Opinion: James Rodriguez delivers for Bayern, and for Carlo Ancelotti | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 19.09.2017
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Opinion: James Rodriguez delivers for Bayern, and for Carlo Ancelotti

It hasn't been easy for Bayern Munich of late, but the performance of new signing James Rodriguez against Schalke was extremely promising for both club and head coach - writes DW's Jonathan Harding.

It was just 90 minutes, but it was a timely 90 minutes from James Rodriguez. The Colombian single-handedly won Bayern Munich the game against Schalke, scoring and assisting on his first Bundesliga start.

The 26-year-old created four chances and was at the centre of Bayern Munich's attacking play.

Given the discontent reportedly in and around the Bayern camp in the last few weeks, James' performance was a timely one for Bayern. Without Arjen Robben, Bayern have often struggled to find any sort of attacking impetus. The Dutchman continues to be the club's go-to man despite his advancing years, but against Schalke there was the first glimpse that maybe, just maybe, Bayern have another attacking leader.

Read more: Robben shows importance and Bayern weakness vs. Mainz

James was in between the lines, showing off his superb quality in the final third with a deft touch and a smart finish. For his goal, he outfoxed Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann by faking to shoot into the far corner before curling into the near post. His assist for Vidal was sumptuous. With a glorious flick, James delivered a pass through Schalke's defense and perfectly into his teammates' path.

The performance was not just an important one for Bayern, but also for Carlo Ancelotti. The Italian won the Bundesliga title last year, but struggled in Europe and the general consesus is that the Bayern team is just not improving under the 58-year-old.

James represents a chance for Ancelotti to put a mark on this team in a way that he hasn't really done yet. While it's important not to get carried away with what might be because of one fine performance in Gelsenkirchen on a Tuesday night, it offers a glimmer of hope to a head coach desperate for something of his own making to look good in Munich.

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