Former Sky Sports presenter Richard Keys has criticised James Rodriguez yet again for his alleged lack of commitment to Everton.
On Saturday, James posted a photo of himself in his luxury private jet on a flight back to Colombia, with manager Carlo Ancelotti having confirmed in his pre-match press conference on Friday that the 29-year-old had still not recovered from a calf injury, and so would be unable to feature in the final game of the season against Manchester City.
With this summer’s Copa America approaching fast, the decision was made to allow James to return to his homeland and kickstart early preparations. Keys was having none of it.
“I see Everton’s talisman has got things other than the last critical day for his club on his mind. Still – at least he’s keeping warm with a blue blanket,” the beIN SPORTS anchor declared on Twitter.
It’s not the first time Keys has taken aim at James, either. Only last Monday, he said in his personal blog: “He can’t run. If he could he wouldn’t. Play him right and he’s a liability. He won’t defend. Play him in the middle and players run round and off him.
“He’s only made 21 starts this season – playing 1,764 minutes – mostly in the sunshine. Come on Carlo. He’s taking the p***.”
Amid mounting questions, Ancelotti was forced to address the playmaker’s situation in his pre-match press conference on Friday. He dismissed the notion that the upcoming Copa America tournament had distracted James from his club duties towards the end of the season.
“James unfortunately is not available for the [Manchester City] game,” Ancelotti told Sky Sports. “He didn’t recover from the problem on his calf.
“Unfortunately he didn’t finish the season well and now he will be focused to prepare for the Copa America with the national team.
“I think the Copa America is in his mind when the season finished. To say James was focused on the Copa America before now.. no.
“James was really disappointed for the fact he was not able to help the team in this final part of the season and was really sad. But what can he do?
“He has to be ready when the season starts and try to avoid the problem he had this season.
“I hope to have him soon next season fit and at his best.”