By Declan Walsh

21st Jul, 2021 | 12:10pm

Natalie Sawyer: Everton fans won't want to hear what Jermaine Pennant said about Rafa Benitez

Ex-Liverpool player Jermaine Pennant struggles to see Rafa Benitez doing well at Everton next season.

Carlo Ancelotti led the Blues to a 10th-placed finish in the Premier League last season, only to quit Merseyside in order to return to Real Madrid and for former Liverpool boss Benitez to replace him.

Understandably, Benitez’s arrival has not been met with 100 per cent approval and Pennant doesn’t see it going well for his former boss.

“Is he going to light it up at Everton? Is he going to take them to the next step? Personally, I don’t think he will,” said Pennant, as shown in a clip on talkSPORT’s official Twitter account on Wednesday morning.

“Sorry, Everton fans.”

TalkSPORT host Natalie Sawyer then said: “Everton fans will not want to be hearing that.”

“Pennant continued: “Look, he was a legend at Liverpool. There was that famous comeback in the 3-3 with AC Milan.”

After a previous comment by Pennant in which he claimed Steven Gerrard was the main leader at Anfield when Benitez was there, Tony Cascarino joke the 2005 Champions League title was “Gerrard-driven”.

Sawyer then said: “Don’t back him up. A lot of Everton fans are already critical at this point and this is not going to help.”

We’re worried he’s right

Let’s be honest, there’ll be a lot of fans who agree with Pennant and we are, ourselves, worried he will be right.

Benitez has done a great job at certain clubs throughout his career but he’s also done bad ones and average ones.

At Newcastle, he did well to get them promotion from the Championship and to get them to stay in the Premier League but ultimately, the style of play was probably even duller than what Steve Bruce has been producing.

However, Benitez doesn’t exactly have a tough act to follow.

If we finish ninth next season, it will be underwhelming but it will ultimately be better than what Ancelotti managed.

We looked so promising in the first half of last season but Ancelotti and the players lost their way in the winter and a mid-table finish is exactly what we deserved.

Hopefully Benitez does well and this is the start of a new era for the Toffees. As we said, ninth would be an improvement but seventh should be the aim to start off with.

Let’s qualify for Europe and go from there.

In other Everton news, an overseas medical is underway ahead of yet another major signing at Goodison.

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