Everton New Manager: What To Expect From Coach Rafael Benitez.
The 2021/2022 Football season is about to begin, and the various football clubs are making it already. Everton, the blue side of the Meyerside of the country has appointed the former Liverpool, Chelsea, and Newcastle United coach, Rafael Benitez (apparently Spanish tactician who has coached many clubs in his illustrious career) as their new manager following the departure of Carlo Ancelotti.
Considering the history and bitter rivalry between Everton and Liverpool, the Toffees fans and many football pundits are beginning to wonder how the Spaniard will improve the Everton squad that has refused to improve from the mid-table in recent years.
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Hence, given the current situation, we seek to look into what to expect from the 61 years master tactician in the coming season 2021/2022.
Formation and Tactics
Before moving to the Chinese Superleague to coach Dalian Professional club, the 61-year-old last he managed was Newcastle United. Rafa Benitez who is originally known for his pragmatic defense and mass attacking style favored a 5-4-1 formation most of the time during his stint with the Magpies. His team in the past including Chelsea and Liverpool, are usually set up by being well organized at the back with a pressing front.
Another aspect of Benitez’s game plan is how he sets up to defend set-pieces. His method is usually to leave one forward in the opposition half, this is to create a quick transition into an attacking play in case the chance for counterattack surfaces when the set-piece is defended or blocked well.
Generally, his major game plan is based on high press starting from the forward players when the opposition is still in the possession of the ball. The instructions are to ensure his players press faster and aggressively such that the passing lane of the opposition can be blocked, thereby limiting their options and while in possession of the ball.
Typically, this method is to force the opposing teams to execute their passes wrongly forcing errors from them to give the ball away cheaply. And with a 5-4-1 set up, when the team has the ball the attackers can quickly move into positions, and ready to move into opposition spaces and wreak havoc in a swift counterattack.
Possible Starting Eleven
Goalkeeper: Jordan Pickford
Defenders: Seamus Coleman, Ben Godfrey, Micheal Keane, Niels Nkounkou
Midfielders: Allan, Aboulaye Doucoure, Gylfi Sigurdsson, James Rodriguez
Forward: Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Richarlison
Rafael Benitez Past Records and Profile
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Rafael Benitez Statistics to date
- Total games. 716
- Total honours won. 13
- Average games per spell. 3
- UEFA Europa League 2012-13
- FIFA Club World Cup 2010-11
- Coppa Italia 2010-11
- Community Shield 2006-07
- FA Cup 2005-06
- UEFA Super Cup 2004-05
- UEFA Champions League 2004-05
- UEFA Cup 2003-04
- Spanish Primera Liga 2003-04
- Spanish Primera Liga 2001-02
- Promotion to Primera Liga 2000-01
- Promotion to Primera Liga 1997-98.
It has been observed at great length that Rafa Benitez’s style is established on the defensive solidity, while also ensuring there is adequate attacking intent from his forward players. Because he normally set up his formation and tactics, some football pundits have described the former Liverpool and UEFA Champions League Winner as a manager who is normally harder on his players than other managers. To some pundits, Benitez won’t hesitate to bench any prima donna players who don’t want to work hard while on the pitch.
His former Champions League-winning goalkeeper once described the Everton new manager as unfair, recalling how revealed how almost punch him for blocking his transfer move while still benching him. In his defense, however, the Spaniard claimed that he sees nothing wrong in what he did, but rather did what was necessary “‘ People say I am cold. To be fair I am professional. I wouldn’t say I was cold with players, it depends which players you’re talking about. You have 25 players in a squad, and you can’t play them all – they have to realize I have to make decisions.”
Rafael Benitez’s Words
Following his agreement to join Everton football club as their manager, the 61-year-old one-time La Liga champion has been trying to bridge the gap between himself and the fans of the club he is set to lead coming next season. In series of words, he tried to calm the nerves and declare how he was just professional. “You have to compete, we will try to have a team that has balance—attacking and defending—and being sure that you can compete against anyone.”
Benitez also tries to prove himself by acknowledging a familiar face at the club. In his words “I was in Spain working for years with a director of football, (referring to Brand) He is a professional, I am a professional—we will work together, we will keep talking, have meetings, talking about ideas for the future and players. The communication has to be fluent and then we have to be talking all the time. I have already been in contact with him. I have the plan. I knew the players and I was doing my research, and now I have all the information from them.”
Looking forward to the new season, he concluded that «I will have some meetings and we will analyze every single player. You can always make mistakes when you make decisions, but we have to be sure we make the right decisions.”