Everton owner Farhad Moshiri has defended his decision to appoint Rafa Benitez by claiming the manager has a ‘very distant’ relationship with city rivals Liverpool.
Moshiri confirmed the arrival of Benitez on Wednesday as the Spaniard signed a three-year deal.
His appointment is a tough one for fans on both sides of the city.
Benitez will always remain a Liverpool legend after taking them to Champions League glory in 2005.
However, his decision to join the Toffees has obviously led to backlash from some Reds supporters.
Some Everton fans, meanwhile, have been angered by Benitez’s ‘small club’ jibe in the past.
When asked why he appointed Benitez, Moshiri told talkSPORT: “His passion, I think the single word is we didn’t find anyone with his passion and knowledge for football.
“He would not stop talking! On a computer he has about 3,000 players’ details, he knows everything about them, their injuries and such. He doesn’t stop.
“You would think his life is football, nothing else. He is an intelligent man who is obsessed with football.
“You need to bring passion to your team and at this stage we are at a major stadium project and you need to go for experience and a winning mentality.”
Speaking about the 61-year-old’s relationship with Liverpool, Moshiri added: “I am the biggest fan and I have reacted ahead of fans where there has been discontent.
“I think when there were rallies and banners against Martinez I acted. When I wanted to get David Moyes but there were protests I didn’t take him.
“But I think this is a case where I think the connection (to Liverpool) is a very distant connection.
“He was as much the Liverpool manager as the Napoli manager or Valencia manager or Real manager.
“He is a professional manager, dedicated, who gives his soul to every club he has been to.
“You need to pick up professionals who are dedicated and give everything to their team.
“The man is in love with the City of Liverpool, not so much one particular club before he joined us.”
Benitez’s first remit will be to win over the fans by taking them back into European contention.
They finished 10th in the Premier League under Carlo Ancelotti last season.