“This is the biggest load of nonsense I’ve ever heard in my life.”
Jamie Carragher has come to the defence of former manager Rafa Benitez amid criticism from some Everton supporters about the appointment of the 61-year-old.
While Carragher was one of the first high-profile individuals in football to suggest that Benitez would be a fantastic candidate for Everton after Carlo Ancelotti’s sudden departure at the end of last season, the former Liverpool defender admitted that he didn’t actually expect the Toffees to hire Benitez.
Many Everton fans remain unhappy about the choice of manager but Carragher believes that is due to Benitez’s Liverpool connection, with the Spaniard having delivered a Champions League and FA Cup during his time on the red half of Merseyside.
🔘 Instilling a winning mentality at Everton
🔘 Why he wanted the job
🔘 Previous comments
🔘 Fulfilling ambitions
🔘 Relationship with Marcel Brands
Rafael Benitez addresses a range of points in his first interview as manager…
— Everton (@Everton) June 30, 2021
Carragher appeared on the All Together Now podcast this week and it was put to him that the Everton fan backlash has less to do with Benitez’s Liverpool past and more to do with concerns about his recent accomplishments.
“Behave, go on, get to this because this is the biggest load of nonsense I’ve ever heard in my life,” Carragher said.
“Before you go any further who are Everton going to get who is at the top of football as a manager?”
Carragher was one of the first names on Benitez’s team sheet during his time with Liverpool and the pair remain close.
Jamie Carragher on Rafa Benitez
Carragher believes that Benitez is precisely the standard of manager that Everton should expect at this stage in the club’s progression.
“He went to Napoli, and this is not me just defending Rafa Benitez my old manager, I just don’t like it and I think people are quite disrespectful to managers,” Carragher continued.
“When you talk about Rafa Benitez, did you expect him to win trophies at Newcastle? They haven’t done that since 1960…
“He was at Napoli when Juventus were absolutely dominating everything and he beat them in a cup final. That’s what you’ll want him to do as Everton manager.
“He went to Chelsea but he was only there in 6 months. And he won the Europa League. I’m not quite sure what you actually want him to do.
“You say he’s not at the top level where he was before competing for the Champions League or whatever, but if he was he wouldn’t go to Everton, so I don’t understand that argument.”