Rafa Benitez ‘not an elite manager’ says Simon Jordan as former Liverpool boss emerges as serious option for Everton

Everton would not be appointing an ‘elite manager’ in Rafa Benitez if they do move for the former Liverpool boss, says Simon Jordan.

Despite his links to their Merseyside rivals, Benitez has emerged as a serious option to take charge of the Toffees.


Benitez has been out of work since leaving Chinese Super League side Dalian Pro in January and is on Everton’s radar[/caption]

Everton were not expecting to be in the manager market this summer, envisaging Carlo Ancelotti to be in for the long haul until at least their new stadium was completed in 2024.

But then Real Madrid came calling and the Italian has returned to the Bernabeu to replace Zinedine Zidane.

Everton are searching for his replacement and are seriously considering Benitez, according to The Telegraph.

The Spaniard is well-versed in the Premier League having managed their neighbours Liverpool – leading them to Champions League glory during his six-year spell – as well as Chelsea and Newcastle.

Since returning from China, Benitez has been based back in Liverpool awaiting his next opportunity – and that could be right on his doorstep.

Jamie Carragher has urged Everton to hire Benitez and claimed he would ‘walk over hot coals’ to manage them.

But talkSPORT host and former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan is not a particularly big fan of the way Benitez operates and has told Everton he’s not a world class manager like many make him out to be.

Benitez was a fan favourite while he was Newcastle manager, but Jordan ins’t his biggest backer
Getty Images

“I can see Rafa Benitez pitching up wherever an opportunity benefits Rafa Benitez,” Jordan told talkSPORT.

“It’s a great club, obviously there’s some history managing their great rival Everton have in Liverpool.

“There’s comments he’s made about Liverpool. After he departed to China for the integrity of one of the best leagues in the world and a big bag of money, I can absolutely understand him coming back and seeing an opportunity at Everton. 

“He’s a good manager. He’s a very, very good manager – there’s no doubt about it. I just don’t like the way he operates.

“Ultimately, he’s had some very interesting results in his time at Liverpool and done some great things. 

“But his career now is on a different trajectory. Elite doesn’t mean historically elite, it means you are at the top of your game at the moment you’ve been employed.


Benitez won the Champions League with Everton’s rivals Liverpool[/caption]

“People will argue, and the Newcastle fans will take in their particular brand of outrage on me observing Saint Rafa, that he is indeed elite, but he didn’t arrive at Newcastle because he was elite.

“He arrived at Newcastle because the options available to him were Newcastle United getting relegated that season, going to the Championship, and getting back up again.

“The options available to him are to go somewhere for a vast amount of money rather than a meaningful football club. 

“I don’t think they get an elite manager, but a capable operator.”

Jordan also believes Benitez’s association with Liverpool will be used against him should things not go perfectly straight away.

“Obviously it depends on the tribalism upon the nature of the tribalism and rivalry, it’s not worked previously,” he added.

“Ask Tottenham fans, did they accept George Graham when he came from Arsenal to Tottenham. How did that look like?

“You look at those sort of things and ask ‘does it work well?’

“It will work well if Rafa Benitez if he comes in and is instantaneously successful then the connection will be dropped.

“If, by any chance, that he doesn’t hit the ground running and doesn’t got the way Everton fans think it should go then the Liverpool connection will be more prevalent.”

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