Outspoken former Real Madrid player and head coach Jorge Valdano has launched a bizarre attack on James Rodriguez’s departure from the club to join Everton.
Everyone around the deal seems to be delighted.
James gets the chance to relaunch his career under a manager who is capable of getting the best out of him and has signed him twice before.
Everton and indeed the Premier League are delighted to welcome a world-class talent.
Carlo Ancelotti gets to boost his squad.
Fans in both Merseyside and Colombia are excited as are James’ new team-mates at Goodison Park while former employers Real Madrid are pleased to have removed a high-earning staff member who was now surplus to requirements off the books.
However, Valdano, who was one of Diego Maradona’s team-mates in Argentina’s 1986 World Cup winning side and played for Real Madrid between 1984-87 before subsequent spells at the Bernabeu as head coach (1994-96) and then sporting director and director general/presidential aide, expressed his criticism of James’ decision to join Everton.
Sport Witness quote the 64-year-old as telling Onda Cero: “For me it was disappointing, I expected much more from James in the first spell, and I expected much more in this second spell (at Real Madrid).
“In the end, many times, players need a coach who makes them feel comfortable, and for him that coach is Ancelotti.
“It gives me the feeling that he is not going to Everton, he is going to Ancelotti Football Club.
“He is a player of superior talent, but that must be expressed on the field, and it must be done with continuity.
“Today’s football has a very high demand and he goes to a particularly competitive league, if we talk about continuity in effort and concentration.”
It’s not the first time that Valdano has hit out at Merseyside football.
Back in 2007 he criticised both the playing style and fans of Everton’s neighbours Liverpool, declaring: “Football is made up of subjective feeling, of suggestion – and, in that, Anfield is unbeatable.
“Put a s**t hanging from a stick in the middle of this passionate, crazy stadium and there are people who will tell you it’s a work of art. It’s not: it’s a s**t hanging from a stick.
“Chelsea and Liverpool are the clearest, most exaggerated example of the way football is going: very intense, very collective, very tactical, very physical, and very direct.”