‘I know what scouts want’: Rafael Benitez says his Liverpool experience will help him win over Everton fans as Toffees continue their good start to the season
- Everton continued their good start to the season with a 2-0 win over Brighton
- Toffees fans were not convinced of his appointment because of his past in Liverpool
- Benitez says his time in Liverpool helped Everton fans win over
Rafael Benitez says his experience of living in the city of Liverpool helps him win the Everton fans unexpectedly.
The majority of Toffees fans were unconvinced by his appointment – due to his past connections with Liverpool – and some even put up banners that read ‘Don’t sign Rafa, we know where you live’.
But after Everton convincingly beat Brighton to make it two wins and a draw to start the season, Benitez said he loves the city and “knows what scouts want” from their football team.
Rafael Benitez has got off to a good start at Everton and the ex-Liverpool boss wins over fans
“From the start, the reception has actually been great,” he says.
“Anyone can say something on Twitter, but the reality is I know what scouts want from their team.
“Everton fans know I love the city of Liverpool, my team and I have been here for many years and know how to make these people happy. Now the fans enjoy how we play.
Goals from Demarai Garay and Dominic Calvert-Lewin sealed a 2-0 win for Everton
“We’ve had difficult games, we came back from behind in the first game to win and then we pushed Leeds last week and could have won but we had a great performance.
“In this game, we had more control and we’re showing an evolution of what we’re trying to do. We can only get better.’
Summer signing Demarai Gray shone again and opened the scoring – on his goal in Leeds last Saturday.
When asked about Grey, Benitez said: “Demarai has always had to be more consistent, but he does it well, he has the quality to make a difference.
‘I tell him so often: ‘you haven’t done anything yet, you have to keep training well and then you can make an impact on games’.
Richarlison and Calvert-Lewin argued over who should have taken the penalty for Everton
Benitez was also quick to dismiss questions about Richarlison’s future, who has been linked to a move to Paris Saint-Germain if Kylian Mbappe moves to Real Madrid.
“I don’t think speculation about Richarlison’s future influenced him,” Benitez told a player who looked annoyed at the Amex, who argued with Dominic Calvert-Lewin over penalties and was later booked.
“Remember, this player played the Copa America, then the Olympics, didn’t take a vacation and then came back and played so well.”
Brighton boss Graham Potter said: “Everton was a step up in quality (from the other two games), but we weren’t playing our best football either.
“We have a lot of players and numbers coming back from injury. We look out the window and will try to make the best decisions for us.’
Everton are unbeaten after their first three games of the season with two wins and a draw