Rafa Benitez at Newcastle United proved his quality – Everton owner backs his new manager
Rafa Benitez was named as the new Everton manager on Wednesday (30 June 2021).
The appointment coming exactly two years since the Spaniard’s three year deal at Newcastle came to an end.
Rafa Benitez finding it impossible to stay at St James Park after Mike Ashley repeatedly broke promises he’d made to the top class manager.
Mike Ashley refusing to honour promises made on both strengthening the Newcastle United first team squad and the facilities, having promised back in 2013 a new state of the art training complex to be built as soon as possible, then assuring Rafa Benitez that major work would be done on the infrastructure at the club.
Farhad Moshiri, the Everton owner, has gone on the front foot to challenge those Everton fans and the likes of Richard Keys, who claim Rafa Benitez is a terrible appointment.
Moshiri pointing to the time Rafa spent at Newcastle United as proof of his quality and character.
The Everton owner stating it showed a ‘robust mentality’ when Rafa Benitez was willing to operate in the Championship having only months earlier been managing Real Madrid.
As for quality. Moshiri points to Rafa Benitez getting Newcastle United promoted and then despite ‘no budget’ finishing 10th in the Premier League. Indeed, over the course of over three years at Newcastle United, Rafa Benitez actually made a profit on transfers in and out for Mike Ashley.
As for Everton, in the last four seasons some £450m has been spent on players, around £273m of that during the two seasons when Rafa was managing Newcastle in the Premier League after promotion.
Despite the vast spending under Farhad Moshiri, it only amounted to tenth place last season in the Premier League. Little wonder he appreciates what Rafa achieved at Newcastle despite having been so completely undermined.
Newcastle fans now set to see what kind of players Rafa Benitez might have brought in for NUFC, if given the backing he is set to get at Goodison.
Farhad Moshiri speaking to Talksport about the arrival of Rafa Benitez:
“We didn’t find anyone with his knowledge and passion for football.
“On his computer he has maybe 3,000 players’ details. Name a player, he knows everything about them – injuries, history – and he just won’t stop.
“You can see his life is football, there is nothing else. He is an intelligent man who is obsessed with football.
“You can see he will bring passion to your team. At this stage with a major stadium project, you need to go for experience and a winning mentality.
“I’m the biggest fan and I have reacted in most cases to fans when there is discontent. When there were rallies and banners against [Roberto] Martinez, I acted. When I wanted to get David Moyes and there were protests, I didn’t take him.
“But this is the case where I think the connection is a very distant connection. He was as passionate a Liverpool manager as he was Napoli manager, Valencia manager or Real Madrid manager.
“He’s a professional, dedicated manager who gives his soul to every club that he has been to. You need to pick up professionals who are dedicated and give everything to the team and the man is in love with the city of Liverpool, not so much a particular club.
“All the fans – and I am the biggest fan – will begin to appreciate the man he is. The man will be first in, last out at Finch Farm who gives everything.”
“I mean, what are your criteria? Premier League experience, winning trophies, being dedicated, knowing the city and ability to perform. Even at Newcastle, he worked on no budget, coming from the Championship and finishing tenth [in the Premier League].
“The ability to go from Real Madrid and go to a lower division than the Premier League, it just shows a robust mentality.
“It has been difficult because we brought Carlo in at great effort and the sudden departure disrupted the club and all our plans. We built this squad for him and these are big, big disruptions.
“We couldn’t afford another short-term managerial period so we looked hard. We looked at so many managers, matching them with the club, their ability, and he was the only one who ticked all the boxes.
“You can always take big risks and at the end of it we are satisfied that we have done our work.”
If you would like to feature on The Mag, submit your article to [email protected]