Rafael Benitez blames Liverpool history for failing Everton

Published by
Peter Kavinsky

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Rafael Benitez admits his history with Liverpool prevented him from making tough decisions during his time at Everton.

The Spaniard’s appointment last summer was controversial from the start due to his six-year association with their Merseyside rivals, but he believed he could do a job at Goodison Park.

But after 10 points from their first four Premier League games to be denied only the Premier League spot on goal difference, the form of their side – which crucially lost striker Dominic Calvert-Lewin on injury for more than four months – fell off a cliff.

Benitez was sacked in January after just one win in 13 league appearances and the 62-year-old regrets not making more changes to the structure of the club.

However, during his short tenure, the head of the medical department and scouting and recruiting figures changed, while a difference of opinion saw director of football Marcel Brands leave just over a month before the departure of Benitez.

“I thought we could improve everything… in terms of staff, departments, team, things like that,” he told Sky Sports. “It was a great period in terms of experience and a shame at the same time.

“You have to analyze the context. The moment Everton came up with the offer (people said) ‘You were with Liverpool, that could be a problem’ but I have a lot of friends who are Blues and they knew I would give anything to make my best and make things better.

“I knew it could be difficult, but because I was red, maybe I couldn’t make some decisions. It was very clear to us at the start.

Benitez’s connections to Liverpool crippled him while managing their Merseyside rivals

(PA Archive)

“I had a meeting with a manager from one of the departments and I asked him, ‘Do you think everything is okay?’ He said ‘Yeah, everything is perfect’.

“I thought ‘£600m had been spent, it can’t be perfect when the owners are unhappy and the fans are unhappy, it can’t be perfect’.

“So I realized we needed to change things inside but I couldn’t do that right away because I was (a former) Red and it could be seen as ‘Oh he came for change our club”.

“At another club I would have made those decisions. I’ve done that in the past, because you know very clearly that’s the way to improve, but at Everton I couldn’t do that. “

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Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org

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