Former Everton boss Rafael Benitez claims that because of his relationship with rivals Liverpool, he was unable to manage the team the way he desired.
Benitez, who led Liverpool from 2004 to 2010, won the Champions League, FA Cup, and UEFA Super Cup during that time. He took over as Everton’s manager in July 2021 but was fired six months later after failing to boost his team’s performance and win over the fans.
The Spaniard told Sky Sports News that he did not regret taking over at Goodison Park but acknowledged that his connections to Everton’s Merseyside rivals made some decisions more difficult for him.
“At the time Everton came in with the offer, I knew I would give my best and do everything to try to improve things,” he said. “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.
“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.”