Senior Everton player addresses infamous Benitez jibe; admits to mistakes

Date published: Thursday 1st July 2021 3:59 - Kevin Palmer

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Everton captain Seamus Coleman believes their fans need to get behind new manager Rafael Benitez, despite his ties with former club Liverpool and a past infamous jibe.

Benitez’s appointment as Everton manager was confirmed on Wednesday, sparking a negative reaction from many Everton supporters and they are unhappy with the presence of the coach who led local rivals Liverpool to 2005 Champions League glory at their club.

Now Coleman has given his verdict on the appointment, as he insisted Benitez’s infamous snipe claiming Everton were a ‘small club’ needs to be dismissed as he prepares to start working with the Spaniard when pre-season training gets underway next week.

“Everton fans see a man who’s come in and managed Liverpool and made that comment that you mentioned,” said Coleman, speaking at a SPAR event as he referred to Benitez’s ‘small club’ verbal jab at Everton that he made in 2007.

“I also know Everton fans are a very supportive group, they get behind every manager that we’ve ever had and they’ll get behind this manager because ultimately we all want success.

“Like anything in football then, it’s all about results and I’m sure the manager will get some good results for us and we can all move forward from the talk of the summer and what his previous ties were as well.

“We’ve all got to fully get behind the new manager and try first and foremost to impress him and get into his plans and try and be successful for Everton Football Club because that’s what we all want.

“That’s what the board want, that’s what the players want, that’s what the manager will want and it’s what the fans will want.”

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Coleman admits Everton have made mistakes

Coleman confirmed he is looking forward to working with Benitez, but he admitted the ongoing turnover in managers at Everton over the course of his career at the club has not been good for their hopes of success.

“What’s disappointing for me is we’ve had so many managers and change over the years,” added Coleman.

“Ultimately that’s a reflection on the players, I don’t think that’s always a reflection on the manager. I have been there for 10 or 12 years so a lot of that can be a reflection on me.

“We are crying out for that success and we’ve not got that recipe yet for whatever reason. I do believe that the club will win a trophy very soon. I don’t know how soon but that’s what we are all looking for.

“The manager has won trophies most places he’s went. He had a great time at Valencia, he won stuff at Chelsea, we know he won stuff at Liverpool. He did well with Newcastle, and won a cup with Napoli. So he’s a successful manager and I think as a club we’ve got to get behind this. We all want the same thing.

“We’re going into a new stadium very soon. We’ve got the financial backing now we didn’t have many years ago and we’re still trying to figure that out.

“It’s not like everything needs to be ripped up now and go again. But I do know every manager is different and he’ll want to put his own stamp on things as quickly as possible and bring his own style and his own philosophy. We all need to be as well prepared as we can.”

SPAR Better Choices ambassador Seamus Coleman has launched SPAR’s Better Choices summer 2021 campaign, bringing healthier food and refreshment options into Irish homes, gardens and parks for all the family to enjoy this summer. SPAR has also created a specially curated online hub at


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