Thomas Tuchel has made mockery of England’s decision to inlude Reece James in the their squad, saying “I thought maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team because he trains in the pool.”
James was named in Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for October’s World Cup qualifiers despite limping off against Manchester City last weekend and missing the midweek trip to Juventus.
Tuchel believes the call-up must be a “misunderstanding” with the defender not in full training, and does not expect him to play for England, while James will also miss Chelsea’s match with Southampton on Saturday.
“I thought maybe Reece was called up to the England water polo team because he trains in the pool,” Tuchel said.
“I was a bit surprised, but I understand he was selected. This will not happen, because he’s training in the pool. It can only be a misunderstanding.”
Asked if anyone from England had got in touch before James was named in the squad, Tuchel replied: “Imagine if every international coach calls the [club] coach? Nobody could reach me anyway. The club is in touch, and [Chelsea technical director] Petr Cech sorts these things out. It can happen.”