Jermaine Pennant tears into “difficult” Rafa Benitez and predicts Everton will be “stagnant”

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Jermaine Pennant has questioned Everton's appointment of Rafael Benitez and predicts the Toffees will be "stagnant" under his stewardship.

Benitez was controversially appointed as the Blues' new boss last month, replacing Carlo Ancelotti at the helm.

This decision divided opinion among Everton supporters due to the Spaniard's past Liverpool links and many are now fearing the worse ahead of the new Premier League season.

Pennant, who worked under Benitez during his three-year spell as a Liverpool player, is also not convinced by this move.

"Is he going to light it up at Everton? Is he going to take them to the next level? Personally I don't think he will. Sorry Everton fans!" Pennant told talkSPORT.

Pennant is not convinced Benitez will be a success at Goodison Park

"He's a legend at Liverpool for that famous game, coming back from 3-0 down in the Champions League, which was Gerrard-driven 100 per cent and I know that.

"After Liverpool you look where he's been… Newcastle he didn't really set them alight, he kept them afloat.

"I just feel he's going to be a little bit stagnant at Everton."

Pennant has admitted to sharing a difficult relationship with Benitez during his Anfield spell between 2006 and 2009.

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The 38-year-old has suggested that Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard acted more like the manager of the side, particularly when things were not going to plan.

"Look, it's different for every player, different players will react differently with Rafa," he said.

'But in my eyes he wasn't a great man-manager. His skills in that department were lacking.

"Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher have also made this publicly known as well, that they felt it was difficult.

Will Benitez be a success at Everton? Comment below.

Benitez guided Liverpool to Champions League glory in 2005

"I felt it was difficult to approach him, have a conversation and maybe talk about certain situations on and off the pitch.

"He wouldn't come up to you, he wouldn't grab you by the side and have a chat about whatever you need to discuss. He kind of left it to Gerrard.

"Especially to big games, at half-time if things weren't going very well, it wouldn't be him pointing fingers and shouting instructions and telling you what needs to be done to win this game.

"It would have been Steven coming in giving you an effing and blinding.

"Playing back then, I wouldn't want to annoy Gerrard first, and then my manager. Steven was the player-manager. I think every player will take it differently with him."

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