Rafa Benitez rejects claims of being aloof with his players as Everton boss insists Demarai Gray and Richarlison’s treatment shows he is NOT ice cold
- Newcastle’s Rafa Benitez has disputed claims he is a difficult man to please
- The Spaniard said his relationship with Richarlison showed the idea is wrong
- Benitez hugged the Brazilian to Burnley and said they speak every day
Rafa Benitez insists the perception that he is aloof with players is wrong and says his dealings with Richarlison prove it.
The Spaniard is said to have an icy veneer by some of those who have played under him and that he is a man hard to please, rarely compliments and prefers to focus on what can be improved.
But during Monday’s 3-1 defeat to Burnley, Benitez gave Richarlison a hug after Everton scored their third goal – and he made it a point to make another fuss about the Brazilian when he replaced him towards the end of the game.
Rafa Benitez (left) has claimed his relationship with Richarlison (right) proves he’s not far away
It was clear Richarlison wanted to stay on the pitch, but Benitez, whose side Aston Villa faced Aston Villa on Saturday night, has been talking to him in recent days and says the pair are building a thriving relationship.
“I think that perception is wrong,” Benitez said. “We can talk about Demarai Gray or Andros Townsend or even Michael Keane.
“I talk to my players about everything every day. With Richarlison, I talked recently about Ronaldo – the Brazilian player – Socrates, Garrincha, even his dogs.
“You try to make sure you understand your players and in this case we were talking about Brazilian players, players he may not know as well as players he does know. I think that’s normal.
“As a manager you have to get the best out of your players and that’s the way for me.”
Benitez spoke to Richarlison after hiding him from Burnley but said they get on well