Carlo Ancelotti says he’s not concerned about the lack of speed and physicality of Everton’s new boy James Rodriguez, saying he’d signed up to former Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt if those things were his priority.
International Colombia delighted in its Toffees debut, creating five chances as its side began the Premier League campaign with a 1-0 victory over Tottenham.
Ancelotti, who had trained James at Real Madrid and Bayern Munich before taking him to Goodison Park, was delighted with the input from the 29-year-old.
“The players who can play football do not need much time to adapt. James knows what he’s got to do, Allan and [Abdoulaye] Doucoure the same thing,” he said after the match.
“I just said show your quality and they did. We had a strong midfield mix. We had quality players on the ball last season but you have to play without the ball too.”
“James isn’t the best player in the world but he has a lot of potentials. We’ve got to use him to show off his ability. He’s not a winger but he can get inside and get the ball, he’s really good.”
“I’m not preoccupied with the physicality. If I was concerned I’d sign Usain Bolt, not James.’
He added to BBC Sport: “James Rodriguez brings with him his ability to handle the ball, make the right passes, keep the ball safe for the squad.”
The Italian coach was satisfied with the overall success of his side and aims to build on the 12th-place finish of last season.