Rodriguez completes Qatar switch

Wednesday, 22 September, 2021 312comments  |  Jump to last
James Rodriguez has left Everton in a permanent transfer to Al Rayyan of the Qatar Stars League for a fee that was officially undisclosed but is reported to be around £7.2m.

Sky Sports and Guardian correspondent Fabrizio Romano, tweeted earlier in the day that the Colombian had undergone a successful medical and agreed a salary package, with the official confirmation coming from the Qatar outfit late this afternoon.

It ends James's one-year association with the Toffees that began in a hail of publicity and some scintillating early performances but which ultimately became a constant source of frustration as the player battled injury last season, with many also questioning his commitment to the Toffees' cause.

The departure from Goodison Park of his mentor Carlo Ancelotti in June seemed to signal that Rodriguez's time with the Blues was also short but there was a point when the summer transfer deadline passed in England and he was unable to find another club where it look as though he could yet stay.

I also want to thank Everton fans. A pity not to have played in Goodison Park with you, it would have been very nice. I always tried to give my best and I always wanted to win. That is my mentality. I wish you all the best.

James Rodriguez — Instagram

It was reported that he held talks with Turkish Istanbul Başakşehir earlier this month but that he ultimately decided he would prefer to remain in England and push for a place in Rafael Benitez's Everton side.

The suggestions in the media are, however, that with Benitez unable to see a role for him in the team, Everton kept pushing for James to find an exit to a country where the window was still open so they could get some or all of his reported £200,000-a-week salary off the books.

It is rumoured that James will earn around £6m in annual wages at Al-Rayyan, who are coached by former France and Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc, including bonus payments, and that the club will hand him the Number 10 shirt.

Benitez confirmed last night that James was in the Middle East talking to Al Rayyan representatives and although he had hinted earlier this month that, "it's always up to the player; in the end he has the final decision," he explained that the former Galactico's exit was required as Everton work towards remaining within the Premier League's Profit & Sustainability limits.

"We are talking about a special situation for this club," the Spaniard said after the Carabao Cup defeat to QPR, "[With] the financial fair play rules, we have to manage everything in the best way we can."


Reader Comments (312)

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Mick O'Malley
1 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:22:47
Thanks for the moments last season, Very disappointing the way it has ended, supremely talented player probably not suited to the PL.
Neil Lawson
2 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:22:50
Perhaps it is sensible business. Perhaps it is also indicative of the direction the club is currently taking. Last Saturday and last night may be a more accurate reflection of our present ( and anticipated) state. This coming Saturday takes on extra significance. Let's await the outcome before leaping to judgement.
Andrew Keatley
3 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:30:25
And please let that be the end of the James Rodriguez saga. Terrific footballer but ultimately the wrong player with the wrong attitude on the wrong wages at the wrong time.

This team rebuild is going to be ugly, but if it enables the actual build at BMD to come in on schedule and budget then so be it.

Strap in everyone.

Andrew Keatley
4 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:41:04
And confirmation from the club. Adios fella. Thanks for the odd good moments.
Mick Hoban
5 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:41:06
Gone. Club text confirms
Mark Rankin
6 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:44:34
If he does go now it won’t have been too bad, definitely provided some highlights last year, so, not a nightmare signing. The evidence of the past 6 months was that he was done at EFC and wasn’t going to contribute much more. The only shame being he didn’t go in the summer and the we could have potentially got someone else in.
Tony Everan
7 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:53:11
It’s sad but I am glad the circus is over, it seemed inevitable as he only came for Carlo and Benitez didn’t want him. We need to turn our attention now to strengthening the squad . Frees some wages headroom up on the FFP front, I am not sure about the former Tottenham player Aurier, but we need better at RB, right now. A gamble but maybe worth a punt until the end of the season?
Jerome Shields
8 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:56:34
Why was time wasted on a partial swap transfer, when such a transfer was available before the English Transfer window ended? It has possibly left Everton with a ill equipped squad for the start of this season.

At least his agent was more active that Brands. Doing his job , when Brands didn't.

Tommy Carter
9 Posted 22/09/2021 at 16:57:26
Andrew. I’m curious as to what you can point to in his attitude that was wrong?

It’s clear that the decision for him to move on was made in the summer and was certainly at the very least mutual. Benitez has made it abundantly clear that he did not feature in his plans.

Although I only ever saw him in the television I never felt he gave less than his own 100% when playing for us.

His 100% may not look the same 100% given by someone like Ashley Barnes but it takes a brave and robust player to constantly be available to receive the ball and try and make things happen.

As for his wage, the club were prepared to pay him that. I’m glad we had the ambition to get a manager like Ancelotti at our club and a player like James Rodriguez at our club. But as with all things Everton, it didn’t work out.

Danny Broderick
10 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:01:03
Gutted that most of the time when he played for us, it was as a right winger. He still was a class above with his passing and shots, but he’s simply not a winger. I would have loved to have seen him this season as a number 10 with Gray on one side and Townsend on the other, but it wasn’t to be. He is in the top ten Everton players that I have seen, with the likes of Kanchelskis, Arteta and the some of the 80s teams. Gutted we couldn’t make it work out this season. I was at Loftus Road last night, I would have loved to see him involved last night instead of 2/3 other players that’s for sure….
Dave Bowen
11 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:04:37
A crying shame that the most talented player we’ve had since Beardsley has been allowed to leave in such a fashion. I appreciate he was only here because of Carlo, but I hope this doesn’t come back to bite Rafa in the arse. Couldn’t we have given them Iwobi instead?
Paul O'Neill
12 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:06:41
FFP shows that the drawbridge has week and truly been drawn up for the richest few clubs in the Premier League.
Steve Brown
13 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:10:43
I thought he gave 100% effort when he played, and he had 100% more talent than anyone else in the squad.

Paul Swan
14 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:11:29
Yet more evidence of the disjointed transfer policy at the club for too many years now. On the one hand I’m sorry we never saw him play but on the other at least it appears the manager is taking tough decisions about what type of player/attitude is needed. Sadly his stay for me was tainted by images of him jetting off home early last season and earlier this season showing complete disinterest in the club and who we were playing next. Move on
Mark Ryan
15 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:11:39
Thank goodness that's over. Now back to Holgate and Iwobi leaving How much was Iwobi one Kinobi ? who signed him ? James Rodriguez, what a mess that was. Let's move on please
Barry Hesketh
16 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:18:20
Paul @12
FFP and Profit and Sustainably rules have been in place for a good while, the club's executives should all have been aware of the situation, but for some reason, perhaps due to the influence of the owner, Everton FC has found itself caught up and hamstrung by the limits of both.

Nobody at the club - save the first-team manager - seems to take responsibility for any of the errors that have beset the club in recent times, which makes Bill Kenwright's claims that rivals are envious of the way our club is run, totally laughable.

I get the feeling that the club's leadership believes that BMD will somehow transform our commercial revenue overnight, of course, it will help in many ways, but not enough to close the gap on the big hitters. Everton FC should be working on bringing in revenue from other sources right now, not waiting for another 3 years, hoping that it can get better deals when BMD opens.

Tommy Carter
17 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:24:10
Put it this way. Systems, tactics, whatever.

We actually live in a world where James Rodriguez can’t get into an Everton team featuring Tom Davies, Alex Iwobi and Andre Gomes.

James Head
18 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:27:40
I'd rather have left Iwobi and Davies at Finch Farm last night and played with 10 men including James, added some much needed class when he played and sometimes looked pissed off at some of the dross around him.
Jim Bennings
19 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:32:55
Stellar signing that only happened because he was mates with Don Carlo; otherwise, he'd never have come anywhere near the north of England, let's face it.

We need to start being more sensible from now on with every future signing, no more mercenaries who are paid silly money to sit on the sidelines.

Not worth touching players of this ilk until we are (if ever again) in Europe's elite competition and challenging for trophies because they just don't want to stay here.

I'm now a tad frustrated though as James was a creative player when he did turn up to play and we've also lost the other Icelandic fella who chipped in with goals from the centre.

Outside Allan and Doucoure our central midfield looks as threadbare as ever.

Danny Broderick
20 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:33:35
Reports are suggesting that Al-Rayyan will pay James £6m a year. If true, then we’re still probably paying him £80k a week ourselves.

I’d rather have kept him and used him in and around the first team squad, even on his £200k a week wages. I don’t see the point of saving £120k a week if it effectively means we are paying him £80k a week to play for someone else!

Michael Lynch
21 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:34:42
He may indeed be the most talented player ever to pull on a blue shirt, but Andros Townsend has shown more for the club in a few weeks than James did the entire time he was here.

So strange that such a brilliant player, who apparently should have been the heart of our team if it wasn't for Rafa having a personal vendetta against him, ends up playing for the mighty Al Rayyan because no other fucker would even consider signing him.

QPR would have taken the piss out of him even more than they did Tom Davies last night, and imagine how he'd have coped with the kicking Burnley gave our lads? He'd have been off the pitch holding his calf quicker than you can say "adios mercenario"

What a waste of talent, but even Colombia, where he's a national hero, don't want to call him up any more.

Michael Kenrick
22 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:35:33
Well, I thought he did some fantastic things never seen in a Blue shirt, certainly not by me. In my simple mind, I thought such brilliant footballing skills represented what we should all want to see for our club.

The many utterly disgusting posts I had to read on here about him from people claiming otherwise soon put me straight. They say they want School of Science or its modern-day equivalent but really it all comes down to Moyesian pragmatism and busting your gut for 90 minutes.

That's far more important to so many Evertonians than the stunning if transitory moments of brilliance James Rodriguez brought to plucky little Everton.

Rennie Smith
23 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:37:51
Tommy @17, he can't get in the team because Benitez refuses to have anything to do with him.

"It's always up to the player; in the end he has the final decision," – absolute crap, I don't believe a word he says on James.

I'll say it again, what a waste.

Dale Self
24 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:39:55
I don't drink much anymore but tonight I'll be popping one. Ta-Ta, James, no-one will take you seriously again.
Alan J Thompson
25 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:43:50
Just seals our "reputation" as a small club punching above it's weight and flooded in mediocrity, School of Science?!?
Mal van Schaick
26 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:44:09
Impact player and glimpses of his talent were sporadic, but no longer a full 90-minute player. Better for all concerned that he moved on.
Rennie Smith
27 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:46:03
Sorry, Dale, but I just don't get all this hate against him. What has he done so wrong? I'd take him over 10 Iwobis any day.

People complain about crap players but they also hate the supremely talented ones. I just don't get it.

Kevin Sheedy would be hated if he played in the present team.

Paul Hewitt
28 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:46:18
Goodbye and good riddance. You could have been a great player. But you couldn't be arsed.
Rob Sachro
29 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:46:49
Sad to see him leave but, let's face it, he didn't want to be here! Only joined for Carlo... and then... hmmmm... injury after injury. Or rather couldn't be arsed!
Tommy Carter
30 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:48:17
Rennie @27,

Hated, only by idiot fans, Rennie.

Although there do tend to be a lot of them on ToffeeWeb.

Michael Lynch
31 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:50:06
Michael, he has a wand of a left foot, and did some great things last season, but I would say we are a more exciting team without him this season (when at full strength of course!). More intensity, less turgid, quicker and stronger.

For me, he was the best individual we had, but we are a better team to watch without him.

Pat Kelly
32 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:50:20
So he's off to play exhibition football in the sun. Leave the real football to real men. Another example of Moshiri being hoodwinked and Brands staying silent. Is it any wonder the state the Club is in?
Nick Page
33 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:50:44
Kenwright's Everton.
Phil Smith
34 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:54:26
Small club...
Brian Williams
35 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:56:46
Showed some sublime skills at times but unfortunately those times were too few.

With the predicament we're in and the quality of the squad we have, we couldn't afford him financially or otherwise.

I'd have loved to have seen him play live but can understand why he's been let go.

Dave Williams
36 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:56:58
No one else wanted him so his fans on this thread have to ask themselves why?

Real didn't want him and neither did Bayern. Colombia didn't want him and the best his top agent could find is a club in Qatar, for heaven's sake. We cannot carry a player like him and a manager cannot rely on him from one game to the next.

A shame it didn't work out but does anyone really think he applied himself to his job? I don't!

Lee Courtliff
37 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:57:32
Sorry it all ended like this but it was well worth the 'punt'.

Great pass at Anfield.

Rob Dolby
38 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:58:00
This time last year, I was on the edge of my seat every time he touched the ball. Supreme skill, vision and guile.

In my 43 years as a season ticket holder, he joins a handful of supremely quality players to wear the shirt. Sad that we never got to see him play at Goodison.

Balancing the books rather than playing football the Everton way, who would have thought we would see the day!


Man City buy a £100M player and offer £150M for another.

Chelsea buy a player transferred for the most money in football history.

Arsenal buy well over £100M of players.

Man Utd bring back arguably the best footballer ever.

We have to deal with free transfers to balance the books.

Let's face it, Moshiri has pulled the purse strings in. We are back to the treading water days.

Rob Halligan
39 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:59:03
Being injured I can understand, but not being arsed, I don't think so.

Benitez told him in the summer's pre-season training he wouldn't be considered for the first-team, and was free to find another club. So what did people expect James to do, take Benitez and his family out for dinner every night?

People moan about James swanning off on a jolly aboard a yacht in Ibiza, well I think I would have done the same if I was told I was no longer wanted by the club.

And if he couldn't be arsed, who could really blame him? A great player that sadly none of us ever saw play in the flesh.

Andrew Bentley
40 Posted 22/09/2021 at 17:59:49
Gutted to see him go, as I would love to have seen him play in the flesh. Wand of a left foot and provided more enjoyment and quality moments last season than 90% of the rest of the squad.

His signing gave hope last season that Everton were going to really step up and challenge at the top end of the league. His departure does the opposite.

Others more astute will know better than me but him going now doesn't mean we suddenly free up cash in January that we can spend as the FFP rules are based on reporting periods, I believe. So him off the books probably just means that we will show reduced losses at our next annual accounts to pull us back in line with FFP. Which won't be till next season at the earliest.

Stuck with Iwobi, Davies and Delph for the foreseeable now – hardly a trio to get you off your seat.

Graham Mockford
41 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:07:43
Michael 22

he did some fantastic things never seen in a Blue shirt

More myth-making of the highest order. He played 24 games, had 6 goals and 4 assists and hit a few nice cross-field passes. In his last 16 games he has 2 goals and 1 assist. He quite clearly didn't have the heart and bottle to deal with the physicality of the Premier League.

I mean you've seen Rooney, Arteta, Baines, Pienaar, Cahill and Lukaku in the last 15 years. He is literally not fit to lace their boots but then not being fit is something of a forte of his.

Just because someone doesn't buy into the myth that James is some sort of stellar talent doesn't equate to accepting mediocrity.

Anthony Jones
42 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:08:19
Best football player we've had in decades.

Not a day for celebration.

Rob Dolby
43 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:09:37
Andrew 40. Agree with your 2nd paragraph 100%.

The apathy has already set in. Before a ball was kicked last night, most of us could predict the performance from that group of extremely average players.

We have 2 big sellable assets at the club. How long before one or both are sold to balance the books?

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
44 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:10:56
Undisclosed fee. I wonder if that is the same amount as the difference between his wages at Everton and the wages at Al Rayyan?

Of course we could have kept him – in the same way as we have since 29 April (22 weeks) and continue to pay him whatever. There is no doubt some breathing space on FFP (salary cap? sound familiar those in the US?) for the next window when Delph, Sigurdsson and Tosun will also probably be released.

And people do admire the way this club is run – for the reason we do the right thing. Mendy was arrested and released on a charge of rape, continued to play for Man City, committed further alleged rapes and only suspended by City when he was charged. The press reports an Everton player is being investigated, but we instantly suspended the player. Yes, we are too nice, but I like that.

James Head
45 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:12:26
Danny O’Neill
46 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:12:46
Well, I'm disappointed.

Thank you for the feel good factor in grim times last summer. Spirit of the blues regenerated on YouTube.

Thank you for Anfield.

Good luck and adios. Shame it wasn't to be.

Peter Neilson
47 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:15:49
No doubt a talented player but plenty of articles online quoting coaches and staff from James's time at Monaco, Bayern Munich and Colombia about his focus and fitness. Zidane didn't comment publicly, just got shut.

Oh well. In the bargain bin, Hatem Ben Arfa is available!!

John Boon
48 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:19:01
He was a good player who was costing Everton far more than any footballer is really worth... yes, any player.

What is the point of wasting time wishing he was still here? I would take eleven Colemans over eleven Rodriguezs any day.

All money. He couldn't care less about Everton!!!

Brian Williams
49 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:24:12
He, allegedly, has a clause in his new contract that would allow him to leave should PSG want to sign him. 😳
Ray Smith
50 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:25:30
James; no doubting his ability, without question. No doubting his commitment, crap.

Why did he not get a move during the window? Simple: nobody wanted him. Lazy prima donna.

Al-Rayyan have more money than sense!!!

In Colombia he was and is a national hero, so, why was he dropped from the national team? Nobody is better than the team.

He needs to be given a lesson in humility. Private jets, with his fellow countrymen less fortunate living in abject poverty! Good riddance, mercenary money grabber!

Why didn't Carlo come in for him?

Perhaps Brands should be his agent. Brands, hoodwinked left, right and centre. Joke... along with Kenwright.

Phil Wood
51 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:25:53
A very gifted player but he was physically gone by the time he joined us.

Nobody else would touch him apart from Qatar.

Several silky touches a game would never take us forward. The number of games last season when the opposition and the game drifted by him.

He could have been a great signing and I cannot criticise us for trying but the fact is we got him because many other clubs sensed he wasn't the player we hoped for anymore.

And he was never near being an Everton great. It takes more than a few cameo appearances for that.

John Kavanagh
52 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:29:19
I don't blame Benitez one bit. I consider James as a very talented footballer who could have been a footballing legend, but has never really had the appetite for playing a full season of competitive football.

Only a few clubs have the resources to carry luxury players and we aren't one of them. We have more deadwood in our squad than any other team in the Premier League, which leaves us extremely vulnerable when any of our 'active' players pick up injuries. Give his squad number to the next most promising youngster on our books.

Next out: Delph, please. (If it wasn't for FFP, we should just pay off the rest of his contract and boot him out of the club. We'd still make big savings on medical bills.)

We have a ready-made replacement in Gbamin as club sick-note. Then Tosun, Gomes and Iwobi – plus the player who cannot be named. Only then can we start to build a squad with committed players who want to play football and play for Everton.

Barry Hesketh
53 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:35:53
Brian @49

I genuinely believed that you had made that PSG clause up and you were having a laugh, but it's rumoured to be true and if PSG decides to get him in January, his new club will have no say in the matter, due to the release clause.

Moise Kean has scored for Juventus in tonight's game. Kean scores

Ray Robinson
54 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:37:19
I totally agree with Graham Mockford and John Boon. I'm not accepting mediocrity by wanting shut of a player who has shown by signing for a Qatari team that football ambition is way down of his list of priorities.

If he didn't fancy the Premier League, which is way too fast and physical for him, why not accept a drop in wages and return to a lesser side in (say) Spain?

As John said, give me 10 Colemans anyday.

Tommy Carter
55 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:39:00
@21 Michael.

Cheers Michael. Typical one dimensional clueless comment.

Do you not think James would be more impactive with players like Townsend and Gray in the side than Iwobi and Davies etc?

If we were to judge the performances of Andros vs the performances of Rodriguez in their respective first 7 games for the club - which is all we can do. I’m not sure Andros has done more

Daniel A Johnson
56 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:39:35
Just what was the Ancelotti - Rodriguez story?

What were they sold by Moshiri when they signed on?

Ancelotti legged it and James was obviously now not playing so we could flog him.

The whole saga is fucking weird – especially as we're now raiding bins as were so skint.

Darren Hind
57 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:45:07
Not sure anybody hated him. He played with a smile on his face and an intention to invent and create. Entertain... but his body let him down.

He could barely get himself on the pitch, even for his old China plate towards the end of last season. That was not a situation which was going to improve.

Hope he enjoys playing at a gentler pace with the sun on his back.

Jack Convery
58 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:45:34
EFC Marketing South America announce the launch of James the Everton Legend DVD. With the launch of this DVD, Everton Football Club expects to make significant inroads into this new exciting market. Estimated profits from sales are £25m pa.

When asked why it has taken 12 months to launch the DVD, a club spokesman said it takes time to do this sort of thing. We first of all considered a Betamax release but that was shelved, when a supporter pointed out it was obsolete. We then spent quite a few quid on a VHS release until the same supporter told us that was obsolete too. We couldn't believe it, said the spokesman. All that effort for nought. Then someone, I don't know who. It might have been that supporter, who knows, told the marketing manager about DVDs. Well you could imagine our excitement at finding that out. So here we are today launching an amazing DVD.

When asked if there were would be a Blu Ray version. The spokesman was reported to ask: "What the fuck is that???

Very EFC, that.

Michael Lynch
59 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:46:20
Tommy @55


Is that three-dimensional enough for you?

Paul Jones
60 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:47:14
In the short-term, he improved what we could put on the pitch and give us the key to unlock defensive teams. Reminds me of when we signed Rioch, Todd and Hartford – great players in their prime but with not enough left "in the tank" for a team in need of significant improvement.

Once the initial vapor trails disappeared, there was nothing left.

Dale Self
61 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:48:14
Tommy and Rennie, please feel free to defend his behavior on planes, yachts and other status-goods-craft. He was clearly out of touch with what this club's fanbase looks for; if Fellaini could figure it out, why couldn't golden boy?

Given as good a chance as could be expected to repair his fragile reputation, he chose to embarrass the club by distancing himself. He may do one – and that is not the idiot line.

Derek Knox
62 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:54:28
Brian W,

Hopefully he had another clause in his contract to donate a fraction of his enormous signing-on fee or slummy in his account to Cancer Research UK at The Bramley Moore on Saturday after the game.

I won't be holding my breath though. 😜🤔

Paul Tran
63 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:56:33
It was a gamble. He was fun. Had Ancelotti stayed, he could have been a marker for us to 'attract better players'.

But Carlo left... and, from then on, given our financials, James's departure was inevitable.

Phil (Kelsall) Roberts
64 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:56:53
I don't think we are skint.

Paul the Esk may show otherwise, but I am quite sure that Mr Moshiri is playing a longer game than many on here. This club will be worth a lot more when the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is finished. Should his longer-term plan be to buy, develop and sell for a profit, then I am sure he will be fine.

Take us back 10 years, 15 years and there would be nothing to stop him putting in more money like Abramovich or Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan. And like the Glazers, he would have borrowed it based on future revenue.

But this is now and the reason we cannot spend is because FIFA, UEFA or the FA will stop us by sanctions of either fines, points deductions or banning from certain competitions.

Reading are negotiating their punishment for having a wage bill about 1.8 times their income. The owner says we can afford it, the EFL says you can't so we are going to take points off you. Are Reading insolvent like Derby? No. Are they skint, No. Can they spend, No – simply because they will face relegation if they did.

Barry Hesketh
65 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:58:07
Jack @58

The Colombian Everton marketing team is seeing increased footfall since the release of the DVD – Kudos to those plucky guys.

EFC Colombian Marketting team

Benjamin Dyke
66 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:58:42
In the big shame of shames that is Everton's transfer policy and recruitment of the last few years, this is a big shame.

Shame that we bought someone so high profile that was unbelievably talented but not suited for the physicality of the Premier League.

Shame that we never saw him in the flesh.

Shame that his wages were unsustainably high.

Shame that we've wasted so much money to stand still.

But the truth is an Andros Townsend financially, football-wise and attitude-wise is both where we're at and what we need right now.

Joe Corgan
67 Posted 22/09/2021 at 18:59:11
And now we Evertonians know first-hand why the player that lit up the 2014 World Cup has consistently failed to live up to the expectations he set at that tournament.

Poor attitude, application, commitment and fitness levels.

One day he'll retire to a multi-million pound mansion, surrounded by his spoils but never having really achieved anything. The sad thing being that it won't be through lack of natural ability.

So long, James. Don't keep in touch.

Brian Williams
68 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:00:38
Derek #62.

If he doesn't, I'm sure many on this thread, and others, would be more than willing to donate for Cancer Research, the title of a thread on here which all should visit. That's the Cancer Research thread.

James Stewart
69 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:01:57
@22 Well said. Why we would we want a flair player who can turn a game at Anfield and Old Trafford?

Ridiculous decision to let him go. It's not like we will do anything productive with the £200k p/w saved anyway. Everton really know how to piss me off like no other.

Bill Gienapp
70 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:03:00
Very disappointed with how this played out, but it is what it is. There really isn't much more to say.
Nicholas Ryan
71 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:05:13
Mick [1] seems to have it just about right.
Mark Dunford
72 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:05:24
Best player I’ve never seen play for Everton. Real shame this hasn’t worked out.
Paul Birmingham
73 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:05:59
Thanks, James, for the goal of the season at Goodison Park, vs Leicester, some superb passing and finishing, but the pass at our old ground, was the best, for Richarlison's goal.

The real battles for this season require this squad to pull together now more than ever.

Norwich will fancy their chances, so let's see an Everton reaction.

Barry Hesketh
74 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:06:56
Phil @64,

I don't think we can rely upon the generosity of Moshiri, either near-term or long-term. Somehow, the club has to increase its revenue or cut costs to adhere to the financial rules. At this minute, and possibly for the next few years until the new stadium at Bramley-Moore Dock is opened, we are in a cost-cutting phase.

The gamble to spend relatively big has thus far failed to transform our fortunes for the better. The more prudent path of cost-cutting may also be a similar gamble in a different way because, if that too fails and regular bottom-half finishes, or (god forbid) worse, become the order of the day, that will be no good for the club either.

Tommy Carter
75 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:11:53
Dale Self,

I think you're the one out of touch, Dale. The man is a global superstar.

His behaviour is typical of anybody with 47 million followers on Social Media Platforms.

He has the ability to back it up. He can do things that 90% of players in the world cannot do. He's the player who can make a difference where fine margins count.

We could sign Messi and most on here would give him a hard time for ‘not caring'.

At least the club and its current status befits the image you want to see. Andros ‘gets it'.

Well, you know what he couldn't get? A new contract at Crystal Palace. That's his and our level.

Dale Self
76 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:18:44
Wait a second, Tommy, don't be slipping in the Messi and Andros references so slickly there.

When has James put a string of appearances like Andros and Messi have over long periods of their respective careers?

And yeah don't bother responding to James's aristocratic posturing. He was under contract and underperformed in my opinion. The upside was indeed intoxicating but the rest was unsustainable with our present locker room.

With some midfield hardmen, and perhaps Andros and Gray, it could have been worth his baggage.

Andrew Kelly
77 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:22:30
I'm gutted that we never got to see him play in person at a bouncing Goodison Park. A very talented individual that, the day he signed, gave us all hope that we were moving on up.

Him leaving today and our recent dealings shows that we are stuck in a rut at the moment. It's going to be a long hard season but I have trust in Mr Benitez and we all have to get behind him and whatever half-fit team he manages to put out!

Duncan McDine
78 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:24:54
A mate told me they speak Arabic in Qatar. I always assumed it was Flemmish.

[It's snot a very good joke, but I needed to get that off my chest.]

Best of luck to James… great to see that he's in it for the football and not just the money, LOL.

Tommy Carter
79 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:25:02
In fact, Dale, ToffeeWeb generally, a lot of Evertonians, and Everton Football Club, is actually more like a Social Club. The British Legion. Phoenix Nights.

In the 20s and 30s. Pioneers. A golden era in the 60s through to the 80s. Did the simple things well. Have people what they wanted.

Times change and evolve. But the supporters fear change. They want the club to be like it was in the 80s, so they want and demand everything else doesn't change around them. An impossible task.

The signing of James Rodriguez was like the social club hiring a Michelin Star Chef. He's on more wages. He brings things to the club that the staff already there are incapable of.

This is an attempt from the owners to evolve, improve, compete for higher standards and achievement.

Except his beautiful food is lost on the punters. They don't appreciate or want this food. They are fearful of it.

They want what they like and are used to. They want 11 Seamus Colemans. They want Egg and Chips. A pie and a pint of bitter.

The Michelin star chef serves up his food but those around him – the staff who've been there for 15 years and the ones who wouldn't get a job elsewhere – cannot explain what his food is. They cannot provide the same level of service as the chef.

And in the end, the chef leaves. For another restaurant. And the owners get the old chef back in. And it's egg and chips, and pies and pints of flat bitter.

And the old boys are happy again. Because really, that's all they can appreciate and therefore all they want.

David Hayes
80 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:31:05
Remarkable... imagine James being told in great detail, how to play football by a balloon bellied slug in shorts, who has no actual – nor has ever had any – playing talent whatsoever.

Benitez was embarrassed by James's talent and profile and, like a spiteful child, froze him out.

This is Benitez's Everton: James out, Rondon in. Now, it's Everton – the embarrassment.

Rob Dolby
81 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:35:45
Tommy @79.

I couldn't agree more.

Brent Stephens
82 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:38:25
Andrew #77,

"I'm gutted that we never got to see him play in person at a bouncing Goodison Park. A very talented individual."

I agree, Andrew. It was a "what-the-feck" moment for me when we signed somebody of his sublime ability. Issues about his work rate etc, but what he contributed at times was sheer brilliance.

Yes, a pity we didn't get to see him at Goodison Park but at least he came to us. When will we have what it takes to again be able to attract somebody of his talent and status?

Dale Self
83 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:38:39
Lovely story, Tommy,

I took a break. I'll come back to read the rest later and will make a good honest Evertonian attempt to understand the crux of your argument.

Sam Barrett
84 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:39:42
Sad, sad day to be an Evertonian.

After watching us plod to defeat last night, amid some awful performances, by the way, we lose the most talented player we've probably ever had at the club!

Over to you, Rondon, on Saturday!

Jerome Shields
85 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:42:49
Jack #58,

I hope you are not serious. Though I had a similar experience trying to join the Everton Supporters Club in the 1990s. I have a certificate saying I am a Goodison Shooter and under 12. I was born in the 1950s.

I did try again and got another Goodison Shooter Certificate. I still do not have confidence in the Marketing Department at Everton.

Colin Glassar
86 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:43:18
Adios James, you never felt the love of a packed Goodison.
Barry Hesketh
87 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:44:16
Tommy @79,

Quite a rant there, working-class supporters expect every player, gifted or otherwise, to put in a shift. That doesn't mean they want to see eleven headless chickens chasing the ball around like 5-year-olds but every team that has won stuff has done it with a healthy mix of hard-work and good footballers, with the exceptional abilities provided by the gifted few.

Peter Beardsley was a very gifted player – did people moan about his lack of work ethic? Unmotivated show ponies have never cut it at Goodison; great players who produce regularly have always been welcomed by the fans. I don't know whether it was just a matter of bad-timing that saw James depart Everton so quickly, but his wages couldn't be justified once the club failed in its bid to achieve Europe last season.

Not every Evertonian wants to see a team full of donkeys who work their asses off; many want to see a blend of elegance, intelligence and competence, but a team that will fight for the cause – no matter what the circumstances or opposition.

Graham Mockford
88 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:46:25
Tommy @79

Another bit of mythology. Fans so desperate for quality, they will eulogise someone who flattered to deceive and had the heart the size of a pea.

Bring on a world class player by all means, show me some great football but don't insult my intelligence by suggesting James Rodriguez is the answer, because he isn't. And if he was, do you seriously think he'd be off to play fourth-rate football in Qatar?

Jack Convery
89 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:48:16
Barry Hesketh – nice one.

I hear they are planning a similar venture in Venezuela – when they find out on Bill's globe where it actually is.

Kieran Kinsella
90 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:48:42
James at least gave us hope. His "high points" may have been real or imagined depending on your point of view but there was always that hope of some magic, some delightful skill.

Now we have the three amigos from last night to call upon and the duo of Gbamin and Delph who make the fragile James look like Iron Man.

We have six (including the 31-year-old, married man with a house in Manchester) who are worse than him are earning a combined £450k per week. Four of them with contracts lasting past next summer. It sucks.

Andrew Keatley
91 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:49:40
Tommy (79),

Problem is that your Michelin-starred chef didn't always want to turn up for work, had questionable levels of respect for his colleagues and customers, and was getting paid an amount of money that was threatening the future viability of the restaurant. His food did taste absolutely great from time to time though, so there's that.

In general though, why does everything have to be so extreme and polarising? Why are other fans “clowns” if they have a vastly different viewpoint to yours? We couldn't manage to get the James Rodriguez gamble to pay off – so we took the option of offloading him because it made sense financially and it made sense in terms of the way Rafa wants to prepare the side for future matches.

Where's the appreciation for pragmatism? I mean I'm all for romance but there has to be a time when we accept that something isn't working and we need to cut ties.

I don't know the ins and outs – nobody on here does – but the fact that James Rodriguez is no longer an Everton player is, I believe, in real terms, a very healthy thing for this football club, even if it hurts that the dream of having such a player at the club is now over.

David Currie
92 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:50:22
Tommy @75,

Ronaldo is a global superstar, leaves a big club in Italy and signs for a bigger club in England. Townsend and James are both 30, one is making an impact in the Premier League and one has just signed for a Mickey Mouse club in Qatar?

Dale Self
93 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:50:26
Just to be clear, my point is that James did not have enough similarly gifted players or hardmen in the locker-room for it to work out. Nothing about hating him but it did look like it was getting a bit too Eto'o'o'o'o for me.
Jack Convery
94 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:53:49
Heard the one about James being observed by PSG? So, if he proves his fitness, he could be on his way to them before too long.
Oliver Molloy
95 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:56:55
Our current boss obviously saw Rodriquez as a liability on the pitch and, given the state of our finances, knew the quicker we got him off the books, the better the chance of signing his own players – how that pans out remains to be seen.

Most definitely a very gifted player, one who could win us the game and most definitely lose us the game.

Benitez, having worked with him before, knows what;' best, we must hope!

Tommy, egg on chips is hard to beat.

Phil Bickerstaff
96 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:57:26
Thanks for your good footy last season, Jimmy.

We are okay, though – we have Iwobi to step into his boots now... for fuck's sake.
Shambles of a club; year after year, we get worse.

Tommy Carter
97 Posted 22/09/2021 at 19:59:33
@91 Andrew. You're missing my point.

I haven't said that this is a bad move really. I favour pragmatism. My preference would've been for Benitez to find a system in which he could play. But that didn't happen and we move on.

But I can't accept that people think he wasn't that good, didn't work hard or that he purposely missed games.

What is working hard and ‘getting the club?' Someone please tell me exactly what this looks like? Quantify it for me please? Because with the players these throw away comments are aimed at it appear to be nothing more than xenophobia.

Is there solid proof that he ducked games due to his decision alone? Yes the end of last season was frustrating but we don't know what was going on. Carlo clearly looked to have given up too and his move to Madrid supports this theory. So we don't know what effect that had on James and his deal with the club.

For the record and the "11 Seamus Colemans" comment, I am a huge fan of Seamus. Unbelievable servant who has fully achieved his potential and undoubtedly gives his all. But I don't think you could win anything with 11 Seamuses. But ten Seamuses and 1 Rodriguez would probably win you the lot.

Dave Southword
98 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:00:38
“Talent beats hard work, but only if talent works hard.”

I don't know if that sign is still in the gym at Finch Farm, but someone should have translated that for James. Personally, I'd fill the team with players to do his running for him, but if his heart went when Carlo did, then sensible to save the wages.

Jack Convery
99 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:01:24
Colin Glassar – that's the really sad part of the James story.
Brian Williams
100 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:02:20
Well you know what he couldn't get? A new contract at Crystal Palace. That's his and our level.

And yet he's scored half the number of goals (in 5 games is it?) than James scored in his 20 odd appearances. And he has a couple of assists so far, or is it three? So Townsend's not doing too bad at all if you're prepared to look at it in an unbiased way.

I think some have, as often happens, been so devoid of someone to idolise that the relatively small number of outstanding things that James did last season have been somewhat exagerated to the point that he was this awesome player affecting game after game and winning games on his own for us, when that's simply not true.

Desperation springs to mind as opposed to realism.

Graham Mockford
101 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:06:21
Tommy @97,

He missed games because he had sore nuts. Last time I looked, it's not an integral part of a footballer's armoury. Take some painkillers and go out and do what you are paid handsomely for.

In his last 16 games, he scored twice and had one assist. In what parallel universe does that make him one of our greatest players?

Kevin Prytherch
102 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:07:41
Imagine if we had James to call on last night, I feel that it wouldn't have gone to pens.

That, unfortunately, is where the difference is. We might scrape into the top 6 with a team that works hard, we might even challenge for top 4 occasionally. Without that bit of magic, we'll never get any higher. James was that magic.

I feel that, with this situation, Moshiri has given up on gambling for Champions League and now just wants to increase the value of Everton Football Club. In 5 years time, we'll have a new stadium, a stable mid-table team, and we'll be up for sale.

Andrew Kelly
103 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:07:58
Brent #82.

I can't see us making a signing like him ever again, to be honest. I think we all know that Everton only crossed his mind because of Carlo and then all those gold coins obviously helped.

I can't believe some fans still think him leaving is all down to Benitez. Rafa was obviously told not to make him part of the first team squad because he would be moving on. It was a nice sub-plot that they had previous.

Tommy Carter
104 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:09:13
@ Brian

Let's judge at the end of the season, Bri. We've only really played bottom 8 sides. Apart from Villa really, who demolished us. A game Andros played in.

I actually think he's an okay signing.

Michael Lynch
105 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:10:45
James wasn't even the best player at Everton; Richarlison was and still is. Sure, nice pass from James at Anfield, but what a finish from Richarlison.

And he never stops fighting for the team. Some of his runs off the ball are brilliant, allowing space for the likes of Gray to run into. He's the complete player, and for that reason is a starter for Brazil, while James doesn't even make the Colombia squad.

So yeah egg and chips, whatever. If Richarlison is egg and chips, I'll have some every dinner time. With a side order of Demarai Gray and a nice slice of Andros Townsend.

John McFarlane Snr
106 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:11:20
Hi Barry [87],

I think that you have summed up the James Rodriguez situation perfectly. How many times have we heard the expression "The crowd will accept anything as long as the effort is evident"? Your assessment of the team make-up is also spot on, a perfect combination of skill and commitment, something Rodriguez sadly lacked.

It's quite likely that we may never know the truth of the differences (if any) that prompted the transfer.

Alan Corken
107 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:15:25
At the 2014 World Cup Finals, I remember wishing that someone with his majestic skill was playing for Everton. I was delighted when he arrived here but, at the back of my mind, I was asking myself why such a player would come to Goodison because, despite loving the Blues, deep down I was and am realistic about our standing in world football.

As it turns out, there were glimpses of genius from James, but these were too few and when not in possession he didn't contribute enough to the team. In a way, I'm sad to see him go, but I'm also sad that such a great player had become a shadow of his former self.

Best for all that he moves on, but no hard feelings from me – just a few treasured memories of him in a blue shirt. Adios Amigo!

Roger Helm
108 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:16:00
If Rodriguez is so good, how come he is in Qatar and not snapped up by another club? He is certainly talented but perhaps the football professionals have a realistic opinion of his overall effectiveness.

Anyway, it seems we will continue with our trophyless mid-table finishes for the foreseeable future. At least we have Bramley-Moore Dock to look forward to.

Joe McMahon
109 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:16:26
The BBC have just published - James Rodriguez: Everton midfielder's best Premier League moments. Don't blink it's 38 seconds long. Don't think it was worth the 11 million in wages.

Tommy, it's Gray and Townsend all day for me, they care, put the effort in and have had a positive effect since arriving. If a player has a Private Jet, Babes on yachts lifestyle they also have to back it up on the pitch, regularly (every game). James doesn't give a shite about Everton or the fans.

When Idrissa Gueye left Everton, after 3 seasons of putting the effort in, he sent a meaningful message on social media, he opened with "To The Blues, Thank YOU! Since my arrival I have felt at home at this club, you have welcomed me and my family with open arms" That is a player I respect.

Bobby Mallon
110 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:17:27
Tommy 97,

I agree wholeheartedly. I remember people wanting our best ever striker in 30 years out the club because he was supposedly "a lazy cunt". Lukaku scored goals and lots of them.

They also jumped for joy when Rooney left, a player who got over 10 goals that season, just to get his wages off the bill.

Graeme Beresford
111 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:18:25
I actually don’t even understand some people’s comments... he was class for us.
Tommy Carter
112 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:19:17

Michael. Agreed. Richarlison was and is our best player by a distance.

Gets a bit of stick on here though.

Robert Tressell
113 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:24:13
I think there's a lot of pent up frustration with the Rodriguez situation. The frustration is that we should have top-table players like Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Liverpool, Man Utd and Chelsea. But we only ever get a fleeting glimpse and then they're off, like Kanchelskis, Rooney, and to some extent Lukaku and Stones.

With Rodriguez, we were only ever pretending to have a top-table player – and only got him because no truly successful club wanted him (hence his next step is Qatar). But there was a lot of romance and excitement with his signing and now he's gone and it's déjà vu – going out early in the League Cup with little chance of even Europa League qualification.

He offered something on the pitch and gave us some great moments and excitement last season. Sad that fans don't get to see him this season at Goodison Park too. But if we're to get the top-table players we deserve, then we need to find them, like Lukaku and Stones, in the squads of richer clubs or showing their class in the lower leagues.

Or maybe another Rodriguez at the start of his career out in South America. And if we can assemble about 4 or more such players at the same time, we might get some long-overdue success too.

Geoff Cadman
114 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:24:51
Does anyone really know how much James earned? When he joined us, it was widely reported he had taken a massive wage reduction to £90,000 a week.

When it became obvious he was not in Rafa's plans, then his wage has jumped to £200k to £250k a week. A great way to turn fans against him.

Stephen Vincent
115 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:26:01
So we have brought in a hod carrier and got rid of the architect.

Benitez's intransigence over James is quite appalling. In what world would you use an incompetent, spineless clown like Alex Iwobi and completely exclude a player of James's undoubted qualities?

I'm not saying for a moment that it would definitely have worked, but anyone who watched Iwobi's aimless wanderings last night can't be in any doubt that it must have been worth trying.

Tommy, loved your restaurant analogy; unfortunately, we have a Fat Spanish Waiter who refused to serve anything our Michelin-stared chef could produce.

Tommy Carter
117 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:27:35
Ha. Stephen. Brilliant
Rob Dolby
118 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:28:30
Dave 98.

If “Talent beats hard work, but only if talent works hard.” is actually on the wall at Finch Farm, someone better teach the lot of them how to read or at least understand the concept. What happens if talent isn't there?

For years now, we keep signing dog-shit players and expecting results. The faces and names change but they are still shite. Who is in charge of our scouting?

Mike Gaynes
119 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:29:16
Tommy Carter
120 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:31:33
Joe @109

I'd have them both and Rodriguez. I certainly think he'd make a better fist of a deep-lying midfield role than Andre Gomes.

Kieran Kinsella
121 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:32:55
Bobby @110,

Maybe after the Villa game Benitez said to James "C u Next Tuesday?" and planned to play him at QPR but James misunderstood and thought it was time to leave?

Iakovos Iasonidis
122 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:35:56
I will miss him to be honest. 10 times better than Sigurdsson and now we are left with no Number 10.

He wanted to go, the team wanted him to go, his salary was criminal, his social network activity was embarrassing, his fitness level questionable... but, when he was on the pitch, I always liked what I saw.

Stan Schofield
123 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:50:14
A good move for Rodriguez.

Always a bad fit for Everton, a club unsuited to world-class players. Chronically mediocre, unable to handle real talent. Good at talking the talk but unable to walk the walk. Expert at letting genuine supporters down, and generally full of shit.

Thanks for the brief memories, Rodriguez.

Danny O’Neill
124 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:50:55
I'm sad about this, but on the Number 10, Richarlison?

With Townsend and Gray, I can see Richarlison playing there.

And, dare I say it, with my old Army helmet on, Iwobi on occasion.

Battens down the hatches for the incoming.

Barry Rathbone
125 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:51:29
Found his level at last.
Graham Mockford
126 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:55:46

We only have two world-class players. My definition is ‘would they be in the Top 10 in their position worldwide'. They are Pickford and Digne.

James wouldn't get into the top 100 as an attacking midfield player.

Andy Crooks
127 Posted 22/09/2021 at 20:56:44
Tommy Carter, I agree with a lot of your stuff on this thread, particularly post 17.

Whatever anyone thinks of James's endeavour, it beggars belief that he could not have been considered a major improvement on the lack of qualty on show last night.

As a defender of Iwobi for some time, I am reaching the conclusion that the decision that he offers more than James in any way is ludicrous.

Stan Schofield
128 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:02:20
Graham @126: However many there are, they'll be gone soon, and Everton will still be shit.
Kieran Kinsella
129 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:03:32
Danny @124,

"And, dare I say it, with my old Army helmet on, Iwobi on occasion.
Battens down the hatches for the incoming."

Incoming hydrogen bomb heading to West London!

Rick Pattinson
130 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:05:02
Good riddance. Absolute shambles of a professional footballer. No doubting he has/had talent but a stinking lazy approach to football. 30 years old and half the man of Ronaldo at 36. Even his country's coach has seen through him now!!!

Give it a couple of weeks the Qatari's will be shipping him out. Oh and it's a shame we didn't do a BOGOF deal and throw in Gomes or Delph.

Graham Mockford
131 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:06:37

You'll never be mistaken for a ray of sunshine.

I'm stealing that quote as it was originally about Van Morrison.

Darren Hind
132 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:07:19

A healthy helping of Crow for the American gentleman on table 119 please.

Danny O’Neill
133 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:10:25
Interesting shout, Graham. I agree on Pickford. Like many I criticised and he frustrated for a few seasons. But I was always conscious he was young for a keeper and still is. He has matured and will only continue to get better. We need to keep that in mind with young Ben Godfrey. Defensive players (keepers included) develop later.

Digne is one of the best left-backs in Europe. I personally can't think of a left-back in the Premier League I'd have over him. Genuinely. Chillwell maybe, but obviously he's out of reach. I do like Cresswell and that's not just because of his Halewood roots. But I like Digne and he's a bit of a leader on the pitch too.

Richarlison is borderline making your ratings in my opinion. I think we've realised how much we miss him and I think a lot of top teams would take him.

Andy, I'll repeat myself on Iwobi. A total enigma. He doesn't know what he's going to do. We don't know what he's going to do. The opposition don't know what he's going to do. There's definitely a player in there somewhere but no-one has been able to find it.

Ray Smith
134 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:14:37
Any chance of offloading Brands?

No chance of offloading Kenwright.

Dragging us down to depths we never envisaged.

Until they are gone, we are going nowhere for some time to come!

Upwards and onwards when they depart; until then, mediocrity!!!

Bill Gall
135 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:22:39
We played 46 games last season. James played in 21 league games, 2 as a sub, scoring 6 goals. He played in 2 FA Cup games and 1 League Cup game.

This means last season he missed 22 games and so far has not been fit enough to play this season, and he has missed 7 games, 5 league and 2 cup.

So, if it is true that he earns £200k a week, it has cost the club £5.80million a game, so is it worth it to keep an unfit player no matter how gifted he is?

Brian Williams
136 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:24:07
If, when I played, we were drawn against a team from a lower division, we'd be rubbing our hands. We'd expect to go out and outplay them. Players would take the chance to show what they could do and they'd relish the chance to shine against lesser opposition.

Iwobi played exactly as I've seen him play time and time again, without bravery, bottle or courage – call it what you want.

One of his most annoying traits is his habit of sprinting towards an opponent who has the ball only to abruptly slow down and stop a couple of yeards from him, avoiding contact or a tackle. He pisses me off to the point of ruining games for me.

Last night, the first three passes he made went straight out of play, for fuck's sake!

Rant over! I feel better for that.

Sean Kelly
137 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:26:21
Thank God that saga is over
David Currie
138 Posted 22/09/2021 at 21:47:42
Rick 130,

Good post and someone on here called James a superstar? Wonder what he would call Ronaldo? James at 30 joins a Mickey Mouse club in Qatar and CR7 joins Man Utd at 36.

Obviously one is World Class and the other one is not!

Bill Gall
139 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:20:29
My comment # 135 it cost the club £5.8 million a game, it should read £5.8 million for not playing in 29 games.
Christine Foster
140 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:29:38
Forget the mountains of bullshit written here and in the media, let your eyes and heart see what you will be missing. I expect the club accountant will be happy, I expect the media department too; no more having to leak inuendo to the Echo.

I expect those here on ToffeeWeb who wouldn't know skill but love pie and chips (great analogy, Tommy) will be happy too. But me, totally disheartened. Michael K, you said it exactly how I feel about the club and some of the things written here about James. Disgraceful.

But sadly this is pie and chips Everton. We have just had our backside handed to us by world beaters, QPR, and yet, think about this, we have a manager and a club who would play half-fit, never-been-good-enough players, or fully fit, can't-be-arsed ones while sledging the only players with skill out of the club.

You can slice and disect his stats till the cows come home, but he was quality, a fish out of water at this Everton FC.

I have oft criticized the way this club has been run in the last decade but rarely the manager or players. I look at where we are now, that we actively and with undue haste, get rid of quality and replace it with the likes of Rondon.

There are many on here who peddle the stats, many who believe the club, the media or just read the headlines. Me, I saw the magic. I felt the heart lift and a long-lost smile return to my face. Today, the disheartening clarity is a club with an ex-Red manager who is happy with mediocrity, who cannot even criticize players humbled by QPR. By supporters who are trying to convince themselves to believe the players brought in are better than those no longer with us.

This is my club. I am ashamed of it.

Brian Williams
141 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:35:23

A lot of us did see what we'll be missing but haven't quite got as carried away as you appear to have.

Not seeing things in the melodramatic way you appear to be doesn't make it bullshit. It just means that a lot of seasoned Evertonians see things differently from you.

Mike Gwyer
142 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:37:05
Bill #139.

If we are having a moan about money that Everton have spunked away, let's bring in the £35 million spent on Iwobi or the £50 million spent on Sigurdsson – and please, don't forget their wages.

We could chuck in the £20 million spunked on Walcott and then what wages we had to continue paying whilst he was playing for Southampton. Nope, let's just talk about James and the £5.8 million you figure Everton lost.

I did not have the joy of watching James play at Goodison and I have to say, that is a real shame.

Christine Foster
143 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:39:27
For all of you complaining about his salary, and how obscene it was, here see this link:

EPL Salary Rankings at Sportrac

He only just makes it into the top 100 EPL top earners. With several other EFC players ahead of him, but hey, they are only facts getting in the way of a good storyline... read it and weep, even Barkley is paid more.

Robert Tressell
144 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:42:48
On the subject of recently sold players, Moise Kean scored a very good goal for Juve tonight.

From the outside looking in, people must think we're a strange club.

Christine Foster
145 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:43:39
Brian, I am sure they do.
Stephen Vincent
146 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:46:39
Christine, agree with pretty much all of that, apart from the final paragraph.

Never be ashamed of the club. Be ashamed of the leadership, or a player or indeed the manager, but never, ever the club.

Christine Foster
147 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:51:45
Melodramatic, Brian? Really? You clearly haven't seen me in full flow. Passion is melodramatic, it inspires, it lifts the spirits.

So today's news does all that for you? For all those countless seasoned supporters? I am pleased for you! But it's not my Everton.

Steve Shave
148 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:52:06
I'm pleased its over and he's gone. Exciting for a brief spell, we could have truly loved him but it wasn't to be.

Personally, I hope we did get a fee and aren't (as speculated by a few on here) subsidising any of his current wage.

I hope too that, with other players released in the summer, we can free up enough money to buy Patterson and another attacking player in January.

Phil Wood
149 Posted 22/09/2021 at 22:57:59
Brian @141, I totally agree.

It is good to dream but dreaming and being conned are 2 different things. We have been conned by Carlo the Magnificent and his Magician, who plied their trade on smoke and mirrors.

Not taken in.

Christine Foster
150 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:00:08
Stephen, in my tiny world, I tried to keep separated the running of the club and its leadership from the team efforts and staff. But when the commercial decision-making affects the players picked, when sub standard players are brought in and quality shown the door and done so in the manner we have seen, then there is no longer a line in the sand.

I am ashamed by the quality on the pitch but more ashamed at those who not only allowed it to happen but actively promoted the strategy we see.

John Downey
151 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:07:47
Hi, this is my first ever post on ToffeeWeb, but I can't believe some of the comments on here. The Everton motto is meant to suggest what the club is all about, yet most people think hard work is all that matters.

In my 50 years of watching Everton, Kevin Sheedy is best player I have seen, yet my dad claimed he wasn't a patch on Alex Young. Unfortunately, reading most comments on James Rodriguez, it is clear most today's supporters wouldn't have wanted either player anywhere the club if they were available today.

Christy Ring
152 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:07:52
I thought James was pure class and I know he definitely didn't play enough games for the money he's on, but it was great to see him in an Everton shirt.

There are other players here on massive wages, who have played less games in two years, who wouldn't lace his boots, stealing a living and thankfully they'll be gone off the wage bill in the summer.

Dale Self
153 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:09:23
That would be Moshiri signaling to Carlo that we would be flush, getting James and then letting them know we wouldn't be active in the transfer windows. All the while forgetting he gave Carlo an out clause. Brill.
Jerome Shields
154 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:11:34
James's main aim was to play at International level. That's where he made his name and will keep it in lights or even on the side of some building. As Ancelotti said at the end of last season, he was 'a little tired'. This was right in the middle of Ancelotti flogging a dead horse trying to get Everton into Europe, which turned out to be the Europa Conference League.

Was James interested? No, he was not, letting us all be privy to his enormous bed on a plane flying to South America to join the Colombian International squad getting ready for Copa America. The rest was not enough to get him selected so he consoled himself by going to a disco in Miami, as you would do.

He then rested more and found his mentor had disappeared to Real Madrid without him, replaced by Rafa who had made him work harder than ever before when they both where at Real Madrid, playing regularly throughout the season according to Jay (Braz), who is a devil for factual detail.

Needing more rest on his return to Everton to get fit enough to meet the standards required by the Colombian manager. He definitely didn't fancy the work and effort preached as a requirement by Rafa, which run the risk of interrupting a full recovery (Finch Farm Medical Services rest) and would not have seen his International Career as a priority. James then went to a disco in Ibiza and smoked a pink cigerette and when queried by Evertonians informed us he did not train after 9:00 pm.

Mercifully and surprisingly, no-one on ToffeeWeb accused him of taking drugs. There was some discussion whether he had a muscle or joint problem though, as Rafa tried not to have him ruin squad motivation.

Brands was trying to get him moved on. We now know because of the enormous wage he was on, as he rested. But Brands could not get a mug like himself to take on the enormous wages, even with an Everton-funded discount. Nice work if you can get your employer to dig you out when you are stupid.

But luckily, Jose Mendez is not stupid and managed to get James off Everton's wage bill and into International contention. James will get the best medical help and personnel training to get him fit to play that money can buy in Doha.

James will be playing for Colombia in the World Cup. If Quatar can buy the World Cup tournament, they can sort out one Colombian international manager by making him an offer he cannot refuse. Money no object, a word with a few Cartel friends when they visit their money in Doha, or even have him net a Taliban representative. Yea World Cup selection asured.

James's Everton wages will be nothing in comparison to the money the Qataris will make in 6 months when they make him a Poster Boy for the World Cup. In the meantime, Everton will have a squad not fit for purpose and a DOF, who is a dof. Don't be surprised when it may filter out that our dof agreed to pay James £250, 000 per week. Only at Everton. You could not make it up.

Enjoy the World Cup, watching James playing, cheered on by his personal fanbase to help him along.

Big bed, pink cigarette, Miami Ibiza Disco-going James did not give one shit about Everton or Evertonians. All he cared about is his International Football standing and his worldwide loyal fanbase that will make him richer.

Justin Doone
155 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:15:07
It's not my money and I already know financially Everton are a shambles and mismanaged from our accountant owner downwards.

But to join in James's weekly salary varies from £80k to £180k depending on what source info you read.

Even on £180k, he was by far the best (attacking, creativity, skills, reputation, consistency, world wide fan base etc.) to have graced our club and could justify the wages.

Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson... I'm sorry but, knowing what they could and couldn't do, they don't justify the wages, even if fit and available.

That's without the transfers fees which is a different discussion but equally as perplexing.

I understand Mina, Richarlison, Allan and Doucoure being amongst our highest earners. Not happy but understandable.

Simply put, Brands and our scouting network have failed badly for 4 years. I hate to think what Rondon earns?

Christine Foster
156 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:20:58
Just saying, but Sportrac have 6 Everton players earning more than James, including Gomes, Pickford, Yerry, the one we cannot mention, Digne and Richarlison.

So take your pick: who is next on the accountant's chopping block? Delph, Tosun that's about another £10M (James Milner, over £7M; Jack Grealish, £15M; Trent Arnold £9M).

All about perspective. "Never mind the quality, feel the width..."

Bill Gall
157 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:24:28

I am not talking about how much a player cost. I am talking about how much it cost to pay a player who did not play. That is the difference. Plus the majority of games he missed were under the man who signed him.

Kieran Kinsella
158 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:25:07
John Downey,

Good first post, mate. You're a little older than me, so I'm sure you're scratching your head too hearing all this talk of hard work. Most were only too happy to see the back of Royle, Moyes and Fat Sam at the time. Now, we are holding those types up as the gold standard.

Phil Wood
159 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:29:03
John 151 I saw Alex Young, Kevin Sheedy, Alan Ball etc etc and many more Everton greats but the version of James Rodriguez that we got could not hold a candle to many of them.

Maybe it is because we have been starved of star quality players that it is easy to fall in love when someone shows exceptional skills. But James on too few occasions.

A lot of people must have his greatest hits on replay as there weren't that many. Quality but in short supply.

Terry Nolan
160 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:33:11
Finally, we get rid of the fraud, James Rodriguez.

I agree, he has plenty of talent; however, he lacks commitment and is not a team player, so a complete waste of space.

Delph and Tosun will both be happy with Rodriguez leaving; they won't have to rush into Finch Farm every day, trying to get a treatment table. I don't expect either will play another game for Everton before their contracts run down.

That will leave 2 frauds left at club in Iwobi and Davies – both are Championship players at best; I often wonder what managers see in them that the fans don't!!!

Kieran Kinsella
161 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:41:16
Thank God we got rid of Kanchelskis when we did – to make room for Tony Grant.
Ian Pilkington
162 Posted 22/09/2021 at 23:48:13
Michael: only just read your post @22

Thank you for an excellent summarisation of why so many supporters of our great club continue to be satisfied with 26 years of almost unrelieved mediocrity since we last won a trophy.

Ernie Baywood
163 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:16:03
I completely get that there will be reasons. Background shenanigans. Massive question marks. Maybe even a few times in the future when the parties involved 'dish the dirt'.

But he was the most technically gifted player I've seen at Everton. Every touch made me 'ooh'. From basic first touches to whipped balls down the wing. I remember wondering if this was what fans of clubs like Man City had just got used to seeing each week for their team.

So I can't be too happy he's gone, because his replacement won't be within 10 levels of his ability. And this was a waining James, approaching 30, and apparently not suited to the Premier League or committed to the club.

Now I know what that looks like in a royal blue shirt. How do we get another one?

Andrew Keatley
164 Posted 22/09/2021 at 00:23:53
Christine Foster (143)

Spotrac? Facts? This is the problem with the internet, it makes people completely confident that they have done the work in terms of research when all they've done is a bit of basic web-searching.

If you think that sites like Spotrac offer a wholly accurate and up-to-date record of players' wages to be quoted as “fact”, then your argument has already failed.

We have lots of problems running through our club, but getting James off the payroll is one less problem that we have to deal with. I think most of the people lamenting his departure are not so much sad about the reality of what he offered this club so much as the fantasy of what he could have offered. And when it comes to the here and now of this season I much prefer the cold snap of reality to the warm haze of fantasy.

Julian Wait
165 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:26:11
Living in Texas and surrounded by lakes, there's a wry expression you hear sometimes:

“The two happiest days in a boat owner's life: the day you buy the boat, and the day you sell the boat.”

This feels a bit like that really, ie, he was a bit like a boat: he wouldn't come out in the cold, you'd never know when he would want to start, and he'd break down just when you were having fun. And he cost you a shed load of money.

Time to move on.

Bob Parrington
166 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:27:59
Just read the thread and IMO Michael#22 has put it so well as per Ian's#162

At least we got to watch him on TV etc if not in person. THX James.

Bill Gienapp
167 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:30:38
Unfortunately, I feel like this is the mindset of far too many Everton fans:

James is talented, but doesn't work hard enough. Get rid of him.

Tom Davies works hard, but isn't good enough. Get rid of him.

Richarlison is talented and works hard, but he, like, makes sulky faces sometimes... so get rid of him too.

Stephen Vincent
168 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:38:24
Christine #150,

I totally get all that, but none of what you refer to is the club; they are passing custodians, irrespective of their motives and hidden agendas. They do not represent me and I'm pretty sure they don't represent you.

Having been fortunate to support Everton since 1959, I have rarely been completely at one with the hierarchy, but have always wanted the very best for my club, and believe implicitly that NSNO should be the object of all involved.

John Downey, excellent comparison regarding the Golden Vision, undoubtedly the most gifted footballer I ever saw in a blue shirt – but injury-prone and enigmatic and, in many games, completely invisible.

Phil Wood
169 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:44:12
For those wetting themselves because they watched 3 touches of class per 90 minutes from James, just watch Man City who have half a dozen players each match with as much talent as James has but they can do it for 90 minutes, not 3.

Stop calling fans Philistines because they don't share your point of view. Yes we see and appreciate the quality but do not accept the other 87 minutes of no show. No, we don't want to watch dour football either but we are being realistic as James was just a cameo.

Pull your heads out of your backsides and smell the roses. Fantasists.

As for being forced out... What a joke. The fellow didn't want to know once his Dad had left the club.

John Boon
170 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:46:47
HE HAS GONE!!! HE WON'T BE BACK. THOSE WHO SEEM TO HAVE NOMINATED JAMES TO BECOME ST JAMES RE CANONIZATION WILL BE SO SAD. HE IS NOW JUST A 'VISION'. AND FOR OLDER BLUES THERE WAS ONLY ONE VISION: ALEX YOUNG small letter James would not even be fit to lace Alex's boots. Mind you, he didn't get to lace his own too often when he was at Everton.


Nicolas Piñon
171 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:57:21
Absolutely agree with you, Phil Wood @169.

Not fit or commited enough to be here. Football is about being súper professional nowadays and James Rodriguez didn't show that at all. The contrary, I'd say. Don't let the tree cover the forest, people. The club is above anything. And he showed far too little of that. We need more Grays and Townsends.

Steve Brown
172 Posted 23/09/2021 at 01:09:03
Andrew @ 164, bit rich to criticise people who take the time to find out the facts.

Let's hear your data to contradict the research Christine has done. I'll start the clock now.

Steve Brown
173 Posted 23/09/2021 at 01:10:55
Phil @ 169, you write “Stop calling fans Philistines because they don't share your point of view.” Then you proceed to do just that.
Jim Robinson
174 Posted 23/09/2021 at 01:12:27
I'm late to the party, as usual, but I have to say I agree with every word written by Christine Foster.

In my opinion, there's something seriously wrong with a club that chases out a player like James yet keeps the likes of Delph, Gbamin, Iwobi, Tosun and actively pursues Salomon Rondon.

Like Christine, I also live on the other side of the world, in New Zealand's third island, the big one to the left. I went to bed early Tuesday night and set the alarm for 4:30 am so I could get up and watch my beloved team be embarrassed by a side from the second tier of English football.

I can't walk away from the club I have supported for 60 years but I'm having a hard time maintaining the passion I used to have. So maybe I'll just stay in bed this Saturday and record the game. If they win, I'll watch it; if they play like Tuesday and lose, I have the option to hit the delete button.

Eto'o was another player with a fabulous career who also comes in for a heap of criticism by some people on this site. What we know of the time is that Martinez had a philosophy that didn't involve practising dead ball situations. He didn't see them as the right way to score.

Presumably he didn't train to defend them either as we had the worst record at conceding from corners in the Premier League for a long time. He also didn't focus on fitness training. Perhaps Sam tried to tell Roberto that his philosophy was crap and suffered for it. Another case of the club driving the narrative, anyone? Shortly after, Silvan Distan also took his bat and ball and literally went home to France.

I put the way that I feel about the club squarely on the shoulders of Bill Kenwright and his cronies and I despise them for it.

Here endeth the rant.

Christine, condolences on the passing of your uncle. I hope you get your health issues sorted and, if you do move back to L5, I wish you a smooth and seamless transition.

Mike Gaynes
175 Posted 23/09/2021 at 01:20:05
#170 - A snotty comment in all caps is still a snotty comment. It just looks less intelligent.

#169 - Sneering, derisive comments about loyal Blues who enjoyed the James show while it lasted are equally unintelligent.

Bill #167, amen. Somebody here actually called Richarlison a cunt when he looked sour after being subbed off, and did in fact write "get rid".

Kieran Kinsella
176 Posted 23/09/2021 at 01:36:15
John Boon,

You've got an advantage on some of us, you saw Young et al. My early Everton memories are of Sheedy being injured or benched but hearing about how good he'd been prior.

Since then the best I've seen is Limpar, Kanchelskis and then James. Other than that, it's been industrial football. It was nice to see a bit of skill watching my own team instead of Man City or anyone else.

Christine Foster
177 Posted 23/09/2021 at 01:58:34
Let's get something straight. I am not a fantasist (Phil Wood) nor am I going to descend into name-calling anyone who doesn't agree with me, never have, never will. It's your opinion and you are entitled to it, as I am mine. You disagree and that's fair enough, just as I disagree with yours.

Yes, it's about having skill versus endeavour, bad blood with the manager, FFP etc etc. But surely we are missing the point: it's not just about all that, or James, but what he represents. It's not about what he earns but the way his reported earnings are used to condemn the player when the club want rid.

Why hasn't so much time and effort gone into getting rid of the poor players we have on equal or more than James? (Benitez by any chance?)

Man City have a dozen world class players, each better than James in their own way, at the top of their game. We cannot afford one of them. What we can afford is not very good at all. Bargain basement stuff of the transfer market.

(If you want to believe the Echo as to how much a player is on then thats up to you.) Smell the roses, Phil, we cannot afford one of Man City's squad – never mind their first team – so it's a ridiculous comparison to suggest as much.

If we can get a waning star for a reasonable cost, then, to me, I would rather have that than Rondon or Davies or Gomes or Iwobi... because he is still more enjoyable to watch than any of them. Isn't that the point?

Derek Knox
178 Posted 23/09/2021 at 02:06:58
Christine, we got Delph from Man City! 😜🤔
Andrew Keatley
179 Posted 23/09/2021 at 02:25:59
Steve (172),

Do a little digging yourself, Steve. Christine claims that Spotrac – who state that James Rodriguez is on £90k a week and Calvert-Lewin is on £20k (which he hasn't been on since he signed a new contract in March 2020) – are dealing in facts.

This is not true; vast numbers of their quoted salary numbers are either outdated or incorrect - so they do not provide a strong basis for her claims that James Rodriguez was not the highest paid player at Everton.

All I did was make this point, and now I've got to explain it to you because you don't have the time, inclination or wherewithal to analyse this yourself either. Instead, you decided to just follow in behind someone who happens to share your argument and hope that they've done the appropriate amount of research in order to make both your points stick. Sadly, Christine hasn't – so I'm afraid you've backed a loser on this one.

For the record, I don't claim to know how much Everton were paying James Rodriguez, but what I do know is that the £90k being quoted by Spotrac (or any other such site) is not to be automatically trusted and believed as fact just because it's on an internet site that gets a large amount of things right. My belief is that he was being paid more than £200k per week, but I do not know that for a fact.

Darren Hind
180 Posted 23/09/2021 at 04:24:37

I said on another thread that many Evertonians are getting the team they deserve. You unfortunately are getting the team other people deserve.

I love your passion and I totally recognise your School of Science upbringing. You are sharp enough to be sensing a big 'but' coming... and here it is. The other side have a very valid point in this debate.

Nobody needs to tell you how the game has changed since you fell in love with it, nor do you need to be told how far we, aristocrats of the game, have fallen. It's all too painfully real.

We can't climb back up the mountain with players who are simply not good enough, but we won't get back to the top with players who are physically broken... no matter how good.

It's not enough to be the ring master in the modern game. You need to be able to put your head in the lion's mouth, walk the high wire, and tend to the elephants. Otherwise, you will find games are passing you by.

We no longer have the talent to accommodate what used to be called the luxury player. We are a poor side going nowhere. We need to somehow find good players with the desire to win who can fight their way back to the top. The "part time magician" may be fun... but we need to become a serious side before we can even begin to think about having that sort of fun again.

Alex Young could quite literally take the breath away when he had super talented playes around him in the '60s. But he'd have been a fish out of water among today's also-rans... Bid your boy a teary farewell and let him go.

I'm always reminded of the Floyd song "Sweet smell of great sorrow" when I speak to Blues of your and our... pardon me, vintage.

"He's searching for the memory of a lost paradise.
In his youth or a dream, he can't be precise.
He's chained forever to a world that's departed.
It's not enough, it's not enough."

Kieran Kinsella
181 Posted 23/09/2021 at 04:27:58

I suspect you're right on the wage front putting together your various posts. When James came, his wage was touted as nearer to the £90k/wk reported on Sportrac, than the £200k/wk now quoted.

But it was also suggested there was some kind of subsidy from Real. Therefore I'm guessing you're on the money with your point about his one year anniversary and the notion Madrid subsidized him for Year 1 – in which case, maybe £90k was our share. Now we are faced with double we ditch him.

In the interests of fairness, Alan Myers claims James wanted out pre Carlo's departure. No idea if that's true but he seems to be well respected on here.

Personally I think Moshiri backed Carlo in a Monte Carlo or bust deal buying these players and hoping we'd get Champions League to cover our costs. We didn't. Carlo fucked off and they took the opportunity to balance the books.

Derek Knox,

Cheeky bugger. Fair point on Delph. You could also mention Barry. But I think Christine was thinking of their creatives, eg, Grealish, De Bryune etc rather than the destroyers.

John Boon
185 Posted 23/09/2021 at 06:17:14
Mike Gaynes (175) Master of Wit and Repartee,and NOW newly self proclaimed Professor of English. Where do you get your "Pearls of Wisdom" from? You should seriously think of getting your own advice column. I presume you spend much time watching Dr Phil or Dr Oz?

I wanted to EMPHASIZE that far too much time has been spent writing, thinking and commenting about an over-paid player who DOES NOT want to play for Everton. I could have used expletives but that is just NOT my style. From watching since 1948, I could mention more than two dozen Everton players who had the skills of Rodriguez. Most of them did not get one-hundredth of his salary. AND for the most part they had Everton hearts and souls. I feel so strongly about the Rodriguez situation that my need to emphasise required CAPITALS. He was a good player but that is all. OK MIKE ????

Just a question: I agree that everyone has their own perspective on judging a player's ability, but is Rodriguez the most skilled Everton player you have ever watched? If not, who is?

. A note from a RUDE uneducated and uncouth SCOUSER

Jerome Shields
186 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:07:30
Graham #88,

Way down here on this thread, you are right. Fans are looking to eulogise a player with talent and have the brain of pea as regards that. Wisest post on this thread.

A great player lifts all boats; James was only interested in lifting his own.

Robert Tressell
187 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:21:38
All we've done is get a player off our books about 20 games sooner than he would have gone anyway.

There are players of tremendous skill out there at the start of their careers. If we can take a chance on a few of them, we might be able to witness them at Goodison Park and Bramley-Moore Dock for much of that career.

Harry Wallace
188 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:42:52
A great example of how badly run, embarrassing and third-rate this club is. Absolutely wonderful at woke politics etc etc but running the business side and footballing sides of the club is impossible for them.

This club will never progress until Moshiri appoints a team who have proven ability. I don't care how much they love this club or what their gender, political beliefs or race is. So what? I want winners in key positions.

Sam Hoare
189 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:43:16
Agreed Robert, better to get rid than keep a player uninterested in playing for us.

This from Alan Myers (who usually has good contacts from within the club) seems pertinent:

“Those two exits aren't connected. From what I am told, James had already decided that he didn't want to continue playing at Everton before Ancelotti's announcement. He was unhappy and would have liked to have left sooner.

“Since new manager Rafa Benitez has come in – and with James effectively frozen out of the side – there was speculation that James didn't fit into his plans. I'm pretty certain that wasn't the case. The one person I wouldn't blame at all in all of this is Benitez.

“Benitez wants people committed to the club and he knew straight off that this player wanted to go – and if that's the case, he has to move on. Benitez hasn't got time to see if he could talk him around. Don't forget Benitez has come in under huge pressure as well.”

Terry Farrell
190 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:43:27
Loved James's silky skills and best in a blue shirt I've seen technique-wise, including Sheedy. I wish we could have made it work, even off the bench.

Without the ball, we were playing with 10 men and the fact that no other club of note in Europe or South America were remotely interested, including Real Madrid, says it all!

Ray Roche
191 Posted 23/09/2021 at 07:50:52
John @185,

You, like me, have been lucky enough to see Young play, along with Ball, Collins, Ring etc. To have witnessed these greats, and appreciate what they were watching, a Blue must be at least 60.

Much younger fans who idolise James can't compare him with players they've only heard about or seen on YouTube. My arl feller thought Young overrated but get him talking about Dean!

So we have as heroes players who've ‘done it for me'. Let's not castigate fans for having, as heroes, the best they've seen.

James wanted out. Everton wanted him off the wage bill once we were required to cough up the whole of his salary. Not Rafa's fault.

Christine Foster
192 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:19:10
I give up... wood, trees.. apples with apples. I really do understand that James was not the world class player he was, that Man City have loads of money and players we have no chance of buying... I really do get it.

But then I am brassed off because we are in the position of seeing the best we can afford getting slated in here and other players held up as better than him.

They may run faster, harder, longer, try more than him. "Skill is not enough" I hear everyone shout. Okay, then, by that standard, look at our last game: who worked their socks off in that one? Who looked a better player than the opposition? Not one player.

The days of quality have passed us by? I am living in the past? No, I am most definitely not. If you are of the belief we are where we are and should not aspire to anything but running as a criterion for playing in a blue shirt, then god help you.

We will never challenge for anything with the players we currently have, if you are happy for mediocrity then you will have a contented life. I would rather aspire for better players, for titles, for a road map that gets us back to where I believe we should be.

Have we got so used to rubbish that we are content? I will take the better players even on the wane because they are still better quality than what we have.
Stick that in the pipe...

Mark Ryan
193 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:29:20
Interesting article from Alan Meyers who lays the blame firmly at the door of the player and not with club, not with Benitez, and so we need to get our head around this. Not our club being shite but moreover as many have said, a player who wanted out even before Benitez was chosen.

Let's all forget him and stop moping, me included.

Robert Tressell
194 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:29:54
Interesting comments there Sam #189. Interesting also how different the reactions are to the Kean and Rodriguez departures.

We had a young striker wanted by PSG, Juve and Inter who most were delighted to see leave (and who scored an excellent goal last night) because he was shite and a spoilt brat.

Yet the departure of someone on a steep downward trajectory (who had obviously lost interest in us) to a team in Qatar (apparently the only serious interest in him) is greeted with a lot of fury and an inquest as to why he couldn't be accommodated in the side.

Kean wasn't perfect and he obviously wanted to leave too. But next time we get a young talent as highly regarded as Kean, then I hope we have a bit more patience. And I'm hoping we don't shop for broken-down galacticos again because, though visually pleasing at times, it doesn't get us anywhere.

John Mallo
195 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:30:28
John Boon @170,

I totally agree.

Adios, amigo.

Christine Foster
196 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:33:41
Darren, he ain't my boy. I wish him well, I am sorry it didn't work out.

I agree Young, Ball or anyone would not have coped in today's game. Yesterday has gone; the question is: Why we have fallen so low and how do we get back up. We have a multimillionaire owner who cannot spend.

For the very last time, I am annoyed we are in the position we are in. Yes, I was brought up on the School of Science, but that's a joke to many supporters. It used to be a statement in my book; now, it's an aspiration to some. The fact that the club doesn't believe it or our motto anymore is damming. It's business.

We have fallen so far that skillful players are not welcome unless they can run, jump, tackle harder and out-compete anyone — and then, only then, can they show great ball control, great vision...

Nah, a team is made up of different skill-sets, Darren, we have to improve and hard work is needed but, to succeed in this league, it's not enough.

Eddie Dunn
197 Posted 23/09/2021 at 08:49:05
Julian @165...


Jonathan Tasker
198 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:16:47
Christine above on top form.

The club is a disgrace.

And I'll still believe the new ground when I see it.

Brian Williams
199 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:17:54
Good one Jonathan. :-)))
Brian Williams
200 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:19:10
Is Alan Myers believable and/or reputable?

Alan Myers: Rodriguez wanted to leave Everton before Ancelotti

Jerome Shields
201 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:23:46
James is a Charlie Austin off being a greater player.
Simon Thunbo
202 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:27:15
Madness. Thanks, Rafa.
Andrew Clare
203 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:28:49
Julian #165.What a great analogy – it can be applied to so many things in life.
Andrew Kelly
204 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:34:26
He was and still is a fantastically gifted footballer but you can't just be that in the Premier League anymore. You have to be willing to put in the work too and that's why, as much as I'm sad to see him go, he was that luxury we couldn't afford.

Definitely time to move on now for all concerned. We have a huge game on Saturday and it's one I'm strangely looking forward to. The Old Lady will be rocking and I'm sure, if any player isn't pulling his weight, then the crowd will let them know about it!

Brian Harrison
205 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:37:32
I just think it's sad that it never worked out for player, club, and most of all fans. There is no doubt that James is or was a very highly skilful player but the game nowadays you have to be more artisan than artistic to survive.

Whatever anyone's views of James, the fact that none of us got to see him live is a big disappointment. But I wish him good luck in the future and hope that Everton can progress without him.

Rob Hooton
207 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:48:54
Well, at least he might be in Qatar for the World Cup as I doubt he will be fit enough to fly with his national team.
Kim Vivian
208 Posted 23/09/2021 at 09:55:11
Roger - 108. Simple answer. Most amount of money for least amount of effort.
Clive Rogers
210 Posted 23/09/2021 at 10:50:20
The big problem now is who we replace him with. Who will provide the creativity we need. It certainly won't be any of the midfielders who started on Tuesday night, they were dreadful. There's no-one at the club good enough.
Ken Kneale
211 Posted 23/09/2021 at 10:53:43
Thanks Brian 200

Alan Myers is reputable and often very accurate He has good sources but reported, Kenwright dislikes him. Not sure if that is two way?

His comments below

“Ancelotti left very suddenly to go to Real Madrid and now James has departed after one season, in which he made 23 Premier League appearances, scored six goals and recorded four assists.

“Those two exits aren't connected. From what I am told, James had already decided that he didn't want to continue playing at Everton before Ancelotti's announcement. He was unhappy and would have liked to have left sooner.

“Since new manager Rafa Benitez has come in – and with James effectively frozen out of the side – there was speculation that James didn't fit into his plans. I'm pretty certain that wasn't the case. The one person I wouldn't blame at all in all of this is Benitez.

“Benitez wants people committed to the club and he knew straight off that this player wanted to go – and if that's the case, he has to move on. Benitez hasn't got time to see if he could talk him around.

Dave Abrahams
212 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:03:01
Has he really gone, obviously reading this post but in the Daily Mirror not one line about his move, unless I missed it.

Christine, don't give up and don't despair. You can be a skilfulCalvert-Lewinere are plenty playing today in the premier league and elsewhere, the two Silvas at Man City plus Foden.

We had Sheedy who was very skilful as well as being in the game for 90 minutes. When James had the ball, he could do great things, now and again. Without the ball, we were playing with 10 men, which was often.

Brian Williams
213 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:26:05
The big problem now is who we replace him with. Who will provide the creativity we need?

Clive, we need to replace him with someone who can score more than six goals and provide more than four assists and hopefully make more than 23 appearances in a season that would help us to finish higher than 10th in the Premier League.

Because if you cut through the wailing and gnashing of teeth, the stories of golden rays of light shining down on James every time he took to the field (meh) and the fact that he was just wonderful in "everything" he did, the above is what that person will have to better.

And believe it or not, I'm not anti-James and enjoyed his fleeting moments of brilliance, but also saw his failings in games which some appear to be blind to, just saying.

Andros Townsend, by the way, has made seven appearances so far this season and scored three goals and provided three assists.

Kevin Molloy
214 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:32:29
I think we gave it a good go with James. He was here a whole season, we saw his best and his worst. and we finished 10th. Great though he is, the impact he had on the rest of the team was too great a sacrifice.

If we cast our minds back to the last 6 months of last season, we were absolutely dire to watch. And that's with James Rodriguez either playing or injured. Now, we play good stuff (when we have most of our players on the pitch).

I am relieved he is gone, cos I was sick of him being spoken about every week. Is he injured, is he really injured, will he be on the bench, why wasn't he on the bench, on and on.

I think the fact he eventually chose Qatar tells you of his commitment levels. Time to go.

Christopher Timmins
215 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:34:33
Just like the man who brought him to Goodison Park, he was was not what we needed at this particular point in time in the club's history. He might make the difference when playing on a very good team but playing on a team that is mid-table at best is a different proposition.

I hope that the full burden of his wages will be covered by his new club.

I wish him no harm and hope that he can make something out of the remainder of his career.

Bernard Dooley
216 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:39:12
Christine Foster #196; forever interesting and forever Everton; though I beg to differ on one player.

Picture that much repeated clip of Alan Ball, in the dying minutes of extra time in the 1966 World Cup Final, scampering down the right wing after a long pass, an immediate centre to Geoff Hurst, and the rest is history. Ball was the beating heart of our World Cup winners.

We signed him soon after. Five years of skill, heart and soul, total effort in a blue shirt. Picture him picking up the ball from his back four, short, sharp pass to Harvey or Kendall and then away, finding space for a return pass.

Or his 4 goals in a 6-2 win at the Hawthorns when he kept beating Osborne, the West Brom goalkeeper, with cross-shots, not to mention two penalties.

No idea who is Everton's best, or most talented player in all the 65 years I have followed Everton, but Ball was my favourite who gave the impression he would die for our cause.

I am totally convinced he would be brilliant even in today's football.

Tony Everan
217 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:43:23
Good post, Dave @212. My sentiments too.

Robert @194, re Kean.

Also, if we sign the brightest young talents, we have to play them. It's poor strategy to keep a £30M player benched; when signing, he will be expecting to start matches... if not, he will become disillusioned with the move.

Every player is different but maybe we signed Kean at too young an age, too raw, all the potential but not quite ready to start. At that £20-30M level of signing, the young player signed just has to play and be backed to come good; otherwise, it just reeks of a dysfunctional operation. Also, fan acceptance may take a bit of time and patience.

The rise of Calvert-Lewin has stopped him and the team set up but, in future, I would like to see more thinking about the starting role of the player and how he fits into our system. Hopefully a bit of managerial stability and consistent playing style will help us iron this flaw out going forward.

Jonathan Tasker
218 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:53:58
Saturday will be fascinating.

We won't win many matches with the two OAPs, Begovic and Rondon, in the team. Norwich are bottom but are capable of beating this severely weakened Everton team.

There's a fair-sized section of the Goodison crowd that will rapidly turn on Rafa and it could quickly turn toxic.

I can see a high-scoring match on Saturday.

Stan Schofield
219 Posted 23/09/2021 at 11:58:27
Bernard@216: Yes, of course Ball, Harvey Kendall, Young, Vernon, and all those brilliant players from the 60s would be equally top players these days. But they'd need to be part of a top team, like they were in the 60s.

The problem with the modern Everton is that we are not of sufficient quality where players of that calibre can truly reach their aspirations as footballers and actually compete at the very top and win trophies. That's why, ultimately, our best quality players leave. They don't really fit in here in any sustainable way, because our squad as a whole is midtable and has been for a long time. That's why the likes of Rooney, Stones and Lukaku leave us so readily. No doubt the likes of Richarlison and DCL will also leave us in the near future, so they can play in teams made up of comparable quality players.

These players all have the common feature of having been subject to incessantly negative comments on this site, comments not commensurate with those players' qualities, at the slightest hint of a dip in form or some other supposed issue with them. Perhaps these players are simply convenient scapegoats for the frustrations of some supporters with our enduring mediocrity. In my opinion, Rodriguez' very quality has ensured that he has attracted similar comments. If the likes of Ball, Harvey, Young, et al were in the current Everton squad, I am confident that they too would ultimately attract similar comments. It appears to be in the nature of social media commentary, with its drama queen gossipy drivel from grown adults who should know better, and to which this very site is subject despite its overall quality.

Danny Baily
220 Posted 23/09/2021 at 12:13:06
Stan 219, agreed. You need a critical mass of quality players. No point having them in isolation.

218 - Norwich are uniquely rubbish. Even with Begovic and Rondon in the lineup, I'm confident we'll turn them over.

Steve Brown
221 Posted 23/09/2021 at 12:46:57
Brian @213,

We need to replace James with someone who can provide 6 goals and 4 assists this season.

Good point, so put a name forward who we a) can afford; b) will provide us with that return; c) is available in January.

The irritation is because we know that his goals and assists won't be replaced this season, at the same time that the goals and assists provided by the Nameless One will be missing.

That isn't emotional, that is simple logic. Townsend and Gray have contributed well in terms of goals and assists so far this season but, if one of them is injured, we are well and truly stuffed.

Robert Tressell
222 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:10:50
Steve @ 221, it's a good point. Sigurdsson and Rodriguez were always due to leave (contracts up June 2022) but it's happened a year early.

It looks like Gray and Townsend will help replace some of the goals and assists we'll be missing. Maybe even Rondon too. Might need to shed some timber first though.

It's pretty much out of the question, as you suggest, Steve, to bring someone in with a meaningful goal threat in January because of the way the market works and our lack of spending power (or spending ability). But being optimistic, maybe we'll revive the Luis Diaz deal or buy Lewandowski.

Until then, this lack of goals and goal threat really hurts us – because it's so much easier for the opposition to throw men forward, putting a strain on our ropey defence and midfield.

It will be even more of a problem if one or both of Calvert-Lewin or Richarlison is sold in Summer 2022 too.

David Milner
223 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:16:48
Promised so much but delivered so little. Once Ancelotti left, he did not seem interested.
Kieran Kinsella
224 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:27:39
Sam, Mark, Brian,

I wonder if Alan Meyers's sources are the same that said Rooney wanted to leave and Gary Speed? James himself said publicly after Rafa left that he was happy to stay at Everton.

Tommy Carter
225 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:32:07

Obviously Myers reports without an agenda (sarcasm).

That article is unnecessarily defensive about Benitez, despite the fact it is more about James and the board.

Brian Williams
226 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:42:03
Kieran. Rafa's left now? Oh ffs!!!

Sorry mate, couldn't resist.

Kieran Kinsella
227 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:44:15

Freudian slip lol

Brian Williams
228 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:46:25
Steve #221.

My point was that maybe his replacement has already been brought in. That's why I quoted Townsend's goals and assists.

You say "his" goals and assists won't be replaced. Townsend has already replaced three of his goals and three of his assists in seven games.

He only needs another three goals and another assist and he's equalled James's record – and he has the best part of 30 games to do it in.

Brian Williams
229 Posted 23/09/2021 at 13:49:06
And you could bring in a superstar in January only for him to get injured and be out for the rest of the season, so the injury card doesn't stand up IMO.
Steve Brown
230 Posted 23/09/2021 at 14:11:15

Townsend has definitely made a good start with 3 goals and 3 assists. But he has scored 32 league goals in 337 league games, so overall his record doesn't indicate he will be a replacement. If he exceeds 6 goals and 4 assists, then I will happily eat my words though!

My broader point was that we are actually trying to replace 12 goals and 9 assists with the loss of James and the Nameless One, so that will have an impact on a squad with such low goals and assists. If Townsend or Gray pick up a serious injury, then we have no back-up.

As mitigation, I would have retained James as back-up until we sign a replacement in January or released him at the end of his contract.

Brian Williams
231 Posted 23/09/2021 at 14:24:34
Steve. To be "a replacement" (with regard to goals and assists) he only has to score another three and get one more assist.

Are you missing that point or choosing to ignore it? Because that's the only point I'm on about here as this thread is about James, not Sigurdsson.

Townsend has around 30 games (if he doesn't get injured which many players do) to score three more goals and get one more assist to match James's goal and assist record of last season. That fact is incontrovertible – no matter how many factors and 'what if's you want to add to the discussion.

Tommy Carter
232 Posted 23/09/2021 at 14:30:30
Brian @228,

I'll have you a wager – loser donates to charity – that Townsend does not score 6 or more goals this season.

5 or less he'll get.

Bill Gall
233 Posted 23/09/2021 at 14:39:31
The major problem with James was his injuries, although not serious injuries; when on the pitch, he was the target to contain. He had an athletic build but not a solid one and this was why most of his injuries were minor and kept him out of games. We don't know what his attitude was in training, he enjoyed it or resented it.

During his career, he has played under a number of different managers and, as a professional player, he plays in the style and tactics the manager uses. The talk that him and Benitez did not get along came from years ago and someone in one of his comments on here said it was not Rafa he had the argument with.

The problem with media coverage is they can say or print anything as long as there may be a hint of truth in it, and can make it into a major incident. And as more people without facts get on the bandwagon, it becomes more of a major story.

Rafa Benitez is the manager of Everton FC and it is his job to win games with the squad of players he has (he's not always successful) and I doubt that over his career he has not had disputes with some of his players.

But, in the position he is in, disputes have to be forgotten in team selection; otherwise, if he had that sort of reputation with players, James would not be the only player he has had disputes with. If the manager says a player is not fit to play, he has received this advice from the physio and trainers plus the player's attitude. No manager wants to lose and will play any player who is fit.

In regards to the media, they have now started on Richarlison leaving, and over the next number of weeks and months, the intensity of why he doesn't want to stay at Everton will increase with comments from him that may not be accurate.

Yes, we have lost and not often seen a gifted player, but don't blame it on the club or manager, as has been reported (it may not be the truth) he wanted to leave before Ancelotti left.

After a while, no matter how gifted a player is, the fact is that the club cannot afford to pay a player who is not able to play for more than 50% of the season and wants to leave.

Dave Williams
234 Posted 23/09/2021 at 14:51:02
David #223 he seemed to lose interest a lot sooner than that to me!
Mark Ryan
235 Posted 23/09/2021 at 15:10:39
Jonathan @218,

All I can say is that the fair-sized section of the crowd you refer to who will turn against Rafa had better be careful what they wish for because, if he leaves or is forced out, we will have nobody wanting the job – and I mean nobody.

Who would want the crap that he has inherited? Hardly his fault to have been landed the Sigurddson issue, the Rodriguez enigma, and a wafer-thin squad.

Kevin Molloy
237 Posted 23/09/2021 at 15:14:10
Good point, Mark.

If we'd got Nuno, I think we'd be staring down the barrel already. And with no Fireman Sam or Moyesiah waiting in the wings to right the ship.

Mark Ryan
238 Posted 23/09/2021 at 15:14:13
If Rafa gets booed out of the place, I think we're doomed to go down. The team will go into a flat spin and we'll be history. Nobody will want to inherit this team, nobody of any worth anyway.

Nervous times for me. I'm fully behind him and I think he's done well to date.

Dave Abrahams
240 Posted 23/09/2021 at 15:19:07
Mark (235),

I agree with you... but think you are wrong if you think nobody will be interested in the job. There will be quite a few – but none of them will be able to do the job as good as Mr Benitez.

Andy Crooks
241 Posted 23/09/2021 at 15:29:53
Good post, Dave. I wasn't overly enthused about Rafa's appointment but, given where we are, with this squad, I wouldn't swop him. Toxic won't make him walk away.

By the way, I hope you are well, Dave. Tony has my number if you fancy a catch-up.

Rob Dolby
242 Posted 23/09/2021 at 16:22:59
John 185.

You have stated that you can name 24 Everton players that had the same skill level as Rodriguez?

Can you name them please?

I have been a season ticket holder since 1978 so not as long a supporter as yourself and I am struggling to get anywhere near that number.

For entertainment value I enjoyed watching.
Dave Thomas
Andy King

The above list off the top of my head are players that excited me in a blue shirt.

I get the marmite effect that Rodriguez is having on this thread and understand both sides. I think more than anything it has brought out our distinct lack of entertainers over the years.

John McFarlane Snr
243 Posted 23/09/2021 at 16:41:02
Hi Dave [240],

I can't help thinking that this current situation is comparable to the Alan Ball transfer, plenty of rumours but none substantiated. I can recall Harry Catterick being quoted as saying "The truth will come out in the long run" – unfortunately, that never happened.

I sense a similar scenario in the James Rodriguez instance, with the alleged injuries being used to camouflage the real reason for the apparent stand-off. It's not beyond the realms of imagination that James Rodriguez has downed tools, I'm not suggesting that it is the real reason, I'm just putting it forward as a possibility. I'm sure that we will discuss it in more detail at The Bramley Moore get-together on Saturday night.

Hi Andy [241],

I have to confess that, unlike many on this site, I choose to accept the appointment of any manager, the reason being that it's out of my control. I have long since held the view that any appointment, manager or player, can be either the best or the worst decision the club makes.

To some, this may be construed as accepting mediocrity; the truth is there's not a lot I can do about it. Looking forward to seeing you again at The Bramley Moore get-together.

Mike Gaynes
244 Posted 23/09/2021 at 16:42:13
From The Fiver today:

"... James Rodríguez reportedly has a rather ambitious clause in his new contract with Qatari side Al-Rayyan. According to Mundo Deportivo, the Colombian will be allowed to leave if PSG come calling."

I hope he's not waiting for his phone to ring with a Paris code.

Tony Heron
245 Posted 23/09/2021 at 16:42:23
I loved watching Rodriguez, fabulous player with silky skills, but let's be honest. You can't have a player who decides when he can play, and when he does, who also decides when he should be substituted. Carlo Fantastico (LOL) indulged him and quite frankly let him get away with murder.

I've long complained about Everton's lack of professionalism. To allow any player to behave in that manner would simply continue in the same vein.

Rafa was not my choice, but I'm really glad we have him. If he's given the time, I think he's our best chance of restoring the club and its reputation back to where it belongs.

Dale Self
246 Posted 23/09/2021 at 16:54:08
He's deluded Mike. And on the tailspin talk, doesn't Rafa have a 3-year deal? He'll ride that out I imagine.
Terry Downes
247 Posted 23/09/2021 at 16:56:46
Maybe a cheap and short-term version to replace James could be Juan Mata. Hardly played these days for Man Utd but could do a real job for us???
David Currie
248 Posted 23/09/2021 at 17:29:15
John 185,

Well said regarding James the player, he was good and that is it and now playing in Qatar which says it all.

Brian 213, Townsend will prove to be a better player in an Everton shirt than James. Like you rightly state, he only needs 3 more goals and one assist to equal him.

He has shown skill, desire, great work ethic and the scorer of a fantastic goal vs Burnley.

Derek Knox
249 Posted 23/09/2021 at 17:52:01
Slightly off topic, well quite a bit really, just a reminder to anyone who may have missed it. (which Planet have you been on ?) The long awaited TW Get Together will be at The Bramley Moore Pub (bit of a walk from Sandhills Station @15 minutes) next to our future new home, after the Norwich game. All are welcome, but no RS.

To the best of my knowledge, there are shuttle buses to Kirkdale and Sandhills after the match which leave at the Bus Stop near to the Park End headed towards Kirkdale. Hopefully regular attendees may be better disposed to confirm this.

Brian Wilkinson
250 Posted 23/09/2021 at 17:58:59
James was an unbelievable player, over three years he struggled to hit the heights at Madrid, he had some great games at Everton, and some average games as well.

Injury and fatigue have caught up with James; he is living off past memories, nowhere near the player he was.

Oh yes, he can turn a game with one sublime pass; just as easy as he could miss the next 4 games, at the drop of a hat.

James of four years ago, I doubt any single Evertonian would not agree with his skills and ability, but somehow, people are blinded by his past playing. It was a bit like when we got Gasgoigne, who still put in some great games for Everton, but sadly not the Gasgoigne when he was at his peak.

The Anfield derby and a few other games are the highlights, but the missed games and average games have been airbrushed out.

So my final reckoning is, for all parties involved, we have got a player off the wage bill, a player who could turn a game one week, and go missing the next three, but overall, will for years to come, split the fan base on him: those for and those not too sure... the Marmite Guy.

Christy Ring
251 Posted 23/09/2021 at 18:38:39
Sadly will never get to see James live, and I bet he would have loved the Everton roar...

But look — we have Delph and Tosun ready to fill his boots!!! 😭

Stan Schofield
252 Posted 23/09/2021 at 19:26:20
Brian @250:

The average games and missed games have not been airbrushed out. On the contrary, they have been highlighted on this site ad nauseum, and those who wanted Rodriguez to stay are fully aware of and acknowledge those games. A measure of his quality is the recognition of his effect – despite, and fully accounting for, those average and missed games.

He has had a bigger individual positive effect than most of the remaining players in the squad. However, for the team overall to show consistent quality, the squad needs quality in depth, which is an essential attribute of teams at the top. But of course, we don't have that quality in depth, we're midtable, and have been for a long time.

In a sense, no player of true very high quality can stay at the modern Everton for very long, because we're too mediocre for them. That's why we tend to buy injury-prone players, including the rare ones of high quality. If Rodriguez hadn't been injury-prone, he would never have been at Everton, even with Ancelotti here. He'd still be playing regularly for the likes of Real Madrid.

We knew precisely what we were getting when he arrived a year ago, and most on here were elated at the prospect of his quality, and then equally elated with the all-too-infrequent but highly memorable moments of extremely high quality which he showed, the type of quality that has been so missing at our club. But supporters can be fickle, and the tone on this site towards Rodriguez has changed in accordance with the honeymoon period of Benitez.

With Rodriguez's departure and the controversial nature of it, there could well be extra pressure on Benitez to secure consistent good results. Honeymoon periods are fleeting when results take a dive, and just like the fickleness towards Rodriguez, similar changes of attitude could well occur towards Benitez. Everton's track record is one of consistently raising us up then letting us down.

Christine Foster
253 Posted 23/09/2021 at 20:02:23
Darn, a TW get together in my neck of the woods and I happen to be at the other end of the planet! Have a great time, everyone! I will be there in spirit and thinking of you all.

I hope this becomes a regular occasion because it sure will be good to catch up with you all. Till the next time! Come on you Blues!

Derek Knox
254 Posted 23/09/2021 at 20:14:17
Christine, someone said the first round was on you! 😜🤔💙
Christine Foster
255 Posted 23/09/2021 at 20:26:17
If I was there, Derek, it would be! Enjoy! 😉
Rob Halligan
256 Posted 23/09/2021 at 20:30:28
Just to make you feel homesick, Christine. Though I believe one half of Jedward still thinks this won't happen!!

Christine Foster
257 Posted 23/09/2021 at 21:10:54
Thanks Rob, great to see the work being done at the dock, site looks huge when you view from above, it already makes me smile with expectation! It only seems like the other week I was getting my tyres done at Metro Tyres opposite the dock gates and looking over and wondering if and when they would get underway..
John Downey
258 Posted 23/09/2021 at 22:22:19
As ever, Christine Foster has nailed it. It isn't really about Rodriguez (although the brilliant away supporters deserved to see him live), but the fact we just want to be entertained on a regular basis.

On Andros Townsend, most people would accept that he is a very skillful, hardworking team player, but a word caution: the same was said about Arron Lennon until the rest of team dragged him down to their level.

John Boon
259 Posted 23/09/2021 at 22:40:56
Rob Dolby (242). You set me a fair challenge to come up with a list of Everton players who had football ability on a similar level to Rodriguez, based on me having watched Everton since 1948. It is so difficult to make comparisons so it is perfectly acceptable for anyone to disagree with my choices.

All I can really say with honesty is that the following players provided me with great pleasure just watching them play football. They will last far longer in my mind than Rodriguez. Mind you, they all had heart, soul, and – to coin a word: "Evertonianism". Oh and I am only counting players who played up to about 2000. I have not included the players that you selected. I also agree with your selections. I also think there are many more since 2000.

Here Goes (surnames only to save space)

Wainwright Fielding Eglinton Collins Gabriel Bingham Ring Young Labone Vernon Scott Thomson Morrisey Parker Husband Wilson Harvey Ball Kendall Royle Bracewell Heath Sharp Beagrie Cottee Nevin Speed... and one traitor: Barmby. If it was only based on effort, Dave Hickson would lead the way.

I do know that time can affect memories and even distort the truth. However, those players are tops in my mind. And I know I could add more.

John Raftery
260 Posted 23/09/2021 at 22:59:32
Hi Derek (#249),

The Soccerbus to Sandhills Station runs from near the top of Walton Lane. You have to walk past the buses running to Lime Street. An adult single ticket is £2.30. It's free to those of us with senior travel passes.

Christy Ring
261 Posted 23/09/2021 at 23:24:33
John #259,

Great to see Tommy Ring in there! But Beagrie and Nevin and no Sheedy? Sorry, John, not having it.

Christy Ring
262 Posted 23/09/2021 at 23:33:50
John #259,

And no Thomas or Kanchelskis??

John Boon
263 Posted 23/09/2021 at 23:50:54
Hi Christy,

My response was to Rob (242) as he had his own list. I agreed not to include any of his list but Sheedy would definitely have made mine. Beagrie just had something that appealed to me, as did Nevin.

Are you actually related to Tommy Ring? If I only named three players, he would still get on my list. Just plain fantastic and worth his place in any team.

If you are related, I will personally agree never to disagee with anything you have to say. Your name alone deserves immunity.

Bill Watson
264 Posted 23/09/2021 at 00:01:55
Derek #249,

Re The Bramley Moore pub get together.

The People's Bus (usually grey but sometimes pale blue) run a shuttle to Sandhills Station from the other side of the club shop and usually parked a bit further up than the Stagecoach buses. If you have a bus pass, it's free. If in doubt, just ask one of the many bus inspectors you'll see getting the other buses loaded.

From Sandhills, walk down to the dual carriageway and turn left. Walk along for 6 or 7 minutes, or so, and turn right into one of the side roads leading to Regents Road (the Dock Road) just a few 100 yards away. Bramley-Moore Dock will be facing you or just a bit further along if you turn left. The Bramley Moore pub is opposite the main entrance to the dock. It's an easy 15-minute walk.

Getting back to the city centre or South Liverpool is easy. Either a 30-odd minute walk, a taxi, or a train from Sandhills (every few minutes). Going the other way from Sandhills are trains to Southport, Ormskirk and Kirkby (which connects to Wigan).

Hope to see you all there.

(Apologies, John # 260 – I only saw your post after I posted this!)

Darren Hind
265 Posted 24/09/2021 at 02:42:44
Hi Christine,

I don't think anybody is suggesting hard work is enough. It never has been, but you win nothing without it.

James has a desire and more importantly an ability to play. That's what clearly makes him a favourite with you. (That's what I meant when I reffered to him as "your boy".) But if he had a burning desire to win, he kept it well hidden. Not just from me. He seems to have kept it well hidden from everyone else.

It's wrong for anyone to assume it's only Everton who don't want him. He wasnt wanted in Germany or Madrid and, despite the oft-spoken-about dazzling displays while he was here. He still isn't wanted anywhere where serious football is being played... not even on a free. That fact alone speaks volumes.

For me, professional football will always be unrehearsed live entertainment, whether you are watching or playing, but we can never lose sight of the fact that it will always be a competitive sport. While I can understand some seeing James doing things with a ball the rest of us can only dream about, I can also understand those who think he no longer has a competitive bone in his body... whether that's because his body just isn't up to it these days is anybody's guess.

Very good footballers working hard will beat uncompetitive magicians all day long — could you imagine the reaction of people like Reid, Gray, Watson, Morrissey, Ball, Kendall to seeing James letting opponents simply walk past him? Moggsy would have throttled him.

You are 100% correct in saying hard work alone will never be enough, but neither will the occasional cameo. The fragile body we witnessed last season just got a year older. If you can no longer compete, you will no longer be sought after... Not by anybody.

Derek Knox
266 Posted 24/09/2021 at 03:50:09
Thanks to both Bill W and John R, I knew there was a bus but wasn't sure where it actually stopped, or left from. I'm sure many others going to The Bramley Moore will be relieved to know that too. See you both there again.
Kieran Kinsella
267 Posted 24/09/2021 at 03:50:51
John Boon 263

Love you mate but Beagrie and Barmby? I remember Barmby having one great game — the 7-1 v Soton. That apart, he was good at Spurs and Liverpool but not so much with us.

Beagrie (not counting his second spell) was good at somersaults. But to me he was a disappointment. I remember being convinced that, with him and Mark Ward, we had the new Sheedy and Steven. But after 3 wins out of 3 at the start of 1993-94, we quickly went downhill and ended up thanking Hans Segers.

To me, Beagrie was like Dunc off the field and like a hybrid of Andy van der Meyde and Iwobi on it.

Nicholas Howard
268 Posted 24/09/2021 at 04:22:02
The question remains: Which talented footballer(s) with fame want(s) to play for Everton?? Embarrassing truth... so far, hardly anyone.

Dutch right-back prefers Inter; we got no cover in the right-back position.

Our recruits so far this season, Gray & Townsend, have been great. Begovic... Olsen is much preferred. Rondon, far from convincing; right now, protected by the tag 'lacks match fitness'.

I saw him play in the China league... I'm still in shock we go for him as cover for Calvert-Lewin.

We are in for a long haul season of struggles and frustration.

John Boon
269 Posted 24/09/2021 at 04:23:38
Kieran (267)
...On reflection about Beagrie You are probably right. BUT. His somersaults were really good ones, the complete back on his feet. In fact I think he may have even done a double somersault. Rodriguez could never do one, but I am sure he could do a backflip. right out of Goodison Park and all the way to Quatar.
Danny O’Neill
270 Posted 24/09/2021 at 06:22:20
It's difficult to compare players like for like and every team needs a mix of different. But as they've been mentioned:

Beagrie. Oh, what a frustrating player. That pull back to send the defender the wrong way. Delightful. Cross? No, wait and do it again. Then again!!! Talented player though, I'll agree. Just cross the fucking ball. Sorry, I can hear myself shouting it now.

Barmby. My son's very first idol. He was mortified. A decent player, but I'd put him in the "we didn't have a lot else" at the time, so he stood out. If you look at his career, he didn't quite hit the heights at Tottenham, had a decent spell with us to get his move to Anfield and, if I recall, didn't exactly set the world alight there either.

Nevin. I liked Pat. Very tricky and skilful. I liked watching him. Someone also who I think is one of the few ex-footballers who talks sense when interviewed now.

Robert Tressell
271 Posted 24/09/2021 at 07:19:29
Nick @268. Established talents want to play in the Champions League. This is why we cannot shop for established talents. They really don't want to come. We only got Rodriguez because he was broken physically.

The only exception to this is situations like Man City getting Toure and Robinho. In that case, the players didn't want to play for City either. But City were obviously assembling an elite squad and paying the best wages so they came anyway.

If we, without the wealth to match City, want players of exceptional talent, then we have to gamble on them long before they are established.

Ian Bennett
272 Posted 24/09/2021 at 07:37:39
Glad he's gone. It was clear that he wasn't going to play, and it was just going to be another media nonsense until the January window to get shut.

For me, he was a good player. He left the team exposed by his lack of work rate, and missing games when he felt like it would have split the team mates.

I don't get worked up by his wages. He contributed more on the pitch than the combined Bernard, Delph and other wasters, so whether it was £100k or £200k, it doesn't really matter when we had 6 odd on £80k plus that gave absolutely nothing – and I mean nothing.

He's gone. When anyone leaves, I take a positive that wages are saved, and that we can make a better choice next time. It leaves the squad thin, but it was inevitable we would have to clear the decks before we can move forward.

Ian Hollingworth
273 Posted 24/09/2021 at 08:18:46
Firstly, I will nail my colours to the mast that I am in the "sorry he's gone" camp and pretty much agree with what Christine Foster has written on here.

Secondly, I fully accept all the past his best, doesn't try hard enough etc comments as in I am not blind to what James is these days.

However, my concern is that we have many players who are capable of not trying, as we have seen many times in recent seasons. Sadly, many of those do not possess anywhere near the quality of James.

We have an exceptional player in training (according to the players) who, for whatever reason, cannot produce on match day, leaving us with 10 men most of the time.

We have many fringe players who sadly cannot cut the mustard, regardless of how much we hope they can. Have we replaced James before he left?

My point being: How are we better off for losing James at this current time?

Alan McGuffog
274 Posted 24/09/2021 at 08:44:13
John 269...

It's a cliché that players would run through a brick wall for the club. But would James have been prepared to ride his moped through a plate glass window? I think not.

Daniel A Johnson
275 Posted 24/09/2021 at 08:44:38
James is already effectively a retired player.

No recognised team would risk his wages for the occasional match he might be fit to play.

History shows he's just not been able to cut it over a full season, even in his pomp.

With his 45 million social media followers, he is well into enjoying his life away from football and a brief top up of his wages in sunny Qatar may well be his final footballing swan song.

A talented player no doubt but, as a Premier League manager, you simply couldn't rely on him or justify the financial outlay for the return.

Robert Tressell
276 Posted 24/09/2021 at 08:51:03
Ian #273. You're right, we're not better off because we've lost an option who can turn a game. In the same way, we're not better off by loaning out Kean because he would have been an option for more goals.

I guess the point is that we're trying to build a squad that is actually competitive beyond this season – and that involves balancing the books and using our limited resources to bring in players who can make a difference over a longer period.

If we bring in a right-back in January through the €8M received for Rodriguez (and saved wages), then we possibly are better off – particularly over a longer period because Rodriguez was leaving in summer 2022 anyway.

Unfortunately, with or without Rodriguez, this was never going to be a successful season. The squad just isn't good enough.

Kenny Smith
277 Posted 24/09/2021 at 08:53:01
I really wanted James to work out at Everton and I'm gutted, like many, that I never got to see him play. Yes, he's a luxury player – but he's quality on the ball and when you only have it for a small amount of time you've got to do something positive with it, which he did for us.

I agree, he doesn't try hard enough but we have countless players in the squad (see the team who turned out against QPR... plus Tosun and Delph) who do try but are just poor with and without the ball.

I think we could've found a place for him and off-loaded more deadwood (see the team who turned out against QPR... plus Tosun and Delph) to pay his wages. Good luck to him.

Stan Schofield
278 Posted 24/09/2021 at 09:25:52
Darren @265:

For the current Everton to acquire a player of Rodriguez's quality of football brain and skills, all we could and can ever get would be consistent with a player having a range of ‘negative attributes', such as being injury-prone, of the kind that Rodriguez displays. Otherwise, as I said above, he'd still be on the world stage playing for a top side. That's the reality for Everton, because of our current status.

This entire discussion about Rodriguez misses this very point, and some people comparing his lack of success to Ronaldo's success need a grip on reality. Everton can generally only get very high quality players when those players are of limited reliability, and those exceptions of high reliability soon depart to better pastures.

With or without Rodriguez, we were and are very very likely to remain midtable. What excited people about his arrival was the prospect of those very high quality moments, however infrequent, and that's exactly what we got. Infrequent, high quality moments, some of which changed games for us, and which gave us glimpses of something that we cherish at Everton. Something that over the years has become rare for us to see: Football beauty. We might use the term School of Science, but it's football beauty.

Trouble is now, we might see far less of such beauty. We've had some damn good moments so far this season, with Gray and Townsend, but it might have been mouthwatering to see such contributions combined with the type of quality that Rodriguez offers.

Robert Tressell
279 Posted 24/09/2021 at 09:40:20
Stan @ 278 – that's right, unless we get them very young. We can bring in exceptionally talented players who haven't yet made it. For those players, we're a step up – albeit maybe a stepping stone.

These players are lurking in other academies (like Sancho at Wycombe), Rich Club reserves (like Vieira at Milan) and poor clubs in the Balkans, South America etc.

Lukaku, Stones and Deulofeu all fell into this category. Two ended up being world class performers in the Champions League. One has plateaued.

These players are a gamble but they're our only chance of getting hold of exceptional talents who actually want to be here.

Otherwise, as you say, we can only get these talents when there's something badly wrong with them (age, injury or attitude).

Bobby Mallon
280 Posted 24/09/2021 at 10:20:00
The only way we can go down the road of buying younger up-and-coming talent is to have a young fresh manager like Graham Potter to work those young players into a competitive team. Not Rafa.
Robert Tressell
281 Posted 24/09/2021 at 10:53:55
Bobby, that's probably right. Benitez has deployed a very Moyes like approach (not a bad thing) of using very limited budget to bring in Europa League type players. He probably won't risk £20m of that budget on a player like Hlozek, who could be a superstar. The only way he'll turn to world class youth is if one turns up through the academy, as Gerrard did for the RS. Nothing like this on the horizon unfortunately.

What that says to me is that we should be trying to acquire 15- to 17-year-olds now (like Okoronkwo) who are ready for a more progressive manager when Benitez departs in circa 3 years (if he makes it that long).

David Midgley
282 Posted 24/09/2021 at 11:31:44
Tommy ~232.

I'll have a tenner.
By the the way we had a chef like him at our club.
Served a gourmet meal, great.
Then burnt the spuds three nights on the run.
Then forgot to turn the oven on.
Then another gourmet.
We couldn't take the suspense anymore.
We weren't sure if he could be bothered or not so we got an outside caterer.

Just as an aside, during the sixties, I regularly injured my nuts at the weekend but always turned out the following week.

Danny O’Neill
283 Posted 24/09/2021 at 11:32:34
I think you're both probably close to his thinking, Robert and Bobby. I'll have to disagree with Potter and that has gone for now. The prospect of that worried me in the summer.

His past shows he isn't totally averse to spending decent (not outrageous) money on potential stars. Alonso & Torres spring to mind; both in their early 20s when he bought them. Although how did it go so wrong for Torres so soon?

It seems he likes a certain character of player but, with the right budget, isn't averse to buying up and coming stars. Hopefully he will get more out of the academy as, despite the debates, that's what we'd all love to see. Although, in my opinion, that's not his job. That should be presented to the first-team manager.

Tommy Carter
284 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:10:38
@ 259 John and others

You have to separate those who were great players for Everton and those who are simply world-class players.

Everton have had very few genuinely world-class players on their books.

The '80s team was a world-class team no doubt. Made up of top class, but not world-class players.

By world-class we are talking international superstars who have won the very biggest trophies and accolades, and lots of them.

Start post-war. We are looking at Alan Ball, Gary Lineker and Neville Southall as undoubted world-class talent.

Beyond that, we are looking at players who had decent but not outstanding international careers and achieved little outside of Everton.

Lukaku is and was world class. James, when we signed him, was a world-class player.

Gascoigne for example, was not.

Bill Watson
285 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:27:33
Tommy #284

I'd add Andrei Kanchelskis and Ray Wilson to your three.

Brian Williams
286 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:28:15
Lineker world class but Rooney isn't?
Danny O’Neill
287 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:30:37
No matter how old I get, Tommy @284, and despite my eternal man-love for Sheedy, your shout on the '80s team being world class, but the players being top class, is a fair assessment. Can we call Sheedy top-top class though?

This may seem a random one, but a player we had but who wasn't here long enough, could have been world-class. Played in a terrible Everton team (for those who think now is bad) and his temperament let him down throughout his career. But a World Cup Winner, Champions League winner, multiple Serie A and Copa Italia winner: Marco Matterazzi.

I say 'could have'; he remains in the top class category – and that with what he achieved outside of Everton. When talking of the list of best Everton centre-backs I've seen in my life, I always pick him out which gets a few nods as well as raised eyebrows!!

I don't expect the majority to agree.

Robert Tressell
288 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:31:47
Robert Warzycha had a world-class moustache.
Danny O’Neill
289 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:36:10
I always thought Lineker was a world-class finisher. Footballer? Debatable. But scoring goals was his job. So world-class in that respect.

Rooney, another one who was... just mostly away from Everton.

Bill Watson
290 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:42:13
Danny #287

When Marco Matterazzi's name is mentioned, I always remember his awful performance at home to Sheffield Wednesday. It cost us the game and relegation was staring us in the face.

He was one of those really skillful players who just couldn't hack it in the Premier League.

Andy Crooks
291 Posted 24/09/2021 at 12:46:12
Danny, I have always considered Lineker to be the last signing we made as a club that was considered 'big time'. A first choice for an ambitious player.
Danny O’Neill
292 Posted 24/09/2021 at 13:01:21
He had some awful performances for us, Bill, but was in a bad team. Okay, I'll upgrade them to average as I liked Dacourt.

Interesting point you make and maybe he couldn't settle in the English league.

But many more foreign players do here than British players do the other way around, so the reverse argument of not hacking it in foreign leagues is probably more pertinent to our players.

Even in the pre-Heysel 80s, the English league was dominating European competition therefore by default, the strongest. Only then it was predominantly made up of homegrown players.

Yet few opted to go abroad and those that did, even the best at the time, flopped. I can't say the name because of the 5-0 Derby, but you know who I mean. Amongst others too.

I suppose a lot of players struggle to adapt to different environments. Tbat's not a slate on their footballing talent or ability.

I agree with you to an extent and he wasn't great for Everton but I could see the potential in him at the time. Which he went onto realise in a better team.

Pat Waine
293 Posted 24/09/2021 at 13:12:29
I can't see how anyone can blame Bill Kenwright for the mess we are in now.
Danny O’Neill
294 Posted 24/09/2021 at 13:23:08
Interesting comments and discussion on Rob Sawyer's "Forgotten Champions" post.

Made me do some reading this morning and realise how poorly managed we were in the aftermath of that title win.

Last – but not our last!!

Kevin Molloy
295 Posted 24/09/2021 at 13:39:56

Bill's ceaseless search ran for so long, as he was looking for someone who would be a proper custodian of the club's future, and would not settle for second best. That search ended at the door of an Uzbeki 'oligarch' and his accountant who couldn't find his own bottom with both hands in the dark.

Brian Murray
297 Posted 24/09/2021 at 13:48:43
Limpar and Kanchelskis would not have looked out of place in a title team. In fact, they achieved it... but obviously not in a blue shirt. Class players. 'World class' may be a bit strong.
Andy Walker
298 Posted 24/09/2021 at 15:07:46
Good. £200k a week for a guy who’s back legs have gone was a ridiculous waste of money.
Barry Hesketh
299 Posted 24/09/2021 at 15:19:55
In the latest podcast, Esk and Company discuss the last week's games and I would recommend jumping to the last half-hour of the broadcast where the reasons for why we are where we are, is discussed. Plus there's a good gag about a mechanic which exemplifies the way our executives seem to operate.

Talking the Blues podcast, QPR (a), James Rodriguez & a frank exchange on who & where we are

Bill Watson
300 Posted 24/09/2021 at 16:08:38
Danny #292,

British players went abroad in the 1980s because the money was better.
The player you mention said he couldn't settle because "they all spoke foreign'!

Christy Ring
301 Posted 24/09/2021 at 16:11:47
John Boon #263, Tommy Ring was my dad's first cousin, thanks for your kind words.
Brian Williams
302 Posted 24/09/2021 at 16:12:56
Benitez states clearly why James had to go:

“When you have a player, the situation we have, that he can be available for 50% of the games overall in the Premier League, it's not something we can manage easily."

“We have to maximise the resources that we have, and that is the situation.”

“We couldn't find the right ones before, that was the right one for him, he's happy with that and we have to do it, what I will say is we have to maximise our resources and then we have to be sure the long-term future of the club is protected."

[I made the text that's bold, bold.]

Darren Hind
303 Posted 24/09/2021 at 16:22:09

You get no argument from me. If James had the strength he had when he was making jaws drop when he burst onto the scene, he would still be playing in Madrid.

I love skillful intelligent footballers so I'm not knocking James. I just think he is finished as a top player. The fact that he has been up for grabs for some time now and there were no interested parties in the serious world of football.... that speaks volumes for me. I think it's common knowledge that he is finished as a competitive athlete. Hopefully football lovers everywere will still be treated to the occasional cameo.

We knew all this when he came, Stan, but we were happy to settle for glimpses of what he once was. That clearly didn't interest Rafa.

I want to focus on Demarai Gray now; he may not have James's vision, but that change of gear which takes him away from defenders will hopefully have Evertoninas on the edge of their seats every bit as much as James did.

If you can't be with the one you love, love the one you're with.

John Boon
304 Posted 24/09/2021 at 16:50:51
Christy (301),

That is certainly close enough for me. Your immunity from criticism stays intact unless you are critical of Alex Young or Bobby Collins. Just realised that with your Uncle Tommy we have quite a Scottish triumvirate of my personal top three.

Would like three, just like them, for the game against Norwich. At times on TW, I have been told that I am often too keen to remind readers of my age. How can I avoid doing this when I refer to such Everton celebrities who played over 50 years ago? None of whom made 20 to 30 pounds a week, never mind £250,000 per week.

PS: My wife is a Scottish Lass from Edinburgh. Unfortunately she doesn't know her right foot from the left regarding any footballers. I just told her about my "Magical Threesome" and their Scottish connections. She showed her delight by saying "Oh", and then telling me that the cat had gone outside and could I go and get it before it got run over by a truck.

Steavey Buckley
305 Posted 24/09/2021 at 17:06:24
40 mins ago on BBC Football:

Everton boss Rafael Benitez says he allowed James Rodriguez to leave the club because of his injury record and to free up funds for further signings.

The Colombia international, 30, spent a year at Goodison Park, having been signed by former boss Carlo Ancelotti.

But with wages of about £200,000 a week and having missed large parts of last season through injury, the midfielder joined Qatari club Al-Rayyan this week.

"We have to maximise the resources we have," said Benitez. "Having a player being available for 50% of games in the Premier League is not something we can manage easily."

Rodriguez started 21 Premier League games last season, scoring six goals.

After his departure, he said it was a "pity" he never played in front of fans at Goodison Park because of the coronavirus pandemic, and added: "I always tried to give my best and I always wanted to win – that is my mentality."

Even though Benitez is without injured forwards Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison for his team's home fixture with Norwich City, the Spaniard said he had to take a longer-term view on Rodriguez's departure.

He also said he had spoken to majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri, who indicated money was now available to buy players in January. Benitez previously explained that the club were unable to add to the £1.7m of spending in the summer because they had been "killed" by Financial Fair Play rules."

"I had that conversation [about January transfer funds] yesterday with Mr Moshiri and we are lucky enough to have owners who want to spend money, but we need to be sure we can do it in the right way. They are very keen to spend the money and improve the team."

Christy Ring
306 Posted 24/09/2021 at 17:37:15
John #304,

Agree Young and Collins were a class act, still baffles me why Catterick let Bobby go. I remember Tommy coming over to my home place in Ireland when I was a young lad and out playing football on the green with us, even then his skill was unbelievable.

Rob Dolby
307 Posted 24/09/2021 at 17:41:26
John 259.

Thanks for responding. No doubting the players you have picked. As I said above we haven't exactly been blessed with entertaining players that ooze quality over my time of supporting the Blues.

Rodriguez stood out like a sore thumb in last season's team when fit. The mantle has now been past onto Gray as our most exciting player.

Tommy 284. World class players in my time of supporting the blues. All subjective I know:


I would have added Kanchelskis but, during Euro 96, Maldini didn't break sweat when marking him out of the game at Mordor.

Sukhdev Sohal
308 Posted 24/09/2021 at 22:20:21
Rob, I think Baines certainly deserves to be there ahead of Stones. He may have been the best left-back in the world from 2012 to 2014. Stones was never world-class at Everton.
Stan Schofield
309 Posted 24/09/2021 at 22:24:52
Given Benitez's statements as mentioned by Steavey @305, I wonder what the fuck is going on?

If Rodriguez is not considered cost-effective, what the fuck is half of the remaining squad, who aren't fit to lace Rodriguez's boots, still doing here???

It just doesn't fit with ‘common sense', and, to put it bluntly, Everton look fucked to me.

Robert Tressell
310 Posted 24/09/2021 at 22:33:13
Hopefully the real story here is that we have funds to buy players in January. Obviously got close to signing De Beek, Maitland-Niles, Patterson and Diaz in August.

The young Aberdeen right-back, Ramsey, has since been linked.

Maybe one of these.

Don Alexander
311 Posted 24/09/2021 at 23:13:31
Regarding Benitez's presser published by the Beeb, he also said he was happy that the club "owners" (plural) were, after the transfer of Rodriguez, intent on financially supporting him in January.


What does he know that we fans don't? Or is Moshiri just another marionette, as Kenwright was to all and sundry pulling his strings as our club faded into obscurity over the past 30 years?

Brian Williams
312 Posted 24/09/2021 at 23:26:11
Reading a bit too much into that Don. Stay calm, have a biscuit.
Dale Self
313 Posted 25/09/2021 at 00:57:55
Hey Rafa is kind of sticking it in now that he's gone. Saying he wants players who stay motivated when it is snowing. Good stuff, I think I might like this guy in the early going.
Steve Brown
314 Posted 25/09/2021 at 01:55:14
Robert, we seem allergic to signing a right back!
Danny O’Neill
316 Posted 25/09/2021 at 11:38:32
I'd say glass of wine or preferred choice of calming alcoholic beverage Brian. I don't think biscuits will cut it!
Kevin Dyer
317 Posted 25/09/2021 at 11:44:11
The inevitable way this has resolved, to the detriment of club and player makes me wonder what solutions were saught?

In the summer we could have suggested a contract cancellation with an agreed compensation. Say we pay him 50% of his due wages for the last year of his contact, which would have been about £5m, but delayed for 12 months, or even 24 to get us over the FFP hump?

That way we get his reported £200k wages off the books 3 months ago, giving us time and headroom to get at least a good right back in. James is then a free agent and can negotiate his own terms without his existing terms deterring interest. Likely he ends up at Porto, Milan etc. Maybe even sideways helps us to get Diaz via a standalone deal, without Rodriguez complicating things.

Was this even looked at? Seems a lot of intransigence and tunnel-vision bogged this down leaving us with an unsatisfactory conclusion.

Neil Copeland
318 Posted 25/09/2021 at 19:59:32
Danny, I reckon a chocolate digestive, custard cream or fig biscuit would do the trick
Sukhdev Sohal
319 Posted 26/09/2021 at 19:38:22
We look to have got £7.2 million for James plus getting rid of his £200000 a week. We look better as a team with pacey, effective and hardworking wingers in the team as opposed to someone who is certainly a magician but can't run and therefore slows the game down and hinders the team.
Benjamin Dyke
320 Posted 28/09/2021 at 17:24:59
Kevin that was a classic straw man argument! You have no idea what the club tried to do to get him off the books but you proceed to castigate them anyway!
At the end of the day the fault is with Ancelotti who left part way through his project, leaving Everton high and dry and with an expensive contract with a player that was only ever there for his sake and the money. James had a contract. He was paid well and presumably was willing to stay at Everton on his terms (I'll play when I feel like it but you'll pay me a salary as agreed regardless) or I'll go if someone will pay me what I'm getting at Everton or more. That's no easy problem if the player is clearly not fit to play much (I say clearly as we're talking a few years of not so many appearances not just the season at Everton. The last time he appeared over 30 times in a season was 2014/15).
Ian Horan
321 Posted 28/09/2021 at 17:34:07
I would say the club have benefitted to the tune of £7.6 mill transfer fee and a salary saving of £7.8 million salary. £15mill better off. James refused the porto move due to his salary. @KEVIN your approach would have cost the club to cancel his contract at June 21 that would have meant a further cost of £5mill. Therefore in essence the club are now £20 mill better off and resolved the James situation in a very advantageous manner
Derek Moore
322 Posted 30/09/2021 at 19:33:32
Not trying to be too hard on you Danny - but post #292 mate!

"Pre-Heysel...Yet few opted to go abroad and those that did, even the best at the time, flopped..."

Kevin Keegan, Trevor Francis, Steve Archibald, Tony Woodcock, Laurie Cunningham, Graeme Souness flops? Just some of the British players who went abroad pre Heysel and did very well for themselves and the clubs they joined.

Apart from the mustachioed moron from the the other side of the park and Sparky Hughes I'm actually struggling to remember a lot of guys who went abroad and failed, such as you allege.

Indeed, it was the success of some of these British players and others that lead to such a stunning exodus following the Thatcher ordered Heysel ban.

The language gap, lack of a Bosman ruling, the ridiculous "three foreigners" rule...these had a lot more to do with the relative lack of British players heading abroad then any lack of talent, in my humble opinion.

A point underscored by Glenn Hoddles spell at Monaco post Heysel, or better yet Waddles time with Marseille in France. Waddle was probably the best player in the entire French league in 1990, he was so dominant.

Pele and the brief and bright success of the US league also deserves a mention, in the context of heading abroad to play as well. A very disruptive influence at the time on world football that is little remembered today.

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