Former Liverpool midfielder Danny Murphy has revealed what Everton players might expect from Rafa Benitez in his first few days as manager.
The Blues confirmed the arrival of the Spaniard on a three-year deal on Wednesday, taking over the role after the surprise departure of Carlo Ancelotti at the beginning of June.
The 61-year-old was previously in charge across Stanley Park, where he made an instant impact on the squad after his arrival in 2004.
Speaking in his column in the EuroJournal Murphy, who left the Reds shortly after Benitez’s appointment at Anfield, has told Everton’s players what they can expect from their new boss in the first few days of pre-season training.
The pundit remarked: “There was no small talk or cosy chats about the family when Rafa Benitez arrived at Liverpool. It was straight down to business.
“At an early training session, he indicated he wished I was more athletic like Steven Gerrard, and then suggested to Stevie he should be more positionally disciplined like me.
“His tactical messages were concise and decided without discussion who would be on free-kicks and penalties, even in pre-season friendlies. I protested that I’d been taking them the previous season, ‘not any more’ was the message back.
“It’s fair to say Rafa was single-minded and ruthless and I can’t imagine he’ll have changed too much when Everton players meet him for the first time.”
The majority of Everton’s squad are due to return to Finch Farm on Monday to begin their pre-season preparations.
And Murphy believes that the style of play Benitez will introduce at Goodison will suit the key players that are already in place with the club.
“Everton will become a well-organised unit under Rafa having been too easy to play against last season,” he added.
“The club’s best spell in the last 20 years was under David Moyes when they were always awkward opponents.
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“Rafa’s coaching will make Everton competitive, building from the back.
“He has raw materials to work with. Dominic Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison are talented and improving forwards.
“Young defenders like Ben Godfrey and Mason Holgate will benefit from working with Rafa — who will drill the players in training on team shape, when to press and how to move as a unit in and out of possession.”