Opinion: Benitez will walk alone on this one

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.

Opinion: Ancelotti will not be missed in Everton

Well, it is about that time. Carlo Ancelotti is a well known manager. A manager who has won titles across the continent. His name is synonymous with winning titles and creating history in the clubs he has managed. Alas, that never became the case with Everton.

Not that the stint he had in Everton was long enough or had the ability in the transfer-windows to achieve that. Still, there was a lot of unfinished business and uncertainty ahead of him. He did the great signings of James Rodriguez and Abdoulaye Doucouré. Calvert-Lewin got a breath of fresh air and was firing in the box. Still, that wasn’t enough to cut it.

Ancelotti in his final season at Everton started like a winning team. They seemed for so long destined to be hunting for a European Cup next year. Alas, that dwindled down and became another botched season in the mid-table.

For such a renowned manager that must be defeatism. If not… he wouldn’t care, because the players, the squad and the club should feel lucky to even have him there. It was a rare occasion. As there haven’t been a manager of this character or with his CV at the club, which I can remember. Not, that the managers of Everton haven’t been good, but they have built their name there. If not used it as a stepping stone to greater later.

What is striking is that Ancelotti couldn’t do things better than the previous managers. He could get a higher position with the team than Ronald Koeman or Sam Allerdyce. While he still got some of his targeted players. This has clearly been done together with Director of Football, Marcel Brands.

The next manager has to work with him and the targets of the club. Everton has failed and you can wonder what sort of style they want to play. What’s the objective and where they want to go. Since, they gotten a lot of flack, but they a dipping in the middle and getting nowhere. While Leicester is evolving and West Ham is surpassing them.

Everton has the ability and should have the capacity of growing bigger. Become part of the top six. They have used the transfer kitty and spent funds, but not bringing in the results. Everton has used money on Yannick Bolasie and Theo Walcott, but not gotten anything really for it. That’s why they are out on loan.

Ancelotti have a possibility to build a project. He could live large on his name and his achievements of the past. That’s why he wasn’t getting any sort of scrutiny for lacking results in this season. After the promising start.

He now left for Real Madrid. Returning back after both victories elsewhere and a mediocre time in Everton. Ancelotti will not remembered for long in Everton. He came with a name and delivered very little than hope. The promise of a project and a long-term plan is now scrapped. Where someone else has to pick-up where he left off.

With a squad and a team of mixed fortunes. Former players of big-teams and players with a lot of promise. Still, Everton needs a new manager who wants to build and use the potential here. It is clearly there. Everton haven’t been able to crack the top six since 2013/14. That’s starting to be a long time ago. Ancelotti should have he character and the capabilities to build a club for this. However, that never happened here and his project wasn’t fulfilled. This is why he will not be missed. People will see it as a sideline story and a fault-line. Where someone with stature like Ancelotti promised greatness, but delivered mediocre results. Would think he wanted that narrative changed? No, his more interested in his career, than building a team like Everton. That’s why he took the open spot and could return back to Real Madrid.

The next one should aim for that and try to stabilize there. However, that will not be easy. When there so many contenders and clubs fighting to get there. Everyone aims for that and is willing to put all their bets there.

What Everton needs to do is get a structured manager to work in tandem with the Director of Football. Have a clear football philosophy and work a long-term plan ahead. Not only pick the second tier and the ones falling out of grace in the bigger clubs. Everton needs also to focus on talent like Calvert-Lewin and others who can show the greatness of the club from within. That is what all fans wants to see.

However, with the expectancy of quick results and big pay-offs instantly. That is nearly impossible. Nevertheless, the club should seek a long-term manager and not just a quick-fix. Than they will get into another Marco Silva. Who had a decent season and falling off a cliff the next one before getting sacked. The club cannot afford to do that… and Everton should try to get back to the stability and certainty of David Moyes. Though, that era is long gone. Peace.

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