Leon Osman has suggested to BT Sport (broadcast on 27/1; 22:24) the one concern that Everton may start to have about James Rodriguez following his latest goal for the Toffees.
It was James who broke the deadlock in Wednesday’s meeting with Leicester. The Colombian unleashed an outrageous finish into the far corner from the edge of the box during the first-half.
He has now scored four goals and contributed seven assists in all competitions since his arrival in the summer. It is a fantastic return for a player many had serious doubts about before his Merseyside switch.
Interestingly however, all of his goals and assists so far have come at Goodison Park. And Osman admitted that the Toffees may be starting to scratch his head about the run.
“I think the thing that they’ll be concerned about is it only seems to be at Goodison Park,” he told BT Sport. “It’s now time for him to step up and do it in away games as well because half the games are away from home.
“I think it’s a quirk to begin with,” he added, when asked if there was anything in that particular statistic. “But once you start getting into the numbers that he’s at now, I think we’re talking about 11 goals involvements and they’ve all been at Goodison, you start to wonder what the difference is for him.”
What must be noted first is that James has played a few more games at home than away so far. He has made just six of his 16 appearances in away games.
And it is not as if James is making no impact on the road. For example, he was outstanding in the opening day win at Tottenham.
And more recently, he was excellent in the victory over Wolves earlier this month.
Of course, it is reasonable to expect more when he is producing so many goals and assists at home. He is on around £77,000-a-week, according to Marca. So he should potentially be a game-changer on a more consistent basis.
In fairness, Osman is making a valid point and is hardly being overly critical. But it would certainly be a little unfair to look at the numbers and simply conclude that he must go missing when Everton are away from home.