Dreams have been the luxury of others; James helps change that for Everton

Tuesday, 15 September, 2020 30comments  |  Jump to last
Daniel Storey writes that James Rodriguez's Premier League debut proved he has still got it. The Colombian will be the competition's most intriguing sideshow as Everton fans dare to dream again.

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Stan Schofield
1 Posted 15/09/2020 at 21:17:12
That's a very good article. It basically focuses on the fact that outstanding players make the ball do more of the work, something we've seen only glimpses of at Everton in the recent past (for example, with Gomes' part in the midfield with Gylfi and Gana two seasons ago), but haven't seen consistently. Now, perhaps with the increased quality in depth that we have in midfield, we'll see it more consistently.

The article makes a great point about how players of James' quality seem to make time, to make the game flow at the pace they want. If we get this consistently, it will help the overall organisation and gelling of the entire team. The Spurs game gave us clear signs for optimism, subject of course to the natural tendency we've developed as Evertonians to be cautious and brace for potential disappointment.

Derek Knox
2 Posted 16/09/2020 at 08:20:37
Another good read Lyndon, so thanks again for sharing it with us. I assume the photo of James on an illuminated Billboard was in New York, another plus that we are attracting more attention from across the pond. Just wait till S. America (especially Columbia) kicks in!

Like a fellow poster said on another thread, "if someone had said a year ago that Carlo Magnifico Fantastico, would be Manager, and James Rodriguez and Allan would be playing for us" you would have expected a restraint jacket and accompaniment by two burly men in white coats.

I dare say we could have got Doucoure, had any other Manager been at the helm, as he has been linked with us as long as I care to remember, but never the other two. Let's hope the superstars don't end there, but must hasten to add that any more incomings will have to be paved with deadwood outgoings, easier said than done.

Great times to be a Blue!

Darren Hind
3 Posted 16/09/2020 at 10:50:49

Carlo was contemplating retirement. He had been sacked again and they were not exactly queuing around the block to make him an offer.
Moshiri offered him a 60m contract to come and manage in one of the worlds top leagues. He should be thanking Everton. Not the other way around

James had lost his way. Munich didnt want him. He'd long since been out of favor in Madrid. He had months, not years left on his contract and the queue to pay him top dollar was about as long as the one to sign Carlo.
Not only did We offer him a 12.5m contract. He got a 5m bonus too and he was taken away from his nightmare. He too should be thanking Everton. not the other way around

Lets make no mistake here; If Carlos really did have this mythical pulling power, James would probably not be here. The kitty would already have been blown on the lighthouse and yard dog who snubbed Carlo to sign for Arsenal and Spurs.

Allan was also out of favor although it would appear his problems in Italy were more of a political nature.

Doucoure had just been relegated.

Can we please, please, please stop talking about how lucky "little old us" are to have such people. We have thrown them all a life line. A chance to resurrect their careers.
We havent just given them a chance to shine on the big stage again we have kept them in the big league salary wise too. They must be pinching themselves.

The guy who outbid me for the Guitar on Ebay this over the weekend didnt outbid me because he was lucky...and heres something else; He will be expecting an awful lot of pleasure from that guitar in return for his money...How about we start thinking the same ?

I like to think fate has taken a hand here. The rejection from that yard dog who played for Spurs on Saturday may prove to be one of those turning points (Robins for Ferguson..Kevin Brock for Howard)

We've all seen movies where highly talented rejects, misfits and mavericks have been thrown together and produced fireworks and regardless of how it happened, we now have a hugely talented bunch here.

Moshiri has once again done his part. We have gone past the stage of thinking "little old us" are lucky to have these people. We have reached the stage where we are entitled to demand and expect something substantial in return

Stan Schofield
4 Posted 16/09/2020 at 11:37:17
Darren@3: Totally agree, they are all lucky to be at Everton. Although by our own standards we regard ourselves as mediocre (even shite) for more than two decades, by most standards we're a habitually successful club in that we're habitually midtable in arguably the toughest league in the world. We simply haven't been elite for some time, but we fans naturally expect us to be elite because that's our background until the PL era. Similarly, Ancelotti and James have been elite, although not for a few years. Both they and us want to be elite again, the sooner the better, so the relationship is symbiotic. They should be thankful for being here (because it gives them the chance to be elite again, plus they get paid well for it), and we might be thankful that they're here (because it increases the chance of us being elite again, which is why they're being paid). It works both ways imo.

The article is good in that it focuses on the quality of James in specific ways. For me, if he manages to show such quality consistently, I might consider him the modern-day equivalent of Colin Harvey, a similarly gifted football artist who helped make us elite.

Hugh Jenkins
5 Posted 16/09/2020 at 12:36:37
Whether they are lucky, or we are lucky, is a moot point and remains to be proved.
What is clear is that all the incomers (including CA) have proven talent - something we have lacked for a considerable time.
It may be that via the mysteries of Alchemy, these apparently tired and disparate elements, are going to combine to make one last gold ingot from base metal and, if Everton should be the benefactors, I for one will be delighted.
My view is that Carlo Ancelotti is determined to prove that he is not "yesterday's man" and he is in the process of starting to build a successful dynasty at Everton.
We all know the formula - "success breeds success" and if we are not in the CL we have no hope of attracting the young star players we crave.
I believe Carlo has looked at this and said - "right, we'll get in a few real stars that are coming to the end of their careers. Get two or three seasons out of them which will put us into the top 6 / CL group in the EPL then, when we are established there, we can attract the younger up and coming stars - which is what we, as supporters want.

This is the first step on that journey and I feel more confident about the outcome of this season than I have since Joe Royle left as manager.

Peter Warren
6 Posted 16/09/2020 at 13:34:43
Good read and definitely true that the best players have more time and space and get even more time and space as opponents don’t want to look silly.

Regarding your points Darren, I get the impression Carlo is thankful to be at Everton. However, I do think it was his choice and I think many are thankful he made that choice as they consider him a great manager. Nothing wrong with that opinion. I do disagree with your inference that Carlo had been left on the rubbish dump and did not / wouldn’t have had other opportunities to go to more favoured clubs and earn just as much money.

Steve Brown
7 Posted 16/09/2020 at 13:55:04
Congratulations to Carlo on a well-conceived and superbly executed transfer strategy. Without him, we would never have been able to sign Allan or James.

He transformed our midfield and he was the catalyst for change that we saw on Saturday. A long way to go but cautious optimism.

Ken Kneale
8 Posted 16/09/2020 at 14:08:40
Stan - I like your association with Colin Harvey - a vastly underrated footballer of exceptional ability whose talents lay on the pitch not in the self promotion of himself. One England cap when you look who were filling their cupboards at the time is measure of how underrated he was.
Jamie Crowley
9 Posted 16/09/2020 at 14:08:52
This comparison of who’s luckier, Carlo and James to resurrect their careers, or Everton for having them + Allan for me is a bit silly.

Can we call it a win-win, perfect storm and relationship, and enjoy the ride?

Stan Schofield
10 Posted 16/09/2020 at 14:48:26
Ken@8: As you say, Harvey was underrated. I always thought him world-class. Thing is, he started REALLY blooming when Ball arrived in 66, and then when Kendall arrived in 67 the perfect midfield was created. It was the best midfield in the world, the only other comparable one being the great Brazil one from 1970.

In this respect, the output of a player of great quality depends on the team he's in, how it gells as a unit, the whole being greater than the sum of the parts, etc. Each of Ball, Harvey and Kendall was fortunate to play alongside the other two. The chemistry was perfect, and it was incredibly stylish.

It's early days with Ancelotti and the new signings, but if we can get and sustain good chemistry given the new signings, and enhance it further with one or two more signings, then we could be on our way to consistent winning (and stylish) ways sooner than we could have thought possible. Only two years ago we had a very good midfield with the 'three Gs', but of course it didn't last, because we didn't have enough quality in depth. Hopefully, that's now changing.

Kevin Molloy
11 Posted 16/09/2020 at 14:53:08
I'm wondering what it is you would have to do to get out from under a 'just lucky' verdict. Clearly five Champions League Medals don't get you there, or bringing world class talent at rock bottom prices to Walton after five years of tat.. Maybe if he got us top four in the next couple of years? But I've got a horrible feeling that will be just luck too.
Stan Schofield
12 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:01:48
Kevin@11: I don't think anyone has said that Ancelotti or James are 'just lucky', only that they are lucky to be at Everton, just as we are lucky to have them because of their obvious pedigree. It's the latter, and the signs from the Spurs game, that leads us to dream of what could be. Seemingly realistic dreaming, rather than idle dreaming and hope.
Kevin Molloy
13 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:08:56
I think Darren in his post was implying that a team of oddballs had been thrown together and somehow we had landed on our feet. I think that does Carlo a disservice.
Derek Thomas
14 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:19:48
In the acting world there's a saying - 'you can't cast chemistry'. Nor can you buy it on a football field...and we've spunked £250M trying...but sometimes with with the help of educated guessers and an educated guess, you can stumble upon it.

Time will tell if the Moshiri's 'balls out go for broke and sod FFP' will work or not.

Steve Brown
15 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:26:57
Stan @ 12, I think the contention is indeed that Ancelotti and James are lucky, that 'we have thrown them a lifeline'. and 'they must be pinching themselves'. Couldn't be clearer given those are verbatim quotes.

The other contention is that is 'fate that has taken a hand here'. That by a random sequence of events -' where highly talented rejects, misfits and mavericks have been thrown together and produced firework.' It is an inexplicable beyond the fact that is all an unpredictable event.

To argue otherwise would require an acknowledgment that the transfer strategy, pre-season training and team selection that led to the Spurs win earns Ancelotti credit. The right thing to do would simply to give credit where it is due, but apparently that is not possible.

Stan Schofield
16 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:27:37
Kevin@13: Fair enough, but I read Darren's post differently from that. I read it to mean that these guys are lucky to be at Everton, which I agree with. But I also think that we're lucky to have them. Like Ball, Harvey and Kendall, similarly Ancelotti, James and Everton might be fortunate to have each other. Only time will tell I suppose.
Geoff Lambert
17 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:27:55
Not many bites then Darren!! Need to change your bait lad the fish are getting wiser.
Kevin Molloy
18 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:29:23
Stan yes indeed.
Steve Brown
19 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:33:09
Geoff @ 17, I thought that the plan from the aforementioned was to start writing his own columns to share his thoughts. Guess that got a bit lonely.
Darren Hind
20 Posted 16/09/2020 at 15:54:31

Colin Harvey ? now you are talking. My favorite player of all time. If James can give us half as many dazzling performances as CH we will all be in for a treat.


You make a good point. Gratitude should be a two way thing and the feeling of being lucky to have each other should also be mutual...but arent some fans getting a little ahead of themselves ?

Carlo has every reason to be grateful. The club have done their bit. They have given Carlo his 60m contract. At this moment in time, he as given us less than nothing in return.

We had all this premature coronation bollocks with the last three managers. Especially world cup winning, European champion, tell-it-like-it-is Koeman.. This place was awash with triumphant trumpet blasts as he and his sdie kick squndered 250m. As a club we still havent recovered.

Carlo will get a pat on the back from me whenever his team gets a good draw. or puts in a good performance. He will get a round of applause from me when they win (deserved or othewise). But until he is parading a trophy around Goodison park he will get zero gratitude.

We must have the only manager in world football, who will have all his errors excused. The only one who his cheered from the rafters because of his previous record. Its not just happening with this one. it happened with the one before that and the one before that.

No wonder we are a laughing stock. I've actually given up hope of seeing an Everton manager actually have to earn the gratitude and love of the faithful. Too many want to just lavish unconditional love on them before they have given anything in return for the vast fortunes they have been paid.

Mike Gaynes
21 Posted 16/09/2020 at 16:06:59
Stan and Peter, I'm with you guys.

Everybody's lucky in this situation. The cards fell just right for Carlo, the players, the club, and most of all us fans. Not much point in debating who's luckier or why.

Some people will never stop looking for a reason to express sour sentiments, which is kinda sad in my book. Like Jamie says, just enjoy the ride.

John McFarlane Snr
22 Posted 16/09/2020 at 16:19:33
Hi all, it saddens me to read that no matter what the current topic may be money raises it's ugly head, of course managers/players will be attracted to clubs who offer the best terms. I may be misinterpreting Darrens post but I believe that he considers that money is the only reason that Ancelotti, Allan, Doucoure, and Rodriguez joined Everton, he may well be right, if that's not his point I apologise.
We all attend games where players make mistakes, some fans in close proximity to me scream, "£60, 000 a week and he can't trap a ball" my reaction is one of disappointment because the player failed to tap the ball, his salary doesn't play any part in my disappointment/dismay. I totally agree with Jamie [9] "We should view it as a win-win situation" time and results will decide the outcome.
Jay Harris
23 Posted 16/09/2020 at 16:31:48
I hope our luck is changing and is being driven by Professor Ancelotti who must be the most decorated person to still be managing.

You don't get that by being "lucky" to be at Everton you get that because you know what you are doing and have the wherewithall to do it well wherever you manage.

Despite the detractors I for one feel we are very lucky to have landed one of the best managers in the world. World class players know it and acknowledge it so why should anyone try to belittle it.

Brian Williams
24 Posted 16/09/2020 at 16:34:31
Don't you dare be, or feel, positive Derek some just won't have it mate.
Jay Harris
25 Posted 16/09/2020 at 16:34:52
Good to see you posting Sir John.

Hope you are in good health.

Tony Everan
26 Posted 16/09/2020 at 17:07:55
I liked the Einsteins Relativity comment. Time really does slow down when James has control, glides past a quality yard dog like Hojbjerg and finds a moment of space. In some respects this defines the real world class players. They just have everything and because that is very rare, it looks like magic to all watching.

Sometimes dissecting this and that, over analysis of failings, wages or fees needs to be put on the back burner. Everything is too transient and a moment in time has to be enjoyed and savoured. The display on Sunday was one of those moments.

Conor McCourt
27 Posted 16/09/2020 at 17:30:51
Listen guys we have won one game of football. That's it. Carlo has it all to prove, the new players have to prove this over the course of the season and indeed their contracts and not just at the beginning where the desire to do well is very strong.

Where I agree with Steve Brown is that Carlo does deserve credit for that performance. It was excellent. For me it was the first time I have watched an Ancelotti Everton team and thought he could be a success here and I have hope for the first time in his tenure. Some have highlighted the impact of the players but for me we also looked a well coached team. I would argue if you put those three players into any of those post Lockdown games we may have been more competitive but we wouldn't have had that cohesion and standard.

Either a lot of work has gone on behind the scenes from Carlo's staff or it all just came together on the day or Spurs were just so bad that they made us look good. Either way we will know more over the next few months as to how good we really are.

From my perspective this was the performance I had been crying out for since he came and Carlo and the boys delivered. The scoreline was immaterial.

What I will say on the flip side is Darren is right about going overboard. There were things I didn't like about that game also.

Firstly despite our dominance they could have been two up as they cut us apart so easily.
Secondly I didn't like any of Carlo's subs and I felt they had a negative impact on us. Gomes was bossing the game when he was taken off and Siggy didn't offer any greater solidity while dramatically reducing our chances of killing the game off. Davies brought on wide right? and as much as I like Kean he is not the player you want on to hold possession which we needed to do. On another day a more potent Spurs could have fluked a draw by us inviting them onto us a la Newcastle.

Spurs also approached the game like we did this summer and I wonder will we look as good when opponents are pressing high and being aggressive and did we look so good as they allowed us to?

As for celebrating the signings and especially James it is still too early to do so. I don't think anyone was surprised by his quality as much as he is such a joy to watch in a blue shirt you can't help but marvel, the question for him is to stay fit. He was the signing that was less of a gamble due to his upside but we need to get him out on the pitch most weeks. That will most likely define whether he is to be a success. What was really impressive to me was his physique and condition on the day, he looked a specimen for one who has been so short of action.

John Pierce
28 Posted 16/09/2020 at 18:12:13
Tony, the wonderful paradox is as Rodríguez is involved whilst it does look easy and in slow motion Everton actually look quicker.

The virtue of having technically gifted players is the ball moves more quickly as they make less basic errors and can often turn poor passes into good ones.

The one area that fails is right back and centre half. The three players there are not technically gifted, often the bobble balls, have poor ball speed and make wayward passes. If we are to become a more attacking entity those positions are the ones we need change.

Darren Hind
29 Posted 16/09/2020 at 18:13:37

Its "positive" to say we should consider ourselves fortunate and be really grateful to a manager who has had his part of the deal carved in stone. But is negative to point out that he is the one who has been rewarded and so far he hasn`t actually given anything back yet ?


I have said only good, complimentary things about our new signings since they got here, but once again that is not enough for some people. They will home in on bits they don't like - The bits where I am not happy clapping their man.

Some on here make me laugh. To be "positive" you have to agree with everything they say or you are looking to express only sour sentiments ?

Sorry, but thats not happening. I come from a background where people save the Bravo's for the end of a good performance. They don't mindlessly clap what they hope is going to happen as the curtain rises.

I'd rather question and scrutinise everything and be called Negative than make the palms of my hands raw trying to demonstrate to everyone how positive I am.

John McFarlane Snr
30 Posted 02/10/2020 at 18:34:26
Hi Daren [29] I believe I understand your point of view, it's obvious that managers are regarded by the success they enjoy and that to be in that category takes time. I do however think that you are being a bit churlish in stating that 'He hasn't given anything back yet'. The same could be said of any manager at the beginning of their reign.

I also think that what he has done is given back to supporters 'their pride', and hope for the future. I enjoy reading your posts and agree with many of your views, but I would recommend a little more patience.

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