfielder Phil Foden. The former ultimately got the last laugh, however, as he finished off a sweeping counter-attack in the dying seconds of the game to snatch all three points from Brentford and deal a major blow to City’s hopes of fighting Arsenal for the World Cup title. Premier League this season. .
He took to Instagram after the match to share a photo of himself with his fingers in his ears, apparently as a nod to his World Cup exclusion which saw Newcastle striker Callum Wilson drafted by the Three Lions instead. James made his feelings on the situation clear with an interesting comment on Toney’s post, saying, “If I speak up, I’m in big trouble.”
The Chelsea right-back was also omitted from the England squad as he continues to recover from a knee injury, although he is slowly moving closer to a return to fitness and will be aggrieved at being snubbed by Southgate earlier this week. James would normally be a favorite for the Three Lions, but he has missed Chelsea’s last eight games in all competitions and was apparently deemed too risky by the England boss, who will instead take on Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Ben White and Kyle Walker to Qatar as their chosen right-backs.
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James hinted that he was frustrated not being in the World Cup squad by posting a lengthy statement on social media earlier this week, which read: “Devastated. The moment I injured my knee I knew the change to get to the World Cup”. It would be tight, but I always felt it was possible.
“I’ve worked harder than I ever thought I could to give myself the best chance to go and I really think I could help the team. I appreciate there were risks on both sides, but I was willing to take them. Good luck guys. I’ll be back soon.” Stay safe and sending love.”
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Meanwhile, Southgate insisted on Thursday that James was left out of the England squad because it would have been hard to expect him to perform at his usual level after an eight-week break, with the Chelsea defender in line to return for the quarterfinals in Qatar.
“We had to make a very difficult call with Reece, who we think is a fantastic player,” said the England manager. “But he wasn’t going to be available, if everything went perfectly, until the later stages of the tournament and there were too many unknowns for us on that road to recovery.
“And I also don’t think we can take a player who is not available to the pool, that would be considered arrogant in some circles. But also, if everything went well and he was available and ready and we would take him, then we would leave him in the quarterfinals. after eight weeks. That would be very demanding. A difficult decision.”
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