David James believes every member of Fabio Capello's 23-strong FIFA World Cup™ squad will be prepared and ready to start if chosen in the first XI by the England head coach. James registered his 50th cap when starting his first international for 13 months in Sunday's 2-1 success over Japan in Graz.
It has taken him more than a decade to reach the half-century mark for his country and the battle for the goalkeeping jersey against USA appears wide open. James has the experience to call upon but Robert Green has started eight of the last 11 internationals while Joe Hart impressed during the second half against the Japanese with a trio of fine saves. But James, who will be 40 in August, is confident anyone in the squad - which was cut down from the initial 30 today - will be fully up to the task.
He said: "It's only taken 13 years to get to 50 caps so it was well worth the wait, I'm sure! It's been a long time between 49 and 50 caps and it's been a long season with injuries and whatever else (at Portsmouth).
"Just to start against Japan was very nice, my first start in over a year, so I was very happy. Have I staked your claim to be England's No1? We'll see what happens with the selection. Joe Hart played well during the second half (against Japan) and the squad is looking all right."
James added: "I get asked if not knowing who is number one makes it difficult in terms of preparation but we're always prepared. It makes no odds to me. We'll be prepared for the first game against the USA and selection numerically doesn't necessarily determine who is going to be starting the match.
"The first 11 (in terms of numbers one to 11 in the squad list) may not be the starting 11. The way Fabio Capello sorts things out I'm certain we'll be in the best shape we can. I'm hoping it's going to be me chosen, of course, but it's about the squad and everyone will be prepared if called upon for the first game."
James believes England still have to resolve certain matters before they will be at their best. He said: "Japan gave us a good test. It's not necessarily an excuse but we seemed to be a bit leggy which might be a reflection of the two weeks we've had in the training camp.
"But we got the result and that will give us the confidence to go into the first game of the World Cup. Can we learn from it? Without doubt. I'm not going to highlight them myself but there were a few issues in the game which we need to iron out.
"We have ten days before the first game so I'm sure we'll do that. There's a few things that could be better. Although it was a friendly and whether you win it 5-0 or lose doesn't really make any difference to the preparation, going into the first game in the World Cup it was important we had a good go at it - and we did.
"We created two goals in the second half. Okay, they were own goals but it was nice to see the ball being played into dangerous areas. I'm sure the manager will have been more than happy with that."
James is optimistic England can do themselves justice in South Africa. He said: "I've said all along I'm confident we are going to do well. The two games we have had against Mexico and Japan have been good results wise. We've been able to turn a 1-0 deficit around against Japan and, on the back of two tough weeks training, it was a good show in the end so I'm still confident, very confident."
"Can England win the World Cup? I think we've got as good a chance as any. There are obviously some very very decent opposition out there. The way the USA turned around a 1-0 deficit against Turkey this week showed their intent. It's not going to be easy but I'm sure we'll be organised and we'll be dangerous."