Carlo Ancelotti full of praise for James Rodriguez after strong Premier League start

High five

Everton have enjoyed a stunning start to the new Premier League season.

After beating Tottenham Hotspur in north London on the opening day, they brushed West Brom aside 5-2 on Saturday, with Dominic Calvert having notched a hat-trick.

Many of the plaudits, though, once again went to James Rodriguez, who’s home debut included a fantastic finish from outside the box.

Michael Keane was in the right place at the right time to score Everton’s third on the day.

Their 2nd-straight win means that Everton sit top of the Premier League table after two games, alongside Arsenal and Crystal Palace.

Whilst the mood at Goodison Park is seemingly electric, though, coach Carlo Ancelotti is remaining grounded.

“I think the result doesn’t reflect what really happened on the pitch because honestly, in the first half, they were better than us,” Ancelotti explained, as quoted by Sky Sports.

“They played well at the beginning, I think we had a good reaction after the goal we conceded and of course, with ten men, we had one advantage in the game. It was easier in the second half.”


Everton’s business this summer has of course been lauded and envied by rival fans and experts.

The club have moved to secure three key midfield additions. Allan joined from Napoli, Abdoulaye Doucouré arrived from Watford and the aforementioned Rodriguez crossed the channel from Real Madrid.

Whilst James didn’t record anything in terms of goals or assists in his debut outing against Spurs, his performance nevertheless had onlookers intrigued.

And it would be a sign of even better things to come, as the Colombian international picked up the ball on the edge of the West Brom box on Saturday, before guiding a superb effort into the bottom corner.

To suggest that James’ signing is Everton’s best of the summer is situational. The other reinforcements to Ancelotti’s squad have also certainly buoyed the Toffees, supporting the arrival of the former Madrid star.

The Toffees’ boss, for one, is remaining modest. But Ancelotti has also been quick to point to the quality that James had displayed throughout his career:

“He is comfortable with the team and everything is OK. In this moment he is using his quality. This is the quality I saw at Madrid and the same quality I saw at Bayern.”

James Rodriguez Bayern Munich

MUNICH, GERMANY – OCTOBER 06: James Rodriguez of Bayern Munich looks dejected during the Bundesliga match between FC Bayern Muenchen and Borussia Moenchengladbach at Allianz Arena on October 6, 2018 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

“The quality of James makes him play easy. His football is not so complicated because when he gets space he likes to use his quality on passes and when he has no space and is under pressure he tries to play simple.”

Next up for Everton is a meeting with Fleetwood in the EFL Cup, before a top of the table clash against Crystal Palace.

See also: Official: Everton sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid

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This article was edited by Conor Laird.