Rafael Benítez was appointed on the 30th June 2021 as the Everton manager. He is taking over for Carlo Ancelotti who returned recently to Real Madrid for his second stint as manager there. Benitez isn’t a random bloke or a fella walking into Stanley Park as a manager.
No, his a former legendary manager of Liverpool. The arch-rival at Anfield. The one who had the miracle in Istanbul and secured Liverpool the Champions League. That’s who Benitez is. Yes, he has shown he is capable of making a winning team, but that is long time ago now.
Still, his tenure at Liverpool lingers on. What he said and how he acted. He has long since then worked for Dalian Professionals in China ahead of this appointment. So, it is not like his coming from a winning streak or a place of prestige.
No, Benitez is living of his name. The owners has picked him because of his past glories. Just like they did with Ancelotti. There was a lot of promise, but not the execution for it. Benitez needs to hit the ground running and prove his skills. He cannot live on borrowed time here.
Rafa needs to show results and quickly. That with a mismatch of players, a squad that has been expensively bought over the years, but not with a long term plan. Where several of other managers have picked their choices and possibilities, but not delivered.
There are promise in the team and on a good day. Everton can beat anyone on a good day and when the key players are in form. However, that isn’t everyday and that was visible the last two seasons. Even with Ancelotti spending like a drunk sailor and continuing to haemorrhaging players, which some he didn’t even use like King.
That’s why at this current time. Everton isn’t based to go anywhere. Benitez is questioned just for his past history and words. As he now joins the ranks of a small club and that will linger on until he gets a slice of silver-wear.
Benitez have made this one hard on himself. He knows what he did and that cannot be forgotten. He has now gone from the red to the blue side of the city. From Bill Shankly to Duncan Ferguson. That is just the reality of this.
This will not be an easy walk and here he might have to walk alone actually. It is a unforgiving route his taking. As it is not like it is just water under the bridge. No, this man is walking in the steps of Michael Owen and others who went from one team to a rival. The same he has done now and that will be questioned, as long as his in-charge.
Benitez cannot just fumble the club and play along. He got to deliver and with a mediocre squad and with uncertain transfer kitty. In combination with distrust from the fans and the general supporters of the sport. Since he has gone from one side to the other.
That’s why I don’t want to be in Benitez shoes right now. The walk alone and without the people behind you. That got to be tough. Even for a seasoned and well travelled man like Rafa. He got to feel it too.
The only thing that will redeem him here is actual results and progress. He needs to do like Martinez did in his first season to have hope to keep this going. That’s what he needs and that’s the only way out.
If not there will be quickly singing in the stands: “Rafa sacked in the morning” Peace.