An impressive start for Everton in their 2020-21 Premier League campaign, an impressive performance from new signing James Rodriguez. The Toffees won their game against Tottenham 1-0. The former Real Madrid man was a crucial player in their midfield, often getting into central areas in the final third. According to this post, James Rodriguez created the most chances and made most interceptions in the game. Often playing out wide and cutting in from the right to shoot with his stronger left foot, Rodriguez was more than influential in the match.
But despite his brilliant debut, Ancelotti was quick to play down expectations and ease pressure on the Colombian midfielder. Speaking to the media in the post-match press conference, he was quoted as saying, “This performance gives us more confidence for the future. We showed what we can do. For the players, it was important to show what they can do. James Rodriguez brings his ability to control the ball, to do the right passes, to keep the team comfortable with the ball. This was important. But it’s only the first match of the season.”
This is perhaps going to be what Ancelotti expects from Rodriguez after all. Often running up the field to help in counter attacks or starting them on his own, he will also look to sharply position himself in the wide areas. With the likes of Gomes and Richarlison helping by occupying the central areas and Calvert-Lewin attacking the near or far posts depending on the situation, the idea for Rodriguez is clear – cross accurately to find the man to score. He will be equally dangerous when Everton win set-pieces and especially in short-range free-kicks, he will look to make a strong impact.
With the need to accommodate Siggurdson and Gomes, James will probably play as a right attacking midfielder than a proper no 10. And the best part about that is Everton will only seek to benefit with defensive-minded players in Allan and Doucoure doing the dirty work. That mean Ancelotti’s men, whose philosophy is based on fast counters and occupation of wide areas, has something for everybody. James Rodriguez can shine in the peak of his career, and Carlo Ancelotti will be the man to help him do it.
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