Benitez's first press conference: 'I want to win'

Wednesday, 14 July, 2021 141comments  |  Jump to last

Rafael Benitez held his first press conference since being confirmed as Everton manager and he spoke of his confidence in being able to improve on last season and ultimately make the fans happy.

The Spaniard's Zoom call came as it was confirmed that his long-time fitness coach and associate Paco de Miguel and Duncan Ferguson will be his Assistant Managers. Antonio Gomes has also come on board as first team coach and senior analyst.

A controversial choice given that he managed Liverpool for six years and won the Champions League in his time at Anfield, Benitez predictably fielded a number of questions about his past but he was frank and unemotional in his insistence that he has taken an opportunity and welcome challenge back in the Premier League.

“Obviously, I know about the club, the traditions and the history, the ambitions of the owners, the fans behind the team,” he said “So all these things, for anyone that knows the history of the club, it's quite [easy to see why I took the job].

“I am at home, I want to compete, I want to challenge for whatever you can challenge and there's enough motivation. I think it's a great opportunity, a challenge for me and I'm really pleased with that.”

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Benitez was asked about the reception he has received on both sides of the city in the context of his past association with Liverpool FC, comments he infamously made about Everton in 2007 and the banners that were left at Goodison Park and near his home opposing his appointment.

“To be fair, the Evertonians around my place [have been] quite happy and supportive,” Benitez said. “And even the Liverpudlians were accepting that it's an opportunity for me to come back to the Premier League and compete for something so it's been quite good.

“Talking about the banners; we can talk about one or two people… you never know. I think it's better to think about positives and how a lot of people were encouraging me to do well.

“I've said before (regarding the ‘small club' comment), it depends on the context. It was a long time ago, you are fighting for your club which is what I'd do now. You have to defend your club in any context and in this case I will fight for Everton, I will fight to do my best very game and do my best against anyone.

“Liverpool is my city. We have very good connections on the Red side and on the Blue side and now, obviously, a lot of people on the Blue side will be pleased if I am successful.

“So I don't see a big issue; I think that the fans appreciate that we will be here working really hard for the team and the club and if we win, no one will be talking about what happened in the past. I am thinking about the future; I know they want me to be successful and I am sure we can do well.”

Asked what the minimum target for success would be for him in his new role, Benitez was cautious, preferring to talk of improvement on last season as a primary focus while still speaking in broad terms of longer-term ambition.

“In terms of targets, it's always complicated. I think approach [has always been] one game at a time and think about the next game as an opportunity to win so we'll have to see what happens.

“Obviously, I know how the team finished last year and we must try to ensure we do better. But I prefer to walk the walk and see if we can do well and hopefully everyone will be happy, starting with me. If I am happy then the fans will be very happy too.

Speaking about transfers and how much say he would have in the recruitment process, Benitez said:

“The manager always has an important opinion. You have to work in the context where you have a Director of Football, you have the Board and you have the financial position so there's a lot of things you have to put together.

“But I am quite happy with the commitment of the lads. They are training really well. I think we can improve things so that is one point. And if we can bring players in they are good for us, that is the objective.

“So to improve the players we have, we have good communication with everybody here and managing the financial restrictions that we have to manage while still being ambitious.

“I have had conversations with some of the senior players and I'm really pleased because all of them are ambitious but they realise that something was missing [last season]. This something is what we have to be sure we can find and for me it's a winning mentality that has to be there from the first day to the last day.

“They want to do well, they are desperate to improve in a positive way, so I think it's a very good thing for me that we have these players who will carry on, continue pushing and be an example to the young players.

"I think we have to create a team that will be competitive, that has to fight for the shirt from the first minute until the last. It doesn't matter about the name of the opponent. Try to win, that's it."


Reader Comments (141)

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Ajay Gopal
1 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:04:09
I thought it was a good 1st press conference by Rafa. Pretty matter of fact and he didn’t try to ingratiate himself with Everton’s supporters - that would have sounded insincere. Let us hope he can get some additional reinforcements and also get rid of the useless players.
John Boswell
2 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:16:29
I wish Rafa every success because I wish Everton every success. I hope he stays for 3 years and earns an extension to bring his / our team into the new stadium.

I have recovered from the shock of his appointment, it's old news now, so let's get on with strengthening the first -team squad ready for 14 August.

My view is helped by the fact that I no longer work in the city (no banter from colleagues) and I don't read newspapers, thereby avoiding the daily grind of rubbish reporting on our beloved club.

Onwards and upwards, COYB.

David Pearl
3 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:19:55
Agreed Ajay, he came across quite well although skirted the question of James. I'd have liked him to say that he wants to keep our best players.

Shame Messi wasn't sat next to him. Although a 5-year deal, even on 50% wages, is quite the commitment for a guy already mid-30s. Long live the king!

Soren Moyer
4 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:27:44
So does it mean that duds such as Iwobi, Gomes, Delph, Sigurdsson and Holgate just need a winning mentality?

Or am I missing something here!!!?

Mark Andersson
5 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:34:52
New season, new manager, some new players please...

Good luck, Rafa, you're going to need it. The sleeping giant is still snoring... wake up... wake up..

Tony Shelby
6 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:49:17
More importantly, I thought he quite suited that blue tracky top.
Raymond Fox
7 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:55:58
He's a no-nonsense manager and I wish him well, it might be a bumpy road but I think he will do a good job.

We need 20 more goals this season, that's where we are lacking; our defence performed okay.

Mike Gaynes
8 Posted 14/07/2021 at 18:56:26
Agreed, Tony #6, it appears he's been working out a bit during his downtime.
Dale Self
9 Posted 14/07/2021 at 19:07:11
Thanks for posting this, not sure I would have checked it otherwise.

The quotes support a no-nonsense approach that I support. He's here and not going anywhere soon so let's get forward with him. With the dysfunction that has persisted at the club, this man deserves a full chance to get it right… with obvious consequences if he doesn't. Let's remind ourselves constantly that he is dealing with a legacy problem here.

Tony Abrahams
10 Posted 14/07/2021 at 19:12:51
Managing the financial restrictions that we have to manage, while still being ambitious?

Not really what you want to hear when a new manager talks for the first time, but hopefully we have learned from the last few years, and become much better in the transfer market, whilst also reducing the wage-bill, that has put us back years.

Danny O’Neill
11 Posted 14/07/2021 at 19:58:50
Well that was odd to look at and weird to hear.

Credit to him for his honest speaking.

On one hand, preparing to work with the players he has.

On the other, concerning he talks about constraints.

Hopefully he is being candid and we are going to do business.

And it's not about how much we spend, as we've learned. It's how you spend it.

Pat Kelly
12 Posted 14/07/2021 at 20:31:24
Much will depend on who we bring in as the current squad has too many duds who aren't suddenly going to become transformed.

If we are to believe the rumours, Dumfries may be on the way in and a replacement for Mina is being sought. That's the defence sorted. Someone creative in midfield and a decent winger would set us up for an improvement on last season. Here's hoping.

David McMullen
13 Posted 14/07/2021 at 20:36:50
Good luck, Rafa man.

Personally, I think he comes across as someone ready to do a job and up for the challenge. A firm approach. There's a lot of bedwetters but I am looking forward to the new season.

Jerome Shields
14 Posted 14/07/2021 at 20:38:35
I just hope he does really well and can get the team competing. I like the fact that his backroom staff are in place and named right from the start. He appears determined and is already getting down to the business of managing the team.
Tony Everan
15 Posted 14/07/2021 at 20:44:00
He did good, a pragmatic first presser.

He talks about making improvements and creating a winning mentality with the current playing staff. It will be interesting to see if he can get the likes of Gomes and Iwobi playing better. Also, how he rates the post-injury Gbamin.

He's got his work cut out big time and hats off to him if he can get a tune out of these and one or two other players many have virtually given up on. The ability to do this will be just as important as the three or four new signings he makes.

John Kavanagh
16 Posted 14/07/2021 at 20:57:38
He's obviously already been fed the 'We're up for it' bullshit from the usual suspects and he will see every effort being put into training, no doubt. As was the case for all the previous managers. The problem is that the same players who look OK at Finch Farm become invisible or perform like headless chickens on match days - that's if they even make it as far as the pitch.

If, like his predecessors, he gives them yet another chance (it's become a bit like the Animal House 'double secret probation' by now hasn't it?) then 10th to 15th place beckons along with the usual embarrassments as per previous seasons.

I just hope he gets a grip and three decent signings in pronto.

PS. About Rafa's trackie. Notice how our beloved badge is now so faded out that it is almost Delph like in its invisibility, yet the manufacturer's name/logo stands out? WTF.

Robert Tressell
17 Posted 14/07/2021 at 20:57:57
Good observation Tony. We're all hoping for a good few transfers over summer but success will be as much about what he can get out of those already on the books. Turning deadwood into dead good.
Ian Riley
18 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:02:41
Rafa is not a fan of Everton. He is our manager. Why should he care what fans think? If Everton is successful he knows fans are happy.

Rafa has had my support from day one since being linked to Everton. However I'm not fooled that he will not turn us into a top six team next season but we must be patient and not turn on him. His methods will take time to implement but I believe he is in it for the long term. Constraints on player purchase is the price we have to live with but he loves the challenge of coaching and improving players.

Good luck and make us proud!!

Dave Long
19 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:21:50
John [16], what a disgrace. Hummel more prominent than Everton. does anyone look at this prior to production?
John Pickles
20 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:25:55
His Liverpool sides were not any better player for player than our sides, but Rafa always got them up for big matches, whereas our players looked like rabbits caught in the headlights. Considering it's the big matches where you win things, if he can do this here, we could actually win something.
Barry Rathbone
21 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:31:11
“but they realise that something was missing [last season]. This something is what we have to be sure we can find . "

Yep, it's called "ability".

Wise up, Beni. don't make the same mistake as Carlo bin this crew and get some robust lads who are athletic AND capable of the fundamentals

Ian Burns
22 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:31:48
I thought that was a good first presser - no gushing quotes, simple to the point and just wants to get on with it.

Recognition of Brands’ role and avoided getting involved with the James question, given his history with him at RM. James will be gone in a couple of weeks.

Will he get a tune out of Iwobi and Gomes? Doubtful, so I pray he gets the 4 players he needs to get this team moving in the right direction.

He has my support for sure and if the silence is anything to go by, it seems the majority of supporters are prepared to give him a shot.

Colin Glassar
23 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:39:10
Barry 21, it’s called BALLS! Our lot are testicular deficient. If Rafa wants to win he’d better whip some of these grifters into shape.
John Boon
24 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:44:37
I wish any Everton manager success. Why would you think differently. If he is not a success after a fair trial period then fans have every right to be critical. Note critical not abusive Receiving accolades goes along with receiving criticism.

Ian (18). "Why should he care what fans think?" Fans are the "support staff". Most leaders in any job care how the staff feel about them. Benitez has an ego and I am sure one of his major objectives, besides winning, is to have the supporters on his side. After manager chaos over the past 10 years Everton fans deserve to have something to be happy about. I just hope Benitez can provide it.

Tony Everan
25 Posted 14/07/2021 at 21:56:07
Robert 17, I'm feeling rough and under the weather today but that last line, “turning dead wood into dead good” is a cracker, cheered me up a bit.
Justin Doone
26 Posted 14/07/2021 at 22:10:10
That ugly tracksuit top is awful, absolutely awful. It looks embarrassingly outdated.

Rafa on the other hand..hmmm

Si Cooper
27 Posted 14/07/2021 at 22:24:25
One thing is for certain, I won't be referring to him as Rafa until he's proved himself; it just feels weird. RB will do for me until I find out the RS have stopped calling him Rafa.

I'm always worried that, like in so many businesses these days, the guy who gets the Everton job is simply the one who has promised he can get big results from minimum change / financial investment. We need both increased numbers and quality in the squad, with pace in the middle being the biggest deficiency.

I very much doubt that simply changing training will transform many of our squad so I'm still waiting to see those all-important incomings.

Paul Smith
28 Posted 14/07/2021 at 22:27:52
Couldn’t give a flying frig what he’s done in the past just what he does in the near future. I will judge him after one game like I have with all managers in the past 5 years. ;)
Mike Corcoran
29 Posted 14/07/2021 at 22:42:28
Did it say Hummel or Humbel on his tracky. My eyes are fecked from watching us last season.
Jason Li
30 Posted 14/07/2021 at 23:32:50
Nice and tense press conferece - was pretty exciting stuff. If Rafa can instill this kind of belief like he does in interviews infront of a hungry press in the players this season, he's half way there.

He won a big trophy years ago with 10 and a half players, with Djimi Traore in defence. So on that logic with Iwobi and Siggy busting a gut, we might finish in the top 7 next season. Who knows where he could take us if the club gets a winning mentality? It's what we want... and are we now ready for it if this is what it looks like (in all it's Hummel glory)?

At least we can tell the press conferences are going to be a good watch this season between matches anyways.

Jerome Shields
31 Posted 14/07/2021 at 23:35:30
John #16

That is the real problem he will have to tackle. I am sure the usual suspects are all yes yes yes on being initially talked to, but it is really down to them being able and willing to buy in what Rafa wants to achieve.

I agree, he needs to bring in new signings to give momentum to his objectives. He is long enough in the tooth to know this. I think he will be tougher than Ancelotti in holding the usual suspects accountable to their initial agreement. It may be one of the reasons he got the job.

Ferguson is there because he knows the club and players.

Derek Thomas
33 Posted 15/07/2021 at 01:05:00
Fine words; may they not only be true, but actually come true.

It's a heavy expectation handicap you carry Mr Henry Cooper said about fighting some guy over in Italy - you have to knock them out just to get a draw over there.

Start swinging those punches Rafa...deeds mate, deeds, not words.

Oh and good luck with the changing the attitude thing...fairplay to you if you can.

Matthew Williams
34 Posted 15/07/2021 at 01:09:23
"Liverpool is NOT your city".

This will end very badly for us Blues.

James Flynn
35 Posted 14/07/2021 at 01:13:01
Sounded reasonable and focused.

"In terms of targets, it's always complicated. I think approach [has always been] one game at a time and think about the next game as an opportunity to win so we'll have to see what happens." Fits in with his no-nonsense reputation.

George Stuart
36 Posted 15/07/2021 at 03:11:40
Pretty realistic and fanciful.
Probably will do better than last season.
Probably will never make us happy.
Alan J Thompson
37 Posted 15/07/2021 at 06:50:13
Perhaps I've missed something just reading the above rather than listening to him but it seems all a bit humdrum; I've spoken to people, something is missing, we want to improve on last season, we are training well, one game at a time, when we win they will follow.

The more interesting but played down parts are the joint Assistant Managers, the 1st team Coach & Senior Analyst… and while there is a Director of Footbll, there's also the Board who appointed him, so that, while they are a team, he wants nobody to mistake who is head of that team and will be making the big decisions. Sounds very much like promises he has received from those who appointed him.

As others have pointed out, the Chinese Curse, we live in interesting times. Let's hope it is more on the field.

Billy Roberts
38 Posted 15/07/2021 at 07:19:07
Matthew @34

Are you saying it's not his city? Why not? He's chose to live here, he's allowed to say that.

That's the city (region) he's talking about – not Liverpool FC.

Have I missed something here? Otherwise, like Alan @37 says, all very humdrum stuff. More an exercise in not saying the wrong thing really.

Bill Fairfield
39 Posted 15/07/2021 at 07:19:26
I'm looking forward to a packed-out Goodison Park and getting behind the team. I wish the new manager the best of luck.
Marc Hints
40 Posted 15/07/2021 at 07:22:32
Well, we have less than a month to the start of the season; we will have no Richarlison to start with and some players who will not be match-fit ready as they come back to pre-season late. Not one new player signed yet with time to bed in.

I don't care who the manager is, this season is going to be another long hard one to watch unless we get players in, or the manager somehow plucks out some very good youngsters.

If it's the same squad and without Richarlison for the first game, then we should except a mediocre this season as it's the same players again who have let the Everton shirt down, time and time again.

Benitez is the next manager to try and coach those players but I cannot see how it will change. We need fresh quality players if the club are really ambitious.

Kim Vivian
41 Posted 15/07/2021 at 08:14:26
Come on, Rafa – just show us what you can do with a bunch of blunt and rusty (or in the case of Delph, non-functioning) tools. Someone must be able to make them work.

And trust that Brands can find some shiny, sharp and functioning additions to the toolbox.

John Keating
42 Posted 15/07/2021 at 08:45:44
Walk the walk and talk the talk… well, let's see.

They say he's straight-talking; well, I hope so… because, when some of our biggest bottlers do their usual, which they will, hopefully he calls them out.

I get fed up listening to managers supporting the player when everyone, including himself, knows he's playing shite. Benitez is here now and that's that… but it's still difficult seeing him with Everton gear on.

Let's see what he can do with a “small” club…

David Hayes
43 Posted 15/07/2021 at 09:06:46
How quickly will he do a Carlo-style exit? When Klipperty gets the sack?!?

This whole merry-go-round is now in full swing, now that all the journeymen managers have found the biggest soft touch in the Premier League. Has anybody ever calculated how much money the last five or six mercenaries have cost? Welcome to the next one…

Danny O’Neill
44 Posted 15/07/2021 at 09:12:05
Mr Keating, please! I prefer to think of us as a long term underperforming giant of a football club that has forgotten to act like the big club we are! That's what Benitez thinks now too.

As on other threads, maybe the irony here is we remove the nostalgia and emotion. And having won titles at similar big clubs who weren't quite Barcelona or Real Madrid (Valencia) and then had success at a Liverpool team who had fallen from previous grace and in the shadow of Ferguson's United, maybe it's an okay fit for what we need right now. With one eye on the stadium, the Ancelotti and now Benitez appointments tell me that the owners don't want another building project. They want to do something sooner with proven goods. Well, that's what I'm convincing myself with anyway.

Okay, he never won the league with Liverpool, but if you gave me a Champion's League and FA Cup plus Premier League runner up and Champion's League runner up positions in six seasons as opposed to our return over the last 30 years, I wouldn't be complaining.

I don't think I could ever call him Rafa though.

There will be justified claims of yesterday's man; I understand that. It's weird and uncomfortable seeing him in Everton gear. But as you point out, he's here now.

Benjamin Dyke
45 Posted 15/07/2021 at 09:15:48
Who did you want David? Bill Kenwright as manager?
Dave Williams
46 Posted 15/07/2021 at 09:27:36
Sounded good to me. As he has said, he prefers to walk the walk rather than talk the talk, ie, actions – not words.

This guy will not fanny around. His reputation is on the line here as both red and blue will ridicule him if he doesn't get this right. He will not allow players who don't try or won't compete to derail him. He will take a good look at them in training and the US tournament will be an interesting one.

Gbamin looks to be moving well in the training clips I have seen and he certainly has physical presence – he will be an enormous plus if he is okay now. James I am sure will go as we can't carry a luxury player like him. If the rumours about Mina are true then Rafa has sized them all up very quickly and is not going to tolerate mistakes.

The more I hear from him, the more I warm to him… but, as he says, he has to walk the walk. Let's see if he can!

Robert Tressell
47 Posted 15/07/2021 at 09:34:15
At the start of each season, the transfermarkt squad values table tells you more or less where everyone will finish.

There is some underperformance and some overperformance. In the latter category we normally find Burnley most impressive + AN other (West Ham last year).

We're currently rated 8th (£489m) - about £50m behind Arsenal in 7th and about £50m ahead of Villa in 9th.

So it's likely that we will finish about 8th - albeit like last season we'll be competitive for 6th.

A good summer window will help make us more competitive still - but we're currently £170m behind Spurs in 5th so it would be an uphill battle requiring much better squads to underperform as much as us doing our stuff.

It's a shame it comes down to this but it highlights what Benitez is taking on and how he will not be a magician as Ancelotti put it.

6th and a cup, Benitez, please this season - with signs that you are building towards a squad capable of reaching thetop 4.

For more context, even without the cup, that would better Ancelotti, Silva, Allardyce, Koeman and Martinez other than his first glorious season.

Geoff Lambert
48 Posted 15/07/2021 at 09:38:01
It all comes down to time: We can't keep hiring and firing managers that don't get it right after 18 months. I really don't think we could get relegated so we need to stick with someone for three seasons at least.

He is our manager now, so I will give him the full backing an Everton manager needs. Like others have said, though, it needs to be 'Beni' or 'RB' – not Rafa.

Robert Workman
49 Posted 15/07/2021 at 11:03:39
How come, if he knows the city of Liverpool so well, that Benitez referred to supporters of the other team as "Liverpudlians"? 'Liverpudlian' is a word used to describe people who come from the city of Liverpool. Hence many Evertonians are Liverpudlians.

Maybe he thought it was too soon, in his tenure as Everton manager, to refer to them as RedShite supporters!

Brian Temple
50 Posted 15/07/2021 at 11:30:39
Scouser, yes.
Liverpudlian, hell no!

I'd call a RS supporting friend a Liverpudlian, if they were a fair RS supporter, otherwise a kopite (God I feel dirty even typing that word)

Mike Allison
51 Posted 15/07/2021 at 11:41:37
To be anti-Benitez now is to be anti-Everton. He is our manager. We need him to do well.

It may still taste unpleasant, it certainly doesn’t look right, but it’s a cold, hard fact and we’ve had time to get used to it. I don’t blame people for being fearful that this won’t work out - I think that’s an understandable reaction - but I do think it matters how we as fans now react.

The press will be dying to tell stories of discord and unhappiness about Everton. Every little thing will be blown out of proportion. We as fans need to do our bit in promoting the good of the club. This may mean swallowing some frustration from time to time.

This will especially apply when something goes wrong. We’ll lose a game. We’ll play badly. We’ll be negative when it seems we should have been more positive. This will definitely happen. The question is: what reaction will best serve the needs of the club?

What Everton desperately need right now is stability, continuity, a sense of identity and a genuine togetherness. Lots of us disagreed with Rafa’s appointment, but we must, must, must back him, even when things go wrong, to bring us what we need.

Tom Bowers
52 Posted 15/07/2021 at 12:01:06
Well said Mike Allison. The man has as good a record as any so let's give him the same chance as anyone else.

He has connections and may be able to bring some decent talent to the team and more importantly get the playing as a tightly knit unit.

We have to be patient as most of us are and it may not happen overnight.

Yes, we have seen this scenario before so let's hope this is the one that changes things.

We seriously need another striker and his connection to the Barcodes could facilitate a move for Saint-Maximan who did well last season after coming back from injury. Just a thought.

Pete Clarke
53 Posted 15/07/2021 at 12:01:49
I can't think of a manager we have ever had who simply has to do well. By this, I mean have the team fighting fit and playing decent football up around the Top 6 in the Premier League. The pressure is on him big style from all Everton supporters because of his connections; he lives locally and apparently likes the area so won't want to move, and this job could make or break his reputation as a good manager, so he will want to do well for more reasons than money.

Still finding it difficult to get my head around and I ain't going to be singing his name anytime soon but let's hope he surprises us all.

Derby day will be very strange that's for sure.

Phil Bellis
54 Posted 15/07/2021 at 12:50:24
To open a can of worms, research the word "Liverpolitan" 😉
Michael Boardman
55 Posted 15/07/2021 at 12:54:23
Benitez, to my view, is an upgraded Moyes – solid, takes no shit, and if you don't fit the template, you are gone.

I wouldn't have picked him, but he's here, so I'm going to give him some time, without too much complaint, to see what happens during the first season – so long as he doesn't start blowing on his fucking coffee if we win 5-4.

Barry Hesketh
56 Posted 15/07/2021 at 12:57:24
Phil @ 54 I'd never heard of that term before but an extract from the linked article below remains relevant doesn't it?

“A Liverpudlian was a lower-born member of the great unwashed, if the word was acknowledged at all.”

Official name for City's residents

Phil Bellis
57 Posted 15/07/2021 at 13:08:54
Cheers Barry...reading that reminded me of a teacher telling us that Mancs used to call the City, Liverpudddle, sarky gits 😊
Danny O’Neill
58 Posted 15/07/2021 at 13:10:40
I was going to ask opinion as I've never referred to myself as a Liverpudlian and reject it when people call me it!!

I had heard the term Liverpolitan but thought it an older phrase so that link makes sense Phil.

Scouser, Evertonian, citizen of Liverpool, but never a Liverpudlian!

Given my personal association of the term "Liverpudlian" with followers of Liverpool Football Club and not those originating from the city, how apt it is described as being a lower born member of the great unwashed!

Ray Roche
59 Posted 15/07/2021 at 13:12:42

Wasn't Saint-Maximin a victim of Covid which badly affected him?

Chris Williams
60 Posted 15/07/2021 at 13:20:18
Yes, once upon a time we were Liverpolitans.

Even Scouser is a late arrival. We were Wackers before that, and even further back known as Dicky Sams apparently.

Michael Lynch
61 Posted 15/07/2021 at 13:53:16
I can't believe I've never come across the word Liverpolitan before, but I love it. From now on, that's what I am. Though having lived in London for decades now, I might have to be a Plazzy Liverpolitan.

Not sure about that nonsense in the Echo article about Liverpolitans referring to the wider region. A wool is still a wool la.

Kevin Molloy
62 Posted 15/07/2021 at 13:56:31
He already looks quite careworn, doesn't he? Poor bugger. Everton that.
Bill Gall
63 Posted 15/07/2021 at 14:19:33
Living in Canada I often get asked were my accent comes from, and when I tell them I am from Liverpool they usually say oh your a Liverpudlian, and I give them the correct answer, no I am an Evertonian, and this usually starts a conversation on who Everton are.
Tom Harvey
64 Posted 15/07/2021 at 15:39:14
Geoff Lambert @ 48

"I really don't think we could get relegated "

Famous last words at Leeds Utd.

John Boon
65 Posted 15/07/2021 at 15:56:47
Bill Gall {63}..I know exactly what you mean.
Paul Setter
66 Posted 15/07/2021 at 17:00:30
I didn't want him, not overly keen on him as a individual. However, I've a funny feeling this might actually work and he will win over fans like myself.

I'm prepared to cheer him on, if it means he is successful… then Everton are successful.

Tony McNulty
67 Posted 15/07/2021 at 17:01:09
Depending on my mood, I either think this guy has a huge brass neck, a gigantic pair of cojones, or a complete lack of self-awareness.

None of this matters one jot: he is our manager.

Given his start point, the press conference probably went as well it could have gone. On the plus side, it sounds like he will work hard, he will make decisions, and he will be out there on the training ground trying to improve the players and the team, as opposed to a Mike Walker refreshing his sun tan.

But I still cannot imagine the crowd breaking out into a spontaneous, "Rafa Benitez (repeat ad nauseam)."

Mike Gaynes
68 Posted 15/07/2021 at 17:05:39
"...a huge brass neck, a gigantic pair of cojones, or a complete lack of self-awareness."

Tony, sounds to me like the perfect resume for this job!

Dennis Stevens
69 Posted 15/07/2021 at 17:51:51
Interesting comments, Chris #60. Bill Dean insisted he was a Wacker rather than a Scouser on the basis that he was from across the water. Not Ireland! ;-)
Tony McNulty
70 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:05:03

So long as the components stayed in the right places at the time of selection.

So. brass cojones or a complete lack thereof, a gigantic neck. We could have ended up with Herman Munster.

Brian Murray
71 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:11:13
Bill Dean great character and great blue. Drank in the Village (West Derby). Besides Brooky, he was in fllms such as Gumshoe (Albert Finney) based in the Broadly pub. Wonder what he would make of our catering kopite manager and, more to the point, his namesake who, with the help of Moyes, dragged us to where we apparently belong.
Brian Murray
72 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:14:56
No doubt he was told we have to sell to buy. So we are stuck with the same squad. Can’t See Brands working his supposed magic and getting iwobi Bernard etc off the wage. There’s no fool like a blue fool. Shame the rest of the prem and beyond are more streetwise
Brian Williams
73 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:16:24
No other thread for this.
Just watched the latest training video from FF.
Few things.
Benitez gets a lot more involved than that Italian bloke he replaced.
Moise Kean's back and had a smile on his face.
Siggy looked knackered far too early in proceedings.
Chris Williams
74 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:17:37

There was a big upsurge in all things Liverpool, locally in the late 50s, and 60s, and the Echo, Evening Express etc was full of correspondence and articles. A guy called Frank Shaw wrote a lot of stuff about it,and there were shows featuring Scouse etc. It was a bit of an industry.

Songs like Liverpool Lullaby, which I think Frank might ahave written, and In My Liverpool Home that Pete McGovern wrote were round about that time too. Fritz Spiegl rearranged Johhny Todd for Z Cars, and edited stuff like Learn Yourself Scouse, which was very popular.

Then Merseybeat came along which did no harm, and for a short time the City was the centre of the universe. Not a bad team either!

Dave A has got a really good knowledge of all this.

Chris Williams
75 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:19:20

He was in The Golden Vision too wasn’t he?

Brian Murray
76 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:23:53
Chris, yeah jeez how could I leave that out.
Brian Murray
77 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:26:56
Stand corrected over Bernard ! Looks like he’s on his way so we should have room for manoeuvre for this long awaited full back. Maybe also the winger and midfielder.Ok starting to dream again I never learn.
Paul Birmingham
78 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:30:20
Chris@75, yes he was, a great series by Gordon Honeycombe.
Tony Abrahams
79 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:33:45
Brian @73, I’ve heard a couple of players are already moaning about the workload, but I don’t think Sigurdsson is one of them, because I'm pretty sure Tom Davies, recently said he was the hardest working trainer at the club.
Brian Williams
80 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:47:15
Tony. Well whoever it is that's moaning would be the first out the door for me mate.
Brian Murray
81 Posted 15/07/2021 at 18:51:16
To me, Sigurdsson is part of the old one-paced Everton. At one stage we had more No 10s than a ciggy machine thanks to Koeman and his halfwit mate. Hard to fool this manager so I'll let him suss them.
Tony Abrahams
82 Posted 15/07/2021 at 19:06:37
I think if it was that easy Brian, Benitez, would be a hero before a ball was even kicked!!
Phil Bellis
83 Posted 15/07/2021 at 19:12:22
It was the great man who said he was a wacker not a scouser (John Keith tells the story)
Bill Dean took that stage name as an homage to William Ralph
Jerome Shields
84 Posted 15/07/2021 at 19:30:26
Tony #79,

They have not done a bat since Ancelotti left.

Kim Vivian
86 Posted 15/07/2021 at 19:33:46
Jerome - it's Ancelotti - pleae start getting it right.
Tony Abrahams
87 Posted 15/07/2021 at 19:33:52
Anyone else seen the bonus sheet flying around the internet now. Half a million for a top 4 finish, sounds unbelievable, until you realize it’s only just over one months wages for quite a lot of them🥲
Dave Abrahams
88 Posted 15/07/2021 at 21:19:25
Paul (78),

The Golden Vision was a one-off play written by Neville Smith, who was in the play, and Gordon Honeycombe. The director was Ken Leach, who directed many good plays and films.

Tom Harvey
89 Posted 15/07/2021 at 21:53:54
While we're on the subject of Benitez (when I see him I keep having visions of Mordor and the Kop) does anyone know why we are playing the return derby at Mordor again just like we did last season?

Shouldn't the fixtures be reversed each season?

Dennis Stevens
90 Posted 15/07/2021 at 22:32:09
It's nearly always that way 'round, Tom #89
Dennis Stevens
91 Posted 15/07/2021 at 22:35:12
It's Ken Loach, Dave #88
Dennis Stevens
92 Posted 15/07/2021 at 22:43:31
Aye, Phil #83, that's who I was refering to, not the actor - I think he was actually from Everton.
Tom Harvey
93 Posted 15/07/2021 at 23:02:58
Dennis Stevens @ 90

Hello Dennis,

I was under the impression that our second derby away arrangement had ended recently and there would be a rotation?

A few seasons back we had the second derby at GP after a decades of the opposite, I am finding this unfair and especially after the act of evil they tried to perpertrate with the Super League.

Phil Bellis
94 Posted 15/07/2021 at 23:59:49
Gotcha Dennis 👌
Dennis Stevens
95 Posted 16/07/2021 at 01:40:13
I wholeheartedly agree, Tom #93. Tbh, I wasn't aware of any arrangement &, therefore, unaware of any possible change in such an arrangement. It just seems that we generally play them at home in the first derby of the season & away in the second one, but why & how that comes to pass I don't know - maybe the person who programs the fixture scheduling computer is a red!
Eddie Dunn
96 Posted 16/07/2021 at 06:54:58
That tracky top looks like it came off a market stall in Kazakstan.

Ancelotti thought he could improve players. We need new ones.

David Hayes
97 Posted 16/07/2021 at 09:35:45
The players we have were all lauded upon arrival. Delph was hailed as a strong leader and playmaker just what we needed. Gomes a midfield magician, Bernard a Brazilian wizard, etc. These players and others are now mocked as deadwood, new players is what they all were.

Now the predictable shout is for new players, over and over again the pattern of the armchair expert pre-season cycle kicks in. Yawn… wake me up when the season starts.

Dave Abrahams
98 Posted 16/07/2021 at 09:51:13
Dennis (91), yes, Loach not Leach, got my vowels mixed up, I had Kenwright on my mind when I wrote Leach, or is that Leech? Actually it's that bleedin' wordchecker that Michael uses!!
Martin Nicholls
99 Posted 16/07/2021 at 09:55:33
Kim #82 (and Dale Self on other threads) – take no notice! I think Jerome knows full well how to spell our former manager's name. Earlier in this thread, he took the trouble to correct a typo (post 32), I assume to emphasise the silly wind-up mission he's on.

At post 31, he perpetuates his inference that previous managers (Ancelotti in particular) have been slow in appointing their managerial teams – this, despite Jay Wood having taken the trouble to spell out in some detail to him exactly why his claims are wrong.

Mike Allison
100 Posted 16/07/2021 at 12:04:06
David Hayes, #97 makes a really important point.

The constant turnover of players (and coaches) is the main thing holding us back. To think that the solution is more turnover is very wrong.

We need some new blood, sure - perhaps 3 or 4 - but if we can’t get the best out of people, or turn them into a team that is more than the sum of their parts, then it won’t really matter who the players are, we’ll always be mediocre.

Jerome Shields
101 Posted 16/07/2021 at 13:52:03
Kim #86,

Thanks. I would not want to knowningly get Ancelotti's name wrong.

Jerome Shields
103 Posted 16/07/2021 at 13:58:20
Martin #99,

Ancelotti's backroom team was not officially announced till October as reported in ToffeeWeb.

Jay Wood

104 Posted 16/07/2021 at 15:05:35


See Posts 45 & 51

Barry Hesketh
105 Posted 16/07/2021 at 15:32:10
Despite the misgivings that many have about the appointment of Rafa Benitez, Evertonians have once again put their money where their mouth is by renewing their Season Tickets. I had my doubts that the appointment plus the nervousness of attending games in this Covid era may dissuade quite a few but, like myself, they have decided to renew.

The appetite to return to watch the team in live Premier League action has seen more than 30,000 Season Ticket Members who had signed up for the lost 2020-21 season secure their seat for the 2021-22 campaign, a record renewal rate in excess of 98 per cent.

If only the team could mirror the loyalty and hunger of Evertonians – we live in hope!

Jerome Shields
106 Posted 16/07/2021 at 16:14:18
Jay #104,

I am going by a report on ToffeeWeb on October. I assumed that the report was up to date and of that time. I accept I should have checked further. ToffeeWeb was not to blame.

It is questionable the impact that Ancelotti's backroom team had on Everton and give rises to the question: Why? Which is still unanswered. They seemed to have struggled at Everton, given the team's performance.

Jay Wood

107 Posted 16/07/2021 at 16:55:07
Jerome, you were given authenticated links showing the nonsense you were trying to pedal as out-and-out false, but ignored them, choosing instead to continue propogating a lie.

Not ONCE have you shared a link to back up your debunked claim that Ancelotti only named his coaching staff '6-10 months' after being appointed.

You really don't know when to stop, do you Jerome?

Is it any wonder you have so little credibility with some TWers, persisting as you do with your easily debunked fantasies?

Jay Wood

109 Posted 16/07/2021 at 17:44:02
David. You post and read as best suits you.

I'll post and read as best suits me.


Jerome Shields
110 Posted 16/07/2021 at 18:05:18
Jay #107,

Thank you for your reply and comment.

There are serious problems, many repetitive, at Everton. The real fantasy is not to admit they exist. Of course it is upsetting that this is the case and, when unpalatable explanations are put forward as to why these problems exist, I understand and accept the right of fans to have these fantasies.

I hope they will equally respect my right to offer opinions of where the problems lie and in my opinion why. But the problems are real and there are reasons and explanations. Many reasons and explanations put forward on this forum are not that far off, since the problems are clearly defined, which limits the number of possible answers.

Of course there is a lack of insight when not being internally involved, though some may have relevant experience, but they still have the right to form and put forward opinions on this forum, in the limited time that they have, and be judged by their peers, as those that disagree with them are also judged.

The prevailing attitude to why problems at Everton exist are hardening to the possible explanations and solutions. Many of which were previously attacked and castigated on this forum.

Jerome Shields
111 Posted 16/07/2021 at 18:15:22
David #108

Thank you.

Writes in third person always, rather than first person.

Dale Self
112 Posted 16/07/2021 at 18:26:11
Right on Jay was what I was thinking about that.
Ian Bennett
113 Posted 16/07/2021 at 18:51:23
Open minded now he's in the seat. He's not done anything for years, but has a fight to prove people wrong.

Plenty have come to Everton and gone through the motions, but those with something to prove have never let us down.

Michael Kenrick
114 Posted 16/07/2021 at 19:26:39

You say you're telling us your opinion. But when you write, you don't present it as your opinion. You present things as facts.

Yet it's facts that you cannot possibly know.

That's what is not acceptable.

That's why people accuse you of making things up.

And just for the record, re #103, ToffeeWeb carried this news item on 11 March 2020:

Ancelotti's backroom team confirmed.

Colin Glassar
115 Posted 16/07/2021 at 20:11:12
My thinking is, we are stuck with Benitez for the foreseeable future so we may as well get behind him. I've been disappointed too often recently to give any manager a blank cheque.
Benjamin Dyke
116 Posted 16/07/2021 at 21:04:20
A little anecdote on fixtures.

I used to work for the Rugby Football League as head of ticketing and had contact with all the other major sports including the Premier Leagiue. As a result of this, I was on the Premier League invite list to their table at Goodison matches and I got invited often as they didn't have many Everton interested contacts.

One match, 2 lads from the Premier League were there who were part of setting the fixtures. I can't remember whether both of them or just one was an Evertonian. We got talking about our jobs obviously and they told me they always gave Everton 2 home fixtures at Christmas and New Year because they could and because they wanted them!

Barry Hesketh
117 Posted 16/07/2021 at 21:48:28
Benjamin @ 116
I think that your colleagues may have been taking the proverbial, I haven't checked but I think most season's it's the neighbours who have been 'looked after' when it comes to the holiday scheduling. Very often, from memory, Everton usually has a home game, with a long journey either before or after it during the holiday periods, and more often than not Everton has less days to recover between games compared to the favoured teams.

I also can't believe that the Broadcasters have no input as to how and when the fixtures are arranged, with my biggest gripe being that even when Everton play at the traditional time of 3pm on a Saturday, by the time we leave Goodison the pubs are awash with Reds fans awaiting their heroes to appear on the screen.

Dave Abrahams
118 Posted 16/07/2021 at 22:01:53
Barry (117), Even when Liverpool are at home the pubs are awash with Liverpool fans waiting for them to appear on screen, lots of them wearing LFC shirts, we go to the match at Goodison Park, they think they are at the match in the pubs!!
Jay Wood

119 Posted 16/07/2021 at 22:51:21
Focus, Jerome. Focus.

I have addressed you on

Over several threads, over several days, you have repeatedly claimed the following:

'[Rafa] has insisted on his backroom team from the start and named them in positions. It took Ancelotti six months to do this.'

I gave you detailed information and specific links showing you two things:

1) Carlo Ancelotti had his backroom staff all in place within a month of arriving at Everton
2) articles and videos featuring all his named staff and their job titles within 3 months of Carlo's appointment on both the official club site and in national media

Your response was to push your claims further and extend the announcement of their appointments to October 2020, TEN months after the event, even more than your original (already erroneous) claim of six months.

Not only have you totally ignored the evidence which completely undermines your claims, each time you've repeated the falsehood you frame it in language which implies:

1) Benitez is more professional and determined in getting his own people in from the start than Ancelotti. Demonstrably false, as I have already shown you.
2) Everton is somehow being deceitful and compliant in sabotaging their own manager(s) by perpetuating an old boys culture at Finch Farm.

The first is indisputably a totally false claim that you insist on repeating.

The second is you once again mangling a totally false claim (see 1) and offering it as proof positive to support your own speculative fantasy, but passing both off as universally accepted fact.

Your latest post @ 110 is a fine example of your muddled thinking as to what, as Michael K. points out, constitutes provable fact from personal opinion.

You Jerome are not the Doyen or the sole Arbiter of Truth on all things Everton.

There are plenty, but PLENTY, of TWers who are well aware of all the issues at Everton and far more capable than you of discussing said issues in a far more balanced and informed way than you will ever be able to achieve.

Bill Gall
120 Posted 16/07/2021 at 23:44:18
Watching the short videos of the training sessions it appears that Benitez appears to be a very hands on manager in these training sessions.
I don't now how many managers Everton have had who were tracksuit managers, or who used a chalkboard and other trainers to explain the tactics, and how successful or unsuccessful they were.
I seem to remember that H.Catterick was only ever seen in a tracksuit for a photo op if someone important came.
The game has changed over the years, and I wonder what is the best method, or does it make any difference.
Jerome Shields
121 Posted 16/07/2021 at 23:53:38
I shall continue to post my opinions, no matter how unpalatable they are and look forward to Micheal #114 and Jay#119 First party injections, which do their arguments more harm than good. I know, they can't see that. Of course if I am wrong I will admit it. Something neither of these parties would do. Whats more few posters will take on their opinions, for fear of their First party treatments. Some have stopped posting as a result, unfortunately. But won't. If you haven't heard fromme you no I have been banned. Hooray.
Justin Doone
123 Posted 17/07/2021 at 01:00:31
It's taken me a while to recover from Rafas appointment. I'm still numb but can just about lift a finger and eye lid to type.

Rereading the above article the main point that jumps out from the press conference is the mention of improvement and what appears to read as a restricted financial situation.

Sadly I feel the owner is being sensible in following in the footsteps of others, concentrating on financing the stadium rather than the squad.

Rather than prey upon the financially weak to make us stronger, I feel Mo is happy for some stability. We are a mid-table team and thats all we plan to be for a while.

In just hoping that we can at least try and play some good, joined up, attacking football.

As for season tickets, not since Sam have I renewed and I'm not planning on changing things anytime soon.

Matt Traynor
124 Posted 17/07/2021 at 07:25:06
On the fixtures, I think the reason the Goodison Derby used to be 2nd, was Everton asked for it as a boost to sale of half-season tickets. Liverpool were happy to oblige. I'm pretty sure demand has since negated this "marketing ploy".

I'm also pretty sure that Premier League fixtures were originally scheduled by an algorithim and then there were manual interventions to try to avoid Newcastle away at Southampton on Boxing Day etc. However I'm also pretty sure that with every escalation in the Broadcast Deals, there was a lot more intervention to create "Super Sundays" etc. with 2-3 big games.

On to Benitez, I am now accepting he's here, and will rejoice like all of you if he delivers. My main reason for objecting was not over the "small club" jibe (we loved it when Moyes did the "People's Club dig", it's just I feel with an under-performing squad, and money likely to be tight with BMD and the recent excesses to pay for, added to his RS history, they've loaded every barrel against him succeeding.

Which is why if he delivers it will be doubly sweet.

Brian Murray
125 Posted 17/07/2021 at 07:48:19
On the plus points with this fella. He will get them fitter and no more rolling over to the likes of Man City. Downside a turd is still a turd and this squad is very limited so if he is unable to add pace a top ten is it. I know it’s a risk but a starting point is to somehow get buyers for tosun Gomez siggy kenny mkeane. If that happens the ffp shouldn’t be an issue. Enter our rusky and blow em all out the water and get Malcolm and so on. Sounds easy.
Jay Wood

126 Posted 17/07/2021 at 13:44:51
Jerome @ 121. This.

'If I am wrong I will admit it.'

Marvellous. You have an immediate opportunity to do just that. I look forward to you being true to your word and penning something like the following:

'I admit I was wrong to insist on posting several times, over several days and several different threads, that 'Rafa Benitez has insisted on his backroom team from the start and named them in positions. It took Ancelotti six months to do this.'

'Quite clearly the counter-evidence to my claim is overwhelming. My repeated claim is evidently false and as such the speculation I indulged in on the back of that is made moot and redundant.'

Mick O'Malley
127 Posted 17/07/2021 at 14:05:39
Who gives a flying f**k about whatever Carlo done, he proved to be another dud and a very expensive one
Jay Wood

129 Posted 17/07/2021 at 14:38:08
Get a grip, David.
James Flynn
131 Posted 17/07/2021 at 15:35:47
Yes, David, get a grip.

Shields was asking for it (more than once) and got it. And not just from Woods.

Alan McGuffog
133 Posted 17/07/2021 at 16:25:31
Wrong ball I know but have a look at the ball McShane (?) Put through for the Castleford try v Saints.
Worthy of Rodriguez
David Cooper
134 Posted 17/07/2021 at 16:35:32
Sam - any links? Can’t find any info on this game!
Geoff Lambert
135 Posted 17/07/2021 at 16:46:37
David 128 well said mate its turning in to an old ladies squabbling site. Haha
Brian Murray
136 Posted 17/07/2021 at 17:11:17
Go ed jp. As Bob Marley sang hope u like gbamin too. He could save us a lot of headaches
Brent Stephens
137 Posted 17/07/2021 at 17:25:12
Yes, with you on that, Danny. That year away might have made a big difference. And he'll be starting afresh under a new manager so no personality clashes carried over.
Alan J Thompson
138 Posted 17/07/2021 at 17:31:32
Brent(#145); Does Big Dunc do personality clashes...heads maybe, but personalities?
Was he on the sideline?
Brent Stephens
139 Posted 17/07/2021 at 17:35:26
Alan, interesting thought!
Neil Copeland
140 Posted 17/07/2021 at 18:33:13
When is the friendly at Chorley?
Brent Stephens
141 Posted 17/07/2021 at 18:35:30
Neil 3rd August - U23s
Neil Copeland
142 Posted 17/07/2021 at 18:36:52
Cheers Brent
Bill Gall
143 Posted 17/07/2021 at 18:39:50
Wonder if Everton would be interested in signing Sterling from City, his wages may be a big stumbling block, but him on the left D.C.L. in the middle and Richarleson on the right would cause lots of problems. Just need a right back and a more attacking midfielder, but who knows Gbamin may come good.
Roger Helm
144 Posted 17/07/2021 at 19:54:06
Alan 133 I was at the game and the kick through I think was Peter Matu’utia.

Cas are the Everton of Super League, a long history and a committed fan base, a reputation ( sometimes deserved) for attractive play, too good to be relegated but not good enough these days to win trophies and compete against the big clubs.

Barry Rathbone
145 Posted 17/07/2021 at 19:59:04
Bill 144

I hope not Sterling is simply dreadful.

A reasonable effort against middling opposition in the euros who struggled against pace shouldn't fool anyone. A bit like Walcott he has absolutely no control of a football and the first decent side he faced - Italy - completely nullified him.

He would be crucified by the Goodison faithful

Alan McGuffog
146 Posted 17/07/2021 at 19:59:13
Cracking game Roger, no ?
Roger Helm
147 Posted 17/07/2021 at 20:19:12
Not if you’re a Cas fan, Alan. It is not every year these opportunities come round, as we Blues know.
Alan McGuffog
148 Posted 17/07/2021 at 20:22:04
Sorry mate...bit of a light weight fan myself. Allegiance to Saints having worked there many years. But basically clueless about the finer points of the game. Bit of a R L kopite I guess.
David Hayes
149 Posted 18/07/2021 at 08:01:08
Grip gotten, thanks.

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