James unsure over England future
David James refuses to retire from international football, but doesn't want to sit on the bench.
By Chris Burton
Last Updated: 13/12/07 6:17pm
David James has refused to announce his retirement from international football, but admits that he will not put up with continuously being on the bench.
James, who has 35 caps for England, was one of the players to face the chop once Steve McClaren took charge of the national team, but managed to force his way back into the reckoning 14 months later.
His reinstatement into the fold was brought about by his outstanding club form, as well as doubts over first-choice keeper Paul Robinson.
Despite being pleased to be back in contention, James admits that he was disappointed to not be called upon, and that experimenting with different keepers at an earlier stage may have prevented the disaster in the Euro 2008 qualifier against Croatia.
"I was slightly frustrated with being asked to come back in and then being put on the cusp of the squad," James said.
"In the end I only played half a game (as a substitute in a friendly against Germany).
"Scott Carson is a very talented keeper and will now be No.1 for a long time, but you look at the way things panned out and ask 'why?'
"I think Scott could have been blooded 12 months ago instead of being thrown in against Croatia.
"But I'll never retire from international football. If the new manager comes in and thinks it is right for a clean slate then fantastic, because England ultimately have to be a success.
"I was always happy to be in the squad under Mr McClaren and if the new manager fancies it, it would be nice to be in the frame.
"I won't retire from England, but at the same time I don't want to be a bench-warmer. So I'm a bit ambivalent about it at the moment."
Sven was good
James also gave his backing to the seemingly imminent arrival of Fabio Capello into the England hot-seat, and would have no qualms about working for a foreign manager again as he feels that Sven Goran Eriksson has already proved that it can work well.
"Sven was top drawer and I really liked him," he said.
"He was organised. He failed in one game against Brazil. It wasn't a series of failures like in our last campaign. Okay, there might have been a fundamental mistake, but it was just one game.
"Unfortunately Sven lost in single games against strong teams. Other than that he was good."