Why Everton's appointment of former Newcastle United and Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez makes perfect sense
Asides from the Liverpool connection, there’s no reason as to why Everton fans should strongly detest the appointment of Rafa Benitez.
Appointing a manager, once of your bitter rivals? Newcastle United appointed Steve Bruce, a man whose biggest achievement is a singular Premier League top 10 finish.
At least with Benitez, Everton are on course to employ an individual who has a proven track record of delivering trophies.
That’s perspective right there.
Critics point towards the statistic that Benitez hasn’t lifted a ‘major’ trophy since 2014 when he won the Italian Cup with Napoli. A group of pundits – if that’s what you can call Richard Keys and Andy Gray these days – labelled him as “outdated”.
Come on, Real Madrid fans are that of the most brutal in world football – many managers find it difficult to meet their crazy expectations. That has no reflection on Benitez, who, by the way, only lost three of his 25 games in charge.
But what does speak huge volumes of the man and his character is he was willing to risk everything when he took the Newcastle job.
He put his reputation on the line to get Newcastle back into the Premier League at the first attempt.
He’s the only man under the Mike Ashley era to go against his shambolic ownership and push for the football club to fulfill its potential.
Had Rafa had it his way, Newcastle United would be a club on the up. He can do that at Everton with the help of bigger and better tools.
Boring football people argue? It’s a myth.
Benitez knew what he had at Newcastle – a squad of restricted ability, so he made it a hard one to beat.
And many are so keen to overlook that half-a-season with Miguel Almiron, Salomon Rondon and Ayoze Perez in attack because let’s be honest, it doesn’t fit their agenda.
OK, moving to China wasn’t a great career choice but to write him off as a Premier League boss is a bit premature and lazy.
Whether people agree or not, Everton and Newcastle are two very similar clubs.
Proud histories. Working class and passionate supporters. Massive potential.
The current difference – Everton have an owner who provides strong financial backing but the frustration is, they have nothing to show for it.
You can’t fault members of the board at Everton for wanting to employ a man with trophy success instead of say, no disrespect, Graham Potter or Eddie Howe.
Benitez has won 13 trophies since 2002. Everton have won nothing since 1995.
It’s hard to think of anyone out of work who carries a better CV than the Spaniard.
The fact is, it’s Everton. Yes, it’s a massive club but it’s not one, at present, capable of consistently attracting world-renowned managers, except Benitez, of course…
It is one of the most controversial appointments in Premier League history (second behind Joe Kinnear...) but Everton fans should take off their tinted glasses and look at the bigger picture.
Fan fury? Protests? Benitez, a gentleman, will take it on the chin, just like he did at Chelsea before going on to win the Europa League.
Of course, it’s Everton fans' agenda and it’s their club but from the outside, Benitez to Goodison Park makes perfect sense.