Former Liverpool defender and pundit Jamie Carragher has defended former Reds boss Rafa Benitez after a bright start to life with Everton at Goodison Park.
Eyebrows were raised at the appointment of the manager given his history managing the Blues’ arch rivals but has successfully managed an unbeaten start to the campaign.
Everton have taken 10 points in their opening four games, with a 2-2 draw with Leeds representing their only dropped points of the campaign to date.
To compound Everton’s fortunes, the club also progressed in the Carabao Cup with a 2-1 win over Huddersfield Town to set up the prospect of a cup run.
Carragher has returned to his Liverpool roots to advocate for Benitez, claiming that the Spaniard and his intimate connection with the city makes for a unique match that was lost on his predecessors.
“Everton are being physical, getting the ball forward and using that Goodison crowd,” the Sky Sports pundit said after the Burnley game (via Sportsmail).
“He made a point when he initially got the job in that he knows the city and Liverpool people. I think what he meant was the football people whether Everton or Liverpool, and what type of football the supporters want.
“Rafa knows the type of football. Now, other managers, I’m not sure. Ronald Koeman, Carlo Ancelotti, Marco Silva. I think Benitez even though he’s a Spaniard, the fact he’s managed Liverpool and has been around the city, he knows what Everton fans want more than any other manager that’s been brought in.
“It’s that energetic, in your face, that’s what Everton demand and that’s what Liverpool demand too.”
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The encouraging results under Rafa provide bountiful cause for optimism, but the affinity the manager holds with the city is not to be discounted.
In truth, he has only implemented his usual tactical setup but has imbued his mark on Everton with ease.
Fans will be hoping for more of the same football in the spirit of results continuing.