James Rodriguez hasn’t had the best of starts to his loan spell at Bayern Munich, but the Colombian international has shown glimpses of brilliance, suggesting that he really can be a difference maker. His performance in Bayern’s 2-0 Bundesliga win over RB Leipzig at the weekend was arguably his best performance for the Bavarians and he grabbed his second goal of the season. His efforts against Die Roten Bullen saw him receive the man of the match honors and he was also selected in the Bundesliga’s team of the week.
The Bundesliga had the opportunity to catch up with James after his blistering display against Leipzig. Speaking on scoring his first home goal:
It was a wonderful feeling to score for the first time in front of our fans at the Allianz Arena. I think we played well overall. We created some good chances against Leipzig and the three points were never in doubt after we went in front.
After struggling to hit a consistent stride for Bayern, James was in desperate need of his strong outing against Leipzig, as it had been clear that he’d found some difficulties adjusting to Bayern’s style of play. Despite this, he struck an optimistic tone when he was asked about how he’s adapting to life at Bayern Munich:
Life here is something completely new to me and I also have to get used to Bayern's playing style. That's not something that happens overnight. And that's before we talk about how cold it is! [laughs] But at the end of the day the only thing that matters here is the football, a game that's the same wherever in the world you play it. I'm doing what I love and I'm happy to be doing that here. Games like the one today, where I achieve what I set out to do, give me strength for the challenges ahead.
With the injuries to both Frank Ribery and Thomas Muller, Jupp Heynckes is likely to give James increased minutes, especially with how congested Bayern’s schedule on either side of the upcoming international break in the second week of November. Although he was technically brought in by former manager Carlo Ancelotti, James believes that Heynckes sees him occupying a similar role to what Ancelotti had envisioned:
I don't think my position is going to change very much under the new coach. I played out wide against Leipzig and there were a few occasions where I was able to create some dangerous moments.
James also had nothing but positive things to say about Heynckes:
He's a very experienced coach who exudes calm and poise. You can tell he's seen a lot in his long career as a coach. I'm trying to do exactly what I did with all my previous coaches: take his ideas on board, learn from him and grow as a footballer. The fact he speaks Spanish obviously makes things much easier for me.
Hopefully for Bayern, James’ form from the Leipzig match will carry over into this week’s Champions League clash in Glasgow against Celtic, and then in the weekend’s trip to the Westfalenstadion to take on Borussia Dortmund in Der Klassiker.