Speaking recently on The Blue Room podcast, Dave Downie claimed that Carlo Ancelotti’s introduction of James Rodriguez against West Ham United was a ‘desperate’ move by the Everton manager.
Since arriving at Everton from Real Madrid on a free transfer back in September, James has highly impressed over his 11 Premier League appearances for Ancelotti’s side, scoring three goals and providing three assists, as well as averaging a WhoScored match rating of 7.48 – ranking him as the club’s best performer in the top flight so far this season.
However, after a calf injury had ruled him out of Everton’s last five fixtures, the £31.5 million-rated midfielder was a surprise inclusion in the Toffees’ squad to face West Ham on Saturday, although, he was not deemed fit enough to start the match.
And, following the subsequent 1-0 loss to David Moyes’ men, Downie, speaking on a recent episode of The Blue Room podcast, labelled Ancelotti’s decision to bring James on with 26 minutes left to play a ‘desperate’ move by the Italian manager, as it was evident the 29-year-old was not fully fit.
He said: “When James comes on the pitch, I think the idea is obviously to give the ball to him as often as possible. He, quite clearly, isn’t match fit, at all. I mean, it was a pretty desperate move, wasn’t it? [An] understandable one, of course.”
Do you think Ancelotti was right to bring James on against West Ham?
TIF Thoughts on Dave Downie’s comments regarding James Rodriguez…
Considering the fact that the game was rather turgid, with Everton having just two shots on target over the course of the 90 minutes, in our opinion, Ancelotti was well within his rights to chance his arm by introducing a player of James’ creativity, despite the fact that, with the benefit of hindsight, it didn’t work out.
However, the Colombia international will certainly be a welcome addition to the Everton squad over the coming weeks, and perhaps once he has regained full match fitness, Everton fans will see him at his best once again in the not so distant future.