Rafa Benitez, the Former Manager of Everton, has come under huge fire from Pundits Jermaine Pennant for saying that Steven Gerrard, when at Liverpool, was essentially a player-manager.
Pennant featured in the Champions League final during his debut season with the club while spending three seasons at Anfield under Benitez.
Despite making 81 total appearances for the Reds, he did not get along well with Benitez, who Pennant believes lacked man-management and communication skills off the field.
The well-traveled winger claims that Gerrard was doing some of Benitez’s tasks and also criticised the manager’s skills to change the momentum of games at halftime.
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In an interview with talkSPORT, Pennant stated, “Look, it’s different for every player, and different players will respond differently with Rafa.
“But in my opinion, he wasn’t a terrific manager of people. He was deficient in that area of ability.
“The fact that Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard agreed that it was challenging has also been made public knowledge.
“I found it challenging to approach him, strike up a discussion with him, and perhaps bring up specific incidents both on and off the pitch..
“He wouldn’t approach you or take you by the side and start talking to you about whatever you needed to talk about. He kind of left Gerrard in charge.
“He wouldn’t be pointing fingers, yelling commands, or telling you what to do to win the game, especially during important games, at halftime if things weren’t going well.
“Steven would have come in and given you an effing and a blinding.
“When I was playing, I wouldn’t want to irritate my manager before Gerrard. The player-manager was Steven. I believe that each player will approach him differently.”
Benitez is a very seasoned coach who has won championships with Valencia, Liverpool, Inter Milan, Chelsea, and Napoli.
He was controversially chosen to replace Carlo Ancelotti as Everton’s manager, and Toffees supporters were not happy about the choice considering his close links to the opposite side of Merseyside.
Additionally, Pennant has little faith in Benitez’s ability to succeed at Goodison Park.
The 38-year-old said, “I’m sorry Everton supporters, but I don’t think he’s going to light it up at Everton or lead them to the next level.
“I am aware that Gerrard was entirely responsible for Liverpool’s epic Champions League comeback from 3-0 down, making him a legend within the club.
“If you look at where he’s gone since Liverpool, He only kept them floating; he didn’t truly set Newcastle ablaze.