Carlo Ancelotti Called Out For Claiming Virgil Van Dijk Injured James Rodriguez
Carlo Ancelotti has been called out in a tense press conference about his claim that Virgil van Dijk injured James Rodriguez.
The Everton boss announced after last Saturday's Merseyside derby that the Colombian playmaker wouldn't be fit for this weekend, saying: "He had a mistimed tackle with Virgil van Dijk at the beginning of the game and I think he will not be available for the game against Southampton."
However on Friday, Ancelotti claimed that Rodriguez now has a good chance of facing the Saints on Sunday. So reporter Paul Joyce immediately questioned the "motivation" behind Ancelotti naming Van Dijk as the player responsible for the supposed injury.
Just Paul Joyce calling out Carlo Ancelotti for name checking van Dijk as the reason for James Rodriguez's injury, which he is now longer not injured only 24 hours later...- Watch LFC (@Watch_LFC) October 23, 2020
Ancelotti responded by saying: "Because he had the contact with, in the first minute with Virgil van Dijk, simple."
But Joyce followed up asking whether it was in fact a point-scoring exercise, one designed to distract from the fallout of Jordan Pickford's reckless challenge which has left the Liverpool defender with a serious ACL injury, facing surgery and a long-term absence.
"No, the problem was, at the beginning, the specialist that saw him said he was out for one week, at least, and he couldn't train all week," responded Ancelotti.
"But after that, his recovery was good, the haematoma went down in the last two or three days and he started training today.
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"I don't want to play mind games, I never did and I don't know what they mean so what I said was only the truth. I simply said it was a contact with Van Dijk. It could be a contact with [Joel] Matip, with... It's in the first minute you can watch. That's football, it can happen."
Whatever Uncle Carlo says, there will undoubtedly be conspiracy theorists who say - if James Rodriguez is indeed fit to take part against Southampton - that the Everton manager was just trying to change the narrative and shift blame away from his team following the 2-2 draw.
The 29-year-old midfielder has been in sparkling form since his summer arrival from Real Madrid and there was undoubtedly a coming together between him and Van Dijk last weekend.
However Liverpool fans are now jumping on Ancelotti's turnaround regarding Rodriguez's injury, with one claiming: "The notion that Ancelotti is a gentleman is a complete myth and I'm glad that the fraud is finally being exposed."
Well said @_pauljoyce. The notion that Ancelotti is a gentleman is a complete myth and I'm glad that the fraud is finally being exposed.- Pericles (@Jonny_Faulkner) October 23, 2020
Ancelotti is as small time as the various Everton deplorables on Twitter comparing this non challenge to the one by Pickford.
Very harsh on a manager even Jurgen Klopp himself has called one of his best friends in football. But it's clear that the fallout between the two clubs after an incident-packed game, that also saw Richarlison sent off late on, is going nowhere.
The return fixture is set for Anfield in February. We cannot wait to watch it.
All imagery: PA Images/YouTube
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