Rafa Benitez has made a mistake by becoming Everton’s new boss, according to former Liverpool left-back Jose Enrique.
Benitez is just the second manager in history to have both the Liverpool and Everton top jobs on his CV.
The man who led Liverpool to their fifth European Cup triumph in 2005 is now the man tasked with winning Everton’s first trophy since 1995.
2 – Rafael Benítez will be only the second manager ever to take charge of both Everton and Liverpool in the two clubs’ histories, after William Edward Barclay, who was Everton’s first manager in 1888 and Liverpool’s in 1892. Crossing. pic.twitter.com/YrlRG13IXt
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 30, 2021
Benitez’s appointment at Goodison Park has not got down well with all of Everton’s fans.
Many cannot forgive or forget the past and Merseyside Police had to intervene amid a strong backlash, after a threatening banner was left outside of Benitez’s family home.
STATEMENT | We can confirm police are investigating reports of a threatening banner left outside a residential address in Caldy today, Monday 28 June. Anyone with information is asked to contact us @MerPolCC with ref 21000449810 https://t.co/ZmM7PAkA1B pic.twitter.com/c4v3MXd0Qx
— Merseyside Police (@MerseyPolice) June 28, 2021
But the reality is Benitez has not forced himself upon Everton. The club’s big-wigs have sought him out as the man they want to lead the club forward.
Nevertheless, Enrique – who played for Liverpool between 2011 and 2016, winning the League Cup in 2012 – says he would have said no had he been in Rafa’s shoes.
In a column for Liverpool fansite Empire of the Kop, Enrique wrote: “Everton have new owners and, realistically, this would not have happened with the last owners. These new owners are putting a lot of money into the club because they want to be successful and, as project for a manager, I believe it can be attractive, so I understand Rafa’s point of view.
“He’s still living in the city, he loves the place, the fans love him and he’s still a big Liverpool supporter. But, listen… it doesn’t matter how much money Everton would have thrown at me, I wouldn’t have gone there, I think Rafa has made a mistake.
“If he doesn’t start well, the Everton fans are going to go against him quickly, especially because of his past. I don’t think he needed to take the job, he’s been a very successful manager, he could go to any club in Europe but not to Everton or Manchester United.
“You get opportunities in football that sometimes you should pass on, and I believe Rafa should have passed on this. It’s a similar situation to when Fernando Torres signed for Chelsea, but even worse because you’re going to Everton!”