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Fans Roast Reece James as ‘Captain Who Needs a Nap’

Fans Roast Reece James as ‘Captain Who Needs a Nap’

Reece James started his first Premier League game as Chelsea captain in the 1-1 draw against Liverpool before being substituted in 76th minute, but Mauricio Pochettino was quick to dismiss injury fears by claiming that his skipper was simply ‘tired’.

This isn’t a rib or anything, that actually seems to have been the case. This was James’ first league game since April, when he was taken off in the 2-1 loss to Brighton due to a season-ending injury. The Englishman has worked hard to regain his fitness, featuring heavily in pre-season before being able to start the game against Liverpool.

The 23-year-old was run ragged by Luis Diaz & co, with the Reds creating a lot of chances through that side (including the goal). On top of that, the Chelsea captain had the obligation of carrying the ball forward and trying to keep creating chances with his crosses from the right side.

Why Reece James was substituted in Liverpool clash

But when James had to be taken off in the 76th minute, being replaced by Chelsea new boy Malo Gusto, fears set in among the fans that he might’ve suffered another injury. Pochettino, however, was quick to put those fears to rest.

He clarified James’ substitution in the second half, saying after the game: “Because he was tired. You need to see from where he came. The first thing we did when we arrived was to assess and analyse all of the players from the past. He was injured for three or four months. This pre-season was tough for him, we didn’t want to take any risk and that is why at 80 minutes, we wanted to avoid the risk.”

From the Chelsea gaffer’s point of view, taking James off might’ve been the sensible thing to do knowing his injury history and tendency to get fatigued if over-worked. With the Englishman now expected to feature heavily for the Blues as their newest captain, there is a need to manage his game-time smartly to get optimum output.

Football Twitter calls out James for ridiculous substitution

With that being said, most of Football Twitter are not so sympathetic to his situation at all. There are questions being raised on how a captain of a major Premier League club can get tired in literally the first game of the new campaign so easily.

Normally, a captain of a major club is expected to play full matches on a regular basis and complete 90+ minutes in the same. The new Liverpool captain, Virgil van Dijk, for example, played through sweat to finish the game for the Reds in the same game.

Fans are posing questions around James’ overall fitness and endurance levels as he last played 90 minutes in a league game for Chelsea way back in April.

There are also questions being jokingly raised on if James was ‘too tired’ for Liverpool’s goal against Chelsea, which saw him fail to mark the run of Luis Diaz before he scored.

A lot of rival fans are pointing jokes at James’ low fitness levels and how he underperformed as compared to some of the other top right-backs in the Premier League on the first matchday.

With that being said, Pochettino probably made the right move to take him off before 90 minutes and will keep handling James’ situation with care to ensure he doesn’t fall victim to injuries again and can at least start 90% of the matches for Chelsea this season.