Emile Heskey backs Liverpool to handle James Rodriguez without too much trouble. The ex-Liverpool and England striker talked exclusively to Rousing The Kop.
Exactly how Liverpool handle James Rodriguez is one of the bigger issues facing Jurgen Klopp on Saturday. The Colombian has made a flying start to life at Goodison Park, scoring three and assisting two in his first four appearances.
He’s the biggest threat, then, as Liverpool travel to Goodison. Emile Heskey doesn’t believe Liverpool have too much to worry about, however.
In an exclusive interview with Rousing the Kop, we asked Heskey whose job it will be to stop James.
“I wouldn’t sacrifice anyone for that, to be honest with you. I think we’re bigger than that.”
“I don’t think it’ll be anyone in particular’s job,” he said. “We’re talking about Everton here – we don’t need to sacrifice a player to follow James around.
“He floats in from the right-hand side and he can play no.10, so I think it’s a case of whoever’s the closest, get that first movement towards him to keep his head down and keep him going backwards. Then you work off everything from there.
“But I wouldn’t sacrifice anyone for that, to be honest with you. I think we’re bigger than that.”
Can’t really disagree with Emile here. Liverpool have come up against far better player’s than James Rodriguez over the last few years, after all. If Liverpool handled Lionel Messi at Anfield as a team, they can handle James at Goodison.
That’s not to say it’ll be easy, of course. James is a fantastic player and a massive threat on Saturday. He can make things happen in a flash and is one of the best players Everton have had for some time. He may be one of the best in the Premier League.
But Saturday will be about Liverpool trying to impose their game on Everton, rather than trying to stop the Toffees. Pulling that off is undoubtedly the key to winning the derby.
You can catch Emile’s Everton preview in full over on our Youtube channel.