Benitez opens up on his approach to coaching

Sunday, 1 August, 2021 115comments  |  Jump to last

As the Everton first-team players complete one month of pre-season training under their new manager, Rafael Benitez has been speaking about his approach to coaching players and improving them as individuals and as a team.

“It is crucial for players to feel you care about them and want to improve them — and that you can do it [oversee their improvement],” Benitez told evertontv.

“I have passion one-on-one when I coach them. I think they can feel this passion and will try to make sure next time they can do this or that.

“I go to the head. I want them to think, not just to tell them, ‘You have to do that'. It is more, ‘Think about that, do you think it is right or wrong?'

“Give them the chance to find the solution, so they will learn for the future.

“Fundamentally, if you want to improve your team, improve the individuals, then improve the mentality of all of them together.

“I am a coach and a professional teacher. I had kids with different levels and had to improve them, to teach them and make them better in one way or another.

“With players, it is similar. You try to create an atmosphere where they are keen to learn. If you have to, show videos, stay with them after training, analysing the body shape, the movement, depending on whether the ball is in defence or attack. I like doing these things.

“When we finish every training session, they have to be sure they learned a little bit — 0.5% [improvement] in one training session. Put all the training sessions together and they will be better players... then we have the chance to win more games.”

Original quotes from a feature at EvertonFC.com


Reader Comments (115)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 01/08/2021 at 12:59:58
I'll go first. This is still difficult but he's talking my language.

Individual as well as collective coaching and teaching. Development of players as well as getting results.

I said at the time, although controversial, and seen as a continuation of the "Ancelotti Plan", this could ironically be a better fit for where Everton are right now.

Mouthwash time.

Tom Richards
2 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:04:41
I like that statement from Benitez. Improve the parts, improve the whole.

A few of them will benefit from individual coaching, especially on the concentration and awareness fronts.

Tony Everan
3 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:10:55
No need for the mouthwash, Danny, he's talking a lot of sense and taking things on from the ground upwards. He sounds like he's not afraid to get his hands dirty with regards to the detail and is intent on making a difference.

I think we have some real talent at Everton that can be tapped into to improve. Along with some good strategic signings, we can get back on the right track.

Minik Hansen
4 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:30:29
He's different in his approach from previous managers, that's for sure, though his experience, like our last manager, is of the better ones. If it's a fit, with better cooperation with the owner and the board, this can go on to a higher level. I'm always hoping to see things getting better; if not, what's the point being a Toffee?

Over to you, Benitez.

Robert Tressell
5 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:38:03
At first, he looked to me like a poor man's Ancelotti, trading on former glory. But that's before I realised we were skint again (or effectively rendered so by FFP). In fairness, he now looks a better fit for our circumstances – especially since Ancelotti had kind of thrown in the towel after the death of his ex-wife and the harrowing (especially for his daughter) burglary.

Coaching and developing players, organising, creating team spirit and improving the fitness – all those principles have been lost since we had money and need to be reclaimed.

If Benitez can do that, then he'll have earned an awful lot of credit – and set the club up for better to come in a shiny new stadium.

Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:50:37
I've more or less got over his Liverpool affiliation now and find myself respecting the fella for his single-mindedness in getting stuck in despite the flak. No bullets fired in anger yet so who knows what will happen but I just feel he's going to do alright.

Buena suerte, Beni Azule!

Daniel A Johnson
7 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:54:31
One thing's for certain: Benitez does have an air of authority about him.

More so than everyone's best friend, Silva, and "Get me out of this purgatory" Ancelotti.

Brian Williams
8 Posted 01/08/2021 at 13:58:14
Can't disagree with anything he said.
Alex Gray
9 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:01:03
He's obviously hard working and I have a feeling he might just win us over.

I'm worried about the window though. Villa – with Bailey, Buendia and the lad from Norwich, if they pull it off – are cracking signings and the teams around us (bar maybe West Ham?) have bought smartly.

We could argue we've not signed a player for our starting XI yet!

Jerome Shields
10 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:05:43
He obviously has identified at Everton that the players need to improve their performance and consistency. He is very much hands-on. Ancelotti tried the same, but could not keep them improving or achieving consistent improvement. Nearly all the players lapsed back into old ways.

Benitez is agenda setting establishing his required standards of performance and will be monitoring the results. He has brought in Gray and Townsend to increase pace and will be trying to bring players to the standard that can work with the increased pace. I still think he needs to bring in more players, though a fit Gbamin solves a problem midfield, if he can stay fit. I still think Everton need a Gareth Barry type player and a right-back.

My advice to Benitez is not to depend on the old Everton squad because there is still enough of them who could down tools at critical stages in the Premier League campaign, like they did with previous managers.


Brian Murray
11 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:12:05
He can coach to his heart's content but that midfield will be his and any manager's downfall. Can't shoot, can't pass. Time to get his 3,000-player Rollerdex (I bet Bill still uses one) and find a few inspirational bargains.
Barry Hesketh
12 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:26:59
I hope this manager chooses players who produce the goods in the heat of battle and that he doesn't solely rely on what happens out on the training pitch. So many players, we have heard, do wonderful stuff at Finch Farm, but when it comes to matchday, fail to reproduce anything close to that, where it matters most.

If he can get the first eleven to graft and fight for every ball during a game, that will do for starters.

Tom Richards
13 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:27:04
Brian,

There is a good midfield available given the squad and injuries coming back.

Choice of Allan, Doucouré, Gbamin, Gomes played in a balanced set up with width, and playing 15 yards higher up the pitch will see big improvement, imo.

Brian Wilkinson
14 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:34:30
Everything that is wrong in football is FFP, letting the elite spend, spend, spend, then pull the drawbridge up for the closing pack.

The same teams normally finish in the same positions, guaranteeing Champions League revenue and more spending power, and now those power clubs have rebuilt over the past 15 years, they bring out FFP, which is impossible for the other clubs to close the gap.

How can we be struggling to buy players, agree we bought some players that simply have no sell-on value.

Yet we are hearing City are looking to pay around £100 Million for Grealish and a possible £100 million plus for Harry Kane.

We can argue the point Leicester City have done very well on reselling players, but where are these massive outgoing transfer fees Man City are receiving for their players.

Man City seem to spend, spend spend, without any massive outgoing transfer fees coming in, for the players they let go.

So there we have it in a nutshell, those in the Top 4 will remain there, until something changes, in the spending allowance of those trying to close the gap.

Hate to say it, but the Super League breakaway, would have revamped the Premier League and would have succeeded, without those clubs.

All that has happened is a small slap on the wrist, and nothing more.

These same clubs will find loopholes to buy players, while we will have to just learn from our past mistakes: buy quality, instead of average players, for big transfer fees, and huge contracts.

Alan J Thompson
15 Posted 01/08/2021 at 14:39:04
I'd have loved to have seen the look on James's face when told he had to improve the other, tackling I mean. Or is he and Delph exempt?
Darren Hind
16 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:01:36
Don't tell us. Show us.
Danny O’Neill
17 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:02:57
That is key. Action, not words. Us deluded lot can do the talking!!
Colin Glassar
18 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:04:12
If Everton players can manage to pass the ball to each other, that would be a huge improvement in my eyes. Our midfield are generally woeful passing the ball to each other.
Dave Abrahams
19 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:12:35
Mr Benitez might not be the answer, let's give him a chance and find out.

Mr Ancelotti had the same chance, off me, when he came; neither of them come with a guarantee.

Ancelotti came and went so he is history now, no use crying over spilt milk. Benitez is here now and, although he tastes like vinegar to many fans at the moment, he might sweeten a lot of them up. I feel that he can't be any worse than the last few managers and he has the pedigree to be much better than them.

Come on, Rafa, show them what you can do!!

Danny O’Neill
20 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:15:46
Hopefully he can become Worcester Sauce, Dave. Not something I'm a huge fan of on its own, but it can add a nice flavour to a stew or a casserole, so you grow to like it!
Darren Hind
21 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:18:34
Dave,

I think most will give Benitez a chance. Nobody is offering another manager as an option, but I don't want him telling us what a good job he will do. I want him to get on and do it.

As you say, he can't be any worse than previous managers. He'll finish higher than Carlo did. That's for sure.

Just hope the footy is a little kinder on the eyes…

Dave Abrahams
22 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:32:33
Darren (21),

Yes, I hope they do, Darren, and the football has got to be better than what we saw under Carlo (not counting the early games that most fans raved about).

Christy Ring
23 Posted 01/08/2021 at 15:44:12
It's good to have a coach with a hands-on approach. He still needs to bring in a few big signings. Disappointed we didn't try and challenge Villa for Bailey.
Derek Taylor
25 Posted 01/08/2021 at 16:09:30
FFP seems convenient to hide behind when you need to preserve the funds to build a new stadium.

Let's remember, Man City were gifted their new ground whilst Man Utd and Them were only required to posh up their middens. Spurs are still recovering from their re-build, as are Arsenal, whilst Leicester City have chosen managers well and are a case apart.

So look forward to '10th' and to live long enough to see us housed in a fitting 'New Goodison'!

John Graham
26 Posted 01/08/2021 at 16:24:28
I didn't want him as our manager for several reasons (Liverpool being one of them).

Although we have not yet played a fully competitive game, he has started to change my mind with his positive attitude and the fact he is a coach foremost, and then a manager.

Good luck to him if he thinks he has a chance of improving some of the players (Iwobi, Gomes, Davies, Holgate etc) but with every different manager there are some players who take to his ideas and improve dramatically and others who do not perform so well.

In my opinion, we have started the improvements in the right position with wingers who have speed, although not with the players we had hoped for, but they have done well.

Next week's game against Man Utd will be an ideal test to see if things have improved and to judge more our style of play but, at the moment, things look promising.

Wish you the best of luck, Rafa (I never thought I would say that); let's hope you can give us a team to be proud of.

COYB

John Zapa
27 Posted 01/08/2021 at 16:53:44
Moshiri seems to be constantly changing his mind about what he wants in a manager. Each manager seems to be the opposite of his predecessor. He inherited small-name Martinez, then brought in big-name Koeman to replace him. He brings defensive Big Sam, then replaces him with attacking Silva. In comes hands-off Carlo, to be replaced by hands-on Benitez.

There is no continuity anywhere within the club. It ways seems to me that the club is looking for someone who is the opposite of who they want to get rid of… which, to me, is an indication that they have no clue what they want or how to get it. The results speak for themselves.

Brian Harrison
28 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:01:42
Seems he is very good at talking, saying all the right things, wanting to improve players individually and collectively – what's not to like?

But I am sure he applied that same style of coaching at Newcastle which saw them relegated, yes they came back up but were always in the bottom half of the league. And no doubt he applied the same tactics in China were again is side finished just a couple of places off the bottom.

I suggest before you compare him to our other managers, let's wait to see where we are at Xmas before we start praising him. Talking a good game is easy if you listen to most interviews by managers – it's never their fault their team got beat.

Robert Tressell
29 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:06:58
John, I completely agree. And it means that every new manager inherits a group of players ill-suited to him – and then buys a handful of new players ill-suited to working with the existing lot.

So we end up spending a fortune on players without really getting anywhere close to a decent first XI – let alone a decent squad.

This summer's approach gives the impression that Benitez is tasked with building a cohesive team out of what we already have along with a few cheap additions.

Maybe the penny has dropped – because, although FFP is a pain and creates a cartel, it does also help stop clubs going bust through reckless spending. Paul the Esk's excellent articles are sobering reading in that respect.

Bill Hawker
30 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:21:53
Brian #28.

You may be right about how managers never think it's their fault but I'm hoping Benitez is willing to call out the grafters who are only willing to pick up a check.

There is a definite need to change the current Everton mentality and malaise. He may be just the man. Maybe not. But one thing is clear: We definitely need a mentality change. One we haven't had since Moyes.

Richard Lyons
31 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:44:47
It all sounds positive. I'm just pleased he didn't say he's going to develop the players by serving tapas and sangria.
Brian Wilkinson
32 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:49:22
Bill@30, I have a few Red mates, and the one thing they all agreed on, is Benetiz built a team with no passengers, they grafted and put a shift in.

If that is the case, I hope Benitez calls out the slackers and, if need be, drops them.

Our past managers have stuck by players; even though it was plain to see we were carrying a few on the pitch, they still got picked.

If Benitez drops players, for whatever reason, I am right behind him.

Sick to death of managers coming and going, each and every one of them, playing players out of form, hardly giving youth a chance if need be, just because of the money we paid out for those players.

We certainly need to work on the fitness levels, and the ability to pass a ball in midfield.

I have a good feeling this time that players are going to have to step up, or be dropped.

Jim Lloyd
33 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:53:56
I think that, for once, fortune has not kicked us where it hurts. We're a mess as a club and, until it's put right, managers will come and go and not much will change. We'll be bumbling around mid-table (if we're lucky) and so it will go on.

Now, though, I think we have a manager who actually has a progressive plan and will get the best out of the players available (or get them out asap).

John Graham & Robert Tressell, I agree with you both.

It's puzzling that he is attracting such criticism saying he took Newcastle down. I think he took them up again and the Geordies were hoping that he'd come back once the Saudis took over.

Well, criticise, or praise, I think we've got a manager who knows what he's about and knows how to step by step, get the team more effective and winning more games.

This season (as have quite a few!!) is likely to be lacking in wow factor football. But there's a good chance that the players and who we bring in (when we are able to bring any in) will, by and large, fit into a team pattern and do a specific job, within that team. And the ones that, with some disagreement about how many, we have who haven't been pulling their weight, will find themselves out of the squad, as soon as we can bring in some of our younger players, or bring some in.

I've said before that I'd love to see James play a part, but if he only plays when it suits him, or he's "injured" again on a regular basis, then I'm all for Rafa Benitez binning him, or anyone else who doesn't pull their weight.

Mike Dolan
34 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:56:25
Rafa is a great coach who will get the best out of the squad. He seems to work hard and, from what I can gather, he will play a system that accommodates the players on hand. He will concentrate on not conceding because it's just likely to be more successful that way. And he will be successful.

The squad he inherited lost a lot of games last season by one goal and had a boatload of injuries. At times, though, we were class and, in the end, it was lack of squad depth that did us in. With the addition of Townsend and Gray, we have strengthened the squad. With the re-emergence of Gbamin, we are better now (as a squad) than we were at anytime last season.

If we have a manager who is as good as I think he is, then this will be the season when we grab that extra handful of points and, after 5 years into the 5-year plan, be at the level that we expected to be just about now.

Tom Richards
35 Posted 01/08/2021 at 17:58:38
Looks like a majority of our fans are warming to Rafa.

I am backing him 100%. He's the Everton manager.

Jim Lloyd
36 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:01:22
Spot on, Mike Dolan.
Paul O'Neill
37 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:03:01
Best of luck Rafa! You’re one of us now gawd help yer! 💙
Sam Hoare
38 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:10:18
Sounds good but words are easy. Like all managers, he will be judged partly on performance and mostly on results.

I think anything above 8th represents a modicum of success. 8th or 9th would feel like stasis and 10th or below would be (another) failure.

Of course, a cup win would go a very long way as well.

John Graham
39 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:11:45
Very few teams get new managers who are similar to the previous manager (Ferguson - Moyes; Rodgers - Klopp; Pochettino - Mourinho; Rioch - Wenger, to name but a few). The decision about an incoming manager is purely based on whether he can get more from the current players, improve the team, and win more games.

No doubt Benitez already has an idea of a few he would want to get rid of, others he will give a bit more time to, and some who will be his type of player. From the look of it, he will not have the funds to bring in the top players, even if he could persuade them to join us, so man-management is crucial.

If he can keep getting the best out of Calvert-Lewin and get Richarlison performing at the top of his game, together with getting some speed into the team, we can hopefully take a bit of pressure off the defence and add more of an attacking theme to the team. COYB

Andrew Ellams
40 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:18:32
He is going to have a hell of a job to even get this club into top half of the table.
Duncan McDine
41 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:20:56
Funny how desperate we all are to seek the positives after hearing these ground-breaking philosophies. My initial reaction was “Yeah, this guy is the real deal, talks a lot of sense” etc. But then my brain kicked in (unusual for me) and I thought how weird it'd be if a manager said they weren't interested in improving the players individually or collectively.

I've literally pissed all over my own fireworks and reverted back to the ‘glass half-empty' where Everton are concerned.

Ian Bennett
42 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:30:24
My sense is we are potless due to FFP. We are treading water and vulnerable to losing our better players.

Strap in: things aren't getting better.

Jay Harris
43 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:32:56
I've always said it is more about the players than the manager or coach.

It is like every sport: the best will usually come top and the not quite so good may get there occasionally... but the average will stay average.

I believe our current squad is somewhere between average and not quite so good.

I think Benitez has been unlucky with the Number 10 situation and FPP coming just before Bramley-Moore Dock, so he has taken on quite a challenge.

I do believe he will improve the players he has but, as Jerome says, will they lapse back into their "losers" mentality at some stage?

Ever the optimist, I think if we can bring in some goalscoring players and get rid of the "shirkers", we might get 6th.

I'm still not convinced by Arteta and I can see Spurs and Leeds not having such a good season but Villa are now looking strong with Buendia and Bailey and West Ham will be strong again.

Let's hope the FSW gamble pays off.

Brian Murray
44 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:36:17
I know news managers say they need time to assess but c'mon. This group have seen off every manager albeit partly because of them and the ineptitude of each boss. All Big Dunc had to say from day one is 6 or 7 of these either wilt or drop heads at any setback.

As for actual ability, we finished where we should have. Not this bullshit "We was only so many points from Europe" cack. I'm a Blue and take no delight saying this every year. These bastards know we can't just move them on. I fuckin' hate this club more than I love 'em. Having said all that, c'mon, Manuel, do something. Coyb

Tom Bowers
45 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:36:24
I guess it's only human nature for many fans to be skeptical about a new manager's plans and even more so because he is an ex-Red manager.

The fans don't have a choice in the appointments made by the board so we have to go with the flow for the time being and trust it's a good move. Results will show his mettle and, after Ancellotti's failure to make last season something to remember after a good start, I have reservations about anyone who is appointed.

Brett Jonathan
46 Posted 01/08/2021 at 18:55:45
I do like the way he approaches things – a lot of what he says I agree with and think is a good direction for getting the best out of what we have.

Just wish he hadn't spent the last 100 years in China. I wonder what effect that might have – being out of the top league for so long?

Happy to give him a go as he has hit the right buttons so far.

Jim Lloyd
48 Posted 01/08/2021 at 19:14:47
I think Rafa Benitez has laid out his philosophy and his experience, what he wants to do and how he's going to go about it. It's as important that we understand what he is aiming to acheive and how he intends to go about improving our football.

He's telling us, and I think it's as important as telling the squad, what he expects.

He wants to get our backing. If any club has the supporters behind the manager and team, then the whole becomes stronger. Our club will become stronger.

If anyone has lingering thoughts that we're going to bring in this player, or that, like some football beauty parade, I think they'll be sadly disillusioned this season. If he can bring in a couple more of the same standard as those he's already brought in, that will be progress; if he can bring in one or two top class players, I'll be extremely, but very pleasantly, surprised.

So now we know what his way of working is… and that's his life. I'm glad he's telling us, as he can't show us what he's trying to do, unless he tells us first.

Danny O’Neill
49 Posted 01/08/2021 at 19:19:58
Jay @43.

We need better players.

It took Kendall 3 years to assemble better players.

We've had way too much instability over the past few years. In any walk of life, that's never a good business model.

It might be turbulent to start with, but you have to see the plan through.

Kendall Mark 1.

Winston Churchill 1941.

See the strategic plan through and ignore the hysteria because you lose a game / battle or two. Win the war, not the battles.

Jay Evans
50 Posted 01/08/2021 at 19:21:49
Listen, he might not be everyone's cup of tea but he lives local – so let's give him a chance, yea.
Allan Board
51 Posted 01/08/2021 at 19:43:29
I hope he does call out the slackers and benches them. I don't know how many times it has to be said, but above all else, please, please just make them play the bloody ball QUICKER!!!
He also knows 100 times more about footy than I know, so I will just wait and see where we are at Crimbo before I make any type of judgement on him.
Good luck though, we all need that.
Bill Gienapp
52 Posted 01/08/2021 at 19:59:14
Brett (46) - it's not really *that* dramatic... he's basically been out of the Premier League for two seasons.
Steavey Buckley
53 Posted 01/08/2021 at 20:00:11
Benitez will do well at Everton, but it may take another season for Everton to do really well. There are still quite a few players to move on and bring better players in, while developing other players who will be retained for the season after next.
Derek Knox
54 Posted 01/08/2021 at 20:04:12
It took me a while and still the jury is partly out on Rafa, but I am warming to him, IF he carries on, like what he have seen in preseason, and by the way he comes across. His foray into the Transfer market has been a brilliant bit of ' minimal outlay business ', not sure if this solely Rafa or Brands, or a Combo!

It is a crying shame, and it has been mentioned many times before, the amount of money that has been totally squandered by previous ill-suited Managers to leave us under the restrictions of FFP. When you look at what that money has bought us, there are only a handful of players who could walk into another Premiership Side. Don't suppose we will ever know who Rafa would have gone for, if it had been an open cheque book.

However as many have alluded to, I don't think things are that bad, and we do have a decent nucleus of players, let see if he can turn ' sow's ears into silk purses ' with the others. I still think seriously we need another two or three quality players in, RB, Dynamic Midfielder and another Striker/Right Winger.

Of course a lot still depends on who is still here at the end of the Window, I do hope we don't sell the Family Silver in Richie and DCL and to a degree James to facilitate more incomings. We have to keep our better players, and add to them. Gutted over Bailey, I think had he been bought and we DO get Dumfries, that would have been an awesome right sided attack.

I hope we resolve the Kean situation with PSG and get a decent wad for him, wouldn't shed too many tears if Gomes and Iwobi went too (sorry Colin 😢) but who is going to be interested and if they are, you can almost bank on there being massive losses on the initial outlay of both.

The pre-season ultimate match should tell us a lot against United, both in terms of who could feature on the opening day, and how much we have progressed since last season, under different tutelage and a Manager who wants to win.

Raymond Fox
55 Posted 01/08/2021 at 20:10:55
Well he will need to improve them because there will probably be seven teams at least with squads of better quality than us.
Its too early to say that with any certainty of course but its likely.
Give the guy a chance, what he does not know of the Prem and dealing with players is not worth knowing.

I think he's the ideal fit for the type of players we have and attract.

Howard Don
56 Posted 01/08/2021 at 20:13:51
Tom Richards (35) spot on.
Phil Bickerstaff
57 Posted 01/08/2021 at 20:13:52
Don’t be fooled by the fat Spaniard
He will do with us as he did with the Toon, nothing
Once a red always a red
Barry Hesketh
58 Posted 01/08/2021 at 21:01:42
Phil @57
If your prediction proves correct, he'll join a long list of Everton managers who achieved exactly the same at Goodison going all the way back to 1995 and Joe Royle's FA Cup winners.

As usual, the supporters will judge Benitez on the results he achieves with Everton FC, well most of them will at any rate.


Jim Lloyd
59 Posted 01/08/2021 at 21:09:57
Phil, 57, I thought it was once a Blue, always a blue! Anyway, he's our manager, the Geordies wanted him back. wondereing what you mean by "don't be fooled" Do you think he's got a secret plot to take us down, thereby goosing up his career for good, Or do think it's just possible that he'd like to take this challenge with a basket case of a club and win something!
Derek Knox
60 Posted 01/08/2021 at 21:16:48
Darren 16&21, Make sure you come to the Get Together at Bramley Moore Pub after the Norwich Game! No formal invitations will be sent out. :-)
Mark Andersson
61 Posted 01/08/2021 at 21:17:50
I can see how he talked him self into the job...

Rafa is a safe bet while the new shiny thing gets built...

Hope he gets good results againts the shite..

Craig Walker
62 Posted 01/08/2021 at 21:50:23
Always thought he was a good appointment for where we are at the moment.

What worries me is how many players we still have that aren’t good enough. I can’t believe he would have come to Everton without significant funds being available having managed under Ashley. The prospect of another season with the likes of Iwobi, Gomes and Holgate doesn’t fill me with optimism.

He is talking sense though and that’s a start.

Tom Bowers
63 Posted 01/08/2021 at 22:04:46
The naysayers can spout all the negativity they can but the season hasn't begun yet and yet they are trash talkin' Rafa just because he was at Analfield.

Remember, he was elsewhere before that and did good things.

At the very least give the guy a chance before lambasting him.

Don Alexander
64 Posted 01/08/2021 at 22:27:05
Benitez seems to be already lauded by some of us for his six year spell at Anfield, where his only trophy wins were the CL in year one and the FA Cup the year after.

And yes, I obviously contrast these successes with our decades-long failing owner/boardroom/training ground/team, but the fact is that Benitez inherited a squad from the six-year tenure of Houllier who during his time won the League Cup, the FA Cup, the UEFA Cup, the European Super Cup and the Charity Shield. The owners of "them" deemed that to be insufficient and appointed Benitez, who achieved way less.

So, given his tenure over there where his club comparatively withered, and his tenure on the Tyne, where his club were relegated, and his tenure in China where his club withered, just where are the grounds for optimism that he can transform the grindingly comfortable culture of USMFF into anything at all akin to professional success?

Alleged money-man Moshiri (and whoever, if anyone, is pulling his strings) needs to face up to the fact that he/they have royally ballsed up his/their tenure but if they're still as intent on finding "a magician" as manager, as Ancelotti strongly inferred they were, they probably need someone different to Benitez as far as I'm concerned.

And lastly, the source of Moshiri's £billions may well seem to have evaded scrutiny from every tax system world-wide but I suppose when it comes to FFP they've met their match though, in terms of signing quality players, or at least that's what they'd have us all believe.

Paul Birmingham
65 Posted 01/08/2021 at 23:51:27
Beat the RS, in a season both sides, of the Park, what that would mean.

Long way to go, but humilaty and reality in this Everton squad, with true grit will be the difference from last season.

No in hindsight fake coach, from last season, but a coach who has drive and desire and belief, to be a winner and to slug it out when required.

Danny Broderick
66 Posted 01/08/2021 at 00:08:06
I’m quietly impressed by what Rafa has done so far. I didn’t want him initially due to his links to Liverpool. But I am coming round to him. He’s saying the right things. He’s picked reasonably balanced teams so far, and he’s done some cracking transfer business to balance out the squad in my opinion.

From the snippets of coaching I have seen, he’s been trying to get the boys to pass the ball quicker - this is much needed in my opinion after a couple of years of zombie football.

It’s too early to judge properly, but Rafa has started well in the job…

James Stewart
67 Posted 02/08/2021 at 01:37:40
Tell that to James! Why not improve the best player at the club instead of forcing him out.

I think I am the reverse to most people in that I thought Benitez’s appointment was a great move at first, but thIs James saga is making me really doubt that

Nicholas Ryan
68 Posted 02/08/2021 at 03:55:56
Sounds like he's adopting the policy of England Rugby Coach, [Sir] Clive Woodward, who said:

'You will never improve one thing by 100% so try to improve 100 things by one per cent'

The encouraging thing is, that just after Woodward said that, his team won the World Cup!

Jerome Shields
69 Posted 02/08/2021 at 04:59:45
Don#64

Thats the underlying concern that the same old Everton will raise it's ugly head. Alot of us will know as soon as we see it. Changing that with the known constraints, whicll be Rafas real test. His current approach is right and hopefully he has learned from his experiences, but how will he cope when Everton produce their despairing performances that previous Managers looked on with exasperated disbelief at, on too many occasions? Will he be able to adapt and adjust: tactics, formations, and players successfully as other Premier teams catch up and counter the progress he is making at Everton. It's is this ability to adapt and adjust over a season that seperates in the wheat from the chaff in the Premiership. At Everton there is the additional problem of wheather those that influence the Culture at Everton will change and be prepared to put in the necessary effort and work. In other words play ball with Rafa. They where not prepared to do so for the vastly exoerienced and much heralded Carlo Ancelotti. Carlo knew it, taking a lower paid job, when the opportunity of a face saving position luckily arose. Maybe Rafas biggest card is that he is not afraid of getting relegated and coming back up again. That a scenario they have not been in before. A few more Gray and Townsends , from the Championship , who will bust a gut for Rafa, is also something they would not use to at Everton. .


Alan J Thompson
70 Posted 02/08/2021 at 06:10:01
A manager who's "not afraid of getting relegated"?!?
That's all we need! He's told our most skillful player that he's not required and can leave on a free if he finds somewhere acceptable. At least, we are told, the rest of them will be able to do what they do only quicker. When does this longest season start? Whatever it is that ails Everton it seems to be spreading faster than they can get through the door.
Pete Clarke
71 Posted 02/08/2021 at 07:27:26
We have taken a big gamble bringing Rafa here and he has taken a small gamble coming to us with regards to his own reputation.
He can talk all he wants about plans to do this and that but if we do not start brightly he will be under immense pressure. We were all a bit forgiving with Ancelotti but there’s no chance of that with this fella.
I have little doubt he knows what’s needed to turn this joke of a squad into an efficient team but it doesn’t always work out the way things are planned.
He has won things with teams that had very good players in and likewise he has struggled without good players so my guess is he will use the Moyes type strategy of keeping it tight.
Hopefully I’m wrong on all accounts and he has us playing entertaining frees scoring football.
I’ll get my coat !
Eddie Dunn
72 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:06:15
I'm also willing him to do well but I heard other managers tell us how they were going to improve players and therefore the team.

As Brian Murray (11) says, that midfield is simply not good enough.

Sam Fitzsimmons
73 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:09:20
Pete, every manager hired is a risk, Benitez is no less or no more so than Silva, Koeman or Ancelotti was, or for that matter Nuno is for Spurs and Arteta is still for Arsenal. I agree, Benitez will not have the luxury of a grace period with the fans, particular given our first six games.

Like you, I'm hoping we will see Everton become a better footballing side this season and, being an eternal optimist, I can see us finish in a European spot. But if things do go south, I'll always have my local team, Glentoran, to keep my feet firmly on the ground.

Tony Everan
74 Posted 02/08/2021 at 08:22:52
Pete 71 .

I can't see any hope for entertaining free-scoring football. It's going to be all about organisation, sharpness, fitness, concentration and tenacity. More focused accurate passing, keeping it tight, no mistakes, and really hard to beat – the basics! No passengers allowed in the starting eleven. Flair will be rare.

Over time, more creativity will gradually grow out from these core necessities we currently desperately need.

We have players who can snatch goals in tight games and particularly from set pieces where we can be dangerous. We have some pace with Gray and some better crossing accuracy from Townsend; this will help squeeze wins out.

I think there are two or three outgoings and two or three new signings to come which will help us compete for a Top 6 or Top 7 spot, a cup, European qualification. The word ‘progress’ can't be used for anything less than that.

Stan Schofield
75 Posted 02/08/2021 at 09:40:41
I’m not a football manager, but if I were asked what the overall approach should be, I’d say (a) focus on individual players by looking at them in detail, for the purpose of improving them and improving the overall performance of the team, and (b) construct tactics and the way the team is setup so as to maximise the effectiveness of each player.

Unless I’m missing something, isn’t this what Benitez is saying? And hasn’t every manager said this? Isn’t it obvious?

Surely it’s a ‘given’ that Benitez is going to say the obvious, positive, things focused on improving performance. Without criticising him or praising him at this stage, surely this is all talk, arguably platitudes, which we’ve all seen before.

What matters is how we perform on the pitch. How we walk the walk, rather than talk the talk. I think football managers talk too much, but no doubt it’s expected of them. All we can do is give him the chance to show what can be achieved on the pitch.

Steve Brown
76 Posted 02/08/2021 at 11:31:37
Benitez never tires of talking about his favourite topic - himself.

It's not as if it is even insightful. Stan has it right, banal platitudes.

Paul Richardson
77 Posted 02/08/2021 at 12:04:20
Very much a despirate bunch of views on this thread. My view is this: Merseyside is a difficult place to manage: "Can I look after your car mister?" doesn't happen everywhere. Our last few managers have, at their core, been weak characters. This guy may be deluded, but he is focused and he knows what it is like, and what is expected, on Merseyside, because he's lived there for some time. So give him a go...who else do you realistically expect to take this job at this time? And he's started quite well, so far, so good.
Danny Broderick
78 Posted 02/08/2021 at 12:09:44
Stan,

You’re right about what he is quoted as saying. It’s all just the usual bla-bla-bla, and everyone talks a good game. But I do think his actions so far, in terms of the teams he has picked and the recruitment we have done, have been positive. He’s also been very hands-on in training from what I have seen.

Ian Burns
79 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:15:29
Paul 77 said - the views on this thread are so diverse. It seems to me that we all hope this appointment is successful but many of us have our own opinions as to why it is full of potential pitfalls and refuse to believe it just might be a turning point.

One thing amused me though because I don't believe for one moment Kenwright wanted this appointment which puts him on the same side as Don Alexander @64!

Stan Schofield
80 Posted 02/08/2021 at 13:30:04
Ian@79: I don’t think anyone is refusing to believe that it might be a turning point. There’s just understandable caution, having had our arses burned so many times with false hopes.
Mark Taylor
81 Posted 02/08/2021 at 14:03:50
I remain against his appointment, not because he is is the worst manager we have ever recruited- far from it- but that his history means he will face a far more torrid time as and when things go wrong, as they always tend to do, at least for a time. In that scenario, things could unravel really quickly.

Compounding this is Paul the Esk's dissection of our financial position which put the detail on what I already feared- after decades being skint, we have blown our one big chance with a proper budget- the best part of £250m net spend over the past 4 years alone. That is now gone, there is no money unless we sell and even then, it has to be players we can make a book gain on. DCL is the most valuable asset, worth some proper money but in the books at next to nothing so a big sum goes onto the P and L and helps our FFP position. The ones we'd like to sell, we can't because we would be unlikely to even reach their book value in this environment. What a time to be stuck with mediocre players like Iwobi, on big wages.

Our position now is closer to Newcastle's of the past few years, so maybe that is why they chose Benitez. At least he is used to this

Ian Burns
82 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:02:12
Stan - 80 - I agree that caution is the by-word for many - in truth, me included. The game vs Utd next week, although only a "friendly" will give us our first guide as to how much, if any, progress we are making, although any small incremental improvement will be most welcome as far as I am concerned, which I suppose at this stage is the very best we could hope for.
Mike Keating
83 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:06:29
FFP now given as one of the reasons why we aren’t signing Denzel Dumfries.
The other being his preference for Inter.
Back to square one on that then.
Eddie Dunn
84 Posted 02/08/2021 at 15:08:54
Tom @13. The midfielders you name... Gbamin, Gomes, Doucouré and Allan, are simply not good enough to launch a tilt at the Top 6.

I hope Gbamin can stay fit and give us some steel... we shall see. Gomes has faded since his injury. He is one-paced and prone to giving away pointless free-kicks. Allan started last season quite well but has since been exposed as a poor man's Peter Reid. Again, he has no pace. Doucouré, when fit, is a destructive player with a good engine. His injury stopped him in his tracks and since then he has looked unfit with the touch of Carlton Palmer.

The most sluggish midfield in the Premier League with no goal threat. Davies is better than any of them.

Jay Harris
85 Posted 02/08/2021 at 16:08:16
Eddie,

That is the nub of the problem – not a single midfielder who can score or create goals.

We desperately need a Grealish, Maddox, Fernandes type if we are to get anywhere near the Top 6.

Ashley Roberts
86 Posted 02/08/2021 at 16:41:54
I don't care what he says or what his philosophy is, it is results we want. The proof is in the pudding. If he can get a better tune out of the guys we have in the squad then bless him.

We know he does not play expansive football and so I do not expect us to be playing like Man City anytime soon. It is probably not going to be too different from the style adopted by Ancelotti.

I still think we need a creative midfielder and so I hope we sign somebody good to fulfill that role. The guy from Sporting looks reasonable. We also need a good right-back. Lots of talk about who we are going to sign in this position but no action yet.

I am not sure Moise Kean is a good enough understudy for Calvert-Lewin but I am sure we will find out as I don't see anybody paying big bucks for him.

The game next week against Man Utd will give us all a good idea of hope or misery as they have put together a pretty impressive squad. Let's give Benitez the benefit of the doubt and get behind him early on.

Mike Dolan
87 Posted 02/08/2021 at 16:53:30
A lot has been said about the money ‘wasted' in the first few years of the Moshiri regime. While there has been money wasted, we should perhaps do well to consider that, 5 years ago, we were in a very precarious position of trying to attract good players to play in our bad team. The money that was spent did buy us a bang-average team but, never forget, it bought us safety. We are now a very solid mid-table team but have at least the basis of being a very decent team.

Think of it as a renovation of a beautiful old building: it costs a small fortune to stick on the scaffold and re-enforce the walls and initially the renovation looks like it's going backwards but in fact is it is going the other way.

Five years ago, we had zero chance of attracting a first-class manager; today, we can sit around and argue the merits of Ancelloti and Benitez being good enough when between them they have 7 Champions League trophy wins.

The fact is that we are in the part of the renovation where the toilets are being painted and the carpets are being laid. FFP will be nicely got around and, but for a right-back, we have an outstanding chance of making Europe with even our present squad.

Still some work to be done but basically we are only missing the paying customers and a few more bells and whistles. The most important man this year will be the fitness coach.

Shane Corcoran
88 Posted 02/08/2021 at 16:55:25
Off topic but I see a professional footballer decided not to turn up for work today because he doesn’t like his job.

Are our lads due back today?

Kevin Prytherch
89 Posted 02/08/2021 at 17:17:17
Mike 87 - are you sure that money bought us safety? I think we had a decent squad before we started spending millions on bang average players…

5 years ago, the following 16 players played 20 games or more:
Robles
Howard
Baines
Stones
Jagielka
Coleman
Funes Mori
Mirallas
Lennon
McCarthy
Barry
Cleverley
Barkley
Deulofeu
Kone
Lukaku

Barry Hesketh
90 Posted 02/08/2021 at 17:52:14
Kevin @ 89
It wasn't that strong a squad when you consider that the major assets Lukaku and Stones didn't last very long after your cut-off period. Obviously, Everton didn't replace those two adequately, but also failed to replace the average players with better quality players too.

Robles – Released in 2018
Howard – Sold in June 2016*
Baines – Retired Jun 2020
Stones – Sold Aug 2016*
Jagielka – Released Jun 2019
Coleman – Contract extended 2021
Funes Mori – Sold June 2018
Mirallas – Sold Aug 2019
Lennon - Left Jan 2018
McCarthy – Sold Aug 2019
Barry – Released Aug 2017*
Cleverley – Sold Jun 2017*
Barkley – Sold Jan 2018
Deulofeu – Left July 2017*
Kone – Released Jun 2017 *
Lukaku – Sold Jul 2017*

*Left not long after they had played in your 20-game period.

Michael Williams
91 Posted 02/08/2021 at 17:53:04
Let's remember this is a team that is almost bereft of real talent and technical ability.
Kevin Prytherch
92 Posted 02/08/2021 at 18:38:27
Barry, that’s kind of my point. We can’t say that spending money has starved off relegation when we had a decent squad before we had money, and it has gone backwards since. If anything, having money has allowed us to become complacent with transfers, not do the due diligence we used to and has left us worse off because, as you say, we have failed to adequately replace those players.
Dale Self
93 Posted 02/08/2021 at 18:44:39
Nice move Mike 87. I won't do the whole 'the world isn't linear" line but there are several things in combination that must be developing before we see sustained progress on a season after season basis. We are getting there even after this somewhat confused appointment.

And please note, I'm not having a go at Rafa. He deserved consideration with the field available. It is that the club's leaders worked themselves into a situation where they had to call on Rafa that is the crime.

Jerome Shields
94 Posted 02/08/2021 at 19:18:36
Alan #70,

I am not saying that Benitez will get Everton relegated, but he will not be put under the same pressure as a manager who has not been relegated and brought a team back up again. His decision-making and readiness to take action will be more readily decisive.

I doubt the speculation regarding Benitez's conversations with Rodriguez and Delph, if they took place, are entirely true.

Jay #85,

That is a problem and has been for a while. . . Rodriguez does help, Everton have gone backwards otherwise. Silva way back talked of the need for more scoring options.

Dale Self
95 Posted 02/08/2021 at 20:44:49
Ancelloti threw in the towel upon Joshua King arrival or roughly after that.
Hugh Jenkins
96 Posted 02/08/2021 at 20:53:22
Shane (88) - Perhaps he could be furloughed - at which oint his employers are only obliged to pay him a maximum of £2,500 per month,
Shane Corcoran
97 Posted 02/08/2021 at 21:15:01
Hugh, or just fine the cheeky prick his full wages until he returns.

I hope Levy let’s him sit in the reserves

Sign a six year deal and decide to not bother turn up half way through.

Ray Smith
98 Posted 02/08/2021 at 23:25:52
Can someone explain to me: Under FFP, how can Man City potentially spend £200M-plus on two players and we can't spend a third of that????
Mike Dolan
99 Posted 03/08/2021 at 02:39:08
Kevin #92 & Barry #90,

I think the group of players you list absolutely prove my point. If you take the players you listed, you would have to put to one side perhaps the two best players, Lukaku and Stones, who were sold because they did not want to stay, Barkley who turned out to be an average player and wanted not only to leave but managed to shit on the back door on the way out.

The rest were either getting old or simply no longer even decent players. For instance what exactly did any of them do after they left? Both Baines and Barry and Jagielka were great players in their time but their time was passed.

When Moshiri took over, we were toast.

David Hayes
100 Posted 03/08/2021 at 09:28:54
Based on his time at Newcastle, which is relevant to his tenure here. At Newcastle he had an average group of mainly premiership level players, with one or two higher quality individuals. Very compatible to here and now. Did his coaching methods, presumably the same, achieve a consistent team cabable of challenging the top six and compeating with any team on the day. No , and nowhere near. Newcastle maintained average, mid table level and never really competed with the top six at all. I think despite the "Tell them what they want to hear" bollocks which we toffees are eternal sucker's for, Big club, Great history, knowledgeable fans ect. peddled out by all new players and managers, that we never fail in desperation to lap up. More bang average mid table output but this time add battered by top six every time. Can't see it any other way.
Sean Kelly
101 Posted 03/08/2021 at 09:44:11
David #100 You got there just before me. This rally the troops bollox is nonsense. Each and every one of our squad should look in the mirror and see the problem. Too comfortable with big salaries and no repercussions for inept and unprofessional performances. Time after time they wheel out some reluctant sod to convince us supporters that they are giving everything for the club. This is utter bollox when we can see it clearly those that go missing on the pitch.
Every week we see match day performance rating of our player at 5 or 6. That's bang average and will not get you near any European places. I think Benitez will be gone by Christmas. He will realise what Carlo saw and that is player power and he will walk out that open door.
As far as FFP is concerned we should tell the FA and UEFA to sod off as there has been no sanctions against the "top six" for their part in the super league.
Colin Malone
102 Posted 03/08/2021 at 11:42:08
The difference between us and Newcastle with Rafa. Moshiri is willing to back his manager in the transfer market, Mike Ashley didn't.

At this present time, we haven't got the same pull in the transfer market as the Top 6, that's the difficult part.

Jerome Shields
103 Posted 03/08/2021 at 22:57:57
Colin #192,

Everton have spent £1. 8 million so far this transfer window on strengthening the squad. They have brought in three players. The two outfield players appear to be key players. Maybe two other p!ayers will come in, I have a feeling there will not be a big amount of money spent.

Benitez was paid £6 million a year at Newcastle. He is being paid £7 million by Everton, having left £12 million a year in China. Ancelotti was paid £11 million a year by Everton.

Andy Crooks asked in an article on Benitez's arrival, why he has taken the Everton job? The answer is anyone's guess and still is. There is something different about this whole situation and the normal expectations, like a transfer splurge, are increasingly looking unlikely in my opinion.

David #100

May be closer to the truth than anyone.

Ian Riley
104 Posted 03/08/2021 at 23:04:04
My belief is we will finish in the top six. Rafa will get more out of this squad than previous managers. He manages players individually, strengths and weaknesses and builds a team. To be honest, I'm really excited about the season ahead! Usually goes by September 1st!

Rafa won't let us down! Honest, loyal and will do his best!!! Top 6 and cup run to the semi-final!!!

Michael Burke
105 Posted 04/08/2021 at 08:05:21
David #100,

I think even the most pessimistic Evertonian would agree our current team is significantly better than the one coached by Rafa at Newcastle. He took over with not many games left in the season, got them to 44 points. How often would that keep you up!

Brought them up from what is a notoriously difficult league to exit, and then stabilises them in the Premier League. His 'average' team for the 17-18 season, first back-up was as follows:

1. Elliott, 2. Yedlin, 3.Dummett, 4. Lascelles, 5. Lejeune, 6. Diame 7. Shelvey, 8. Merino, 9. Murphy, 10. Perez, 11.Ritchie.

I'm going to say he did well to keep them up!

Tom Richards
106 Posted 04/08/2021 at 08:38:48
Top 8 finish for his first season would be a decent return for Rafa.
Bit of a run in the cups would be a bonus.
David Hayes
107 Posted 04/08/2021 at 15:59:03
Michael #105,

You mean our current team that finished 10th last time out. Now added a Crystal Place non-scorer or assist provider, a player that Leicester City couldn't do anything with, and a fossilized back-up keeper.

All so much better than any Newcastle team.

Jay Harris
108 Posted 04/08/2021 at 17:31:24
I think all we can do is "Give peace a chance" and hope with the home support back we will do better this season.

There is no hiding place for the club management or players with crowds back this season so let's see how it plays out.

Derek Taylor
109 Posted 04/08/2021 at 18:03:15
Even without any 5* signings, I can't see Benitez failing to repeat last season's 10th-place finish.

I can't imagine the Club have budgeted for anything higher, given that the ground build will be the No 1 importance and the new man will know that means sell to buy only – for the next 5 years.

Brian Wilkinson
110 Posted 04/08/2021 at 22:02:47
Benitez is going to have to do it the hard way, with FFP restrictions, he is going to have to weed a lot of the dross out, that has been bleeding our FFP constraints close to bursting point.

There is no doubts his hands are tied, due to mismanagement previously, on that basis he is going to have to bring in some shrewd signings at bargain prices, while offloading some as well.

No matter what happens, some will be against Benitez from Day One; I, on the other hand, think he will sort the mess out that we find ourselves in, and stablize the club.

Unlike past managers, we really need to give Benitez a bit of slack, get our FFP situation better, then hopefully, with the new stadium and sponsorship, we will be in much better shape, in regards to profit and loss.

Like it or not, Benitez is the best hope we have. Time for fans to roll their sleeves up, get behind the manager and the team.

Pekka Harvilahti
111 Posted 05/08/2021 at 00:50:31
Rafa has his faults but he clearly wants to succeed at Everton. For that to happen, we the fans have to support him as much as we can. What else can we do? Surely it would be stupidity to try to make his work even harder by protesting on every move he makes or does not make.

It seems that there will be no new high-profile faces coming in because of FFP and the new stadium project. As it is, we have a good enough squad for 7th or 8th position for now.

Let's see how the team responds to Rafa's methods and the way he wants them to play. I think we will do just fine but, if not, I would wait until October to start calling for his head...

Ian Riley
112 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:05:38
Derek #109,

Last season's 10th place was a shocker. Slow, lacklustre performances. Just simply not good enough.

Rafa is a top manager and loves football. He must have watched us last season and knew what we needed prior to coming as manager.

If Rafa can get an extra 20% work-rate from these players, then anything is possible. This squad has quality but must work harder to achieve.

Last 5 years, over £300 million spent on players! We need an alternative to boom and bust! Actually heading for bust without the boom!!

Let the battle commence!!! In Rafa we trust!!

Tony Everan
113 Posted 05/08/2021 at 20:14:02
Allan commenting on Benitez working with the midfielders. Drilling into them in training “two touches and pass it forwards”. “He is active in training always asking to pass better and move better”, “and to always have a compact line so we are ready for all types of games.” (What does that mean? Help!)

I like the noises coming out of the training ground on the work that is going on there. It sounds to me that the problems we have are clearly identified and are being worked on. Although it'll soon be time for the talking to stop and for them to prove it on the pitch.

David Hayes
114 Posted 06/08/2021 at 11:07:27
Ian #112,

I remember seeing your last line on banners across the road. The praise and confidence you espouse in favour of our latest incumbent is very similar to views also held across the road. Let's hope we can all share them 10 games in.

Ian Riley
115 Posted 09/08/2021 at 13:11:06
David #112,

Rafa might be doomed whatever he does with some fans. Let's remember: we have no choice. Rafa goes, Moyes or Sam are the choices. No big spending for a while!

We have Rafa who is a very good manager. Just have to get behind the team.

Danny O’Neill
116 Posted 09/08/2021 at 13:15:34
That sounds positive Tony.

In fairness, Allan is one of our midfielders who does look to go forward, even if he waits for the opportunity.

Give them options and they will.

Raymond Fox
117 Posted 09/08/2021 at 14:06:05
Ian, you're being a supreme optimist saying we could finish 6th. I'm with you thinking we could perhaps do better than last season's 10th but 6th is pushing it a bit.

I agree with your comments about Rafa, he's very experienced in all aspects of the Premier League and will get the best out of our lot.

That said at the moment we do look like we will struggle if we get a run of injuries to key players; let's hope not.

As for the anti-Benitez opinion, just because he made a derogatory remark about our club years ago, probably because of all the personal flack he had received from our lot, is a bit juvenile I think.


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