During an interview with Diario AS, Lothar Matthaus explained the reason James Rodriguez doesn’t fit in a system in today’s football.
A legendary player such as Lothar Matthaus is the ideal person to speak about James Rodriguez’s current issue, the Colombian doesn’t seem to fit anywhere.
While he was playing at Bayern Munich, he gave some very compelling proofs of his impressive talent but he never broke into the starting eleven as he wanted.
Something very similar happened to him at Real Madrid, a place where Zinedine Zidane seems to neglect his incredible talent by rejecting him for the squad.
We kept wondering why this is, why is it that James Rodriguez plays beautifully with Colombia and he has never been able to properly shine with his other clubs?
We believe that Lothar Matthaus has finally found the answer, this is a matter of tactical approach from the coach that manages the player.
James Rodriguez is an endangered species of player, he is a playmaker and they have been recently replaced by wingers.
Although the wider offensive players have always existed, they have become more prominent in modern football due to how fast the game has become.
Players like James Rodriguez who give the game more pause and cadence, are no longer as indispensable as they used to be more than a decade ago.
🇩🇪 Campeón del mundo y Balón de Oro, Lotthar Matthaus analiza para As la actualidad del fútbol
🤫 No se muerde la lengua con algunas estrellashttps://t.co/98IJYZPSak
— AS (@diarioas) August 6, 2019
Riquelme or Cuauhtemoc Blanco would also struggle today.
Other great playmakers who lived through modern football would also struggle today, we could already see the beginning of the end for this dying breed.
Juan Roman Riquelme was never able to fully succeed in the fast-paced Champions League, he barely made it in La Liga.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco immediately went back to Mexico from Europe as soon as he realized that he didn’t have the speed to compete after his knee injury.
Ronaldinho’s case is very different because he was a playmaker who was also one of the fastest players when he started his career.
However, the Brazilian legend also struggled to keep himself at the elite when he decided to stop preparing himself physically.
James Rodriguez suffers from this same problem, he simply doesn’t have the speed to work well in today’s systems that most managers use in the modern age.
There are some exceptions that a few coaches would make, Carlo Ancelotti would be willing to change his tactics just to accommodate James.
Diego Simeone would also find a way to make things work with the Colombian player, everybody knows that his skill is completely undeniable.
But Matthaus explained this better than anybody.
— James Rodríguez (@jamesdrodriguez) June 5, 2019
“James is a great player who I like a lot, but he needs the right manager and the right position on the pitch,” said Matthaus for Diario AS.
“Neither Bayern nor Real Madrid play with a number ’10’ on their system. James can’t play as a winger, he has to do it down the middle.”
“There simply is no room for James in Zidane or Kovac’s system. Plus, he is a player who is very uncomfortable when he isn’t playing his position or when he needs to defend.”
“For example, he plays exactly behind the striker with Colombia and he dies what he wants, just like Messi does at Barcelona.”
“This becomes a problem because there aren’t many big clubs that play with this position. I think he is a great guy and he has a formidable family, but he did feel a little out of his element.”
“For example, when Bayern won the championship we celebrated with dinner and he was away from everybody in the corner.”
“He was away from the rest of the team. He never connected with the rest of the squad, I didn’t think he was happy with us.”
“He barely celebrated the title and he was away from us for a few hours. He was okay in the city, but he didn’t feel comfortable with the team.”
“Plus, Kovac didn’t need a player like him. I already imagined he wouldn’t stay because he didn’t have the manager’s full support.”
“James is not overrated, it is simply a tactical issue. He is an excellent player but he doesn’t have a spot in most of the biggest clubs in Europe.”
“Napoli would be a great option for him with Ancelotti as his manager, he would feel more liberated there.”
“But the majority of clubs need a player who can play box-to-box, such as Bayern Munich,” he concluded.
In which club do you think James Rodriguez would fit better? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.