Jamie Carragher: Rafa Benitez knows Everton fans more than previous managers
Everton are currently fourth in the Premier League table after three wins and a draw in their opening four games of the new season under Rafa Benitez.
The Spaniard arrived at Goodison Park in the summer as Carlo Ancelotti’s successor, and he was not warmly welcomed by most of the Toffees supporters.
Having hit the ground running in 2021-22, Everton are looking like the real deal, and Jamie Carragher believes it is because the new manager knows all about the footballing culture of the city compared to those owner Farhad Moshiri appointed before him.
“Everton are being physical, getting the ball forward and using that Goodison crowd,” the Sky Sports pundit said after the Burnley game (via Sportsmail).
“He made a point when he initially got the job in that he knows the city and Liverpool people. I think what he meant was the football people whether Everton or Liverpool, and what type of football the supporters want.
“Rafa knows the type of football. Now, other managers, I’m not sure. Ronald Koeman, Carlo Ancelotti, Marco Silva. I think Benitez even though he’s a Spaniard, the fact he’s managed Liverpool and has been around the city, he knows what Everton fans want more than any other manager that’s been brought in.
“It’s that energetic, in your face, that’s what Everton demand and that’s what Liverpool demand too.”
Victories over Burnley, Brighton and Southampton were all emphatic, and the 2-2 draw with Leeds United could have resulted in a win had they been more clinical.
Everton are playing a different style under Benitez, and the results prove that they are doing the right thing and heading in the right direction.
The former Liverpool boss knows what football means to the Goodison Park faithful, and he is the perfect man for the job.
Whether his side can maintain the momentum and keep up their impressive start to the new season remains to be seen, but the initial signs are very encouraging.
They have come back from behind to win two Premier League games this season – something they completely struggled with under Ancelotti – and it speaks volumes.
Not all the fans are fully convinced, though, and Benitez himself knows that there is still a lot of work to do going forward.
He knows exactly what the club needs and what the supporters crave, and he plans on delivering both.
In other Everton news, Andros Townsend has tipped one Toffees player to reach the very top.