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Liverpool legend explains why Rafa Benitez is ‘the perfect manager for Everton’

Everton Unveil New Manager Rafael Benitez

Rafael Benitez has been unveiled as new Everton manager on Wednesday (Picture: Getty Images)

Liverpool legend Jamie Carragher believes Rafael Benitez is the ‘perfect manager for Everton’ as he has achieved his most notable successes when battling against bigger clubs, rather than trying to fend off challengers.

Benitez was appointed as new Everton boss on Wednesday, a controversial choice for many Toffees fans due to his past with local rivals Liverpool.

The Spaniard spent six years in charge of the Reds and is still well regarded at Anfield after winning the Champions League and FA Cup during his spell in charge.

The 61-year-old is fighting an uphill battle to win over the Goodison Park faithful, but Carragher, who played under him at Liverpool, feels he is exactly the right man for the job.

Carragher believes Benitez’s best achievements came at Valencia, where he won La Liga twice, and in his early years at Liverpool when he claimed the Champions League and FA Cup.

When the Reds became a better team, trophies faded away, while Benitez also failed to make an impact in spells at Inter Milan and Real Madrid, leading Carragher to believe he is best suited to a team looking to topple the best sides rather than maintain greatness.

‘The reason I think he’s the perfect manager for Everton is that he’s different from [Carlo] Ancelotti,’ Carragher told the All Together Now Podcast.

‘I think Ancelotti was a manager who won big trophies at big clubs, I think Benitez has had most success at teams that are fighting the big clubs. He was successful at Valencia against Barcelona and Real Madrid.

‘At Liverpool, Champions League, FA Cup and Champions League final, and at that stage we weren’t great, but those weren’t his best Liverpool teams.

‘His best Liverpool teams came after that and we didn’t win anything.

‘When he was like fighting against [Jose] Mourinho at Chelsea or [Alex] Ferguson at Man Utd, when he didn’t have the tools to go up against them and match them, we were successful fighting against them, he created a fight against Mourinho when no one else could beat him.

Everton Unveil New Manager Rafael Benitez

Duncan Ferguson will work with Benitez at Goodison Park (Picture: Getty Images)

‘He struggled at Inter Milan and Real Madrid. He’s successful at teams fighting against the teams at the top and Everton have been that for a long long time, trying to break into the top four and now a top six.

‘Fighting against those clubs is when he’s had success as a manager.’

Carragher also claimed that Benitez was ‘desperate for a job’ after leaving his last role at Dalian Professional in China in January.

‘I’d spoken to Rafa, we did some punditry work together, and he was desperate to get back into management,’ said Carragher.

‘He will manage clubs after Everton, his whole DNA is about managing, that’s why he’s taken this really brave move because if he’s not involved in football he almost doesn’t know what he’s doing.

‘So he was desperate for a job.’


MORE : Former Everton captain Phil Jagielka reacts to Rafa Benitez appointment


MORE : Rafa Benitez sends message to Everton fans and addresses ‘small club’ comments as he is named manager

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