By Nick Ware

14th Sep, 2021 | 2:10pm

Gary Neville: Everton fan discontent with Rafa Benitez has disappeared now

Gary Neville believes the discontent around Rafa Benitez’s appointment at Everton has gone after his five-game unbeaten start to life with the Blues.

Speaking on Sky Sports Monday Night Football before Everton beat Burnley 3-1 at Goodison Park, host David Jones asked the ex-Manchester United defender for his thoughts on the Spaniard’s tenure thus far.

“A move of great controversy in the summer, Gary,” Jones said. “How do you think that the marriage is working out so far with Rafa at Everton?

Neville replied: “I didn’t like it in the summer, I thought it was a slap in the face to Everton fans.

“Obviously Rafa’s success with Liverpool, the rivalry, I just felt it was too close for comfort. But I never doubted that once he got in there that he was the right manager for the club from the point of view of the profile.

“I think that sort of emotion that was felt earlier in the summer has gone because they’ve started well.”

Dream beginnings

10 points out of a possible 12, fourth in the Premier League with double digits for goals scored and safe passage into the next round of the League Cup. Benitez is in dreamland.

Of course, that’s not how he will be viewing events.

The ever-cautious Spaniard is someone that always has his feet firmly on the ground, and he will be reminding his players every day there is huge amounts of work to be done yet.

But supporters can bask in their success, even if the team cannot.

The final few months of the Carolo Ancelotti era saw some really turgid football played as the Blues meekly closed out the 2020/21 campaign.

There was more than an air of derision when Benitez was announced as Ancelotti’s successor in the summer, but the early signs are positive with Andros Townsend and Demarai Gray proving to be inspired signings.

The season has barely begun, but excitement is in the air on the blue half of Merseyside.

In other Everton news, Sky Sports duo issue Blues ace warning amid Burnley ‘controversy’.

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