Rafa Benitez’s reaction to Everton’s pre-season triumph is instructive. The difference between Carlo Ancelotti and others
On Sunday night, Everton supporters got their first view of what their team looks like under Rafa Bentiez.
Following the surprising departure of Carlo Ancelotti to Real Madrid, the Spaniard was hired as Blues manager at the start of this month.
The 61-year-old brought a plethora of experience to Goodison Park, having previously managed in Spain, Italy, England, and China.
Due to his ties to Liverpool, his nomination is possibly the most contentious in Merseyside football history.
Between 2004 and 2010, Benitez led Liverpool to Champions League and FA Cup glory, as well as a second-place Premier League finish.
Blues fans were allowed to see their team in action for the first time under Benitez on Sunday night, after two behind closed doors games against Accrington Stanley and Blackburn Rovers.
After a sluggish start in which the Blues went behind, Benitez’s side came into the game and rightfully equalized through Demarai Gray’s penalty shortly after the hour mark.
Another new signee Asmir Begovic then scored and saved against Juan Moreno to give his team a 10-9 penalty shootout victory.
Everton supporters were given a first peek at the methodical approach many in the league believe the Spaniard will bring to the club in the immediate aftermath of the game.
Anyone who has followed the club’s Everton Unseen segments since Benitez’s arrival will be familiar with the 61-year-hands-on old’s approach to training sessions.
During the clips posted by the club, the Blues’ squad appeared to be lot more enthusiastic and seemed to love being pushed by their new coach.
And if last night’s evidence is any indication, Everton’s players can expect a hands-on attitude from their new manager during more than just training sessions.
As the game approached stoppage time, Premier Sports’ TV cameras captured Benitez instructing his back four to be more “compact” and “go up” the pitch.
But, before the final whistle, the former Valencia manager was spotted deep in conversation with new signing Gray. “The summary has come to an end.”