Former Everton boss Rafael Benitez believes that his past history with Liverpool hurt his time with the Toffees and that it was the reason why he couldn’t make a few difficult decisions. The Spaniard had signed a three-year contract in the summer of 2021 but was sacked six months later.
After losing Carlo Ancelotti at the end of the 2020/21 season in a move that stunned more than a few Everton fans, it saw the club take things one step further by appointing Rafael Benitez. The arrival of the former Liverpool boss shocked the footballing world especially given the rivalry between the two Merseyside clubs. However, things started out superbly as Everton started the season with just one loss in their opening 7 games.
But everything quickly unravelled after that with Benitez eventually losing his job ten games later as the Toffees dropped towards the relegation zone. He was replaced by Frank Lampard and the Englishman ensured that the club survived their precarious position although many wondered what happened to Benitez. It has seen the Spaniard admit that he struggled to make difficult moves because of his history with Liverpool even though he realised that the club had to change things internally.
"At the time Everton came in with the offer, I knew I would give my best and do everything to try to improve things. I knew it could be difficult because I was at Liverpool, so maybe I couldn't make some decisions. It was very clear for us at the beginning,” Benitez told Sky Sports.
"I had a meeting with a head of one of the departments and I asked him 'do you think everything is fine?' He said 'yeah, everything is perfect.' I thought '£600m had been spent, it cannot be perfect when the owners aren't happy and the fans are not happy.'
"So I realised we had to change things inside, but I couldn't do it straight away because I was a former Red and it could be seen as 'oh, he's come in to change our club'. In another club, I would have made those decisions. I did it in the past, because you know very clearly that is the way to improve, but there at Everton I couldn't do it."