Rafael Benitez: Finance and back-to-back controversies in the spotlight as new coach starts at Everton
After a hateful start to him Everton Professional life, Rafa Benitez grateful Pre-season work in progress. The team played its second friendly match at Finch Farm on Saturday, defeating Blackburn Rovers 1-0, and this week traveled to the United States to participate in the Florida Cup with a match against Colombian Melonarios.
The winners meet the victors in their encounter Arsenal And Inter Milan, one of Benitez’s former clubs.
It’s not the calm before the storm. May it be calm between hurricanes. The 61-year-old knows he needs to get off to a good start in Premier League The campaign and any falter in momentum would lead to a clamor from the Goodison Park crowd to take his place.
The mood on the training ground is positive. The Spaniard is a first-class coach and the players were impressed by the quality of his sessions. Benitez believes there is plenty of room for improvement in the team. Ben Godfrey, in particular, has plenty of room for development and should benefit under the new system.
Benitez was less enthusiastic than the other team members. Everton have spent more than half a billion in the transfer market in the past five years, but the spending has not brought the success fans crave.
Andre Gomez, Bernard and James Rodriguez are likely to be redundant.
Rodriguez, who earns £250,000 a week at Goodison, is emblematic of a flawed recruitment programme. The Colombian is very talented but has a questionable work ethic in coaching. The pressure is on Marcel Brandes, director of football, to find a way to offload Rodriguez and others who don’t fit into the Benitez regime.
That would be difficult in a market depressed by the pandemic. Brands, whose performance was under scrutiny during Carlo Ancelotti’s tenure, needed production.
There were already signs of friction between the Dutchman and Benitez.
Not everyone at Goodison was happy when the former Liverpool boss took over the club. Most employees, with a few exceptions, responded in a positive manner. Benitez is aware of the sensitivities around his appointment and is still trying to win over people who resist his methods. This will not last long.
The manager doesn’t expect to make any big-name acquisitions before the window closes, but he resisted the proposal to sign off on loans. He needs cash to buy players he believes will put Everton in contention for the top four. That kind of money may not be available this summer and no one can predict how long Benitez will be around.
The main question is whether he can improve the team quickly enough. He knows that the only way he can beat Everton is with results.
It took the intervention of Alisher Usmanov to get the job Benitez. The oligarch is an important sponsor of the club and has a strong influence on owner Farhad Moshiri. Since Moshiri bought Goodison five years ago, businessman and chairman Bill Kinwright has occasionally embarked on different strategies, particularly in the transfer market. Usmanov suggested that there should be better clarity of thought in the future.
There are other changes in the future, too. David Unsworth has earned plaudits for his work in the academy and coaching the Under-23 team, who have won the Premier League 2 twice in the past five seasons.
Benitez is keen to focus on change and is more interested in producing players who can make an impact on the first team rather than winning at the Under-23 level.
The new director’s work style is very different from his predecessors under Moshiri. Benitez is convinced he can push the club forward, but due to his past at Anfield, he realizes things could turn out to be the worst of the flimsy pretext. At the moment he is throwing himself into the job. He is determined that whenever he leaves Everton, Goodison will be in better shape than when he arrived.