Former Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant delivered a scathing assessment of Rafa Benitez’s management style, accusing him of not managing his players well and insisting that Steven Gerrard did indeed act as a ‘player’. manager ”.
Benitez was controversially unveiled as Everton’s new boss earlier this month, with fans criticizing the surprising move given his success as an Anfield coach between 2004 and 2010.
And now Pennant has cast further doubt on the appointment by going back on his time working under Benitez and revealing the distant nature of their relationship.
Former Liverpool star Jermaine Pennant (L) pissed off Everton boss Rafa Benitez (R)
Benitez has been controversially exposed at Everton despite his long stint as Anfield coach
“Look, it’s different for each player, different players will react differently with Rafa,” Pennant said on talkSPORT. “But in my eyes, he was not a great manager. His skills in this department were lacking.
“Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have also made it known publicly that they find it difficult.
“I felt it was difficult to approach him, have a conversation and maybe talk about certain situations on and off the pitch.
Pennant (R) worked under Benitez for three seasons and described their distant relationship
“He wouldn’t come to you, he wouldn’t take you aside and discuss whatever you need to discuss.” He sort of left it to Gerrard.
“Especially for the big games, at halftime if things weren’t going very well, he wouldn’t be the one pointing fingers and yelling instructions and telling you what to do to win this game.
“It would have been Steven who came to give you a thunderbolt and a blinding.
“Playing back then, I wouldn’t want to bore Gerrard first and then my manager. Steven was the player-manager. I think each player will take it differently with them.
Steven Gerrard was ‘player-manager’ and would tear his teammates apart, insists Pennant
Pennant, now 38, spent three seasons with Benitez at Liverpool and was part of the squad that reached the Champions League final in the 2006-07 campaign.
After his arrival meets the wave of scrutiny, Everton will look to start quickly under Benitez. They have a trip to the United States scheduled for later this month and will also face Manchester United ahead of the start of the new season.
But Pennant has pushed the former Napoli and Newcastle coach to struggle to repair his reputation and achieve success on his return to Merseyside, and said the club will be ‘stagnant’ under his leadership.
Pennant also says he was more worried about angering Gerrard (right) than manager Benitez
“Is he going to turn it on at Everton?” Will he take them to the next level? Personally, I don’t think he will. Sorry Everton fans! ‘ Pennant added.
“He’s a legend at Liverpool for this famous game, coming back from 3-0 in the Champions League, which was 100% managed by Gerrard and I know that.
“After Liverpool you look at where he’s been… Newcastle, he didn’t really set them on fire, he kept them afloat.
“I just feel like he’s going to be a bit stagnant at Everton. “