‘Lonely’ Reece James trains at Chelsea as England squad prepare for World Cup opener

‘Lonely’ Reece James trains at Chelsea as England squad prepare for World Cup opener

England begin their World Cup 2022 campaign against Iran on Monday, as debate rages over who should start their Group B opener.

While Gareth Southgate has certainly earned the right to be trusted after taking the Three Lions to a semi-final and a final at the last two major tournaments, no England manager is above criticism when it comes to selection matters.

That, frankly, goes with the territory and there will be dissenting voices no matter who Southgate picks in Al Rayyan.

One of the most contentious issues comes at right-back. Kieran Trippier, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ben White could all feasibly start there, while Kyle Walker is another option, albeit carrying an injury and not all too often featuring as in that role under Southgate.

Such is the strength in depth there, the England boss is likely to attract criticism.

Perhaps the one solace Southgate can take in the matter is that Chelsea’s Reece James is not further complicating the situation.

Left out of the squad despite making a late push from an injury picked up in the Champions League against AC Milan, James has posted an update on Instagram as he continues in his recovery.

“It’s a crowd when it’s time to party but when it’s time to put that work, it gets lonely,” wrote the 22-year-old while wearing his Chelsea training kit.

The club are confident James will be ready to return to action after the World Cup, with plans for a warm-weather training camp in Abu Dhabi drawn up.