Ancelotti: James isn’t Di Maria

Carlo Ancelotti has explained Real Madrid are playing differently this season as he can’t ask James Rodriguez to do the same things as Angel Di Maria.

James joined Madrid from Monaco after the World Cup while Di Maria was sold to Manchester United and while the Coach insisted he was happy with the Colombia international, he revealed his arrival is what brought about a change in approach.

“James isn’t Di Maria. He has different qualities. I don’t ask of him what I asked of Di Maria,” AS reports Ancelotti saying.

“They’re two different players. James is doing a great job and will get better.

“It’s not good to ask of him what I did of Di Maria and I wouldn’t have asked Di Maria to do what James does.”

Ancelotti, speaking at a Press conference to preview Madrid’s game against Athletic Bilbao, was also asked if he was content with the defensive efforts of Gareth Bale.

“Defensive work isn’t individual. Everyone has to give more in this regard,” he replied.

“We ask of Gareth the same we ask of the other forwards. They have to do more of their work offensively but they also have to work to get the ball back.

“The positive reviews for [Karim] Benzema will be good for him. He did very well [against Ludogorets], where he scored a decisive goal.

“Gradually his fitness is improving. He’s good and he’s a very important help to this team.”

The game against Ludogorets saw Madrid concede another goal from a set-piece, something Ancelotti insists is being addressed.

“Of course we are concerned and more so because we’re playing [Ernesto] Valverde’s team,” he admitted.

“We’re working to fix it. Madrid though aren’t the only team who concede from set-pieces. It happens to Barcelona too.

“We’re working on it. Also, we have scored a lot of goals from set-pieces too.”

Tags Angel Di Maria Carlo Ancelotti James Rodriguez