The 39-year-old had to be content with a place on the substitutes' bench, with Robert Green wearing the gloves for the sixth successive match. And only Green's early sending-off - for a foul on Artem Milevskyi - presented the Portsmouth player with an early opportunity to show Capello he should be restored to the side.
James said: "Do I feel I have given the manager a headache? I think everyone in the squad gives the manager something to think about."
He added: "It is a good strong squad with a very eager group of players. There is a real hunger and determination in the side and a desire to perform by everybody.
"I said beforehand there were no expectations in terms of playing or not. I didn't know who was going to play until literally an hour before the match.
"If I'm not playing, as long as the performance is right, I've got no complaints. In some respects, although I got my chance, I would have preferred not to have played and won."
James had sympathy for Green but was ready and prepared to step into the breach even though it looked initially as if referee Damir Skomina had dismissed Rio Ferdinand.
His first act was to try and deny Andriy Shevchenko from the resulting penalty, but was not called upon as the former Chelsea player's effort hit the post.
James said: "Given the circumstances, with Rio the covering defender, you would have hoped Greeny wouldn't have been sent off but he has unfortunately.
"Fortunately I had done my preparations the last few days and was ready for the game when I had to go on."