‘Benitez is not elite’ – Everton-linked boss criticised for how ‘he operates’

Date published: Thursday 10th June 2021 8:47 - Lewis Oldham

Benitez F365

Ex-Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has been criticised by Simon Jordan for the “way he operates” and he has claimed that the Spaniard is not an “elite” manager.

The 61-year-old was manager of Liverpool between 2004 and 2010. He was in charge when the Reds won the Champions League in Istanbul during the 2004/05 season.

Since leaving Liverpool, Benitez has been with the likes of Chelsea, Newcastle United and Real Madrid.

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Benitez has emerged as a surprising contender for the vacant Everton job. They are on the lookout for Carlo Ancelotti’s replacement after he rejoined Real Madrid.

Jordan has told talkSPORT that Benitez is “capable” but he is not one of the “elite” managers:

“I can see Rafa Benitez pitching up wherever an opportunity benefits Rafa Benitez.

“It’s a great club, obviously there’s some history managing their great rival Everton have in Liverpool.

“There’s comments he’s made about Liverpool. After he departed to China for the integrity of one of the best leagues in the world and a big bag of money, I can absolutely understand him coming back and seeing an opportunity at Everton.

“He’s a good manager. He’s a very, very good manager – there’s no doubt about it. I just don’t like the way he operates.

“Ultimately, he’s had some very interesting results in his time at Liverpool and done some great things.

“But his career now is on a different trajectory. Elite doesn’t mean historically elite. It means you are at the top of your game at the moment you’ve been employed.

“People will argue, and the Newcastle fans will take in their particular brand of outrage on me observing Saint Rafa, that he is indeed elite, but he didn’t arrive at Newcastle because he was elite.

“He arrived at Newcastle because the options available to him were Newcastle United getting relegated that season, going to the Championship, and getting back up again.

“The options available to him are to go somewhere for a vast amount of money rather than a meaningful football club.

“I don’t think they get an elite manager, but a capable operator.”

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