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Reece James posts 'cryptic' response to Ivan Toney brace, he isn't happy

Ryan Sidle

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Reece James posts 'cryptic' response to Ivan Toney brace, he isn't happy

Reece James clearly isn't happy with Gareth Southgate's England World Cup squad, leaving a message on Ivan Toney's social media.

On Thursday, Southgate named his 26 man contingent to travel to Qatar at the beginning of next week, with their opening game vs Iran just nine days away now.

As with any squad for a major tournament, there was always going to be some amount of controversy, although the Three Lions boss avoided the biggest headlines by including James Maddison.

The manager decided that Chelsea full back James' current injury, which will leave him out for the first two group games at least, was not worth risking and didn't pick him.

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James put a statement out saying how devastated he was to miss out, hinting that he felt he still could have gone to the Middle East and played his part, certainly pundit Paul Merson felt the same.

Whilst the injury meant that selection wasn't too controversial in theory, the decision not to include Brentford forward Toney was, with Newcastle United's Callum Wilson and Manchester United's Marcus Rashford picked instead.

On Saturday afternoon, Toney made somewhat of a mockery of that decision, scoring two goals, as Thomas Frank's side shocked Premier League champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

The former Newcastle striker celebrated his injury time winner by sticking his fingers in his ears, which very much seemed like a message sent to the national team boss.

Clearly James felt it was, replying to a picture on social media, quoting Jose Mourinho by saying, "If I speak I am in trouble."

With Toney no doubt unhappy at the squad selection, it's difficult to say whether James is agreeing with the general disgruntlement or agreeing that Toney shouldn't have been left out.

Speaking to BT Sport at full time, the striker said, "Listen, the only thing is keep doing well, keep doing my best. Obviously there's disappointment but I know what I'm capable of. I won't let it get me down.

"Motivation is the boys in the dressing room and the fans. When we work hard, this is what we can do. We know what we are capable of; it is what we doing week in week out in training.

"They might be Manchester City but they are humans. I think we deserved the tree points."

Toney celebrates his second goal vs City. Image: Alamy
Toney celebrates his second goal vs City. Image: Alamy

Toney wasn't the only striker who missed out, with Tammy Abraham also seeing Wilson picked ahead of him. Southgate claimed that a lack of form led to that decision.

"Tammy's had a poor run of scoring form at the wrong time really," the former Middlesbrough manager claimed, although that couldn't have been said of the Brentford striker.

There was some potential bad news for the England boss on Saturday, as James Maddison went off injured in Leicester City's game with West Ham.

It would be a huge blow if he didn't manage to make it to Qatar, fortunately, following the match, Brendan Rodgers did suggest the substitution was just precautionary.

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/Alamy

Topics: England, Brentford, Premier League, Manchester City, Reece James, Chelsea, Gareth Southgate, Football World Cup, Qatar

Ryan Sidle
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