James Rodríguez Is Here to Entertain You

Thursday, 24 September, 2020 52comments  |  Jump to last
In a piece seemingly predicated on the originally-reported fee Everton paid for James rather than the recently revealed reality, Rory Smith writes, "Don't think about the economics at play in the Colombian's arrival at Everton. Just enjoy it."

» Read the full article at New York Times

Reader Comments (52)

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Mike Gaynes
1 Posted 24/09/2020 at 23:46:22
I wish to apologize in advance for the use of profanity in this response...

But that is one fucking great article!

Nick McGregor
3 Posted 24/09/2020 at 23:50:03
Sure is Mike!

I was just scrolling through the Times, feeling depressed about the world. Then saw the article and shouted to my wife "Everton made the Times! We're a big deal!"

Steve Ferns
4 Posted 24/09/2020 at 00:00:04
Good article. Great to see the profile being raised. Long may it continue.
Don Alexander
5 Posted 25/09/2020 at 00:23:59
Really don't want to pop the euphoria bubble spouted by some journo in NYC but, moving back into the real world of the UK "soccer" fan, tonight them over the park put 7 past a team in the same league as Fleetwood. Their MotM was an unknown 19 year-old, from their youth set-up. Unlike us, since Rooney, nigh on 20 years ago.

Delighted as I am by this season's unheard of, for now, intrusion into professionalism by our curious squad, I suggest we still have a mountain to climb to achieve anything worthwhile by next May.

Jamie Crowley
6 Posted 25/09/2020 at 00:52:20
This might be the first and only time in my life I've read anything out of the NYT - as terrible and slanted a newspaper you will ever, ever find, it's utter shite - that I can say:


And then they had to show just how wonderfully intelligent and superior they are by writing this:

"...it is a Sisyphean task..."

I'll have to look that one up. Past my pay grade.

Excellent article. Highly suggest reading.

Will Mabon
7 Posted 25/09/2020 at 01:11:33
Enjoyable article, and surprisingly well informed. Though some may say we are not "Lucky" that he's here, it's sure starting to feel like it.
Dennis Stevens
8 Posted 25/09/2020 at 01:26:08
Isn't the "journo" from Manchester, Don?

Jamie, perhaps the guy's not trying to be clever, maybe he's just a Pink Floyd fan.

Bill Gienapp
9 Posted 25/09/2020 at 01:57:39
I dunno, Don (5)... our MotM was arguably someone who, outside of Everton circles, would likely be considered an "unknown 19-year-old." Admittedly not a product of our youth system, but a sizable talent nonetheless.
Mike Gaynes
10 Posted 25/09/2020 at 02:48:08
"... as terrible and slanted a newspaper you will ever, ever find, it's utter shite..."

...(eye roll)...

By the way, Jamie, the author is English. Yorkshire, to be precise. They use those words there just so we Colonials don't know what they're talking about.

Darragh Farrell
11 Posted 25/09/2020 at 03:49:26
It's a good article, not as patronising as I thought it could be, and he's done a few decent pieces on us over the past year.

It's nice to see our positive coverage growing over here in the States again. As for the NYT being "terrible and slanted", if anything its main problem is its insistence on "both sides-ism" and moral equivalence when there is none to be made with this administration.

It's amazing to think that the NYT, a bastion of US capitalist economic and political thought over the years, is considered by the Republicans as equivalent to the Morning Star! A sign of how far to the right the Republicans have drifted.

Anyway, that's a discussion for another time and place.

Ajay Gopal
12 Posted 25/09/2020 at 05:51:08
That was an enjoyable read, and surprisingly, non-patronising.

I pray that James can continue the way he has started his Everton career while remaining humble and grateful to EFC for giving him this opportunity. If he does that and leads Everton to success, he will be remembered as a legend here.

However, very, very early days, so keeping my fingers crossed.

Stan Schofield
13 Posted 25/09/2020 at 10:42:25
I agree with Mike Gaynes, that is a great piece. It's realistic about Everton, but at the same time focuses clearly on what this is all supposed to be about, entertainment.

The legendary Everton players are those who have primarily entertained and excited us, especially with their ability to do the unexpected at any moment. Alex Young, Alan Ball, Colin Harvey and Howard Kendall, Duncan McKenzie, and (apart from his departing from us) a young Wayne Rooney. Such players can make our day even when we lose a game.

It's obviously early days, but Rodriguez appears to fit in that category.

Kevin Molloy
14 Posted 25/09/2020 at 11:30:09
If we look beyond the fact that this is a long article about Everton, and well drafted, its content I fear is all over the place.

The proposition that player is never bigger than club is NOT tenuous when talking about James and Everton

We do NOT advertise as a springboard.

Barcelona did NOT bid for Richarlison, so it was NOT risky to turn down an imaginary bid.

James is not here for FUN. Do we come on to ToffeeWeb for FUN? This is deadly serious.

If he was popping the ball through an opponent's legs and then falling over, nobody would be laughing. No-one is more serious than Rodriguez himself.

So get to fuck Rory with your patronising shite. I'm sure he was one of the ones smirking behind his hand when we moved for Ancelotti last year.

Olalekan Taofik
15 Posted 25/09/2020 at 11:30:27
I read the article online, it is just quite interesting and Everton was mentioned in a positive way.

From my observation, most English Press and Commentators (football) don't fancy Everton as a club. I stand to be corrected.

James Rodriguez is a ball playing guy, very crafty and lovely to watch on the field, I hope he will stay fit for our major games.

@Ajay, are you an African? coz if I add the letter 'i' to your name, it becomes Ajayi, which is a name in the southwest part of Nigeria. Probably a coincidence...

Stan Schofield
16 Posted 25/09/2020 at 11:50:45
Kevin @14: Everton has been advertising itself as a springboard for most of the Premier League era!!
Kevin Molloy
17 Posted 25/09/2020 at 12:00:47
Certain clubs advertise like that, Stan, like Soton and the likes. And we may have been forced into sales in the past at top dollar. But we don't advertise like that. We don't say, "Come to Everton, all the big clubs have scouts at our games." At least I hope we don't.
Stan Schofield
18 Posted 25/09/2020 at 13:04:33
Kevin, agreed, we don't do it explicitly, we're a higher level than Southampton, always have been, but I'd say we've done it implicitly by readily selling our best players either in their prime or approaching it.

In the 60s we were the club that top young players, like Ball, joined, but in the Premier League era we became a 'feeder club' for the likes of Man Utd. The next test will be to see if we keep hold of Richarlison.

Also, in a way I agree that it's a serious business, otherwise I wouldn't have had damaged weekends when we've played shite. But, that said, ultimately the great memories are produced by the really exciting players who entertain us.

Jamie Crowley
19 Posted 25/09/2020 at 13:07:17
Darragh Farrell @ 11 -

Firstly, thank your parents. You have one of the coolest names I've ever seen.

Secondly, if you want some degree of unbiased news that hails from that giant cesspool we call New York, read the Wall Street Journal.


Dave Abrahams
20 Posted 25/09/2020 at 15:51:36
I think that a lot of Everton fans realise that the signing of James and to a lesser extent Allan are cosmetic signings and they are like Botox, here to help us to get closer to where we want to be in the near future while Doucouré is for now and in the future.

Rodriguez's value is both on and off the pitch while he is here, as long as he and Allan are fit enough to get plenty of playing time in the Premier League games.

Darragh Farrell
21 Posted 25/09/2020 at 16:12:23
Thanks Jamie@19 but I tend to give the Murdoch-owned press a big swerve given the damage he's done over the years. Oh for the days of writers like Jimmy Breslin and Pete Hammill.

The cesspool of New York City is particularly beautiful this autumn Friday, and all is good with the anticipation of an Everton match ahead. It remains the greatest city in the world (Dublin and Liverpool excepted).

Des Farren
22 Posted 25/09/2020 at 19:08:32
6) Jamie, you think the New York Times is slanted, yet push the slant of a Murdoch publication? Forgive me if I laugh.

20) Dave, I would think Allan is for now and hopefully for two more years. To describe him as botox is very unfair.

The article itself, I enjoyed. There is very little there I would disagree with.

Lyndon Lloyd
23 Posted 25/09/2020 at 19:26:31
The New York Times has become horribly slanted in political terms which, for the "paper of record" in the United States (and, by extension, supposedly a beacon for the free press the world over) is a really sad state of affairs. The Wall Street Journal has its own agenda, of course, and, to be frank, there isn't a newspaper in either the UK or US that I would currently trust to give it to me straight at the moment but I am happy about the number of "eyeballs" that this piece might attract.

I replied to Rory on Twitter that the fundamental premise based on the economics involved – ie, that he was practically free – "are far better than any of us imagined back when we were happy for the club to spend £20m on a player of James's class," which just makes it all the more "fun"!

Dave Abrahams
24 Posted 25/09/2020 at 19:56:36
Des (22), I've never had Botox, just presumed it lasted around two years which is James's contract and we have the option of another year.

I said to a lesser extent Allan, as long as we get plenty of playing time out of them, don't see anything “very unfair” about that, especially if they carry on playing as they did in their first two games.

Jay Wood

25 Posted 25/09/2020 at 20:03:30
Nice piece.

I see you can also read it in Spanish.

This needs flagging up to the now considerable number of Colombians that follow Everton on social media since James joined us.

They keep asking for the club to have more Spanish language content and to put up sub-titles on club interviews and the like.

They dwarf the number of 'native Blues' that follow or comment on any post. It really is quite phenomenal the immediate heightened profile James has given us since he joined.

Darren Hind
26 Posted 25/09/2020 at 20:31:51

Gutted to read you are giving Botox a wide berth.

You can't just let yourself go, lad.

Dave Abrahams
27 Posted 25/09/2020 at 20:43:21
Darren (26), yes you're right, I can't let myself go. I'll take up line dancing to keep myself lithe and agile. I just told my wife that, she said she'd pay to see that; she could do with a good laugh in these trying times!!
Des Farren
28 Posted 25/09/2020 at 20:52:00
Dave. I have no knowledge either of botox, other than I think it is a treatment to hide existing perceived deficiencies in appearance.

Don't think that applies to Allan? He appears fairly transparent to me!

Dave Abrahams
29 Posted 25/09/2020 at 20:55:58
Des (28), are you saying that James needs it!!
Des Farren
30 Posted 25/09/2020 at 20:58:51
Not at all, Dave, haha. Don't even know how we got here!
Darren Hind
31 Posted 25/09/2020 at 21:00:54
Line Dancing eh, Dave?

I think I'd go halves with your Mrs to see that!

Mike Gaynes
32 Posted 25/09/2020 at 21:07:12
Lyndon #23, the New York Times is the finest journalistic organization in the world. It has become painted as "slanted" by those who believe its comprehensive, determined and uncannily accurate reporting on the betrayal of America by the current administration should not have been permitted to see the light of day.

No other newspaper in the world could have produced the breathtakingly detailed expose of Trump's lifelong corruption and execution of tax fraud. The depth and clarity of the Times investigation was beyond reproach and produced not only a Pulitzer Prize but a half-dozen criminal investigations that will assure that Trump spends post of his post-presidential years in prison.

Trump Engaged in Suspect Tax Schemes as He Reaped Riches From His Father

The Times, the Washington Post and yes, The Wall Street Journal are among the few who have determinedly refused to quail before the right wing's unrelenting assault on press freedom and independence in this country, and the Times in particular is a beacon of inspiration for journalists around the world.

The Journal does have its agenda in its conservative, pro-business editorial slant, but its newsroom has not flinched in reporting on the carnage wrought by the Trump administration. But as a much smaller organization it cannot compete with the breadth or depth of the Times.

Dave Abrahams
33 Posted 25/09/2020 at 21:10:41
Des (30), fair enough, neither do I.

Darren (31), just wait til this virus is over, I'll be on that dance floor, a couple of puffs on me inhaler and I'll be away!!

Brian Williams
34 Posted 25/09/2020 at 21:26:41
Ohhh Dave, there's a joke there... I just dare not make!
Neil Copeland
35 Posted 25/09/2020 at 21:35:06
Does Botox work on other parts of the body? Not that I would look forward to the injections but the end results may make it worthwhile.
Frank McGregor
36 Posted 25/09/2020 at 21:42:26
Jamie Crowley #6, I agree with you one hundred percent regarding the New York Times being a trashy paper, I would also include the Washington Post in that category. I am writing this posting in my name and not under the commonly used, "Alias" undisclosed sources that are used by the New York Times and Washington Post.

Since 2016, they have tried to destroy Donald Trump with jumped-up charges of corruption and wrong-doing while giving CIA operatives like Peter Strok, Lisa Page, Brennan, Clapper a free pass when they were colluding to damage and ruin his Presidency.

Jamie Crowley
37 Posted 25/09/2020 at 22:25:45
Lyndon @ 23 -


Mike @ 32 -

The Wall Street Journal -
its newsroom has not flinched in reporting on the carnage wrought by the Trump administration. But as a much smaller organization it cannot compete with the breadth or depth of the Times.


The rest of it you're livin' in another world. I just deleted six paragraphs out of respect. Don't rely on the NYT for your information, Mike. Some of it, maybe. But temper it with a good, hard dose of something terribly right wing, please, for objectivity and perspective.

Darragh "Name of gods" Farrell @21 -

You honestly expect a craddle-born Bostonian to agree with your assessment that NYC is the finest city in the world, Liverpool and Dublin not withstanding? Brother, your name dictates you should be in Boston, not NYC. That is as clear as the sky is blue.

Finally, this:

the New York Times is the finest journalistic organization in the world. 🤮🤮 Those who can not see.

Kieran Kinsella
38 Posted 25/09/2020 at 22:46:42
Mike, Jamie, Lyndon,

Heard an interesting interview on NPR with a lady on NYT editorial board. She explained tensions between her group and the investigative division. The latter really are run separately and have a good reputation for uncovering stories.

The others produce by her own admission very slanted opinion pieces. I think if you want the news, the NYT is quality; but if you want opinions on that news, it may not be to your liking if you're conservative.

Lyndon Lloyd
39 Posted 25/09/2020 at 23:01:21
Mike (32), I'm loathe to get much deeper into what could become a very political sideshow which, even tucked away in an "Elsewhere on the Web" thread, has little place on an Everton website.

Suffice it to say that the NYT used to be "the finest journalistic organization in the world" but it has become far too influenced by the activism within its newsroom that Kieran alludes to.

Brian Cleveland
40 Posted 26/09/2020 at 00:42:08
Blimey, and I thought this thread was going to be about James! 😂
Mike Gaynes
41 Posted 26/09/2020 at 01:30:04
Actually, Lyndon, you should re-read Kieran's post. What you quote is not what he wrote.

He very clearly delineates, as did the woman on NPR, between the editorial board -- which produces opinion pieces -- and the newsroom, which investigates and reports. As Kieran's post says, they are separate entities.

The editorial board of the NYT and its liberal opinions do not dictate to the newsroom any more than the conservative-slanted editorial board of the WSJ dictates to its reporters.

In my opinion the Times is currently doing the finest work is has ever done, because it is doing it under a political assault from the very top of the US government that is unprecedented in American history, and is doing it uncowed and with an astounding accuracy record. The Times and its competitors carry the torch for a free press that this administration would very much like to extinguish.

Finally, I would point out that it was you and Jamie who -- wholly unsolicited and unrelated to the article -- chose to vent your political opinions of the NYT. You should certainly have expected a wholehearted response from a proud longtime reporter with admired colleagues at the paper. So please, no more about politics not belonging on an Everton website. It's your site, and you opened that gate, not me.

Jamie #37, disagree with me, but don't tell me I'm lacking information or cannot see, because that walks the line of an insult, and a baseless one at that. I read across the political spectrum, from the NYT and the Post across to the WSJ (every day) and the Washington Times, from the Atlantic to Bloomberg to Forbes to the National Review. So if I say the Times is unapproached excellence, it's a well-informed opinion. What do you read, if you don't mind my asking?

Darragh Farrell
42 Posted 26/09/2020 at 01:48:22
Ah Jamie @37, the Bostonian heritage explains your animosity to NYC.

Boston is fine, just a little too quiet, couldn't believe how early the bars shut up there, must be the puritan influence!

Nick McGregor
43 Posted 26/09/2020 at 01:56:45
Like Lyndon said, this comment section has really gotten off the rails. But I do feel the need to jump in and support Mike 100% on this one.

NYT and its opinion section is definitely slanted to the left – no doubt – but you won't find a newspaper in the country with higher standards of journalism. Unfortunately, things are such a mess that we are all susceptible to having a hard time recognizing professionalism and high standards when the end product doesn't match our own opinion.

But also, like Mike said, it is ALWAYS a good idea to get our news from multiple sources. I'd go one further – I find it helpful to get national-level news in one country from that of another (eg, BBC for news on the US or the NYT to try to make sense of Brexit). Sometimes an outsider can see things more clearly than those in the middle of an issue.

Like how an article from a major news publication about Everton and James should all make us feel a little optimism and excitement, just for a moment! :)

Mike Gaynes
44 Posted 26/09/2020 at 03:05:25
Great post and good perspective, Nick.
Lyndon Lloyd
45 Posted 26/09/2020 at 03:33:50
Mike (41), fair enough and I'm not averse at all to a robust response and exchange of views. Thanks to Nick (43) for his balanced offering as well.

I confess that in my haste I was conflating the two (the editorial board and the newsroom) unfairly and unwittingly; it was not my intention to demean the reporters and journalists on the latter side at all. Rather, based on your word "journalistic", I was expressing an overall opinion of the entity that the NYT has become in recent years which is coloured negatively (rightly or wrongly; fairly or unfairly) by the decisions and actions of the Editorial Board. You were definitely coming at the discussion with a much clearer delineation than I was.

There is scope for a more nuanced discussion over subtle editorial decisions made from the top on the news side as well but, again, the thread is already far enough off the rails!

Darren Hind
46 Posted 26/09/2020 at 07:20:30
When it comes to writing about football in this City. Rory Smith is the single most informed journalist out there. A scouser in everything but accent and birthplace

The guy gets everywhere. There can't be a UK broadsheet or a sports channel he hasn't worked for. Viewers over here will recognise him from his appearances on that Sky program where 4 journos used to sit around a table (can't remember what it was called).

I suspect he is a Kopite, but unlike his former tag-team partner, Tony Evans, he is very warm, genuine and sympathetic to the Everton cause. He likes us.

He's nailed this piece, but I think you have to live in this City to understand the degree to which he has nailed it.

We've had better players than James. Older fans could probably reel off a list... But you would have to go back over half-a-century to name one who played the game with such poise, balance and elegance.

Alex Young used to drift in and out of games too, but when he got the ball, Goodison held its breath. I so hope James stays fit and well long enough for the younger fans to experience that feeling.

Smith really is on the money with this piece, especially when he points out that the long wait for a team to challenge at the top needn't be a miserable one.

This is a "for now" signing, but young Evertonians in this City have suffered miserably of late. It's to their credit that they have hung in there. Now, when those 'orrible little Kopites try to ram names like Mane and Salah down their throats, they can fire back with an even bigger star.

Of course we have to build for the future, but we need to keep every young Blue on board. They need someone, something, to make them dream and I`m struggling to remember a player ever, being so important to the here and now.

Dave Abrahams
47 Posted 26/09/2020 at 09:19:47
Brian (34), I got that joke, what filthy minds you've got in Birkenhead!!
Paul Tran
48 Posted 26/09/2020 at 09:44:12
Darren, Rory Smith is also very good whenever he's on Radio 5, and always has the good grace to reply & debate on Twitter if you speak sensibly. It's great for those of us who have moved out to read/hear a journalist who palpably gets us.
Mike Corcoran
49 Posted 26/09/2020 at 10:03:13
Politics and football. James is the only good thing about the right wing and he is leaning to the left.
Gerry Quinn
50 Posted 26/09/2020 at 10:13:12
Definition of Sisyphean
: of, relating to, or suggestive of the labors of Sisyphus
specifically : requiring continual and often ineffective effort
a Sisyphean task

Did You Know?

In Greek mythology, Sisyphus was a king who annoyed the gods with his trickery. As a consequence, he was condemned for eternity to roll a huge rock up a long, steep hill in the underworld, only to watch it roll back down.

The story of Sisyphus is often told in conjunction with that of Tantalus, who was condemned to stand beneath fruit-laden boughs, up to his chin in water. Whenever he bent his head to drink, the water receded, and whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches moved beyond his grasp.

Thus to 'tantalize' is to tease or torment by offering something desirable but keeping it out of reach – and something Sisyphean demands unending, thankless, and ultimately unsuccessful efforts.

Jamie Crowley
51 Posted 26/09/2020 at 12:57:30

We can both agree, any bar time is a bad bar time. And yes, it's probably down to the puritanical influence, brought to you by the good folks of England. 😉

Gerry Quinn – thank you sir! The Sisyphean mystery is now solved.

Mike – if what I wrote borders insult, I'm quite, quite relieved I deleted those six paragraphs. I'm happy to know you're reading goes beyond the NYT.

Mike's right about one thing – I stirred this shit pot. I'll go lick the spoon and shut my mouth. As eloquent as Lyndon is, I am not. So I'll just say nothing.

Three points against Palace. James is absolute gold. We can all agree on that.

Matt Traynor
52 Posted 26/09/2020 at 13:12:44
Excellent article, and agree with those praising Rory Smith's journalistic abilities. For those of you who listen to Radio 5 Live (for the sport) these days, he's well worth tuning in to listen to when he's on one of the football chat shows.

And also, nice to see the club taking the initiaitive with lighting up the Colpatria Tower. We never really tried to capitalise on having various countries top stars in the past - Howard (whatever you think of him as a 'keeper), Cahill, or Stefan Rehn.

Okay that last one was a joke. COYB.

John Pierce
53 Posted 26/09/2020 at 13:18:37
Rory Smith always has something to say, at times not always palatable for the listener/reader. But unlike idiots, such as Evans and the like, couches his material with context and balance.

You might not want hear it but always worth a read/listen.

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