HomeManager in FocusRAFA'S TOFFEES


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The Premier League roller-coaster assembles for another campaign brimming with triumphs, fairy tales, and heartbreaks. While Manchester City defends their crown, the catalogue of challengers for the English throne has increased significantly with Everton being the latest addition. Boasting of James Rodriguez, Jordan Pickford, Richarlison, and several other, the Toffees could enjoy a delicious English summer.



Ancelotti’s Everton of last summer showed why Goodison park isn’t an unchallenging outfit, but under new manager Rafa Benitez the chronicle could be different. Benitez’s love affair with a Merseyside club continued as his hunt for silverware and redemption takes a new turn. With Benitez having a point to prove, will his appointment bolster the Toffees European-spot hunt or will it damage Ancellotti’s legacy of a year? 




Even If the world screams Rafa Benitez’s CV lacks the sparkle and glitter to reconstruct the Toffee, a football spectator would surely disagree. The Spanish grandmaster conquered Spain with Valencia in the early years of the decade, challenged the English throne with Liverpool, and stamped his authority in Italy. But Benitez’s current situation is like PSGs’ squad from last season, strong on paper but trophyless in reality. While the Toffee’s boast of a star-studded roster, Benitez’s return to England won’t be a cakewalk.



Marco Silva’s failure saw Carlo Ancelotti restart Everton’s vehicle. Unfortunately, the Spaniard has reunited with Los Blancos meaning Rafa Benitez will be donning the managerial chair at Goodison this summer. Everton’s falling kingdom was efficiently handled by Ancelotti, but his departure means Benitez starts from square one. Although the Spanish wizard could change Everton’s scenario with his managerial magic. 




Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison have turned around Everton’s goal-scoring scenario. Try watching the duo’s wonder goals on Youtube, and you’ll witness jaw-dropping strikes. While the Toffee’s true disciple, Gilfyi Siggurdson’s tally of heroic outings will surely reach new ceilings this summer under Benitez. And Moise Kean’s arrival from PSG after enjoying a staggering French challenge combined with Champions League winner James Rodriguez could trouble defences throughout the season. 


With immense quality lying in front of Benitez to play musical chairs from, an intelligent summer transfer window could surely boost their chances of silverware. But for the spectators, Rafa Benitez isn’t the protagonist they wanted. While the Spanish are rarely liked around these parts, a handful of Toffee supporters went an extra mile leaving a poster, stating “We know where you live. Don’t sign.




While clubs like Manchester City are splashing bucks, hunting for their prestigious talent throughout Europe, the Toffees are barely surviving Covid’s impact on world football. The fact that Italian champions, Inter were heading towards bankruptcy explains how the pandemic has negatively impacted the clubs throughout the globe. In the last three years, the losses at Goodison have sky-rocketed with figures reaching almost 265 million pounds.



Carlo Ancelotti exhausted 70 million of Everton’s summer funds with big names from Europe signing with the English competitors. But Ancelloti’s Spanish opportunity means Benitez will have to manage with the Italians choices with Everton reporting 139.9 million in losses.






Everton’s chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, elaborated, However, in this period, it is encouraging that our commercial performance has improved markedly, and this will continue to be a priority moving forward. We have also continued our investment into both our new stadium project – which continues to progress in line with our project plan – and, importantly, in strengthening our management and playing staff through the arrival of Carlo Ancelotti and some key additions to our first-team squad.


Everton’s chief executive, Denise Barrett-Baxendale, elaborated. “These strategically important projects have been enabled by our majority shareholder, who has further underlined his commitment with additional investment into the club, in 2019-20 and into this financial year.


With Benitez’s hands tied with a tight rope and spending capabilities reduced to almost zero, Everton will be capitalising on the available resources. Although the roster contains stunning quality, Everton needs a midfielder seeded alongside Sigurdsson and a dependable centre-back leading the backline. It’ll be seen if Farhad Moshriri will still dig out the Toffees from the scenario or will covid’s impact smack Everton below the belt.




While Youri Tielemans’ screamer dismantled the Blues’ prolific English summer, the world poured in to congratulate the high-flying Foxes. But after Leicester City emerged from survivors to challengers to conquerors, the spectators at Goodison Park questioned when will the Toffee’s write their English chronicle. The Premier League trophy has never experienced a night in Everton’s trophy cabinet, as the Toffees last enjoyed silverware in 1986-87.




The story has never changed under any leader, as Everton’s highlight of the season is usually a win at Old Trafford or Anfield rather than the twinkling Blues standing on a podium with gold medals, champagne, and a piece of silverware. While Ancelloti recycled the Toffee’s, Benitez has to establish his footing with the outfit. The quality lying at Goodison is mouth-watering but will a new manager be able to escort his troops is the question?



The Goodison had a character in Ancelotti who was the boss and the president of the club rolled into one, operating with different companies and drawing individuals to the side solely based on his coaching credentials. Real Madrid’s benchwarmer wouldn’t have signed with the English outfit if Ancelloti wouldn’t have signed. Although Benitez’s authority was tossed in the air, the Spaniard can attract big names. While Benitez’s approach resembles Ancelloti’s instruction manual. His strategy, like that of the Italian, is based on defensive stability although he can add some offensive flair if the proper performers are recruited.


“You have to compete,” he said. “We will try to have a team that has balance—attacking and defending—and being sure that you can compete against anyone.”


And even if Everton fail to defeat “anyone”, European football after the summer won’t feel less than a triumph for the labouring spectators and players.




Remember when Bale, Benzema, and Ronaldo ruled Spain’s goalscoring charts. An unplayable outfit against Benitez, Los Blancos exploited defence courtesy of their attacking talent. Benitez preferred a 4-3-3 with Bale and Ronaldo swinging in deliveries and Frenchman Karim Benzema pouncing on the opportunities. 





While Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin will be in charge of Benitez’s forward battery, the duo will have an Italian presence added to their roster. Moise Kean’s arrival from PSG could create havoc at Goodison Park. Benitez showed at Napoli and Liverpool how he trusted his midfield to fabricate opportunities one after another, something Sigurdsson and James Rodriguez could commit to. Moise Kean’s muscularity and positioning troubles defence while the electrifying Italian could rattle backlines with his flamboyance within the blink of an eye.





And Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin rarely need an introduction. While the Copa America silver-medalist netted 7 times last season, the Three Lions forward smashed 16 belters in the jam-packed season. Kean had 17 goals under his belt in Paris and perfectly supported Neymar and Mbappe when the two veterans darted forward smashing goals.

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