Everton: 'Rafael Benitez appointment is Farhad Moshiri's most risk-loaded move yet'

Rafael Benitez was the Newcastle United boss in the Premier League when he last worked there. He left Chinese club Dalian Professional on January 1. Everton's decision not to hire Rafael Benitez as a manager is one of the most controversial and contentious in its 143-year history. William Edward Barclay was part of Everton's founding and was later part of the Liverpool Football Club breakaway. He is the only person to have crossed Merseyside’s managerial divide, and this was during the 1890s. However, this is just one strand of a remarkable story. The 61-year old Spaniard arrived at Goodison Park to succeed Carlo Ancelotti. He walked out on Everton in June to return to Real Madrid. This isn't even the most contentious issue among Everton supporters. It was made by Farhad Moshiri, who has been unsuccessful in his quest for success. Benitez is more than a significant figure in Liverpool's Liverpool history. He is one of four managers who won the European Cup or Champions League alongside Bob Paisley and Joe Fagan. He is also a personality that has caused animosity among Everton supporters since February 2007, when he said one famous phrase. After a Merseyside team managed by David Moyes had failed to score, Everton was labelled a "small club". This caused fury in the blue side of Merseyside. Benitez later admitted that he made a mistake and misunderstood his meaning. He said that Everton's tactics were more like a small team than a general description of the whole club. Many Everton supporters did not accept Benitez's explanation and are still not accepting it. Moshiri is bold in some eyes, but reckless in others. He is convinced Benitez will revive Everton. Moshiri has gone to Benitez because of this. Everton majority shareholder Moshiri has been impressed by Benitez's work at Valencia and Liverpool, as well as Chelsea. Although this appointment bears all the hallmarks Moshiri's, it is believed that his business associate Alisher Ustanov, who is involved with sponsorship of various Everton arms, also approves. He stated that Moshiri needed a manager to help him reap the rewards of his financial outlay. Since taking a significant stake in Everton's February 2016 purchase, Moshiri has displayed two sides of his character. After witnessing Everton fans turn on Roberto Martinez by holding banners and staging sit down protests after matches, he fired him. This was only nine league games into Ronald Koeman's second season, just nine months after he had led the club to Europe in his first season. Moshiri also chose his own path, regardless of any fan objections or concerns. He accomplished it in November 2017 when he appointed Sam Allardyce to a six-month joyless reign. But he has gone all in on Benitez. He believes Benitez is the right person to spark Everton's imagination. Moshiri was a huge fan of Benitez and has had many rounds of talks with him. He will also have taken soundings elsewhere to note how he rose above hostility to become Chelsea's interim manager in November 2012, to lead them to the Europa League. Ancelotti and Koeman fell under his "Hollywood" manager category. Marco Silva was the Mourinho-lite. Allardyce was panic in an emergency. Moshiri considers Benitez the most trusted Premier League player who can bring years worth of experience to Everton. This is Moshiri’s most risky move to date. This could be unexpectedly or surprisingly inspiring - or it could have the potential to become toxic. Can Benitez beat Everton's supporters? Benitez is one the four Liverpool managers who have won either the European Cup or Champions League. This question will be the one that Moshiri will remember most when his attention turned from Benitez to other candidates, like Nuno Espirito Sante, former Wolves boss. Benitez won't be intimidated by the challenges ahead of him, and this made Moshiri’s decision to appoint Benitez a lot simpler. Everton's first few weeks are not for the fainthearted. Everton's support was greeted by Benitez with combative and aggressive words. He insisted that he was here to "fight" for the club and to be competitive. He is ready for the challenges. This is a big gamble for both Moshiri and Benitez. They will be aware that defeats will, at the very least, carry more criticism and reaction than usual because some fans will place more blame on the manager. Although emotions will run high, Moshiri clearly was able to ignore the courtroom of bedsheet opinion when they were adorned with unflattering Benitez references and left at Goodison Park. Merseyside Police are also investigating the "We Know where You Live – Don’t Sign" banner Benitez had placed in the same area since his time at Liverpool. However, the message lost some of its impact after those responsible couldn’t even leave it outside the correct house. The more reasonable Everton supporters will be more open to understanding and may even be willing to forget the 14-year-old's stray comment and support Benitez. After the flag was removed from the area of Benitez's family home, more supportive voices were heard insisting that this was not a representative of the majority of the fanbase. Although they have been quiet thus far, there may be many Everton supporters who are fond of Benitez's management skills, willingness to fight for his club and ability to create a "thems-and-us" mentality that many fans enjoy. What should Benitez do at Everton Benitez has many tasks to complete, both on and off the pitch. It will be fascinating to see how the volatile Marcel Brands, Everton's director for football, works with a personality like him, who has had conflicting relationships with hierarchy, especially at Liverpool and Newcastle United. To balance the situation, Chelsea workers who knew Benitez talk with respect about his behavior in an initially hostile atmosphere. He was accosted by more than 40,000 supporters as he marched out at Stamford Bridge to face Manchester City. This was a reaction against the fierce rivalry between the two clubs while he was at Liverpool. He was unaffected and stood firm, and ultimately the results were his. He must motivate a team that produced some of the most boring, insipid home performances under Ancelotti at Goodison Park in recent memory, Everton's record at their own ground being a stark contrast to the excellent results away. Benitez will seek to continue the foundation of Jordan Pickford, England's goalkeeper, and Lucas Digne, France's left-back, as well as Ben Godfrey (England defender), who were a bright spot after Benitez's arrival from Norwich City. The signings of Allan and Abdoulaye Docoure to Ancelotti will be crucial under Benitez. However, it remains to see if James Rodriguez, the Colombian superstar, sticks around after his fitness and form have deteriorated towards the end last season. Benitez will also be looking to use a forward line which is headed by Dominic Calvert-Lewin from England and Brazilian Richarlison. This was a poor performance last season. This leaves much to be done, such as finding a long-term successor for veteran captain Seamus Coleman. It will bring more authority to midfield, and inject pace into a stodgy side, especially in the wide areas. One of the most unusual Premier League stories of recent years, many eyes will be focused on Rafael Benitez's Everton fortunes - that phrase alone illustrating the magnitude of this story on Merseyside.


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