Everton manager Rafa Benitez has added a former Newcastle United player to his backroom staff.
Despite the hype surrounding Rafa Benitez’s Goodison Park transformation, some of his most significant acquisitions are already in place.
Benitez quietly hired Jamie Harley, a former Newcastle United colleague, as his Head of Sport Science last week, rounding out a backroom staff that will be key to his success.
Every manager requires support personnel, but Benitez’s are the foundation of all he does. When he won Manager of the Month at St James’ Park, he insisted that everyone of his support workers touch the trophy in the press photos.
A request to speak with one coach was met with the courteous alternative proposal that if you speak with one, you must speak with all of them.
Harley’s hiring follows that of first-team coach Antonio Gomez Perez and fitness coach Francisco de Miguel Moreno, both of whom had previously worked with Benitez.
For a manager who believes that the process and devotion to his tactics are just as vital as bringing in big-name recruits, all three will be critical.
Perez is a coach who specializes in opponent analysis, with a forensic eye for finding flaws and assisting Benitez in the formulation of game plans.
Perez first met Benitez when he was a teenage player for Real Madrid’s minor teams, rushing home from training to jot down the things he had learned from his sessions.
When Perez was 33 and a coach at Albacete, Benitez’s Valencia beat his team, and the latter spent hours in the coaching room going through the statistics that was the foundation for the triumph.
Perez’s strength is breaking down a large amount of material into manageable portions for the players. It’s a critical duty that requires someone Benitez can trust, given his precise tactical preparations.
Paco Moreno, another long-time Benitez ally, may be doing himself a disservice by being referred to as a fitness coach.
He is unique in that he did not play professional football. He ended up working at the INEF in Madrid, the faculty of sciences for physical activity and sport, as a brilliant athlete.
As a result of this. “The summary has come to an end.”