Exclusive: Ex-Everton defender warns Rodriguez he can’t be the manager’s pet forever

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Former Everton player Michael Ball has fired a warning to James Rodriguez that he can’t be a “manager’s pet for the rest of his life.”

This comes after Rodriguez linked up with Carlo Ancelotti for the third time during his career at Goodison Park, having had spells previously under the Italian at both Real and Bayern Munich.

The £18m-rated 30-year-old has featured in 77 matches under Ancelotti during his time at Real Madrid, and Everton, scoring 24 goals and providing 28 assists.

Was James Rodriguez time at Everton a success?





Ball believes that Rodriguez needs to be his own man, telling This is Futbol: “It’s all hindsight now. Probably don’t think anyone expected Carlo to be back at Real so quickly, but James and I think Carlo have done this before. He signed him for Madrid, left, he signed for and left, so it’s not like he’s been left in the lurch for the first time.

“But you’re thirty years old. You’ve got to be your own man, you can’t be manager’s pet for the rest of your life. You’ve got to go out and do the job you love and playing football is hopefully what makes him happy.”

Rodriguez and Ancelotti have gone their separate ways for now, with Ancelotti back in the dugout at Real and Rodriguez in after signing for Al Rayyan for an undisclosed fee [BBC Sport].

Rodriguez offers plenty of versatility to his game as he has featured as an attacking midfielder, central midfielder, as well as playing out wide from both the left and right wings. He has also had a few games as a centre-forward and has had a highly successful career, winning a plethora of trophies. 

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